Tag Archives: prayer

Finding the Time to Pray Together


Y’all should know by now that I’m not good at sitting still and reflecting. (This blog is what makes me do that!)

I blame this for why I have such trouble with good, consistent prayer time. I feel like I wear so many hats that to be doing well at one thing, I have to put something else on the back burner. And so it is with my prayer life. I ebb and flow and have good weeks and bad weeks.

And the less I pray, the less I am connected to the Father and His will for my life. The more I pray – the more I want to see His work done. The more I want to love others. The more I crave the fruits of the Spirit.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” (Luke 18:1-5, NIV, emphasis mine)

God gives us permission to BOTHER Him! You know that song (which I love because I remember singing it as a young believer), “You are God in Heaven and here am I on earth, so I’ll let my words be few…”

We don’t need to let our words be few! They also don’t necessarily have to be many. All I’m saying is prayer is important; prayer is vital; God wants to hear your prayers!

God already knows we are dependent on Him, but in prayer, we are opening our hearts to the reality that we need Him.

And I want to encourage you to find time to pray with your spouse.

For Brad and I, we had to get a little creative. Praying before bed wasn’t really working anymore because of baby feedings and sheer exhaustion. Early morning definitely doesn’t work for me (I’m usually taking my third nap of the night – otherwise known as sleep!).

I’ll tell you how we found the time. We fasted.

Brad had a great idea to fast from one thing each month of the year for 2013. For February, it was TV. In the evenings, it’s so easy to just plop on the couch and turn on the tube. Fasting from TV re-oriented our evenings in so many ways, but the best benefit we got was by finding a pocket of time for prayer.

Once both of the kids are asleep, we usually have uninterrupted time! We could choose to do dishes, turn on the TV, talk, take a bath (ahhhh), read a book, and on and on with our precious couple of hours. For us, the very beginning of that time pocket is the best for prayer. We’re not ready to crawl in bed, we haven’t turned our brains off yet, and it’s quiet in the house.

So if you have fallen off the marital prayer wagon, look at the natural rhythm of your day and see if you can find a pocket. If you can’t , consider fasting from something and using that time to seek God together.

How to Just “Let it Go” in Marriage

You know how you get into those “little fights” with your spouse? You know, the dumb ones.

You never listen to the radio station I like!

We haven’t seen my mom in 3 months!

You don’t load the dishwasher correctly! [Really ladies, who told us to say this!?]

Yeah. You know you’ve said it. Well, part of growing in marriage is growing in maturity (hopefully!). And as you mature, you learn that some things just aren’t worth fighting about.

So you try to let it go. But how do you know if you really have just “let it go”?

  • You don’t bring it up at the next fight.
  • It doesn’t fuel other ill feelings you have towards your mate.
  • You know how to laugh about it (Ha! That bowl is in there all cock-eyed. Ah well, we can run it through again.)
  • You forgot it happened. Truly.

Now, if you feel like you simply can’t do this – that you’re just not there yet – try this. Pick one of the “little things”. The next time it happens, I just want you to sit on it for a week. Just 7 days. Don’t do anything about it, and don’t bring it up. But anytime you think it is affecting your marriage – making your blood boil or just a huff and a puff – I want you to pray for your spouse.

Don’t pray that they will learn how to load the dishwasher. They won’t. Pray that they will have a heart for God. Pray that they will see tangibly how you love/respect them. Pray for discernment on how to serve them.

By day 7, I really think you forget that you were counting the days.

Obviously, there are some thing that are not  in the “let it go” category.

Things like

We haven’t had sex in a year!

You never listen to me!

Those are real problems that need addressed. Those are arteries. The dishwasher is just a tiny vein.

Pray for Your Husband

It’s long overdue, but I just wrote a prayer for my husband that I want to commit to praying daily.

Instead of just, “Lord, help him to do this, help him with that…” this is an intentional prayer.

I had to spend some time acknowledging his needs as I wrote it, which was a great reminder to me of where he is, what he struggles against, and what he might face in the future.

How to Pray for your husband

What do you think might happen if I pray this for him every day?

Could…

  • the enemy be thwarted?
  • my marriage be stronger than it’s ever been?
  • God answer these prayers?
  • my husband be empowered?
  • I fall more in love with him?

I believe all of that can happen and more.

And that’s why, even though I’m bad at praying consistently, I’m making the commitment.

Want to write your own prayer for your husband? Here are some things I had to think through when writing mine.

  • What are his idols? Those things that he covets more than God? Pray for your husband’s courage and strength in fighting his sin.
  • Your husband is intended to lead your family toward the Lord. Pray for that leadership.
  • What might lie in his future? What dreams does he have for work and for your family? Pray for his future.
  • God wants your husband to use his gifts to lead more people to Christ. Pray for your husband’s ministry to grow and be fruitful.
  • Pray for the Biblical Manhood tenants: Rejecting passivity; accepting responsibility; leading courageously; and looking forward to the greater reward, God’s reward.

If you prayed for your husband like this, what do you think might happen to YOU? Tell me in the comments.

Tips for Praying Aloud

Tips for Praying Aloud

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nanaz/

What’s so hard about praying aloud? Well…it’s Out.Loud. And other people are there. They’re listening, and they all seem to know exactly what to say to God. They know the lingo, they don’t stumble over their words, and they seem to find a way to come up with a beginning, middle, and end on the spot.

It’s like PUBLIC SPEAKING. Worse – it’s IMPROMPTU PUBLIC SPEAKING!

If you are petrified of praying aloud, it’s OK! Many people are. You’re laying your heart to God out in the open for all to see (hear). But can I ask for you to try to do it anyway? Whether it’s with your family, friends, community group, or at a prayer meeting?

Why should you pray corporately?

  • It’s Biblical. “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” (Acts 1:14, NETBible) See also Acts 12. The early church seemed to pray together often. Why? Because they saw their need for prayer. It was right in front of their face in the form of persecution. We don’t see much of a need because we are not threatened with death or prison, but our need is perhaps greater because we are traversing life without praying together (see other points below).
  • It breeds unity. When we pray together, we hear each other’s hearts in a way that we wouldn’t hear by “going around the circle.” Hearing one another’s depth of need for God binds us spiritually.
  • It encourages other believers. Hearing your own prayer requests prayed over you by a brother or sister in Christ brings  peace and confidence in the Lord.
  • It disciples those younger in the faith by teaching them how to pray. (Hey – if Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, then we must need to be taught too!)
  • I’m sure there are more reasons – if you think of one, add it in the comments below!

So what happens when it’s actually time to pray? Out loud?

Be yourself.

It’s OK to talk to God like you talk to a friend. I think praying brings a natural reverance to our tone and demeanor, and that’s OK too! But don’t be intimidated by watching and listening to others pray. Simply be you.

Write something down.

If you feel like you’re in speech and debate class all over again (or that recurring nightmare you have where you forget all of your lines), go ahead and write something down before you pray. Jot a few points down on a scratch piece of paper if it helps you not feel lost when praying out loud. It’s OK to peek at your list!

Break the barrier if needed.

Are you ever praying for so-and-so’s cousin, and you totally blank on their name? I just ask what their name is mid-prayer! Maybe it’s tacky, but I’d rather pray for them by name, so I just pause and say, “Was it Ron?” or something like that. Then, I just carry on.

Pray Scripture.

Praying God’s Word, whether for someone (inserting their name into the verses) or as acknowledgement of who God is, is never a bad idea! In fact, it connects God’s Word to me personally way more than simply reading or studying the Bible. So feel free to crack open the Word and pray straight from it. Then, you always know what to say. 🙂

Accept peace from the Spirit.

If you are feeling very nervous or emotional while praying, it’s OK to acknowledge that you can’t put your thoughts into words. Take heart in this:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. (Romans 8:26, NETBible)

What other tips would you offer?

Prayer Time with Your Husband


How do you and your husband (or wife) pray together?

For several years now, what worked best for Brad and I was praying before bed each night. Here’s how we did it:

  • Every so often, maybe every 6 months or so, we would do what we called a “Prayer Dump.” We would both sit down in silence and take just a few (seriously like 3) minutes to write down what concerns and burdens were on our heart for prayer. If you take more than a few minutes, I find that you don’t get the gut needs that are present.
  • After the Prayer Dump time is over, we would compare our lists. Topics that were common or had a common theme would get written down on a prayer list. Sometimes, Brad would have written something down that I also wanted to pray for, but it didn’t make my Prayer Dump – and that’s OK. We jointly decide what goes on our prayer list.
  • We assign a night to each topic. This could be systematic (like praying for your church staff, elders, and church vision on Saturday night), but it works just as well being entirely random!
  • Each night when you’re tired and worn out, you turn to the list and pray from there.

My pastor hubby has been convicted about praying even more than he already does in 2012. In the midst of a church-wide prayer and fasting week, I feel this conviction too.

But here’s what I want you to know – the above prayer technique is not prescriptive!!

You do not have to sit down, or kneel, bow your head, and clasp your hands to pray. That posture, I think, is a side effect of prayer. While praying, you may be so hit with the BIGNESS of God and his majesty and his mercy on your life that you cannot help but bow before Him, the King.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing” or “Pray continually” or “Constantly pray” – this sounds like a direct command to me (verse 18 says this is God’s will)! This is what God prescribes – to pray without end. Not to pray before dinner. Or pray before bed. Or pray in church.

Pray without end.

If you’re like me, you have a constant conversation going in your head. With yourself. Praying continually is just like that but directing all of that inward chatter to God. Weaving in the truth of God’s word through that chatter so that your thoughts are true.

Back to prayer time with your husband. Or, specifically, my prayer time with my husband. 🙂

In addition to praying continually, I think there are many benefits to having set prayer routines (like praying before eating or praying before bed), especially routines for praying corporately, like with your spouse. Your entire soul is bared to the Lord, and for me, this is one of the few times that my husband gets to hear these thoughts. Perhaps it’s a part of this:

These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road,as you lie down, and as you get up. You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbolson your forehead. Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, NETBible)

Tonight, I realized that our bedtime prayer routine is not working. Often, we are going to bed at different times (work and toddler-related). We are seriously beat when we get there, too. Maybe it will work for us again soon, but in the meantime, it might be time for a change.

I will be fasting for the next 3 weeks from TV/Netflix (so don’t tell me how funny Modern Family is!). Perhaps this is a good time, then, to try out setting aside a night of the week for prayer with my husband. And by night, I mean 9pm after our 2-year old is asleep! Maybe this isn’t sustainable with some of our evening committments, but if we cry out to God together weekly for a few weeks and then have to change it again, do you think it will be any less effective?

What works for you? I would love to know!

 

How Chaos Becomes Worship

There are a lot of things in my life right now that should have this sign thrown on the door handle:

In Progress

My entire house is in progress right now. Our partly-DIY kitchen project is getting closer to completion, which means uninstalled cabinets are sitting in my kitchen and cabinet doors that need just one more coat of paint are taking up my car space in the garage.

The current “office” (ahem – this is a closet-turned-desk that is in the third bedroom) will be moved to the said kitchen project once it’s complete. But right now, the “office” also has baby furniture in it. And that room will (hopefully) be painted once we find out the gender, so everything is just kind of sitting there.

In progress.

My body is in major progress. I’m finally over the feeling-horrible stage of this pregnancy. Yippee! And this baby is growing, growing, growing! I finally had to admit defeat and put on maternity pants and shirts. I’m sure everyone else is glad I finally did, too.

My marriage: as always! We are growing in a healthy way right now, thank the Lord, as opposed to the burn-out + 1st trimester + toddlerhood rhythm we were in at the end of the year.

In progress.

This New Year is definitely in progress. 2011 feels a million miles away, and 2012 has thrown down the gauntlet. However, not everything is in full swing yet. The Biblical Womanhood small group I’m leading doesn’t pick back up until the end of this month (which means I have some spare time to blog :)). A little extra work picks up for me next week. And my deprived accountability partner and I have both been missing our time together.

Maybe this blog is in progress, too. Don’t worry! I’m not leaving – as much as I made you believe it in the Fall. 🙂 No, as “deep” (maybe 3 feet?) as this post may turn out, I’ve considered adding some shallow things to my blog. Would you run away if I did?

And did I mention I tried to start raking leaves the other day while I was solo with my 2-year old? Yeah. I got an entire 1/3 of the backyard raked. The next windy day and woosh – all that work is gone!

It’s in progress.

But you know what? My soul is, too. (Come on, you knew that’s where I was going, didn’t you?)

Our church is spending a few days this week and then the next 21 days committed to praying specifically for the mission and vision to reach every man woman and child in Austin with the gospel of Jesus.

Most people have chosen to fast from something for the next 3 days so that we can more focus on our need for God. Our utter dependence on Him for everything. Our very breath.

This vision? It’s His. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have it. And we depend on Him to grow us. Because we are not going to be satisfied unless we are a part of what He is doing in this world.

And we will always be in progress.

So if you are a finisher, friend, like yours truly, then get used to the chaos. No, not just that.

Let’s enjoy it. Let’s recognize that this is where He has us right now and until Jesus returns.

In Progress.

And we can surrender this chaos to the Holy Spirit to be used and glorified for His purposes.

How easy or hard is this for you? What can you do to move more towards a mindset of embracing your circumstances and surrendering them for the Kingdom?

A Prayer for My Father

My father is currently facing some consequences to his actions that feel impossible to bear.

He’s hurting. He’s worried. Dare I say he’s … scared? My father who seems to flinch at nothing – he can’t ignore what’s in front of him right now.

I was in Houston visiting family for a couple of birthday celebrations, and on our way out of town, Sammy and I stopped by my dad’s house for a visit. We haven’t seen him in quite some time, and I’m really glad we made the visit today.

As I sat listening to my dad pour out his story, I truly hurt for him and what he was going through. I didn’t see the actions that led to where he is. I just saw him and his brokenness. I felt a glimpse of how God sees us at any given moment.

I had the privilege of praying for my father, and as I prayed, I knew that, without Jesus mediating our eternity to the Father, he and I are in the same state. I felt completely equal with him. Not better, as the world would probably view us and conclude. Not one little bit. We are the same.

On my drive home, I prayed for him a few times, and I felt his fear and his pain in my own way. I want to lay out a prayer right here for him. Maybe you’ll pray it with me? Perhaps your father needs it too? Most of all, I bet you need it yourself. Just as I do.

Dear Lord,

My father is your creation, and your amazing word says he is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). He is a masterpiece of yours.

But he is broken. His paint is crackled with age and abuse. He himself has marred the very quality of the craftsmanship, as though ripping apart the canvas and crudely sewing it together. Over and over again. (Romans 3:23)

Oh Lord, I praise you that you don’t leave us in our wretched state. But you sent Jesus, God-as-a-man, who in his perfection died and pulled all of our penalties on his broken and bloody body. (Romans 5:8)

I pray that my father would receive your gift of eternity instead of the spiritual death he has earned himself (Romans 6:23).

My father needs a miracle in the very near future, Lord. He needs a small dose of mercy to continue.

And I know full well he might not get it. I thank you that you are gracious and provide for us in ways we never see, and I know you are in control and will use this, miracle or not, for your glory (Romans 8:28).

Regardless of the past and future events in my father’s life, I pray above all things that he would love Jesus above everything in his life. I pray that above all – above it all Lord – that he would just want to bring you glory. That your glory would motivate his heart. 

Beyond that, I pray that people who are in his life who are followers of Jesus would rise up in his life and help him in his time of need. That your saints would love him with the hands of Jesus.

In the power of the blessed name of Jesus, I pray this. Amen.

How to Pray Without Ceasing

Well, the month of April is over, which means that the Warrior Prayers: 21 Days of Prayer for Sons is also over – boo! Oh…wait… I don’t have to stop? Yippee!

I loved the 21 Days of Prayer challenge. You probably already know by now that I am not a reflector by nature. It’s tough for me to sit and pray.

Don’t get me wrong, I love talking with my Father and worshiping Him and bringing requests to Him. I’m overwhelmed with prayer needs. But it’s a fight to make my body sit still. Let’s just say Samuel gets his little gotta-get-the-wiggles-out self from me!

I recently told a friend – Don’t try to get up early and pray.

Gasp!

Instead of trying to get up at 5am to pray, I think it might be more realistic to build prayer into your current daily rhythms. Because honestly, I don’t know many people who said – From now on, I shall get myself up at 5 to pray every day – and actually did it. Rather, let’s make our “prayer time” goal something that is actually doable.

For me, when I realized I was having quite a difficult time making time for prayer, Brad and I looked at our natural rhythms of the day and found a little block of time in the morning (after my usual wakeup time) when he can get Samuel milk and breakfast. I get to use that time to connect with my Father.

It’s not the only time I use to pray and worship, however.

Many of you, like me, have robust (i.e., busy) lives. Do you find yourself crying out to God throughout the day? Whether it’s for a simple prayer request, an urgent plea, or a bursting worship of our Lord?

That is part of praying without ceasing.

 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)

I have not always been good at praying “continually.” When I’m working, I get very focused on what I’m doing, and my mind doesn’t cross to God very much. There are a couple of tools I’ve used that helped train my mind to focus on God more constantly:

  • a timer – our church-body participated in a Soul Revolution experiment that included setting a timer to go off every hour. When the timer went off, we were to take a moment to focus on God through prayer, worship, Bible reading, anything! My spiritual life was revitalized by this experiment!
  • Praying through Scripture – I have index cards that I write verses on, and I put the cards on a binder ring (like this one). I keep this ring at my desk, or wherever else I spend a lot of time to remind me to pray through these verses. Thanks to my friend Holly from Mom and Mom for helping me learn how to do this!

So back to the Warrior Prayers. The 21 Day challenge incorporated both of the above tools – pausing often throughout the day and praying through Scripture.

It was fantastic. Even on days when I didn’t put as much effort in, my mind was more focused on God, and my heart was closer to His spirit. There were a few times that the verses I was praying “for my son” convicted me of sin in my life. Because, of course, Scripture is also for me. And for you.

I encourage you to try something like this. Whether you’re part of a prayer challenge doesn’t matter (although Brooke will be hosting another 21 Days… in the future!), just put something in your day-to-day that helps you connect with God often. I’d love to hear how it challenges you! If you have other tips to add to this, post them in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

I do want to note that I think it’s important to try and find an uninterrupted time to read, meditate on Scripture, etc. The more time I spend with God, the more I crave Him. And this craving doesn’t always build up when I’m only giving short bursts to God.

However, that being said, I know how life goes, and you might be in a difficult season with health, family, or a myriad other issues where spending any time with God is a challenge. Rest assured that all time spent with Him is beneficial to your spiritual growth. So start small – start with a goal you know you can do – and watch your cravings take over!

Thank You

I have been blessed lately. Particularly by our church body.

We have been going through a difficult time with our childcare situation. Ever since I switched from working from my home office to filming and recording in a studio part-time, things have been going downhill.

Unfortunately, I was ignoring the signs.

I feel awful now looking back, but it took a big mistake on our nanny’s part for me to see how bad it had gotten. A couple of Friday’s ago, when I got home, she was rushing out of the front door to get his car seat from her car, looking guilty.

Samuel was asleep. I paid her, and she left.

I wondered where they went, but I figured they went to the park or storytime or something and didn’t ask. (Hello, mommy! You always have a right to ask where your son has been!)

After Samuel woke up, I changed his diaper and was horrified at how utterly soaked he was. There is no way he had been changed in the previous several hours. My heart sank.

We went to have a snack, and his bib and dishes from his morning snack and lunch were all missing. In her car, I’m assuming. This means they were gone for at least 3 hours, and I’m assuming by the 2 clean diapers that were in the car seat she brought in that he wasn’t changed the entire time before his nap.

I was furious. So furious I wanted to call and ask her what kind of person doesn’t change a child’s diaper!? Especially someone who has plenty of experience to know better.

I didn’t call. Because I knew I would speak in anger.

She had already told us she was going to be leaving, but that she would keep watching Sam until we found someone. Apparently, she had mentally checked out of her job.

I felt sick as I looked back at other small things that had been leading to this moment. Her attitude and disrespect towards me. Her never ever telling me that Samuel and her had a fun day or that he’s such a precious guy. She always said, “He did OK.” I thought, Wow, he must really not do well with other people. Since then, he’s been watched by several others who tell me how fun he is and what a joy. The little man I know.

My heart breaks to think that for many months he was with someone who didn’t want to care for him. It’s SO hard being a working mom, and this just makes it seem unbearable.

After that Friday, I called every single person and lead I knew to find someone who could love him. Someone I could trust. I prayed. I stayed up at night thinking about it. I treasured him and apologized.

While I was looking, some near and dear friends and some members of our church body whom I don’t even know very well helped me out by caring for Samuel. For free. For love. To bless me.

And I can’t thank them enough for restoring the part of my mama soul that was so diminished. The little thank you notes I write just do not do justice to what they offered me.

There are other ways our body has been blessing us this week, and I’m just blown away by how our church loves us in so many ways. I know many who pray for us every single day. How do they offer that sacrifice!?

I don’t know. But I say Thank You. Thank. You.

Why Did I Experience Infertility? Part 2

Why, we asked, why were we not able to have children?

There are at least three reasons, all found in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11:

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Reason 1: So that we would rely on God (v.9)

With infertility, it is very tempting to try every kind of trick and procedure available because there are so many and no one is sure about how effective they all are. So you think, It won’t hurt to try, right? Nothing else is working! And I think trying some of these “tricks” are actually healthy for anyone trying to conceive. Plus, since children are a blessing, I’m sure putting effort into having them is good, right?

Remember, it always comes back to the heart. If you get totally absorbed and caught up in simply conceiving, where is your devotion to Christ?

I fought this temptation constantly. I ached to have kids, to love and teach and disciple our children. And every day, I had to face the fact that we might not ever have any of our own (biologically). Each day I could make a choice to check and recheck and recheck my fertility calendar and just exist until the next LH surge or period gave me news.

Or, I could praise God and make Him the only thing I wanted.

I wore out Psalm 73:25 in prayer:

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

I’m not going to lie. Many days I cried as I prayed this verse – because it wasn’t true all of the time. But I wanted it to be, and I opened myself to depending on God deeper than I had in a long time.

I pray if you are walking this journey right now that this prayer would be what you bring to God daily.

Reason 2: To comfort others with the comfort we received from God (vv.3-4)

Although we were confused, we knew our God was in control. We know He is good. We also knew that didn’t mean that we would be able to have children.

But we were comforted to know that God would use this piece of our lives to glorify Himself. And that’s what matters above all else- only the praise of God. Only worship of Him.

For whatever reason, this is where we were. He surrounded us with others who prayed for us every day and loved us when we were in pain. They were a tangible comfort to us.

Since we started learning about infertility, we have been bombarded with knowledge about others’ infertility, miscarriages, and infant loss. It’s awful to feel the pain of a mourning parent or a hopeful parent. However, I know God has used our infertility to help us minister to others in similar or parallel situations. He has allowed us to be a comfort to others as He was to us. He HAS been glorified through this and will be constantly.

Reason 3: For many to give thanks (v.11)

Another thing I prayed for was that regardless of our ability to have children, we would praise and thank God for who He is. God blessed me in that even through my pain, I was always able to have the peace to praise Him.

But know that if you’re struggling with this, He loves you just the same. And I hope you will pray for this same peace and ability to praise.

Two years after we started trying to conceive, we were taking a break from fertility treatments (of which we had done 3 months’ worth – the lowest doses of Clomid). We bought a small 3-bedroom house, not all that expectant to fill it with children. When we signed the papers, we were pregnant – but we didn’t know!

We gave thanks – boy did we give thanks! And dozens of friends and family members did too. We were all stunned and overjoyed.

But we also gave thanks without that blessing.

God decided to bless us with Samuel. I don’t know why. I do know this, it has nothing to do with me or what I did or didn’t do. He might bless you in the same way. And He might not. It is SO hard to hear that and know it and still trust His perfect plan.

Please know that I am praying for comfort and peace for you – for perseverance – because for many, your journey is already years and years long. I understand that it’s hard to hear anything about infertility from a mother. I had the same deafness and pray that you will still find comfort.

Sovereign God, please bless my friends who are in the midst of infertility of any kind. I pray that they would seek you out constantly and fill themselves up with you. I pray that you would make your will known to them clearly and in perfect timing. I pray for their family and friends to be ever-so sensitive to their needs in this area.

Most of all God, I pray that you would be their only comfort, their only peace, and their only desire.