I Pray Because I Can’t Help Myself

Shadowlands, is  a film based on the life of C.S. Lewis.   In one scene, Lewis  has just returned from visiting Joy, who is hospitalized with cancer.  Months earlier,  Lewis had offered to help her.  Along the way, they had fallen in love.   On that day,  Joy and C.S. Lewis had gotten married at the hospital.    Arriving home, he met their priest.  The priest, who has been caring for both of them, asks  what news there is.   Lewis, not thinking of the cancer, but of their marriage, answers,  “Ah, good news, I think, Harry. Yes, good news.”

The priest responds,  “I know how hard you’ve been praying . . . Now, God is answering your prayer.”

“That’s not why I pray, Harry,” Lewis says,  “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”

Like C.S. Lewis, there are days  I pray, because I can’t help myself.  Crisis moments lead us to seek divine grace, compassion, mercy and healing.  Prayer  gives me both hope and strength. 

I pray,  knowing that God hears our cries, sees our brokenness  and works in our lives for good.

Out of the depths I call to you, Lord;
 Lord, hear my cry!” Psalm 130:1-2

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