Should We Stop Prayer When We Suffer? Is There A Reason For Praying?

Prayer and Loss

Most Christians will say that the definition of prayer is talking to God, or asking God for help. Others will say it is a type of communication with the divine, or angel, or someone. In this case that someone is God. However, when there is loss, such as a death of a child or of a loved one, the first person whom we stop talking with is God. Is it the anger of loss of time or questions that simply won't be answered that fuels our anger?

We Question. We talk with counsellors and friends, and yet what we used to do before we don't do--- prayer. In fact when we stop praying it develops in to a chain reaction, God hates us and abandoned us, and since he has done so, we feel justified to stop communicating to God.

We prayed for the "halting" of the pain of loss or of rejection- even if it is to angels. We pray that the person finds comfort and peace. Then the "unthinkable" happens, they still leave or die or something equally as horrible. We don't conceive that this was what was best for the other person, it is not best for us. Death, death is a cruel beast.

One of the first things most people in such a situation do is get angry-- usually at God. Then they ask why, and with no "real" answers forthcoming, they get madder, and more angry and stop praying. They feel loss, and pain and anger, and try to find one hundred ways or more to repair other relationships, or in worst cases through misunderstandings, break them.

Still they might refuse to speak to God, in essence they have lost prayer. Some might ask it is such a great loss?

In one word: Yes. But not so fast, yes isn't as easy as you might think.

Prayer and Christians Does It Mean a Build Up of Faith?

As Christians we are supposed to care for one another and love them in good time and in bad times. Often we open our mouths to say words of comfort, and simply destroy the other person's faith. Everyone has the right to be angry with God, but no one has the right to tell them that they shouldn't. Often prayer is simply a type of therapy for the person, since they do not have to spend money to pay for it. Some will argue they can work things out better this way.

The Bad times often resonant longer and stronger than the good. In fact in bad times they also seem a lot more stressful and longer than any good time. a dark void, a pain and fog, anything and everything that you don't want to talk about or deal with.

To give an example from my own experience: when my infant son died, someone, in a vain effort to comfort me say "When I saw him so sick and feeble i prayed he would die. he's not suffering anymore." what resonated the most with me at the time? The fact that he was not suffering or the the fact that they prayed for him to die?

If you guessed the second part of the statement they made to me, then you are correct, if they prayed for him to die, why should i pray to God? In fact what would make me want to pray to God after such a death and loss. Something that affected me both emotionally and mentally and spiritually. It was no big loss-- at least to this person. I found other things, worse in the end. I stopped my writing, stopped going to the theater, and stopped enjoying friendships. Mostly, I stopped praying.

To punish God was my reasoning. In fact i was holding my anger inside.

Or was it? I think I punished myself more by not praying, as I lost that last bit of faith. It was my pastor who guided me. This guidance, or council, was what made me understand that grief is something very personal and something that takes as long as it takes. You will need to get up and work and make it better, and for some this means you pray. For others it means working on dealing with grief in a better manner, but not with prayer.

I also learned a lot about loss in this way, people without a relationship to God seem smaller more absorbed in themselves. They have lost something, and they won't or can't admit that they have.

They search for meaning, or allow themselves to lose the thing that gave them meaning, in short with the loss of prayer the people suffer, something must fill the void.

In short as hard as it may seem it is important not to lose prayer when we suffer. Whatever happens it is of value to pray no matter what even if you are mad or hurt and angry. Suffering is not nice or pleasant but it builds you if you allow yourself to be built back up, but it is something you can do without the help of God.

Prayer is a Means of Comfort?

Is prayer a means of comfort when people face hard times, or are they simply to "talk it out"?

In many ways when there is hard times most people do one of two things: they pray or they avoid God. Each choice is a choice and it can be very personal. To allow yourself to be angry and "duke it out wit God" is also a good thing, and it is less expensive than seeing a therapist in troubled times.

I think if it is a "bigger" thing, then people will pray. If it is smaller-- say a death of a family member, than they avoid. This seems to be the way of how people deal with grief. They need the time to question.

People, when huge disasters strike do not like to hear it was God's will-- rather they want answers to why bad things happen. The simple fact is that bad things do happen to people, rich and poor. What they want is that answer of it will not happen again.

This is what most want. What I wanted was answers, but it took a long time to get the answers I got which was continue on living and make peace with the fact that bad things do happen and that it is a part of growth and life.

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Comments 22 comments

Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 4 years ago from Canada Author

Tirina-- no, I don't think anyone should say to you it's God's will or whatever, I would be infuriated too. In fact I would go on to say that if peole suggested that God allowed me to suffer, (which they did) I would be even angred by this. I hope that at some point your pain leaves you, because that would be good for you. I hope you will find peace. This much I hope for.


Tirina 4 years ago

Why do the good suffer and the bad prosper? I see horrible people living wonderful lives, and I suffer daily with horrible pain. I'm a good person. People say He is teaching me a lesson by allowing the devil to torture me and I should ask for grace. Really hard to do when you beg the Lord to end your suffering either through death or healing and he does neither. I am about ready to turn my back on God because in my opinion he has turned his back on me. Eternal life or no, he is giving me more than I can bear and if he doesn't stop the Devil will have my soul. Personally, when Christians share their view of suffering as stated above. It infuriates me.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada Author

mathira-- yes it is an important part of life, I think it is healthy to question and come to conclusions, which is why we grow. It is good to see you have found some peace and that you have found hope.


mathira profile image

mathira 5 years ago from chennai

I can relate to this-close-to- my- heart hub as I too was one of the ignorant ones who stopped communicating with god when my husband passed away.How foolish I had been.What happened to me was my destiny and when I realized god can be an anchor in my life,I now communicate more with him to thank him for what he had made me.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada Author

samsons1-- i try my best I've learned a lot since then I hope you'll keep on writing. My thanks for the comment.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee

beautiful! Well written and poignant. Paul was told that God's grace was sufficient in 2 Corinthians 12:9, and it is. God is good, all the time...


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada Author

Duchess- I am doing okay, I think it's true it's only numb but time does heal it a bit. I also beleive that you are correct you need someone to be angry at -- for lack of a better term-- and that's something to think about.


Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

Rebecca, I know I did not read this when you first wrote it. But my heart goes out to you non the less. A loss like this is terribly difficult - I think time only numbs it a bit.

Your Hub asks the question, "Is There Reasoning Behind Praying in A Time of Anger?" I have a very strong belief that we should continually pray - no matter what is going on in our lives. When we are angry - we say things to hurt because we are hurting - what better person to say them to? He KNOWS what we are going through and He understands. Even if we don't!

Again Rebecca - I hope you are ok.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada Author

DaKingsKid-- so very true. so very true, it takes time to deal with loss but remembering that "it's not really ending" is a good thing.


DaKingsKid profile image

DaKingsKid 6 years ago

Pain is not always easy, nor is it easy to share. Thank you for being transparent..

What is awesome is that truly we have not lost anyone. When something is lost we do not know where it is. As for our loved ones, we know right where they are, and one day will be with them with Jesus...


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada Author

jennshealthstore--- so true so very true, and often we are mad at the situation and not God.


jennshealthstore profile image

jennshealthstore 6 years ago from Florida

Great Hub. I believe that when we are in trouble or distress is the time we need god the most, to help us through our pain.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada Author

slock62-- i wil certainly read you hub it seems very interesting, in fact I agree with your belief of not holding God accountable, as yes it does rob us of comfort when we need it most so you bring up several exceelnt points. I might not have always thought that way but now I do.


slock62 profile image

slock62 6 years ago from Florida

I can feel your suffering and my heart goes out to you. My belief is that we must not hold God accountable for the things that happen in the physical world. When we do this we rob ourselves of the comfort we so badly need at a time such as the loss of a loved one. Gods purpose is not to be available for use as a scapegoat.Thhe painful fact of life is that we all must pass away in our own time. The loss of a loved one is the most difficult to accept and we often tend to punish ourselves. You seem to be doin just that by denying yourself access to the comfort available to you in the presence of God. We all at sometime make the focus of our prayers something that we desire. True prayer is not about getting it is about cultivating a relationship with our lord. That relationship is ours to partake in when life brings us pain and at times of joy and gratitude.

I wish you healing and know that God is there for you when you are ready to open yourself to him. To deny him only increases your pain, God looks on lovingly and hold you in his keeping and he waits...

I hope my hub helps somehow: slock62 The importance of Prayer


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hi sunshine-- I know you will. See? hard to explain, and still harder to talk about, but he is always with me in my heart.


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Oh! Baby...

That was painful, very much so. I am so floored with this news, even if it happened long ago. You have my support, love. You can always count on me and you know it. Fear not, my moonshine, everything shall follow the right path.

warmest care bear hugs, kisses, love, light and infinite blessings,

Always yours,

Al


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada Author

donnaisbella--- not someone that close, but still it helped in its own way.


donnaisabella profile image

donnaisabella 6 years ago from Fort Myers

Hey Rebecca, I am glad I saw and read this. It is wonderful coming from a parent who lost a child before. As I was reading I was wondering if you had lost someone really close before. Thanks for sharing my next hub will have a lot in common with this hub and I am glad you went ahead encouraging others.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada Author

everyone is so great about this hub thanks.


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada Author

These are great point to ponder Timely.


Timely profile image

Timely 7 years ago from United States

Suffering a loss is tough,especially if you dont have a relationship with God. God never turns His back on someone, they turn away from Him. Lliving through the loss of my mother at a very young age, I prayed that God would let her die and stop her suffering. When he did, it was and still is a great loss. If I had stopped praying, my sanity would have been lost.

Why would someone if they are especially s christian stop praying! Would you stop conversing with loved ones on earth? You share with them in hopes for understanding and help to ease the pain. Turning your back on God at times of trial and testing is a lack of faith and understanding of who He is.

You need to show your commitment, trust and love for Him in both good and bad times. Shutting Him out of your situation for a rough example, would be as if children young or adult ceases communication with a parent. No matter what the situation, because parents love them, they want to be a part and help in some way to ease their pain. They will pray for them if nothing else could be done because, there is a greater Comforter who can reach them when no one else can! Prayer gives hope in any situation:)


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada Author

Just to let you all know this is sort of an ongoing point of view on suffering.

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