When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:17-19
When it’s difficult to pray
Sometimes, during my quiet time with Jesus, the pain and discomfort I experience with fibromyalgia make it really difficult for me to focus.
During one of these times, I received this encouraging word from Jesus.
My child, rest in me, and in my love.
I delight in you!
I know your desire is to worship me in all you do and in your whole life.
I also know you get distracted, and it’s often difficult for you to focus.
I know that pain and discomfort are distracting, and it often takes all your attention.
I know this – for when I suffered: during my trial, during the beating, carrying my cross, and when I was crucified and hung on the cross, the pain was excruciating. It was almost impossible to focus on my Father, or on my mission. The agony took almost every part of my attention. I was in a blur of agonising torment.
So I know, my dear one, how it is for you, when you’re struggling, in pain or in discomfort. I know, and I understand.
In the garden of of Gethsemane, I was tormented with the prospect of what I was facing. I prayed, but the words were difficult to find, and I struggled. So I know and understand when you are struggling to pray.
I love you so much, my child, and I know your heart’s desire: to worship me and to draw close to me.
When words are hard to find, then rest, for I know your heart. Let your attention rest on me, without striving. Do it in small and simple ways.
If you’re struggling with pain, think of my pain, and know that I know your pain. You can use your pain as a way to meditate on me.
Your arms and hands are aching right now. Think of me on the cross, and of the pain I would have felt in my arms and hands. Let your pain be a reminder of what I suffered for you. Then turn those thoughts towards thanksgiving, praise, adoration: on whatever comes naturally to you.
Instead of fighting the pain, rest in it and dwell on me.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest. Psalm 22:1-2
For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him. Psalm 22:24
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7-8
My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27