I have often found in my life that at the times when prayer is most needed, I find it most difficult to pray. Tonight, my nephew is in the hospital for attempted suicide. Thankfully, he did not succeed and his prognosis is good. My sister is trying to arrange for him to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a while. Obviously, if there was ever a time for prayer, this is it, and yet, I found it so hard to find the words. I found it hard to go to my trusted prayer cards and pray. Ultimately, I forced myself to because I knew my sister was counting on me to do that.
This is not the first time this has happened to me. In labor with my children, I wanted so much to pray but couldn't; when David was in the hospital for his allergy attacks and when Isaac was diagnosed with lead poisoning, at the spur of the moment, the desire was there but the body failed to cooperate. I think as adrenaline kicks in, the ability to pray leaves me temporarily. And yet, maybe, wanting to pray becomes in itself a prayer. God knows I'm reaching out even if my words and thoughts are absent. And maybe, that is why praying for others when you know they are hurting is so important. Sometimes, when you are too close to a situation, its nearly impossible to pray yourself, but you can ask others for prayer.