Faith, life, relationships, Spiritual Encouragement, Uncategorized
Comments 4

How To Pray {When You Might Not Want To and the Soul is Bare}

“I’m done with her.”

I said it, hand to heaven, the words spat from my mouth like staples.

“She’s your problem, God.”



People can be difficult, can’t they? Oh, we push buttons and pull on one another with our expectations. Our flaws and insecurities drive us down destructive paths.

Despite our best intentions, we act out of fear, criticize out of our shallow hearts, walk away in anger.

There are times when brokenness is all there is, when the steam of simmering anger rises and the bitter taste of waste remains on quivering lip and runs in salted tears. Wasted time, wasted energy, wasted years, wasted loyalty, wasted love.

Why then, can we not wash our hands of it and walk away without a thought or care? Declare “that’s in the past” and move on? Yes, we try, we will it to happen. Eventually, we learn to walk without the limp of hurt and betrayal. But inside we feel the rough edges that brokenness has left behind. And like a broken tooth that invites the tongue to roll over again and again, we caress the shards that remain and wonder why it all broke down the way it did.


Jesus taught this: “Pray for your friends and enemies alike. Pray to the Father in my name: He will always hear you.”

But praying just rubs the bruise, salts the wound, picks the scab, doesn’t it?

So we toss a blanket prayer over it and move on. Because moving on is the goal, right?

I tried this for a long time. I threw out blanket prayers, I flung frustration heavenward and ducked to avoid the ricocheting shrapnel. 

There is a better way. You can pray for those people that rub you the wrong way and those who’ve deeply wronged you. It’s in Ephesians 3.

“I kneel before the Father from whom  his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in you inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be fill to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be gory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. {verses 14-21}

It all starts with kneeling.

I know, yes, I know that this can be the hardest part. Kneeling reveals acknowledgement that you aren’t in charge. You aren’t responsible for changing the other person (or even yourself?), you aren’t responsible for guarding your own vulnerability — you are allowing God to take it from you.

And it’s all about kneeling before the Father of all heaven and earth.

Start there.

Even before words sound through parted lips: kneel before God.

How often do we do this bended knee before the Lord? It is the precedent of all worship, yet we rarely, if ever, actually kneel. Start there.

Then see in Ephesians how you can pray for anyone, everyone when it’s all about God (not you, not them).

verse 14-15: God who Unifies

“I kneel before the Father from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name”

verse 14-15 God who is Divine Creator

“Father… in heaven and on earth”

verse 16: God who is Generous & Rich

“Out of His glorious riches”

verse 16: God who is Strong and Powerful

“Strengthen you with power”

verse 16: God who is Spirit

“Strengthen(s)…with power through his Spirit in your innermost being”

verse 17: God who is Personal

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts”

verse 18: God who is first of all Love

“Root(s) and establish(es) us in love”

verse 18: God who is Infinite

“How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ”

verse 19: God who Exceeds Knowledge

“This love surpasses knowledge”

verse 19: God who Satisfies

“That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

If we prayed for those we love,

those we hate,

those who have hurt us,

those we’ve hurt,

those we don’t talk to,

those we see everyday,

those we work with,

those we serve,

those who mistreat us,

even ourselves,

wouldn’t everything change? Wouldn’t we change?


Wherever you or your appears in these verses, simply slip their name in its place. At first it might taste of vinegar. At first you may feel false because, in all honesty, do you really want all this good, God-stuff for them? That’s okay. God knows how you feel. He will protect your bare soul, he will. He won’t let your vulnerable, knee-bent, position go unnoticed. He will give you perspective. He will give you strength and love and power and satisfaction, too.

This is the prayer that works and always wins.

You’ll see.






linked with Laura @MissionalWomen and Lisa Jo Baker



  1. Wow, you can pack a lot of writing into 5 minutes!! Way to go. 🙂 I love your post. Usually my prayers for people who are making me insane are very short (eg. ‘Help me Lord!’) and are cried from my busy feet. I love the idea of kneeling before Him. Thanks! So glad I stopped from FMF!
    ~Sarah from

    • I pre write- because I am slow and always have too much to say. So I follow the prompt and the spirit more than the five minutes… I hope that’s ok:) thanks for coming by, I appreciate the time taken to comment, too. Blessing, aly

      • Of course it’s okay. Following the spirit is awesome! I wasn’t in any way trying to criticise. I loved each word!

      • Oh, I know 🙂 I always chide myself because I don’t set the clock or follow the “rules” so to speak. But i love the one-word theme from lisa-jo — it always surprises me where it takes us. Blessings 🙂 Aly

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