It was about a year ago when I became very self-conscious about my prayers.
I had good intentions, really. I wanted my prayers to be effective. I had a new baby, a toddler, a stressful living situation, a small budget, and a sick husband.
As you can imagine, I needed my prayers to be effective. But my desire to make prayer work turned my prayer life into another stress. Which meant I had turned God into a means of solving my problems and not as a resting place, where I could discover peace in the middle of my problem even before it had been solved.
Soon, after more reading and researching to figure out praying “the right way”, I was reminded it’s not about saying the perfect words or having the perfect posture.
It’s about honesty.
God already knows what’s in our hearts. And I believe that, oftentimes, prayer is about us learning what God already knows. And either we take what we learn and repent, or, we celebrate, because what we found there was His righteousness, a piece of the righteousness we had stored up for the moment we would need it—through reading His word, practicing His behavior, and receiving His grace.
Recently, I learned that a dear friend of mine was writing a book.
Honest Prayers for the Average Thirty-Something Woman
Now, I’m not a thirty-something, I’m a twenty-something (ahem), but that part doesn’t matter, because I got a chance to read an advanced copy, and this book applies to any woman full of human-nature’s insecurities in parenting, work, marriage, and even appearance.
I came across a prayer that resonated deeply with me. An area of life we don’t talk about enough, and one that, through food allergies and a desire to eat whole and nourishing foods, has become a dreadful part of my responsibilities: grocery shopping.
Chrisenda, the author of these prayers and lovely woman, gave me permission to share this prayer with you:
Here we go once again.
The anxiety starts to set in.
I have my list, my calculator, and my coupons. Why does grocery shopping have to be so stressful?
It all starts weeks before I go to the store. First, the recipe search for new ideas. Second, the meal planning begins. Third, I make my grocery list. Finally, the dreaded shopping day begins.
Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping, but grocery shopping, really? Why is this such a struggle?
Now the time has come to make sure I buy all the food we need for the next two weeks within our small budget. Oh, there goes the baby throwing a fit because she wants to walk, wants a toy, wants a balloon, and is now on the floor. The older kids keep asking for stuff not on the list and definitely not in the budget, but how can I say no without sounding like a raging crazy lady?
Now, going down each aisle one by one, I keep adding items that I “forgot” to put on the list. Through each aisle, the stress is building up. Do I have everything now after going through the store a couple of times? I sure hope so.
Now the thin patience I have left is growing thinner through the long lines with whiny kids. As the line gets shorter, I keep looking at my full basket doubting my selections. Yes, I am the one in line sneaking items out of the cart. You know–the thirty-something woman who is stressed out because she is about to pay?
How much is the bill going to be? Why didn’t I use my calculator? Will I have enough? No, I shouldn’t have gotten that! Do we really need dog food? Will the baby ever give me a break? I thought shopping was supposed to be fun?
I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. (Eccles. 3:12, MSG)
Let every detail in your lives–words, actions, whatever–be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (Col. 3:17, MSG)
Lord, I know right now life is hectic with kids, keeping a budget, and grocery shopping. Help me not to stress or have anxiety, but relax, enjoy life, and trust in you. Someday the kids will be gone, and I will have all the money I need. Remind me to find joy in these times, now, even if it is just a trip to the grocery store.
I read this prayer and thought this is my life. Someone else is having this exact. same. struggle.
Which means, a lot of you out there are having it, too.
Chrisenda’s book has reminded me again that God sees us right where we are. In whatever mundane tasks we are doing. In the littlest of things. And He wants to see us through it, to shine His light and share His love.
Honest Prayers has a recurring theme throughout its pages: Lord, help me. Thank you, Lord.
Too often we forget these two basic declarations (except as cliched expressions) in our prayers, but they are the foundation.
We cry out to Jesus for salvation and we thank Him for His sacrifice.
Lord, help me.
Thank you, Lord.
Visit Chrisenda’s blog, HonestPrayersForWomen.com, and be on the lookout for her book coming soon in 2018!