Fret Cure: Prayer

fretting

There are days that pile up upon days, endless tasks that shout for prominence, and I sit in the midst of them, overwhelmed, stretched thin, and parched. The grief of late has wrung my heart into nothing. And all I have left in  my reserves is an unction to pray.

So pray I will. Care to join me?

Jesus, I lift up my issues to you–my workaholism tendencies, desperately hoping to prove my worth by what I do. Help me to rest, to see Your love for me in real terms, as a Father loves His sweet daughter. Thank You that I am not a hired hand, an interloper, an outcast when it comes to Your kingdom, but a daughter whom You love. I wish I could say I truly understand this kind of love, but I can’t. Not yet at least. Something blocks me from understanding it. Unblock me. And unblock those reading this that feel just as I do. Your love is hard to “get.”

In this grief of losing a friend, would You remind me afresh of truth? That heaven is real, and reward is ours? Hers? That tears will be wiped away, that pain will cease, that joy will be the oxygen of that Great Place. We yearn right now in the longing of it all–for justice, for peace on earth, for hope, for true, genuine, raucous, laugh-out-loud life everlasting. Oh to know again just how real heaven is.

I give You my career again. (How many times have I given that to You, Jesus? Are You tired of taking it?) I choose in this moment to trust You for the outcomes, to rest in Your ironic Kingdom ways. Remind me again that Yours is an upside down kingdom, fraught with paradox. The last are first. Those who clamor for fame shrink later. Those who work hard may not always win, but they garner Your sweet notice. I write today for You, my best audience. And I hope to take my clutches off the results of my words.

But honestly, Jesus? It’s so very hard to have my livelihood tied together with ministry. Words and mammon seem incongruous. Help me to live in the tension of that, and do it well, with excellence and sweet trust.

I lift of my children to You. They bear the mark of You, of Your love. Keep them near Your heart, alive to Your purposes. May they continue to turn to You in heartache, in disappointment, in fear. Be the lifter of their heads, their hands, their hopes, their dreams, their ambitions. Be the rock they stand on when storms flail through. 

Be with Patrick and me as we share about sexual abuse recovery with many. This feels like too big a task for us, and we are not even sure what it should look like. You open the doors You want opened. Close other doors. Provide for us as we share our story honestly. And may our words bring healing to those who feel utterly alone and confused and tainted by sexual abuse. Bring wild, beautiful, free healing. 

I pray for those folks who have passed through my life in different seasons, when sweet friendship has given way to separation. I grieve the change, but I welcome Your reconciliation. I trust it. Help me to understand Your timing, be willing to pursue, to humble myself, to listen to Your instructions. I choose to give You my heartache, and humbly ask that You would bring beauty where pain has reigned.

I give You my next book, whatever it will be. Please show me exactly what You want me to write because, Jesus, I’m tired, and I cannot sustain tens of thousands of words without Your clear favor and direction. Show me clearly. 

I give you our aging cars, Bessie, the girl who has surpassed 200,000 miles and the golden minivan who chases such miles, and I ask for Your provision. I give You our home, the things that work, the things that don’t, and ask for contentment and provision. I lay down college expenses (oh how long I have fretted about them) and choose in this moment to trust You for tuition. 

I thank You for my marriage, my family, my extended family, and my sweet friends who walk this earth alongside me. You are good to provide such lovely company.

Keep me near to You as I seek to help others know You, Jesus. I want to be disciplined and rested and hope-filled. Change my pessimism to optimism, my fear to praise, my sadness to prayer. I trust You. I need You. I love You.

Amen.