Sinking Prayers

Listen to this article instead.

Sinking prayers twist our gut.

We listened in unblinking suspense as sportscaster Dan Orlovsky prayed live for football player Damar Hamlin after he collapsed on the field.

We watched in growing horror as meteorologist Matt Laubhan prayed during his weather forecast as he realized that a devastating tornado would rip across a small Mississippi town. 

I uttered my own gut-wrenching sinking prayer recently when my youngest son had a choking episode at church. 

Sinking prayers are the ones you pray when you realize there is no other option. Like Peter, who stepped out of the boat in faith to walk on the water to his Savior, we often find ourselves sinking just one step later, crying out, “Lord, save me!”

While sinking, resurrected people look to higher resources.

Even in the face of daunting tragedy, we know Whose Hand to seek. Even when our sinking prayers aren’t answered the way we want them to be, He is present, bearing us up, encouraging us to remember that the heavenly things have a far greater weight of glory than the earthly things. 

If we truly believe that His resurrection power has already brought us from a state of spiritual death to the eternal condition of spirtually alive, then all of our sinking prayers go to Him because He is the only One capable of saving us.

In the church kitchen, on my hands and knees in front of my son who was choking and in pain after attempting to swallow a whole peppermint, I prayed to the God I knew could hear me because I knew He had already saved me. I have never been so glad to be thrown up on by one of my kids. 

There have been sinking prayers that have not been answered the way I wanted- the time a young man died en route to the hospital, the time some of my Sunday school students were removed from their home, or the time the weather didn’t clear and I had to drive in a blizzard.

Even in those times, looking to higher resources increased my faith in the God who resurrects because of the hope and joy that continued with me even as I walked through loss, stress, and danger. 

As far back as the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord prophesied to the Israelites that they would rebel and go into exile and captivity. He said they would “utterly perish” and be “utterly destroyed.” In other words, they would sink.

He also told them that their exile would lead them to pray sinking prayers: “But from there, you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Sinking leads to seeking, and seeking leads to finding, when we seek the One who has both the power and the resources to answer.

My latest novel, The Winning of Lady Wisdom, tells the stories of Hyperon, Prudence, and Paddy, resurrected people who must look to higher resources. You can find out more at or enter to win a free kindle copy at this Goodreads Giveaway open until April 8th!

Enter to win 1 of 20 free Kindle copies HERE!
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