“Do not hide your ear from my sighing.” – Lamentations 3:56
Young people in the LORD easily compare themselves with mature believers and by so doing become discouraged, easily. And tried and tested believers fall into the same habit. They see those who are enjoying the LORD’s presence and company, and compare themselves to their present condition – and they conclude that they are not God’s people by saying bitter and poisonous things about themselves. This is a very foolish thing. It is like lambs suspecting that they are not part of the flock, since they are not sheep, or like a sick man doubting his existence since he cannot walk or run as a normal healthy man. But since this bad habit is common among us, we should seek those who are cast-down and comfort them.
Many are discouraged because they cannot pray as mature believers pray. “Do not hide your ear from my sighing.” This is an amazing description of prayer. We mostly understand prayer to have a voice – and it sure has. At times, and most frequently, prayer is expressed by a cry. A cry is a plain utterance of sorrow, pain and anguish and has much power to move the heart of God as a child’s cry does the heart of a loving mother. But there are times when we cannot speak with the voice, nor even cry. In such cases, prayer may be expressed by a groan, a tear or a sigh. Our prayer in the ears of others may be very irrational and even irritating. You may even feel as if you have moaned like a wounded animal rather than prayed like an intelligent person. To God, that moan and that faint sigh is prayer. Though unuttered and unexpressed in words which could reach a human ear, yet God hears the sighing of your soul and does not hide his ear from it.
If you cannot pray as you would like to pray, it is good to pray as you can. Being weak in your body cannot be a reason to stop praying. In fact, no living child of God should even think of such a thing. If you cannot stand up or kneel down to pray because your body is so weak, then your heart shall be on its knees and pray as before. Your prayers on your bed shall stand up and lift those hands in prayer to God. If you are so weak that all you can do is to breathe, let every breath be a prayer! It is when you are sick that you must take medicine, not when you are well. And the sick you are, the more frequently at times you must take that medication. You must never be too sick or too distracted or too busy that you cannot pray.
Pray for prayer. Pray yourself into a praying mode. We sometimes eat until we have an appetite, we don’t wait until we have an appetite to eat. So let us pray until we pray. The devil will whisper a deception into your ear, “Don’t pray just now, your heart is not ready for it.” Friends, you will not become fit for prayer by staying away from it. When you feel you are not into the right frame to pray, then that is the time to pray even more than ever. Pray until you pray, and the LORD will help you.
There are no circumstances that you can find yourself in that should make you stop praying. Sometimes it is important to shut the door behind you, before you pray. Shut the door behind you! Let the God of Daniel be your God in the closet of prayer and he will be your God in the lions’ den! As for the devil, you can be sure that nothing will drive him away like prayer. Satan trembles when he sees the weakest believer on his knees, praying. Whatever your position, if you cannot speak, cry. If you cannot even cry, groan. If you cannot groan, then sigh – the LORD will not shut his ear to any kind of your prayer.