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Stunted by emotional pain? A prayer to move forward

EMOTIONAL PAIN | Shutterstock

Sarah Robsdottir - published on 05/07/22

An emotional injury has been blocking my ability to trust God, to pray for others -- to pray at all.

I twisted my ankle years ago, and until my injury was healed I found jogging, walking — any form of physical exercise — impossible. The experience was incredibly frustrating. I yearned to be healthy; to lose weight and grow in strength and stamina. But until my pain was gone, I couldn’t move forward. I was stuck. 

Lately, I’ve been having a similar experience in my spiritual life: an emotional injury is blocking my ability to trust God, to pray for others — to pray at all. I’ve tried the Catholic practice of “offering it up” and sought the counsel of a priest/spiritual director; both avenues have helped a little. 

But what’s most allowed me to finally hobble forward in this journey — one that’s referred to often in the Bible as a race — has been simply asking God to “take away my emotional pain and replace it with trust.”

While I’ve researched classic prayers from the saints to try to sum up the yearning in my soul, I found what I was looking for on a modern outlet. I altered the words a little to fit the situation:

Dear God, Please take away my emotional pain and replace it with trust. Please heal my injured spirit. I thank you that one day there will be no more death or sorrow or pain. I thank you that you’ve promised to wipe away every tear I’ve ever cried. For now, please hold me close until you finally turn my sorrow into dancing. Amen.

It’s been helpful to conclude this prayer with a short time of meditation on an image of trust as a rope to which I must cling, one that stretches from my soul straight to heaven.

Pope Francis has referenced this rope of trust often: “Our faith is an anchor in heaven. We have our lives anchored in heaven. What must we do? Hold onto the rope: it is always there.”

Mental HealthPrayerSpiritual Life
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