Have you ever been in a painful place and wondered where God was in the midst of it all? Have you ever found yourself smack dab in the middle of the valley and wondered what to do about it or if anyone cared? Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to my friend, Lyli Dunbar, who shares her experience as an encouragement to you in that place. Lyli is an encourager and a prayer warrior at heart. I know you’ll be blessed by her post.
On Persevering in Prayer When It’s Painful
By Lyli Dunbar
For over a year, I woke up every morning and made myself get out of bed and get dressed to face the day. I created a morning playlist of worshipful music to help me push past the fear, and I’d stand in front of the mirror and give myself a pep talk.
You can do this. God is bigger than this. This is just a dark season, not hell. It only feels like hell, but the sun will shine again.
We’d buried two very important people in our lives within the space of 60 days, and everywhere I looked someone was crying. My best friend was sleeping alone in a bed of grief for the first time in 20 years. Her two girls were wondering why daddy was gone, and I just couldn’t make it better.
And then, because the enemy is a stinker, and he likes to kick you when you are down, we said goodbye to our Gisela. She was like a mother to my husband. She’d taken him on trips and baked him cookies his whole life. That strong German woman stood up to Cancer and shook her fist at it with the resolve of a woman who’d already survived Hitler and losing her husband to another woman. Cancer was not bigger than our Gisela.
Except it was.
And she never made her peace with God. We prayed over her until the end. And on the day when she took her last breath without asking Jesus to receive her, my husband had a panic attack.
My two closest loves were both walking through the darkest valley.
Persevere in Prayer
So, I stood in front of the mirror every morning, and I asked God to help us make it through the day.
Show up, Jesus. We need you.
The drive to work was an hour long every morning, and God and I did a lot of business in the car. I pleaded the blood of Christ over my husband’s workday. I asked the Holy Spirit to invade the four walls of my best friend’s house as she homeschooled. I prayed Psalm 91 verse by verse over them both until I had it memorized.
When life hits you hard, prayer is a girl’s best friend.
I will confess at first I felt alone in the fight, but I pushed forward and fought on my knees. I held on to Jesus – because I know my Jesus understands suffering.
My Jesus faced rejection.
My Jesus battled alone and naked and pressed on through the pain.
Death is just a shadow.
Resurrection is coming.
I don’t know where you stand today, friend. Maybe as you read this you are on a mountaintop, and life is sweet. If so, I am happy for you. Enjoy this season. But save this blog post and tuck it away for when you need it down the road.
Bad days are inevitable in this broken world.
For you, my sister who is standing in front of the mirror every morning trying to find the courage to face your day, I want you to know you are not alone.
God is fighting for you.
Right now, the pain may be wailing so loudly that you cannot hear Him, but He is powerfully present in your life. He never leaves you nor forsakes you.
God can breathe life into any situation.
Press On. Keep Praying.
So, I want to encourage you to press on. Keep praying. Some days, you may just groan. Other days you may cry. It’s okay to yell a little. God wants you — all of you — to look to Him. He is waiting for you to stop trying to fix it and just let Him be God in your life.
Whenever I am really hurting, I will pick up my Bible and place it in my lap open to the book of Psalms. I’ve prayed through Psalms on many a sleepless night over the years.
Tonight, I prayed Psalm 86 over you — my sisters who are fighting for your lives.
I asked God to persevere your life as you trust in Him (vs. 2)
May the Lord pour out His grace to sustain you as you cry out to Him alone (vs 3).
One day at a time as you continue to persevere in prayer, I know that God is going to lift up your soul with gladness (vs. 4). You will laugh again, friend.
God still does wondrous things, and step by step, He will teach you which way to walk. (vs 10-11)
This week, I pray for God to strengthen you and to show you a sign of His favor – to comfort you and remind you He is steadfast. (vs 15-17)
Don’t give up. You have a Deliverer, and He is walking with you through this wilderness.
This week, I hope you will pick up your Bible and turn to Psalms. Pick one that encourages your spirit and meets you like a friend. Praying through Psalms will help take the edge off your pain. I promise.
One day, you will look back at this season and see how God was speaking peace over you all along. You will realize how He provided exactly what you needed. And, you will have the joy of praying through Psalms for another sister who is still in the struggle.
Press on. Every prayer you whisper is moving you one step closer to a mountaintop miracle.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Lyli Dunbar’s burning passion as a writer, speaker and Biblical life coach is to fuel a wildfire faith in the weary hearted. She starts every weekday by digging into the Word verse by verse with thousands of women as a writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 App and Love God Greatly. A fireball at heart, Lyli is energized by singing karaoke in the car with her husband, reading 12 books at a time, and cooking Cuban food for a full house. Stop by lylidunbar.com to grab faith fuel for your day or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.