Praying without ceasing – through gritted teeth or through tears – are prayers freed from the constraints of high language and certain positioning. These are prayers connecting us to God who much prefers a heart of surrender and words of honest need.
These are the “Lord, help me” prayers. These are the “show me, guide me, save me” prayers. Really, these are the prayers of a mother. And these are the realest kind of prayers I think I’ve ever prayed.
I have never truly understood the concept of ceaseless prayers until I became a mom. They start when I rise and make my way downstairs before anyone else. They come with me as the coffee drips into mug and I open His word for a moment to enjoy His presence. They take center stage when the sound of shuffling feet, swinging doors, and morning groans bring me to the front of the battle – another day fighting for the souls of my children.
And reality hits. The truth is I can’t make it through a morning without the Holy Spirit putting His hand over my mouth and stopping my tongue. I can’t make it to lunch without needing eyes to see and the grace to respond with wisdom.
Wouldn’t I love to not need these desperate, clutching, grasping, drowning prayers? Wouldn’t I love smooth waters and clear skies? Yes, but, no. Because I am seeing His relentless grace upon grace in these needs and through these prayers I am experiencing the presence of the LORD.
So, today I am choosing to be grateful for these prayers, I am choosing to be grateful for my weak state that brings me need, and, even more so, for God to whom my prayers rise. I am choosing to be happy for the moments that lead me to the edge of myself and leave me jumping towards His ever-present help.
As I jump and as I pray, I cling to the truths of His word that tell me…
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.”
(1 Peter 3:12) ESV
“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears.”
(2 Samuel 22:7) NRSV
“So she [Hagar] called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’”
(Genesis 16:13) ESV, clarification mine
“Our God forever and ever. He will be our guide forever.”
(Psalm 48:14b) NRSV
“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
(Psalm 32:8) NRSV
He Never Leaves
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8:38-39) ESV
He is Merciful
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you”
(Deuteronomy 4:31a) ESV
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
(Matthew 6:26) ESV
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
(1 Peter 5:6-7) NKJV
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4) ESV
“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12) NRSV
“I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”
(Joel 2:25a) ESV
Most importantly that…
I Am a Sinner
“And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’”
(Isaiah 6:5) ESV
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
(Romans 3:23) ESV
But He is LORD
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?’
‘Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
(Romans 11:33-36) ESV
“so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
(Philippians 2:10-11) NRSV
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