I learned the power of simple prayers two years ago. My husband had a near-fatal accident when a tree fell on him unexpectedly at work. The last three words in my prayer journal the day prior were “Keep Ron safe.”
Prayers don’t need to be complicated. I’m learning that God desires us to ask him for assistance in every area of our lives. His word says so in Philippians 4:6-7 and other places in the Bible.
This is why I’m praying another uncomplicated prayer about a wound that needs healing. I didn’t quite know what needed healing. I’ve worked through many things in my life. In recent months, a handful of things triggered a response in me that left me wondering, “Where did that come from?”
Though I am a therapist, one of the gentlest things I can do for myself is to remind myself that I’m human and have the capacity for hurts that need healing. Since experiencing the unidentifiable wound, I have been praying, “Lord, heal me.”
Boxes in the Attic
While our family was home for the holidays, we used their manpower to help clear out the attic above our garage. There were boxes from my childhood that included a few journals where I wrote poetry, beginning at age 12.
Within the journals was a seven-year journey through a troubled adolescence of disordered eating, both anorexia and bulimia. It’s not something I talk about much. But as I read the words of the younger me who was immersed in depression, self-loathing, and self-harming behavior, I saw deep, deep wounds still lingering today
I continued to pray, “Lord, heal me,” as I spent a morning reading the journals. I gave myself space to cry and linger with the young girl so lost in pain who tried so hard to heal herself from self-hatred, binging and purging, and consistently failed.
“I’ve played for so long, always vowing tomorrow, now the damage is done. No joy, just painful sorrow. For three long years, every day and every night, the willful struggle became a useless fight. Now I am sick, yearling to be well. I want to be free, away from this state of hell.” –written at 16 years, 9 months.
A Graceful Framework
Reading directly from my younger self who struggled with mental illness, I have a framework for core lies and beliefs that arise today. My prayer for God to heal me was directly answered by Him taking me back to a vulnerable time of adolescence when identities and mindsets are formed.
God has chosen to show me a little girl inside who needs gentle tending. The other morning, a friend and writing colleague texted me. She said I had been in her dream. She asked if there was something specific I needed prayer for.
This friend is one with whom I have a mutual connection in overcoming disordered eating. I hadn’t talked to her in a while–and I knew the text message was another step in God directly answering my prayer.
I shared the details of my recent journey and prayer. And yes, I told her she could pray for me.
This may be the last bit of emotional baggage I’m ready to let go of and lay to rest. I don’t know how long the journey will take. But I already feel a lighter weight. It could be just seeing things in print that validates silent struggles. You may also have such struggles. God is here with us.
God showed me that in all of the places I struggled and felt so alone as a troubled teen, He was there. He showed me how He’s protected me in the hard places where I felt alone and often still do. Perhaps you feel alone in spaces others don’t see or understand. I get that. So does God.
God is showing me at the end of a year that he and I are starting something new. It starts with healing. And I’m ready to go.
My prayer today was, “Let’s go. Lord, show me how.”
Now It’s Your Turn
I don’t know what your simple prayer is for the new year. I invite you to join me in simply praying for what is in your heart. It doesn’t have to be complicated. God will meet you where you are, as you are. I’d love to know how I can pray for you, too.
And if you’d like, join me for more uncomplicated faith and life principles and stories, ask your local bookstore to carry my upcoming book or preorder it now: Uncomplicated: Simple Secrets for a Compelling Life.
Thanks for being a safe space to share the places I (and perhaps you) need healing.