Since Karen entered Pain University 16 months ago, and I’ve been studying alongside her, we’ve been learning many things. One is this: It’s hard to pray for yourself and your loved ones when you’re suffering.
Caregiving throws you out of your prayer rhythms, as does interrupted sleep. Grief and fatigue and medications affect your capacity to perceive God in ways that formerly have been life-giving for you. Your difficulties make it harder to rise up in faith. Your mind is more distracted, your heart less at rest. If there’s any good news here, it’s this: if you’re experiencing this, you’re normal.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to have friends praying for you. For them to do what you cannot do as well. Karen and I feel so grateful for how all of you friends of the Savior have prayed for us—during Prayers of the People, privately, on the phone, during visits. This prayer brings much more than physical healing; it brings spiritual protection.
Jesus told his disciples, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). In Pain University, you face temptations like self-pity, unbelief, fatalism, despair. To choose life, to press into God and to mine the gold from the ore, you need the prayers of your friends.
So thank you, Savior, for carrying us in prayer. Through those, we are rising up. We feel so grateful for all of you. (And please remember the many in our midst who have had journeys much longer than ours.)