A Prayer for When You Just Can’t
We all have days when absolutely everything feels hard. Maybe because it IS hard, or perhaps because so many things have been challenging for so long that we hit a wall. And we feel like we just can’t do it, but we don’t have the choice not to (fill in the blank with whatever this is in your life). I’m fully in favor of mental health days and prioritizing self-care. This prayer is for the days when what is required of us far outweighs our ability to care for ourselves. We all have those days, and we live through them. I wrote this prayer on one of those days. Maybe you need this prayer today. I hope not. If not, tuck it away somewhere for the day when you just can’t.
God, I just can’t today. I am weary from chronic stress, exhausted from lack of sleep, run down from too much for too long. The mental load is crushing. I lack patience. Everything feels hard. I don’t have much to give. And yet, the day before me requires energy, the ability to be present with others, creative problem solving. I need to give, to be, to do. And I feel like I can’t. Not today.
I need a break. But today, other than this time in prayer, respite is unlikely.
By your Spirit, stretch this moment. Make minutes feel like hours. Enable me to have the energy do just what I need to do today, and no more. Show me the tasks that can wait, or that someone else can do, or that don’t need to be done at all. Help me to say no, and to ask for help. Enable me to focus only on what is mine to do. And through it all, remind me to breathe.
Open my eyes to moments of respite and delight in the midst of my day – a hot cup of coffee, flowers in bloom, the sunshine on my face, kind words, a loving embrace. May those small gifts be means of your grace this day, moments of provision and abundance to sustain me when I least expect it. And at the end of the day, enable me to rest – to quiet my mind, body and soul – in preparation for restorative sleep, so that tomorrow when I awake, I will know that by your grace, I can. Amen.