Posted in musings

stifled prayer


I live my life with a wall around my heart.

It’s not that I don’t love people, or care about people – I just don’t want people to know my weaknesses. I don’t want to admit those weaknesses to myself.

When hard things happen, whether it’s a chronic struggle like mental illness in a loved one or working while my husband gets more time at home with the babies, or an acute problem like a sick baby or a lost iPod, my brain immediately starts calculating all the different options I have. All the ways I could respond to the problem, all the potential outcomes, all the strategies and decisions and backup plans. I want to be the strong and competent woman, who meets life with confidence and grace, and never lets her head fall under the waves.

And I bring that attitude with me before God.

I keep that wall up even when I pray. Walls tend not to be easily assembled and disassembled, after all.

Limerick has been dealing with a high fever since early Saturday afternoon and I didn’t think to pray about it until tonight (Sunday night). I was just so wrapped up in nursing him, taking his temperature, giving him fever reducers, making him comfortable, and wondering what was making him sick to think about it. The plans, the automatic response of confidence and control, took over. I didn’t doubt my ability to take care of him well, so I didn’t feel the need strongly enough to pray about it. Do you hear how strange that sounds? I believe in a God who can heal the dying, and I believe that He cares about every detail of life, and instead of taking my sick baby to Him I try to handle it all on my own?

My worry, my need to be strong and take care of the people I love, prevents me from doing what they need most: interceding for them to God, lifting them up to Jesus. My desire to keep things under control and handle situations calmly and competently interferes with what ought to be my first line of response.

Soften my heart, Lord, and tear down my pride. Let me come to You humbly at all times and in everything, not only when the need is too great for my own strength and intelligence; let me put my fears to rest trusting in Your providence. Loose my tongue and gentle my heart, that I might lift the needs of the world to You instead of trying to fix them on my own.

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