The harrowing photo of a drowned immigrant and his nearly two-year-old daughter stirs outrage.  These are human beings; a dad and his child, a family. We scarcely have time to process the emotion before we read about sick, hungry, migrant children who are at risk in detention centers. Children? Combing lice out of each other’s hair?

Oh, my. My, my, my.  We want to look away.  But let’s not. Let’s not turn away. Let’s not return too quickly to our summer activities. Let’s let these reports and images prompt the deepest form of prayer.

Let’s groan.  The groan is the vernacular of pain; the chosen tongue of despair. When there are no words, these are the words. When prayer won’t come, these will have to do. Sunnier times hear nicer, more poetic petitions, but stormy times generate mournful sounds of sadness, fear and dread.  These sounds, these unadorned petitions of darkness, find their way into the ears of God the Father. Why? Because they are entrusted into the care of the Holy Spirit.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

We do not know how to pray as we ought. The Spirit does. And the Spirit will.  We lament the desperate conditions of immigrant families.  We lament the impossible assignment given to the Border Patrol and officials.  We lament the inability to find civil solutions. Let us pray for God-breathed solutions.

Lord, please help us.  We need to act, help, and rescue. But first, we need prayerful empathy. This is a mess. A humanitarian, heart-breaking mess. As we are wondering what can be done, let’s do what we are called to do.

Let’s pray.
Let’s lament.
Let’s groan.

—Max

©June 2019

4 comments on “A Time to Groan

  1. Thank you Pastor Lucado for your input regarding the situation at the border. It is so sad. Yes, prayer is so needful for this. This is what desperation looks like.

  2. Although the border situation is dire and certainly a crisis, many of the voices publicly proclaiming ghastly things are going on, and being done, are voices of persons with a political agenda who are not at all hesitant to use hyperbole while twisting the facts.

  3. There are times when I am at a loss as how to pray for today’s problems. I begin in faith and the words become groans. I begin to cry, as the pain is so deep. As I continue, my hopelessness turns into joy – as faith causes my burden to lift and puts it onto Christ, where it belongs. His intercession for me to the Father now replaces my dread over what is happening all over the world.

    Although we can not see what is happening – we must believe there are people being healed, saved and delivered. Hebrews 11:1 is the perfect scripture for us to cling to while we pray.

    I hope there will be more followers of Christ who will groan aloud and often to our heavenly Father – so that one day our prayers are so many and so loud – the next step of God’s Plan will begin.

    Maranatha !

  4. I thank you too, Max, for I truly don’t know how to pray about this situation. I agree with the man about those with political agendas. Lies are being told to cause laws to be broken.We who live in the USA are accused of horrific lies. Pray…. pray for what I hear myself asking. Please guide us our Father.

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