Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Naked Prayer

"Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you.
Take this cup from me.
Yet not what I will, but what you will."
- Mark 14:36 NIV -
I struggle with being completely transparent in my prayer life. 
There are so many times where I catch myself trying to structure a prayer as cleanly as I would a business proposal.  I try to make it lawyer-style-airtight so that I won't get caught by a loophole when He answers me.  What would my prayers sound like if I approached the throne of God in full humility and transparency, baring it all? 

"Dear LORD,"
Stutters and awkward silences. 
I accidentally start to daydream in the middle of it and then snap out of it and apologize.
I admit that I am a mess.  I wake up a mess and go to bed a mess. 
The cleaner I try to be, the bigger mess I seem to become.
I sob - complete with loud air sucking and snot.
I confess that I have HUGE doubts about my abilities as a Mother, wife and human.
I apologize for the doubts... and the mess.  Then I share more doubts... and mess 
Then I apologize again.
Then I daydream for 30 seconds about what I would look like if I didn't doubt. 
"Sorry, God!!!" 

Even reading that in my head makes me cringe a little.  I don't want to be that person.  I want to be strong and resilient, brave and unbreakable.  It's extremely challenging to be that bare, that transparent, even in prayer.  I have tried to talk with close friends like this and the response usually indicates to me that I should insert a loud "HA!  Just kidding!  I never ACTUALLY think these things" and then change the subject.

But God actually calls to the weak and weary in me.  He says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."  (Matthew 11:28)  He promises, in Hebrews 2:18, "Because he himself suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."  And if those weren't enough, he modeled the perfect version of this transparency just moments before he was betrayed, captured, and led to be beaten, tried and killed.       
Abba, Father,
everything is possible for you.
Take this cup from me.
Yet not what I will, but what you will. 
(Mark 14:36 niv) 
How much more bare can you get than to ask, in your last moments before death, that God would change the plan?  Jesus couldn't sarcastically laugh his way out of that one, nor did he try.  He asked his Father what was on his broken heart, but with the loyalty of a perfect son, surrendered his will to God's. 

As a parent of a blended family, 2 step-sons with special needs, and two sons under the age of 4, there are so many days that I spend feeling like I'm fighting an impossible battle.  There are so many moments where I honestly don't think I can continue. 

But Jesus has walked through my struggles.  He has been in a place so low that he didn't want to continue and asked for a way out.  Even in that moment, Jesus prayed "Yet not what I will, but what you will." 

PRAY:  LORD, all my inmost being praises your holy name.  Please teach me to pray with a bare and transparent soul like you did in the garden.  Let me live my life in honor of your will, not mine.  Amen.


  1. Emily, this is so beautiful. Thanks for the reminder that God knows where we are and where we have been. Bless you for encouraging me today - I really needed to hear this!! Praise God for His mercy and grace.

    1. I am so humbled to hear that God used me to encourage you! Thank you for sharing that with me. I am blessed by YOUR encouragement! I praise God with you today.