My Writing Prayer

Dear Lord,

Hi, It’s me. Mandi. I know, you and I don’t talk often. And that’s entirely my fault.  Yes, I know you’d love to sit down and chat more. I’m terrible with keeping in touch with people.  Heck, I don’t even call my mother enough. I feel badly about that. I’m tired and busy and introverted and need to recharge and… I know, terrible excuses. My mom loves me a lot and would do anything for me and just wants to hear my voice. You know, like you.  I just get caught up in the daily grind of this busy homeschooling mom life. And then in the evenings, I have this bad habit called Netflix.  Sigh… I know. I should make time for the things that really matter.  I sit here thinking about all the time I waste when I should be communing with you. My natural inclination is not to talk to people. My voicemail is pretty much “Do you text?” 

Ugh. I struggle with prayer. I have for a long time now. Oh, I have so many thoughts, Lord. I hear I should just pray, but I’m wading through so much baggage about prayer. See, I know that it’s deeper and greater than you just being a Cosmic Vending Machine. And I’ve been reading about prayer. I’ve been thinking about prayer. I’ve been learning what prayer should really be (and it’s not much of what I learned about prayer growing up). 

I don’t know why I go through such spurts. At times we talk a lot, don’t we? Usually during the shower. Or in the car when I’m alone. Or certainly when I’m cutting the grass. But then, I go extremely long periods without talking to you. 

And I have to admit. I’m scared sometimes to pray.  See, you have such an interesting sense of humor when it comes to prayer. I’ve learned to be specific. I’ve learned the answer I’m seeking isn’t always the answer you have ready for me. And the few times you have just up and answered me, well, I wasn’t always expecting the long term results. 

That time I wanted out of a ministry position. And I prayed and asked you to send someone with x, y, and z traits. And I heard that small voice say, “Well, isn’t that you?” And I told you I was burned out, and you answered, “Then let me relight your fire.”  Yeah, that wasn’t the answer I was going for.  

Then, that time I had to deal with a particularly unlikable person during my time in ministry. And I asked you, “Lord, help me love her. Break my heart for what breaks yours!”  And since that day, my life has been turned completely upside down… I just wanted help with seeing one person through your eyes.  Instead, my worldview changed… my values expanded… my beliefs I clung to began to deconstruct.  It’s been difficult, Lord. It’s been like walking in a desert. It’s been lonely. It’s been painful. And well, kinda exhilerating, too, Lord. Educational, to say the least. Your heart breaks for so much more than we imagine.  And the burden of being even slightly aware of what breaks your heart… is heavy, Lord. 

So, I’m scared sometimes to pray now. I’m not sure what’s going to happen next if I ask one of those rather open-ended questions. Yet, I want to… Lord, I want to write, I feel compelled to write. Lord, I want you to use me. I want you to make me brave. I want to throw off the chains that keep me my hands bound and unable to type. Banish the fear and replace it with courage for you use the weak to lead the strong.  Banish my approval addiction and replace it with the peace of knowing your approval is all I need. Banish my insecurities and give me the assurance that you have begun a good work in me and will be faithful to complete it. Banish my desire to write beautiful prose, and instead, just give me the words you want me to say. Banish my aspirations, and help me be content with writing for an audience of One. Continue to give me a thirst to know you more. Continue to break my heart for what breaks yours. Provide me the opportunity and time to write. Help me to be disciplined and full of grace and compassion and love and justice. 

Lord, hear my prayer.