Both my reunion group sister and I have been suffering from minor complaints lately: infection, fatigue, aches and pains. All of these “thorns of the flesh” interfere with my spiritual disciplines and make me feel guilty. The book of James tells us:
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. “James 5:13
We should not stop praying when we’re ill, but it’s okay to be patient with ourselves. If you are struggling, as I have been, here are some comforting quotes:
“Make allowance for infirmities of the flesh, which are purely physical. To be fatigued, body and soul, is not sin; to be in ‘heaviness’ is not sin. Christian life is not a feeling; it is a principle: when your hearts will not fly, let them go, and if they ‘will neither fly nor go,’ be patient with them, and take them to Christ, as you would carry your little lame child to a tender-hearted, skillful surgeon. Does the surgeon, in such a case, upbraid the child for being lame?
“When you feel ill and indisposed, and when in this condition your prayer is cold, heavy, filled with despondency, and even despair, do not be disheartened or despairing, for the Lord knows your sick and painful condition. Struggle against your infirmity, pray as much as you have strength to, and the Lod will not despise the infirmity of your flesh and spirit.”
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26