For the past two years I have been juggling prayer and grief. I have lost a friend, my mother, my grandmother and others. It has been tough to go through, bu friends have reached out with concern, hugs and text messages, writes Elizabeth Elliott.
- Busted Halo
Losing these special people in my life has challenged my faith like no other hardship in the past. And I have never found it so difficult to pray. I’m left wondering how to pray to God when I feel angry and hurt. The dance of trying to reach out to the God of comfort while pulling away because of loss 'caused' by God has moved me to pray to my loved ones directly. I’ve been asking them to intercede on my behalf and put in a good word with God while I struggle to get close again.
When my mom was alive, often I would ask her to pray for people that had asked me to pray for them. I always thought that the more people asking God for help on someone’s behalf, the better the chance of those prayers getting answered. Right after my mom died, a friend asked me to pray for someone diagnosed with cancer and I immediately wanted to call my mom and say, 'Mum, pray for this person.' Knowing that I couldn’t really call her at that point, I still sent up the petition directly to heaven and asked her to pray from there.
Growing up I would pray to my deceased relatives as a way to keep them in the loop of all that was going on in my life. I figured if they were still around I would have asked them to pray or asked them for guidance, so why not ask them now? When I would drive by the cemetery where my grandpa and other relatives are buried I would ask Grandpa to help with a situation or to pray with me for something. I always figured people who passed away had to earn their wings somehow!
It is not that I don’t address God directly in prayer anymore. I still ask for comfort and peace for my loved ones. And I question God about the fairness of taking away those close to me. Why did they have to die? Asking “why” is something I’ve shied away from, knowing the answers aren’t always easy to hear and comprehend.
But since I sought answers from my loved ones while they were here, maybe I am hoping I can get a direct answer from them now — even though they are not physically present with me. I believe that praying for and to those loved ones who have died, and seeing things that remind me of them, my prayers are still being heard. When I remember my loved ones, I pray with gratitude for the gift of their presence in my life.
FULL STORY A prayer journey through grief