Big, Brave, Badass Prayers

Please forgive my rude title.  Desperate people need desperate words, and my dictionary says “badass” means 1) tough or aggressive, or 2) formidable, excellent.

I mean it in the first sense, with all the brokenness and bewilderment that I can summon alongside it.

Because this prayer thing? I’m lost.  I’m bewildered and broken, and I’m finding that sometimes that calls for big, brave prayers. Badass prayers, even. Prayers that Psalmists prayed: laments, petitions, cries for deliverance.

It is one thing to pray for pain and brokenness when I am alone. And it is another thing to pray for pain and brokenness when I am in the company of other believers: I have learned the Christian etiquette of praying “thy will be done”. We cover all our bases: praying that things will get better, but then adding “but if they don’t, then please comfort us in our disappointment”.

However, it is another thing altogether to have found myself praying for pain and brokenness this past week in the company of beloved ones who don’t call themselves Christians and who don’t know the “cover all your bases” (by which we mean, cover all God’s bases for Him) type of prayers. To pray about situations with God-sized problems and which need God-sized answers in the hearing of someone who is not sure if God is even listening calls for a kind of faith muscle I’m not accustomed to flexing.  As Rachel Marie Stone insightfully pointed out, maybe it calls for the prayers of the Psalms and other Biblical figures, rather than the prayers of our protestant practice.

Something deep shifted in me, and I found myself praying big, brave prayers for specific relief in specific ways. I asked for huge relief, without adding the fineprint of  “but if you don’t do it…” clauses. And as my words came out loud, these words were whispered in my soul:

woman-praying-silhoutteOh God – SHOW UP here! DO SOMETHING!
Your name and reputation depends on it!
Please, show up, and show you are real and you care.
Stoke my faith, and light theirs into being.
Please, O Lord, Show Up!

I am simultaneously terrified and emboldened. I feel a little of the Psalmists’ pulse: a cry for deliverance, a cry for vindication, an appeal to God’s honor. I’m still praying make it count .  And I’m clinging to Jesus for an Amen.

10 thoughts on “Big, Brave, Badass Prayers

  1. Something scary came up yesterday, and I said to Andy, “I have absolutely no doubt at all whatsoever that this will work out how it should. My faith in God is never shaken. But that doesn’t mean I’m not scared about the getting there part…. sometimes God’s way is HARD, and I want it to be EASY.” And I find my prayers reflecting that. “Please God, your will be done, but in a fun, ohsoeasy way. Thank you, amen.” Ha! I wish.

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