I hadn’t considered asking them to do this. Surely, others needed it more than I. But these three women insisted.
“Jennifer, we’d like to pray for you.”
They knew how the Spirit exhales when two or more gather. They knew how the Red Letters bleed Truth: We can ask for anything in His name. Anything.
They knew — perhaps even better than I — that the monster of fear lurking inside my heart needed to be shackled before it shackled me.
They knew I needed prayer.
Seven months ago, a river of blood flowed down my left leg as I sat in a snowy ditch, trapped in a van, saying the words over and over and over: Help me, God. Help me, God. Help me, God.
And He did help me. I survived, with only minor injuries and a Y-shaped scar on my left leg to remind me that I am His.
But for a time, I dreaded driving, despite the holy whispers to press on.
“Fear not, for I am with you,” the Spirit spoke into my spirit. Still I tensed in fear. Shoulders curled, and my jaw clenched, while hands gripped a steering wheel and fear gripped a body.
I would see it all again: the oncoming car spinning into my lane. The crush of steel on steel. The glass, everywhere.
Then I’d remember the silence …
Then I’d remember the pain …
In the dark place of my heart, a monster was feeding on fear.
These three women — Vicki, Merilyce and Carla — knew all that, too. And they wanted to pray for me, if I’d let them.
Eyes closed, they placed hands on shoulders and knees. I bowed low, without words, as they spoke Truth into the dark places where a monster had been growing.
“Father God, we come before you today with our sister Jennifer …”
I hadn’t asked for the prayer that day. It seemed so selfish of me to ask,
in a world where children are starving,
and mothers are grieving,
and dads are losing jobs,
My monster seemed so small in comparison.
But that’s not true, you know. Our problems aren’t too trivial to take to God. Our trials aren’t too small for willing intercessors, these friends who storm the Gates on our behalf.
No my problems weren’t too small at all; my pride was just too big.
It’s the other monster in the dark place of my heart — the one that says I don’t need God’s help, that I can handle it on my own. I’ll bend a knee for someone else, scratch another name in a prayer journal, pray for a friend over the phone. But I won’t ask someone to pray for me.
How foolish! How dangerous, this monster that feeds on my pride!
But on that day, three women could see through the pride to the place that needed Truth breathed in. They appealed to the Father — One who is big enough to create the universe but personal enough to care about the little things.
And it was on that day — when I didn’t even ask for it– that perfect love drove out the monster, so I could drive again.
Who are you, Lord, that you are mindful of us?
Who are you, that you hear us when we call on You,
even for the little things?
“I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?”
— from Psalm 8 (The Message)
Thank you, Lord, for looking my way.
No problem too little
a God so big.
Consider joining Ann each Wednesday. This week, we continue exploring our Pilgrimages into Prayer.
Photo: Drawing of Jesus, the One who taught us how to pray. Drawn by my sweet friend Erica, who prays like Jesus taught her. Thank you for this framed gift, which graces our house of prayer.