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A Workout for Your Prayer Life

Hardship can break you. Sharing that brokenness is one of the greatest motivators for prayer.

Prayer blogger Rick Hamlin

My wife and I have a running argument about dealing with hardship. It can best be summarized by two quotes (neither of which are Biblical, mind you).

I say, “God broadens the back to bear the burden.” She disagrees and says, “God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.” Both things surely happen, but in the process, doesn’t your prayer life get an especially good workout? Of course, when you’re driven to your knees in prayer by hardship, you’re usually thinking, “God, I don’t need this!”

The other day I had lunch with author Anthony DeStefano. He was talking about how his wife had been dealing with a family member’s Alzheimer’s and how dispiriting it could be. Wanting to be helpful, Anthony looked for some comforting words. “God never gives us more than we can handle,” he told her.

She looked at him with a steely gaze and declared, “Well, God must have confused me with somebody else!”

Knowing a good line when he heard it, Anthony did what writers do. He turned it into a book, a cute illustrated tome called I Just Can’t Take It Anymore! (Full disclosure: He gave me a free copy.) In a light-hearted way he looks at just what happens when we tell God that we can’t take it anymore.

“I’ve noticed that the bad things that happen in life often lead to something good,” he writes, “that the scariest storms often turn into the most glorious skies, that the seeds we bury in the ground often come to life in the most extraordinary ways and that even the toughest experiences can result in miracles.”

Ain’t it the truth. Hardship can break you. I don’t doubt that God feels our brokenness at such times. Sharing that brokenness is one of the greatest motivators for prayer. But hardship can also re-make you into a stronger, more courageous person.

Word to the wise, though. Don’t be so quick at telling your spouse so.

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