Suddenly, without notice, the ugliness of life came and stopped me in my tracks. I felt unable to pray, the words simply would not come. I felt alone and abandoned. I pictured that great cloud of witnesses as eerily silent.
When I began having these conversations around the notion of spiritual discouragement, I knew that I wanted to involve a conversation with Mark in some way. Gracious as always, he made time in his busy schedule to record this conversation. I know that you will be blessed by our conversation.
There is no shame in grace. Claiming God’s grace is not a sign of weakness or lack of faith. It is a bold and radical act of trust. We reach out to the one who sits with us, who incarnates himself in the very depths of our hurts and struggles.
What if we chose to see frustration in prayer as an invitation to journey deeper with Christ? Discouragement in prayer, after all, is rooted in a desire to pray, and a call to pray. In fact, discouragement in prayer testifies to the fact that we understand prayer rightly.
Labels are a fickle thing. They do not describe what, or whom, they are intended to describe. Instead, they speak only of preconceptions, assumptions, and judgements. Is anyone truly the label they are associated with? If I’m not progressive enough for the progressives, or evangelical enough for the evangelicals, what does that make me?
Ultimately, my discouragement pointed to my own dethronement; to the fact that I do not reside in the center of things. I do not set the course of stars or schedules. I do not dictate what others will do and when they will do them. And what is more, as a Christian person, I do not decide when I am available to serve and when I am not.
Here is the next recording in my ongoing series of discussions regarding the struggles of the Christian life. In this recording, I chat with author Sarahbeth Caplin about her book "Spinning Crap into Ferlizer: How American Christianity has forgotten the necessity of suffering." Sarabeth has many insightful things to say about the cross, the prosperity … Continue reading In Conversation: Sarahbeth Caplin
Brother Lawrence does not allow his spiritual discouragement to speak a final word. Lawrence refuses to allow his discouragement to dissuade his belief that he could grow closer to Jesus.
Reverend Clara King is a priest, a researcher and a revitalist, who has given her time and passion to equipping and encouraging the church. Please enjoy this hope-filled conversation!
The truth is that these feelings really are times where Jesus invites us into a deeper love. Christ leads us into a broader experience of his presence and grace.