The Pain of Prayer

Lou Lotz

READ : Genesis 25:19-23

If it is thus, why is this happening to me? (v. 22)

Have you ever wanted something, longed for it, prayed for it, only to discover that
when you finally got it, you inherited a whole new set of painful problems? It is not an
uncommon experience.

Rebekah is barren. What she wants most in the world is to conceive and bear a child.
Finally, her prayers and the prayers of her husband Isaac are answered: Rebekah becomes
pregnant. She is as big as a pumpkin.

But the twins in Rebekah’s womb struggle against one another, as though they were
fighting. The pain and difficulty of the pregnancy causes Rebekah to cry out: “Why is this
happening to me?” How can the Lord’s answer to prayer be so painful?

The paradox of prayer is that answered prayer often brings with it joy and pain,
blessing and burden. And the blessing seems to come as we bear the burden. It is in the
bondage of Egyptian slavery that the nation of Israel is born. It is in the heartache of a
marriage gone sour that the prophet Hosea experiences the grace of God. It is in a Roman
dungeon that the apostle Paul pens his purest epistles. Blessing seems to arise out of


Lord, answer my prayers, and help me to bear my burdens with dignity and faith. Amen.