Wednesday, January 21, 2015

3 Ways to Pray with a Broken Heart






























In the moments when we suffer - through loss, tragedy, trauma, or loneliness - God is never far from us. We know this. We've been told this, and reminded of this, and it's supposed to be a comfort to us. Unfortunately, none of that guarantees that it will feel easy to talk to Him when we suffer. If you've been in any of the powerfully painful situations I just mentioned, you can probably relate to how difficult it may be to have a dialogue with Him. You are angry, upset, and wanting to take it out on someone, something, and in some way. You want to exhaust yourself with the power of your grief, but you also want to plead for a different truth to your situation. If God could just show you a miracle right now! He could if He wanted to, you tell yourself.

And then you convince yourself that He isn't listening, because there you still are, broken-hearted, exhausted with the burden of an ugly truth, and unable to face it. For many, myself included, this can be a crucial moment when our conversation with God begins to break down. No matter how much sense it makes to keep our broken hearts close to God and aligned with the sufferings of Christ in our own misery... these tend to be the moments when we push God away. We tell ourselves that we can't handle it anymore. God isn't listening anyway, we reason.

I'll just pull myself up by my own strength of will. I'll push through the pain. I'll find an answer. With logic. And effort. And determination. We all do this kind of bargaining. For some, this stage of "powering through the grief" can last years. For others, it can happen within the hour of finding yourself on misery's doorstep.

But at some point, aren't we are forced to deal with the Truth? Not our "truth", but rather His Truth. We are not capable of making sense of His Plan. We can't understand with human emotion and human minds how to reconcile tragedy and loss and trauma and loneliness without Him. So how exactly do we do find God in moments like that? And how do we navigate a life that is simultaneously filled with joyous moments and grievous tragedies? How do we pray with a broken heart and find God in the seemingly smothering and immovable sea of our own suffering? 

Here are 3 Ways to Pray with a Broken Heart that help me in dark moments. I hope you find them helpful as well. If you do, share this with others.

1. Jesus is Our Prayer

"There is no other way of Christian prayer than Christ. Whether our prayer is communal or personal, vocal or interior, it has access to the Father only if we pray "in the name" of Jesus. The sacred humanity of Jesus is therefore the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father." 

This is what we learn from the Catechism. It makes sense to tell ourselves (remind ourselves) that our access to God is through His Son - especially when our hearts are broken. Invoking Jesus' name is the easiest way to call Him within us. That means so much that I can hardly put more emphasis on it. Imagine the broken-hearted woman who weeps at the death of her child. Is she capable of anything but calling out to Jesus in pain? Imagine the injured survivors of a tsunami pulled out to sea. Are they capable of anything but calling out to Jesus in their dire moment of need? The name of the Son of God is a prayer itself. When we are praying in dark moments and uncontrollably weeping and incapable of even standing, we need only to invoke His name and it becomes our entire prayer. He hears us. God the Father hears us. The Truine God weeps with us. And no perfectly fitted rhyming verse that is dutifully called to memory supersedes the power of a simple prayer. All we have to do is say His name. Jesus. Jesus. AMEN.

Yes, that imagery paints a powerful picture - pulled out to sea, with your calls in earshot of no one but God, wading through dangerous debris as you weep for what once was. And you might be thinking how so few moments in life are that stripped down and dark and desperate that we might have no other power in us but to say the Name of God over and over in our pain. True. (And you thank merciful God for that.) At the heart of all prayer in times of need - the kind that sucks the strength from our knees and the air from our lungs...the kind that is so powerful that we are completely overcome - it's a powerful reminder that we aren't performing for God. We aren't praying complicated prayers in hopes that He'll listen only if we get them right or say them with enough repetition. That helps me in my darkest moments. God suffers with us. The Author of Compassion. We are not alone, even in our darkest moments when all we can manage is to utter His name. Jesus is enough. He is our prayer. 

Let's dig deeper on that Catechism quotation though, because there is a lot of meat in that simple sentence. Communal. Personal. Vocal. Interior. These are all ways that are called out as ways to pray.

2. Get Back to Basics

When you are raised Christian, you are often taught to pray at bedtime...on your knees with your hands clasped together, kneeling at the side of your bed. But how many of us pray like that as adults? How often are our conversations with God even out loud anymore, let alone said at the foot of our bed with prayerful hands? My point: Go with what you know. Pray the way you were taught to pray. And if no one ever taught you to pray - take a moment to kneel by your bedside, palms clasped together, with your head bowed. How often do we hear someone say "God hears the prayers of children loudest"? Then what makes us think that our adult broken hearts need to aspire to more? What makes us think that a more complicated prayer is better or the goal? I'm not saying that we need to reduce our conversation with Christ to a litany of requests that might be better aimed at Santa Claus. The maturity of our prayer doesn't come from the form it takes though. Get back to basics. Do what you know. Pray with your broken heart at the foot of your bed. Yell at God - He can take it. ("The righteous cry out, the LORD hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions." Psalms 34:18). Give Him everything that broke your heart. Every last bit. What you will find is that peace and a little bit of certainty will find you right there at the foot of your bed when you do.

But what about the beauty of litanies, petitions, novenas, chaplets, Saints, and all the rest you forgot?! Yes, yes, yes, there is immense beauty and comfort to be found there. Let's talk about how the broken-hearted can use them to find God in dark moments.

3. Let the Saints Pray with You

Let me first say that you don't have to be Catholic to pray Catholic prayers. Remember that catholic means "universal". All who call Christ into their hearts are joined by that shared Truth. And one of the beauties of the universality of being Christian is that we have amazing examples of suffering available to us through the holy saints. There are people who lived before us (and among us!!) who really get our pain in a human way, without being divine themselves (and honestly sometimes that is easier to relate to in dark moments because the divine suffering and Passion of Christ can seem so unreachable). Use that gateway of understanding as a way to find Jesus through your pain. For nearly every instance of suffering, there is a human saint known to us. They all came into existence just like us. They suffered just like us. They failed just like us. And they were purified through their pain and deep suffering by a merciful God who heard THEIR prayers. When we pray with broken hearts and we give God our suffering, we are saying YES to drawing nearer to sainthood ourselves. Let it be done unto me! When we pray for the favor of God by asking others who have suffered to pray for us, we are uniting our pain with those who understand. It's not us vs. the world, in another clear defeat. It's all of us with a shared suffering speaking at once. Take a moment to look up the "saint of suffering" or the "saint of infertility" or the "patron of loneliness". There are gobs of them - waiting to intercede with God on your behalf. Let them help amplify your broken-hearted prayers to Christ. The amazing thing about the saints is that they often are associated with specific prayers. You don't even have to find the words yourself! Sometimes God gave them directly to the saint with detailed instructions on exactly what to say and do in difficult times! St. Faustina is a great example of this with her Divine Mercy chaplet and story. There are so many others.

Let structured prayer help you find an inner peace that is hidden underneath your misery. Let it help connect you back to what you already know. Those prayers can be simple verses from the Bible or they can be structured into several day long prayers (that's what a novena is), or they can take the form of a rosary (just a couple of prayers, said in repetition, highlighting Christ's suffering - it's not hard to say a rosary and you don't have to be Catholic to try!). There is comfort to be found in the Word of God, but oftentimes when we are hurting, the empathy of someone who has suffered similarly to us can be helpful. It's a shortcut to find God again through the pain. Use the saints and the prayers they bring us. They are real human examples of God talking to us directly. Listen to that Voice.

Lastly, you don't need the perfect words. There is purpose to this suffering, even if you can't see it. And God has already redeemed it. Remember this: The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed. (Psalm 34:19, NABRE)


*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Whatever way you choose, know that you aren't praying alone. My family prays for broken hearts daily. We have a specific devotion to those struggling with infertility, but our prayers our broad enough and specific enough to be including you and your struggles too. If you have shared your pain with us in any way, you are prayed for each day. If you are suffering in pain, illness, loneliness, tragedy, with loss, and any number of circumstances...we're doing our part here to help carry the burden a tiny bit. How do you pray with a broken heart? Tell us in the comments - we can always use your inspiration!



28 comments:

  1. This is so good, thank you. My prayer always suffers the most when I'm hurting (when I need it the most!) so I'm definitely going to put these into practice.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melody. I agree that it's so hard that we struggle with prayer the most when we suffer!

      Delete
    2. my name is Dwunica Julia. my life is full of joy because Dr OTOIDE asked me to be happy What happened to me is not what i can keep only to myself but to also tell the world so that those that were once like me will get there love ones back and been happy once again. I and my lover had some issues which leads to our break up since after then my life has never been the same i tried all method to get Him back but they were just waste of effort and waste of time. But one day during my search on the Internet i came across someone testimony about Dr OTOIDE helped him to get his lover back so i contacted His email:drotoidesolutiontemple@gmail.com and to my greatest surprise Dr OTOIDE was able to bring back my lover within 23hours. With the great thing that happened in my life i decided to tell the whole world about this great man called Dr OTOIDE. For those in need of anything he told me that in his temple there is know impossibility now i believe him so much friends if you need help kindly contact him via email:mail:drotoidesolutiontemple@gmail.com or call him through his mobile number:+2347089081873 or contact him directly through his website:https://drotoidesolutionte.wixsite.com/dr-otoide

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  2. I definitely need to read this today...life has been a struggle lately and I could really use these tips. I can so relate to your first few paragraphs..so thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I'm always grateful when someone writes something I can relate to...so I know that feeling! I hope the struggles are short lived. Keeping you in prayer till then! <3

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  3. I firmly believe that healing will never happen without prayer, but so many times during my struggle with miscarriage and infertility I stop praying. I get so angry, sure that God doesn't care, that I neglect my prayer life. Then after a time, still feeling miserable and broken, I go to confession and confess it all - my anger, my disbelief, and my neglected prayer life. I always leave confession feeling hopeful and able to pray again.
    I like your list, and I think #1 is very important to remember.

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    Replies
    1. I agree that infertility really strains prayer life. We've struggled so much. The anger is and misery and feelings of brokenness are just so overwhelming sometimes. I try to remind myself that God already redeemed it...and He's upset that I'm hurting.

      Confession is such a blessing! <3 Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. I'm pinning this for later as well. This is such a beautiful and helpful post! Thank you for linking up with me. Words I needed in this season of life :)

    xo

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    Replies
    1. So glad it spoke to you. I almost didn't post this on your link up because I only had 3 things this week, instead of 5! Thank you for the kind words. :)

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  5. In my darkest hours, all I could do was hope someone else was praying for me. We never know who our prayers may be benefiting. Thank you for keeping all the brokenhearted souls in yours. Beautiful post.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Lynda, we're definitely keeping all the broken hearted and poor in spirit in prayer. I actually wrote this after my husband found was an anonymous entry in a church guest book, written in desperate handwriting, that begged forgiveness for some terrible sin and expressed how broken-hearted and discouraged they were. They asked for mercy and prayers and forgiveness for their missteps. My husband wrote a response next to it to let the person know they were being lifted up in prayer. It just broke our hearts at how alone that poor person felt. So this is dedicated to the writer of that guest book entry. We just never know who our prayers are reaching. All the more reason to pray. Thank you so much for sharing. <3

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  6. Beautiful post, and I think very timely for a lot of hurting people. I love that you pray for the brokenhearted. I think it's so necessary!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the sweet words. Lots of difficult things going on recently, for sure. I think it makes such a difference when people know they are being prayed for without asking...especially when they need it most. <3

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  7. Thank you for this. I needed this message tonight. I am broken hearted and even though I know God will never abandon me, I often fear the pain of the struggle and question its purpose. You reminded me that the struggle is human and being human is a beautiful thing. Please pray for me in my struggle with loneliness and feelings of inadequacy. Your family and ministry will be in my prayers also. I'm off to find a saint to pray with. Blessings and thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. James, I'm so glad this spoke to you and I pray God helps you heal that broken heart of yours and helps you see purpose in His plan and timing. Though my response to your comment has been delayed, I prayed a novena for you that God would surprise you with joy and hope. I truly appreciate your support for me, my family, this blog, and the God-focused writing I humbly share here. My own go-to-saint is often Therese, in case your prayers need an intercessor. Hoping you are well when you read this. God bless!

      Delete
  8. I need this. I'm broken hearted and I feel alone. I prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet everyday, but I added a few novena for my relationship since we broke off. Do you think it's too much to pray to different novena (different saints) with the same petition throughout the day?
    Please pray for me. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Please pray for me. A girl I loved went back to an ex boyfriend briefly and is now pregnant with his child. I feel betrayed, hurt, stupid and foolish for letting myself get hurt again.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please pray for me am still in a broken hearted for almost 5years his already married i want to move on but i cant am also praying rosary everyday..i need your prayer guys please help me.

    ReplyDelete
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  12. I thank Jai Mata Sunlight, for the miracle work she did for me. I have be having serious issues with my husband...and because of that, he no longer come back home after work...and at times he do, he don’t don't talk to me, and we have not be talking together. We are not yet divorce...but it looks like, divorce was even more better... than they way we were in the house. The love of husband, and wife, was dead. I really thank Sunlight...because though, my husband and I was still living together, who don't know...would think we're in marriage. But, we were two divided people, separated from love. When we are aside, people know us as husband, and wife. but at home, we were like single partners ...who do not feel anything love. At times I wonder, where is the love, that we were into? Where did it go to? Because I still love him very much...but he no longer sees me as a woman. So, I have really be in pain but, no one knows... where it hurts me, and burn me so...much, and I don't know who to discuss with..that will give me solutions, to the problems I was facing in my marriage. I have contacted many people before I got to meet jai Sunlight. And I among all I contacted, was all fake. And it was jai Sunlight...who was the only one who helped me bring back, my happiness, and the dead love in my marriage. Thanks and praise to you mother. I am very happy...and I am also happy, to share this great opportunity to you...Readers. for you to get out of that misery you're into, Jai Sunlight...is the key. She saved me. She saved my falling marriage. She gave me life. Right now, as I am writing this testimony, I am in happiness...because my husband wrong attitude toward me changed. He is very, very much inlove with me and not only that, he is also very nice to me. and I am swimming in the ocean of happiness and joyfulness...with this, I want to share with every reader's of this testimony, To be apart of my happiness. because, I am going to leave her email here... in case you need her help. Pls, feel so free to contact Sunlightmata@gmail.com... to get your solutions restored back to you. Be the next to share a happy moments. Contact her.. and I promise you, you will thank me later. Thanks to you goddess Sunlight, for your great help and insight. You're indeed truly, a mother of love.

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  13. Hello every one i am very happy today to share this great testimony with you, I contacted Dr Ogudugu in regards of my lover. He no longer wanted to associate with me anymore. He was interested in working out from the marriage, after begging and pleading with him I realized it was out of my hands, he really was leaving me. My co-worker went through a similar situation and told me that Dr Ogudugu had helped her. I can't say how much I'm grateful she introduced me to Him. After discussing the resolution with Dr Ogudugu, get your lover back spell has done more than what I expected. My lover not only came back to me, but has left his wife and now we are engaged, we are getting married next year, I don't know what I would have done without you. I believe you are my guardian angel you can contact him Via Email GREATOGUDUGU@GMAIL.COM

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  14. my name is Dwunica Julia. my life is full of joy because Dr OTOIDE asked me to be happy What happened to me is not what i can keep only to myself but to also tell the world so that those that were once like me will get there love ones back and been happy once again. I and my lover had some issues which leads to our break up since after then my life has never been the same i tried all method to get Him back but they were just waste of effort and waste of time. But one day during my search on the Internet i came across someone testimony about Dr OTOIDE helped him to get his lover back so i contacted His email:drotoidesolutiontemple@gmail.com and to my greatest surprise Dr OTOIDE was able to bring back my lover within 23hours. With the great thing that happened in my life i decided to tell the whole world about this great man called Dr OTOIDE. For those in need of anything he told me that in his temple there is know impossibility now i believe him so much friends if you need help kindly contact him via email:mail:drotoidesolutiontemple@gmail.com or call him through his mobile number:+2347089081873 or contact him directly through his website:https://drotoidesolutionte.wixsite.com/dr-otoide

    ReplyDelete
  15. i am very grateful sharing this great testimonies with you,how Dr.Okaya win lottery number,and is The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how i won the lottery. and tell him i need the lottery numbers. i have come a long way spending money on ticket just to make sure i win. But i never know that winning was so easy until the day i meant the spell caster called Dr.Okaya online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, so i decide to give it a try.I contacted this Dr.Okaya and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out i was among winners. i win ( thirty Five million,thirty five thousand,three hundred and twenty three Dollars). Dr Okaya truly you are the best, with these man you can will millions of money through lottery. i am so very happy to meet these man, i will forever be grateful to you. Email him Okayaspellhelp@gmail.com for your own winning lottery numbers, is the only way out and answer to that your problem call/Whatsapp +27814506790 for More Information on Dr Okaya...

    ALSO HELP YOU WITH:

    1. Bring your boyfriend back
    2. Bring your husband back
    3. Bring your wife back
    4. Bring your girlfriend back
    5. Win lottery
    6. promotion in offices
    7. help you to become pregnant,if you looking for the fruit of the womb
    8. Complete cure of any kind of sickness
    9. marriage commitment and so many more

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had doubts about magic spells after purchasing many spells that never worked I actually decided to never buy a spell again. I have tried different spell casters..Some of them never answered me after I paid and were obvious scammers, some really cast a spell but for some reason it didn't work. Then I saw a video on you-tube with a person who was mentioning she had results with Mama Anita. Despite the suspicions I had her site looked real so I gave spells a last try. It's probably the best decision I ever made in my life because it worked and my boyfriend came back with me After I broke up with him I spent a lot of time wishing that I could just turn the clock backwards.He helped me do just that. In fact our relationship feels like the break up never even happened. We have never been this happy or passionate, all thanks to mama Anita. If you're looking for a good spell caster look no further,you can contact her straight on (mama.anitatruelovespell@gmail.com).or (mamaanita.lovespellsolution@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  17. My Dear friends online, My name is Elizabeth Ryan and i live in USA, New York, I have to give this miraculous testimony, which is so unbelievable until now. I had a problem with my Ex husband 2 years ago, which lead to our break up. I was not myself again, i felt so empty inside me, my love and financial situation became worst, until a close friend of mine told me about a spell caster who helped her in the same problem too his name is Doctor Adoda. I email the spell caster and i told him my problem and i did what he asked of me, to cut the long story short. Before i knew what was happing, less than two days my husband gave me a call and told me that he was coming back to me i was so happy to have him back to me. The most interesting part of the story is that am pregnant. Thanks to Doctor Adoda for saving my marriage and for also saving others own too. Continue your good work, If you are interested to contact the great spell caster email address: adodalovespelltemple@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete