When All Else Fails
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 
Philippians 1:2
With our quarrel still hanging heavily in the air, Ken and I sat in stubborn silence. Finally he spoke, “So we don’t measure up to each other’s expectations…maybe the only thing to do is pray.” I knew he was right but at that moment I didn’t feel like praying for him.
I listened as Ken mechanically prayed things about God, asking for His grace and peace. By the end of his prayer, I thought I heard his heart begin to soften through his words. After a long moment, I started praying, too, sounding just as hollow. But then my heart also began to melt. Feeling broken, I asked for mercy for me, a sinner, and for Ken, who is just trying to do his best. Ken prayed one more time and I wondered at the way he exposed his naked and bleeding heart. Tears began to well, and I had an overwhelming desire to embrace him. Grace and peace hung heavily in the air.
As a married couple, our problems are not all that extraordinary, and most likely our problems won’t go away. But prayer, heartfelt and honest, opens up the floodgates of God’s grace and peace.
Are you caught in a vise of crushing circumstances, thinking that you have nowhere to turn? Sometimes we are driven to prayer by the overwhelming conviction that it is the only place of refuge, the only place to turn. At that point, prayer becomes an anguished cry, a laying bare of the heart, and it is the key to accessing God’s most abundant grace. John Bunyan said, “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.”
I praise You, Lord Jesus, that grace and peace are Your abundant gifts to us. My heart kneels before You today as I receive these precious gifts.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust
Copyright © 1993
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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