Prayer in the Wilderness

We’re sitting side by side and I can see the pain in her eyes. It’s palpable. Trying to make sense of a situation that just doesn’t. Trying to balance love and pain and loss all at once.

“I pray, Katie,” she tells me. “I pray for others. I pray only to accept what He wants for me.”

And I can feel something stirring in our conversation, a desire to reach out and tell her that God might want something different. But I wait because I can’t make sense of what He is laying on my heart yet and it is always best to wait until He speaks.

A couple of days later, I read these words: “You should pray wilder.”* And that’s it. Those are the words. So I tell her to let go of the rote. Of asking for things for others. Of putting herself last on the list. “Be wildly selfish in prayer this week,” I tell her. “I promise you’ll see God.”

How often do we put ourselves at the bottom of the list? How often do we feel too selfish to pray for ourselves?

But doesn’t God tell us I knew you before you were created. (Psalm 139) Does He not desire to know every nook and cranny of our hearts, even the dark places? Even the places that seem sour and selfish and spent on too much spite?

I think He does.

I think He wants to know us because in so doing, we let Him in. We let Him know the parts of us that are hurting and isn’t that where God does His most magnificent work? In the healing? In the broken places of ourselves that we just can’t piece together? The parts we are breaking ourselves against like waves in a thrashing sea against the shore?

I think we should let Him be the shore. I think we should let ourselves crash into Him mightily and see how He calms the storm within us. See how He crests the waves with grace and understanding and heals us from the inside out.

Are you praying faithfully but feel like your prayers are going nowhere? Like God is passing you by? I know, friend. I've been there. You're praying in the wilderness. But God meets us there if we let Him. Sometimes, we have to turn our thinking on its head. Sometimes, we have to turn our prayer on its head too.

*Preston Yancey

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Jennifer McLucas

Oh yes! Thank you so much for the beautiful reminder.


    Thank you, Jennifer! Love you, friend <3


Beautiful and so full of truth. Katie, you amaze me and I love your heart!


    So blessed by you, Wynter. Thank you so much for your encouragement!


Great point! So often I have looked for God on the mountaintop–in a pure one on one ecstasy where my prayers result in enlightenment, peace & understanding. But in this cluttered life, we have to find him among the noise & rubble of daily living. I love that you say to crash upon him with our needs & hurts. I take solace in knowing he hears us when we cry out. The louder, the better!


Sue & Merle – Your Dad sent us your blog address and I just took the tour of your phtoos which really is wonderful and artistic. Great job! I think the last time I saw you was when you were playing with Legos you have definitely found your nitch! Congratulations.