A Prayer for Faith in Times of Doubt

When I'm going through a difficult time, I think of a prayer I read years ago and turn to again in the pages of a well-thumbed book.

By Rick Hamlin, New York, New York

As appeared in

My flesh and my heart faileth. –Psalm 73:26

For months on end my life moves at a rapid pace, my faith rumbling along half-invisible. Then something happens to shake me up: an e-mail from a friend, an irritating phone call, a plan that seemed to fall apart before it had even been made.

All at once, I feel like storming the heavens. And when I read the Bible, I do it ravenously, seeking help that is far outside of myself or my own resources. These times of shattered confidence aren’t necessarily fun; I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone. But every time I hit one, I think of a prayer I read years ago and turn to again in the pages of a well-thumbed book:

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Our Father, who has set a restlessness in our hearts and made us all seekers after that which we can never fully find, forbid us to be satisfied with what we make of life. Keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to thee for strength.

According to the notes, Eleanor Roosevelt said this prayer every night, especially during the difficult early days of the United Nations, in which she played an important role.

Taking in the words, I remind myself that my restlessness is there for a reason, the doubts serve their purpose. They take me back to a faith that seemed to have been put on hold.

Nothing is too hard for me, Lord, as long as it takes me back to You.

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