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.

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."


When Children Pray

It was another late night at the Emergency Room.  He broke out in hives something awful, and they were spreading fast, moving their way up to his face, so they told us to come in and we did.  Drug reaction, they said.  But because there's a serious infection in his little body they needed to make sure strong meds were doing their job.  So they perscribed an antibiotic that would be given as a shot.  It looked like a horse shot, so big they split it in two.  One in the muscle of each thigh and he begged and pleaded, No, when he saw it coming.  But the nurses advanced, and I wanted to cry, till he yells, "Mama, PRAY!"  Then everything stopped.  

We bowed our heads and held tight to one another, which felt like holding on to Jesus.  And we reminded our Savior how much He loves Brody and asked Him to be close and make this go fast, and use these shots to heal Brody's body quickly.  Then we said Amen.




So be it, and it was done.  Though he couldn't walk afterward, his muscles swollen from the injection.  So I carried him to the car at midnight, then drove him home and laid him down in bed.  I stroked his hair and sleep came fast, and the words, "Mama, Pray!"  pierced my heart with sorrow and joy.


This is the boy who yells it when he has the stomach flu, between wretches.  Barf... "Mama. Pray!"... Barf. And when we walked a beach in Hawaii and came upon a cave, and the other two ran fast for the gaping mouth that drank sea water, again he stopped and said it privately, "Mama, Pray."


Of course I would do just about anything to protect this child from pain and fear, and you would do it all for your kids too... but trials are the anointed fires where faith is refined.  Where we learn to holler, Pray!  And we learn to pray like a conversation in the pain, at every turn when fear and misery come fast.  And then when relief floods, Mama's there like the one leper who ran back to Jesus and said Thank You.


Thank You!


And he's learning that too. The pleas for help and the sprints back to a Savior's side when the pain subsides.


I love prayer.  And I love the One who I lift them too.  And I love each blessed, anointed trial that teaches my children to love it too.