Teach us how to pray…

The Spit-Up Covered Glory of Each Day

 

Hormones swinging out, then chasing right back in;
Each baby brings with him this offering.
Emotions climb up high, then calm back down,
Our newborn cries, we nurse, but dare not drown.

But sometimes we do, and then wipe our eyes
Blow our nose, and go turn off the house lights
Succumb to sleep, two hours at a time
Waking to sing one. more. time. “baby mine.”

A new day starts, then twelve more pass at once
Did I shower or ever stop for lunch?
How can I be so elated and sad?
Those hormones, sleep, and food would make me glad.

But sometimes they don’t, ’cause sometimes they can’t.
Today blends with tomorrow in a rant
About the ugly and the true. But O!
O, O, O! Let us breath and know, know, know,

The spit up covered glory of each day.
Sweet pea scented, baby powder dusted,
glorious reflection of swaddled grace
Turned up to receive our love, face to face.

And sometimes we do stop, to smell the truth.
The roses, posies, sweet pea scented truth
Of love, tucked deep in the baby wrinkles
Where tears of joy and exhaustion mingle.

 

How many times did I fall asleep nursing my newborn in the gliding chair there in the nursery?  Waking with a kink in my neck and a baby covered in milk.  It was all so messy and delicious.  And in the night, when I’d awake and nurse my child again, I often asked the Lord “How should I pray?”

 

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us how to pray…” – Luke 11:1

 

The Lord’s prayer spilled like water into wine from his lips, and found it’s way into The Word.  We read it there, memorizing lines and praying them in rote.  But only when we slow down to savor each word, do we get the simple beauty of prayer. Mothers, wives, grandma’s with a laundry list of requests for your laundry list of loved ones… “When you pray, say: “‘Father…”

Nursing in the middle of the night, packing lunches before the dawning of a new day, spending hours on the floor with puzzles and legos and crayons, “Father, Your Name is Holy.”

The music plays loud from my third born’s room, “Build your kingdom here” and I whisper the words heavenward, “Your kingdom come.”

Beside the rocker, during those early days, was my bible, my daily bread, and beside that bread lay my  journal.  I recorded prayers and scriptures and the last time I fed my son and which side I nursed him on.  I chronicled it all, including confessions.  “Forgive me my sins.”  I prayed through every line, in different ways, every day, without ceasing.

Even the first verses I committed to memory as a new mom were listed there:

 

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

 

He taught us to pray, and we do, but sometimes we forget how much like a conversation it can flow throughout our days, throughout our sleep-deprived nights.  And sometimes we forget to ask, for our loved ones and for ourselves, and His Word reminds us how.  But life is busy chasing children and cleaning house, until we stop and read it further down the page:

 

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

 

There is so much to a woman’s prayer life.  From the simple act of recognizing that He is God, to the bold entrance we can make through the front door of His Grace, making requests and clapping our hands in faith.  It’s all too much for me to understand. Which is why I’m blown over with gratitude when other women record their scripture prayers for the rest of us to lift as our own.  Have you done that?  Read through a book, like Stormie O’Martian’s “The Power of a Praying Parent“, or the new, heart-reviving prayers in Erika Dawson’s collection, “Pray Truth: Praying God’s Word for My Husband’s Heart“? At the end of the book I sometimes start immediately over, because they’ve led me to the footstool and shown me how to pray again.

Today I discovered another resource that’s so simple:  A new prayer every day, 365 of them each year.  A new prayer to pray over your husband, over your marriage, over their dad every day.  A prayer, sent to your inbox, pushed to your phone, washing your heart, putting words to your deep desires.

“Teach us how to pray.”

Marriage Prayers meets women in their rocking chairs, nursing through the night.  Marriage Prayers greet you at the park when the littles play.  Marriage Prayers are waiting there as each day stirs you earlier than the day before. Marriage Prayers, when you’re sitting in the carpool line waiting to pick up your children from school.

 

praybutton

 

It is easy to forget to pray, but O there are women who remind us how…

 

Let’s pray.

 

“Dear Lord, You are Holy over our sleepless nights and poured-out, spit-up crusted days and taxed marriages and  full hearts.  Build Your kingdom here in our home and in our family relationships, as you’ve purposed them in Heaven.  Forgive us when we are selfish in our exhaustion, and in your forgiveness remind us to forgive others. Lead us into right choices, even when we feel the pull of temptation strong.  Hem us in, Lord.  Hem us in.  And then be sure, Father, to take all the glory for your own self.  For it is yours entirely.  And I am tired and ready now for bed.  Go before me into the next day, and teach me again, fresh in the morning, how to pray. Amen.”

 

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9 Comments

  1. Thank you for your ministry, Wendy! I have to say that I was immediately drawn in to your blog by your cozy atmosphere of “Welcome to my Living Room”. Thank you for reminding me today of prayer, and the wonderful opportunity we have all throughout the day.

    Greetings from Paraguay,
    Trisha

    Reply
  2. Wendy, this is such a beautiful post. I think it is so easy for all of us to simply go through the motions but prayer is so much more, isn’t it?? For the last several years, during Lent, I’ve prayed through my FB friends list. What an incredibly holy gift! It is important for us to remember to model prayer for each other.

    Reply
  3. Hi…I clicked on your name at “blessed But Stressed”.

    We have no kids…my wife can’t, and I’m a combat veteran with PTSD that is quite dangerous to be around (SF operator, and saw a bit TOO much action).

    We have a sanctuary for unwanted and abused Pit Bulls, and this is where I came to feel at home with you.

    I sat up all night, Saturday, with Rapunzel. She’d been used as a breeder, and then discarded. She got into something nasty outside (either cat or rabbit faeces), and was feeling awful.

    So I held her paw for the night.

    And thus, prayers. She’s doing better, drinking Gatorade and eating potato chips.

    Reply
    • Very different lives, very different struggles, but both up and pouring out our love and prayers through the dark night hours. Thank you for leaving your message, Andrew. Lifting you up right now.

      Reply
  4. Ah, I remember those days. There’s glory in the burp and the dirty diapers. There’s glory in the heartache and pain. Especially if we always remember that the ultimate goal of parenting is to produce children who love Jesus.

    Reply
  5. This was beautiful and such a reminder of the beauty in the ordinary if we’ll just slow down long enough to breathe it in.

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  6. I loved the poem in the beginning it brought me back to those late night feedings. When I first became a new mom I always had my cell phone in my hand, at some point I figured out the world could wait and sitting with my eyes closed and heart toward God was a much better way to spend my time. I almost forgot about my midnight prayers. Thanks for bringing me back and showing how much life has changed so quickly. I don’t miss getting up each night, but I can’t believe how fast it is going. Soon he will be talking and needing me less. I’m trying to cherish these moments because I know they will be gone to soon.

    Reply
  7. I am going to try commenting without my website and we’ll see if it works this time. I love the poem and those verses. I have been trying to teach this lesson to my son about prayer being a conversation to God. It really is that simple!

    Reply
  8. Oh how I loved this prayer. What a great reminder that every day is truly a new day in Him. The poem at the beginning was just beautiful too! When you’re in that stage of life, it’s exhausting. When you’re out of the that stage of life (like I am), you miss it! 🙂

    Prayer is so powerful! Sometimes when it’s “your only option”, it seems so powerless, but it really is THE MOST POWERFUL thing we can do!

    Blessings-
    Christine

    Reply

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