She Prays

She prays. In her small way. Not loud or waxing eloquent. Not filled with scripture or doctrinal truths.  Both bold in her requests and humble. Laid low as she petitioned her Lord. And the answers didn’t always come the way she hoped. But they always came.

She prayed the way a mother prays when her kids are lost. Fervent, fumbling words and sometimes just the moaning and pleading with God that comes when your son attempts suicide or your daughter is so angry and lost, spewing venomous thoughts and raging against God.

She prays the way a woman prays when she has known no father. Grown up without someone to provide for her and tell her she’s beautiful and lovely. She prays as though adopted. She prays as a daughter. 

She prays the way a missionary prays, with lament and empathy and a heart that longs to bind and reach far and a faith that packs suitcases and holds tiny hands as they board planes to far off continents. Counting the cost and finding it worth it, even though the price was so very high. 

We live in the floods of Pahoa, in the middle of nowhere Hawaii. The rain pours down for 41 days straight and I hate all the more. This God who brought us to this place. This ministry position my dad has accepted. This move they have prayed about and decide to obey.

I rage against anything they say. I hate God. I want nothing to do with Christianity or church or the faith that has caused me so much confusion. The God I blame for all the pain. The faith I blame for all the risk and suffering. And all I see is a god who is impotent to protect me, unmerciful and absent. A god who will not provide. 

But she prays. And the Heavens open and God moves. He moves in my heart, breaking it still beating hard, and in that crushing, sweet mercy and grace. She prays.

And I think of my response to the questions of motherhood, the trials that come in my life, and the burdens I lug with me and so often prayer is the very last thing I do. I try with these hands, frail and foolish, to fix the problems that have no earthly solutions, for only the Helper has the power. 

I am not a woman who prays this way. I pray for others and believe God powerful enough to ransom, but so often forget myself. As though the needs of my own flesh and heart and spirit have no place parading before God. And I realize, though I am beginning to know His grace, I still see God as one who does not provide. I doubt His goodness. I still see Him as one who is absent. I still fear myself unworthy.

Oh, forgive me for this. Lord, teach me to pray.

Lord, make me a woman who prays. 

Comments

    • Alia Joy says

      Yes, my mom prayed for us from the time she was pregnant all through our lives. She prayed consistently for our future spouses and children. Before we were old enough to even be interested in the opposite sex. I seriously dodged the bullet on some very unhealthy relationships and I really think God was guarding me through those times. I am trying to do the same for my children but it’s definitely not that strong of a habit yet.

  1. sunny says

    Why is it that we just don’t trust God to provide? The fear of being let down too often overpowers the desire to pray… I suppose it comes to a lack of faith, and a lack of truly witnessing faith in action, and for me, a lack of recognizing that He truly is at work in my life even (especially!) when things are not going according to my plan. Thank you for your words, they’re always so real and true and encouraging.

    • Alia Joy says

      Sunny, thanks for stopping by here again. And I am so blessed by your encouragement and for the links to my blog, but I am even more encouraged to make a new friend. So glad you came by.

      I do think in my case that it is a strong lack of faith on my own part. I tend to have faith for others. I pray for their needs and I truly do believe God will intervene and answer in some way. But for myself I feel unworthy? or maybe just feel like I have to earn the right to be heard and maybe I haven’t done everything in my own power to “fix” the situation so I’m just complaining. I’m not sure all that is at the core of it but I truly do want to be the kind of woman that can pray with faith, no matter the outcome. And Amen to the workings that go on when all our plans fail. I think most of my life has been God working when I am at the end of me. I tend to get in the way. lol.

  2. Nikki says

    Oh, Father, help me to pray…

    I wish I could say I didn’t feel this post, but I so do. Cuz God had to pursue me, too…in fact, He still does. Every day.

    Okay, that settles it. I’m fixing this not stopping by enough business!
    Hugs to you…

    • Alia Joy says

      I’m right there with you all the way. And I’m so enjoying your smiling face (avatar) and comments here. Glad to have you.

  3. Meredith says

    As a young woman that grew apathetic to God when I thought I became smarter than the living Word, and then denied His very existence, I didn’t have a mother that prayed for me like yours did for you. I was the first to come to faith in my family. Now both of my parents are followers of the truth, because I was praying (not as fervently as your mother) for them.

    You are precious to me, sweet Alia Joy.

    • Alia Joy says

      Oh Meredith. what a testament to saving grace. God was after you for a purpose and your prayers were answered. Amazing. I love love love hearing things like that. It inspires me to press in. Blessed by you and your sweet gift of encouragement, friend.

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