I sincerely hope that you are not going to understand this post because I hope you’ve never gotten to the moment when your last prayer has been spoken.
Why? Because from multiple experiences, it’ s a terrible place to be.
“Just come as you are when your last prayer is spoken.”
Oh, there are some lines in the song “The Well” by Casting Crowns that haunt me. This is one of them.
It is brokenness such that is almost unspeakable. It is shattered. Powerless. Helpless.
It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. It is that moment when there just are no more words even in your heart.
You have prayed and prayed and prayed. You have worked and tried and worked some more. And nothing has worked.
The problem is STILL there, and it STILL looks like a mountain. Only now, that mountain doesn’t just look intimidating. Now it looks like it could very well crush you. Crush your spirit. Crush your will to go on, to keep holding onto hope, to keep believing that maybe, somehow, God is going to come through in this situation.
I mean, you are so low to the ground, so spent that you can’t even muster another “Please, God. Please.”
Oh, boy. Have I been there!
I weep for those of you who are there right now, holding on, but seriously thinking maybe you should just let go. After all, what good has any of this done? What good is it doing?
That “last prayer” haunts me because I have walked through the valley of tears twice after someone has said that last prayer and instead of choosing to go to the well, chose to let go of hope instead.
People talk about tragedies. Car wrecks, for example, where a young person is killed. Cancer or disease that strike for no reasonable reason. Tragedies happen in this life, and sometimes we are faced with going on with huge voids ripped through our foundations. Even the tragedy of going on after the tragedy can leave you with your last prayer spoken.
I just watched “Courageous” the other night. For those who haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin it. For those who have,that’s the kind of tragedy that no matter how many times you ask, “Why?” there never really is a good answer.
It makes no sense that the tragedy was part of God’s Plan. It can’t be in a loving God’s Plan to shred a family, to tear them apart–one from the other, and even within themselves. So what, then are we to do with those moments that come upon us, overtake us, and leave us deprived of hope and dragging a hollow, empty, dead spirit that feels like it will never again be the same?
What do we do in those moments before we are overtaken by a stalking situation–one we know is coming, one we do not know how to deal with or prepare for, one we hope never shows up but one we fear there is nothing we can do to stop it?
I think this one line, “Just come as you are, when your last prayer is spoken” answers that question.
Every time I even think that line and let it go through my spirit, the tears start because I feel that helplessness once again. I feel what it is when that last prayer is spoken, when I’ve done all I know to do, and frankly, it was pitifully inconsequential and seemingly changed nothing.
I will also tell you, unequivocally, that going to the well in that moment and literally just resting there truly is the only answer. It might not solve the situation, but it will allow your spirit to rest, to take a breath, and yes, to cry if you need to. That’s okay. It’s in our weakness that God’s strength can be made manifest, so if you feel weak and defeated and “done,” that’s okay. Go to the well and rest there as long as you need to.
As I said, if you’ve read this far and have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m very happy about that. If, however, you know exactly the futility of that moment right after your last prayer has been spoken, then just know I am praying for you and that going to the well really will help. God loves you, and He will get you through this situation… He may even teach you the impossible–how to rest in Him when the whole world is falling down around you.
And even that lesson may be worth it when we get to eternity. I’m counting on it.