When I Couldn’t Pray

**Hi all! Earlier in 2020, I submitted an article to Writer’s Digest for one of their competitions. I found out in late fall that I had won Honorable Mention in the Inspirational/Spiritual Category. There were other Honorable Mentions as well as mine, but I was happy to have been chosen as one of them! We received an award graphic to add to our social media platforms or wherever we chose to use it. I had it added to my website this weekend (December 18th, 2020) and thought I would share the article I submitted. I hope it speaks to someone. Thank you all for your continued support of this dream of mine!*

“When I Couldn’t Pray”

“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 with groans that words cannot express.”  Romans 8:26 NIV

The doctor told me my son was going to die. The chemotherapy treatments hadn’t worked. His tumors had grown and more had developed. Our four-month-old son was going home to Jesus.

Against their advice, I was alone with the doctors when I received this news. My husband was with our four-year-old son trying to give him a “normal” day, despite the abnormal circumstances. How was I going to tell my husband his son was going to die? How would we tell our son that his brother would never come home again? The weight of the world felt like it was on my shoulders.

We had been in this children’s hospital for six weeks believing our son’s health was improving. Prayers had been answered and doctors around the country were stumped. It seemed like whenever we prayed alongside our family, friends, and even strangers, God moved mountains for us. He had blessed us so many times which made this news hard to accept.

For the next three days I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t update our son’s caringbridge site, which kept our family and friends informed. I couldn’t answer emails. I couldn’t even ask others to pray for our family.

During those few days, we met with the hospital’s chaplain. I admitted my fear that I would lose my faith in God when my son died. I told him how I couldn’t even pray and how much that scared me. I had never felt this way before.

I’ll never forget his response as he looked me straight in the eye. He told me that I had been praying, just not in the same way I was used to. This time it was the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf with groans that words could not express.

My heart was so broken that I didn’t know how to put it into words. He assured me that God knew what was on my heart and He understood. He had to watch His son die, too. He knew my pain.

Somehow, by God’s mercy and grace, I was back to my usual method of praying by the fourth day. I was so thankful for the Holy Spirit, who took this burden from me and placed it before God. He did what I was unable to do.

Our son died six weeks later. It was the hardest moment of my life. However, the peace that came over me in those early morning hours is indescribable. God’s presence was so palpable. Despite our pain, I was so happy that our son was finally healed.

My faith didn’t die with my son. It was strengthened. There are still days when I rely on the Holy Spirit to pray for me knowing without a doubt those prayers are being heard.



  1. Connie

    Praise God for those simple touching words about the Grace of God and the Holy Spirit It’s been times at my lowest I feel the Holy Spirit touch me Goose bumps hair stand up on my neck I know I’m not alone Peace Rochelle

    • Rochelle Bauer

      Amen Connie! When you feel His peace, you know it’s Him. There’s nothing else like it. I’m glad you have felt it when you’ve needed it the most. I have to remind myself sometimes that even if I can’t feel Him, I know He’s there. He’ll never let us fall too far down to where He can’t bring us back up. That alone gives me peace! Blessings to you, friend.


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