People have probably told you they are praying for you. This can be a great consolation. It means that you are not in this alone. Others are lifting you up in prayer and asking God to ease your pain. After the death of my husband, someone in my parish went one step further. She said to me, “It may be hard for you to pray right now, but don’t worry, we’ll pray for you”.

How did she know that I was finding it difficult to pray? Words had failed me. After all, what do you say to a God who has allowed your spouse to be taken from you, perhaps after great suffering? It gave me hope to know that the faith and prayers of the community would make up for whatever was lacking in my prayer life.

It’s all right to continue to mouth the words and participate in the rituals, all the while leaning on the faith-filled prayers of friends and family, your parish community, and all the saints and angels. Like meals that people bring and chores that neighbours do without being asked, it’s okay to allow the prayers of your faith community to sustain you in times when you can’t find it in your heart to pray.

Let yourself be quiet for a while. Let your chair hold you up, let go of any agenda or thoughts, let all the voices inside you fade away, and listen to the silence. When you are ready, you may conclude your quiet time with:

O God, it’s hard to trust you right now. I don’t know what to say to you. I feel empty and angry, and I just want it all to go away. I go through the motions of prayer, but my heart isn’t in it. Is it okay if I just listen to other people pray for a while? I do believe; Lord, help my unbelief. Amen.

Have pity on my, Lord, for I am weak. – Psalm 6: 3a