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In an interview about his book The Folly of Prayer (IVP, 2009), author and pastor Matt Woodley shared a story about his friend Theresa. She had married the man of her dreams, but soon after that dropped into the pit of a deep depression. Everything went dark in her mind and body. She even started writing her obituary.

Matt Woodly said, "Three years ago I would have had plenty of answers and solutions for her. I would have been so clever and powerful. But now I could only sit with her in her pain." They prayed, but Matt didn't know what else to do. He didn't have any answers, so he said, "Theresa, I have no idea what to say, so could we just read the Psalms?" Then he read Psalm 77, an agonizing psalm of lament, and went home. Matt left her feeling utterly powerless, and he sure didn't think that he made her feel better.

The next week another leader of their church visited Theresa. She was still suffering intensely, but when the leader asked if he could pray for her, Theresa said, "Yes, but before you pray, please read Psalm 77. I've been clinging to it all week. It's my lifeline to God."

Matt commented, "Apparently when we read Psalm 77 in utter powerlessness, God showed up in her life with power." ("Are You There, God? An Interview with The Folly of Prayer Author Matt Woodley," IVP Books)

Often we don't have answers and solutions for people; even if we did,...

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