We think we talk to you all the time. We ask you for protection for family in the path of the hurricane. We ask you to keep our loved one from dying in the emergency room. We ask you for jobs and health and money and relief. Then we talk about you not showing up. Or we talk about you not listening. Or we talk about our prayer not working.

God, I’m not sure that we show up to you. I’m not sure we are listening for you. I’m not sure that our prayer works. Because I’m not sure that we are talking to you as much as we are talking to ourselves.

You said to Jeremiah that your people made two mistakes, that they committed two sins. They ignored you, the spring of living water, and they made their own leaky cisterns.

I confess. For us all.
We do forget that you are the source of living water and think you are the source of our comfort.
We want you to heal what we want healed when you want to heal what is actually wounded.
We want you to fix what we want fixed when you want to mend what is actually broken.
We want you to bless what we want blessed when you want to forgive what we need to repent of.

God, help us let down our guard. God, help us let down our pride. God, help us let down our fear.

God, help us.

We offer to you what isn’t working about the ways we are running our lives. We accept from you forgiveness. We accept from you the offer to do your work with your power in your presence, which is everywhere. Because you never leave us, you never forsake us, you never disappear.

But you aren’t our idol. You are our God. You aren’t made in our image, we are made in yours. You aren’t our coffee mug, contained for our convenience.

But we do ask for your protection and your peace. Because you don’t scold us for talking with you.

Through Christ our Lord,


Jeremiah 2:4-13; Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16


"God. We Need You.": A Year of Prayer in a Hospital Chapel. Copyright © 2020 by Jon C Swanson. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book