The Power of Prayer

I have, in the young life of my marriage, bought two copies of Stormie O'Martian's The Power of a Praying Wife, both for myself. I bought the first not long after we were married, rolled my eyes at the rigid gender roles, and tossed it into the library donation bag. About six months ago, I bought it again.

The gender roles still drive me batty. But I'm a big believer in, "take what you like and leave the rest," so I'm trying. I'm looking for dirty-laundry prayers, and not sunbathed-meadow ones, and and I appreciate that Ms. O'Martian is trying to speak to the ordinary parts of our lives. The Celts are good for this, imbuing the mundane with gratitude and recognizing the presence of the sacred, but the language isn't quite what I want. Right now, I just want to remember to bring all the crap, all the regular stuff to God. I'm not having a mountaintop time, I think it's ditch-digging time for me, and I don't want all the ruffles and flourishes.

I'm not sure that we mainliners are very good at this. We give awfully pretty prayers, but I think I've forgotten to say, "Hey, here's what's going on. I'd really appreciate some help with it." (I say this to affirm that language is sacred, not to deny it. I love those beautiful prayers. We need all the richness and complexity we can get, but in the course of attending to complexity, sometimes we omit the necessary texture and contrast that simplicity brings.)

So, in honor of the mandatory Wednesday night church services of my youth (thank you, Miss Lynn and Mr. Dail), I'd like to initiate Prayer Request Wednesdays, and anyone who wants to join in is welcome. I'll pray for your messy lives, and if you're so inclined, you'll pray for mine. We won't fix each other's problems, we'll just ask God to do whatever it is God's inclined to do.

Here's what I've got this week:
  • We would really love for Mr. M to find a new job. The current one is increasingly unhappy.
  • If that new job could involve moving, we would really love to strike out and have adventure in a new place.
  • Mr. M and I really need to relax and have fun. We're getting cranky and taking ourselves too seriously.

If there's any way I can pray for you, let me know in the comments. If you'd like to email me, you're welcome to do that, too.


  1. SarahB2:04 PM

    Oh, this is nice, Di! Prayers requested for Devin and I to make it through this fall and come out in January safely in DC, with a decent place to live, and good jobs that pay our bills! Or, really, no matter what our financial or logistical state, that we're glad we made the move.

  2. Great post Di. I love those beautiful rich prayers too, but if that is all you say, their beauty eventually fades and even they seem mundane. God desires a relationship with us which implies sharing the beauty as well as the dirt.
    I recently read something attune to the fact that there are peaks and valleys in life but most of the time you're on the path between them. I kind of feel like I'm in a valley but hopefully on the path away from it. I'd like prayer for that. Thanks!

  3. Apparently, there's a saying in Quakerism: "Friend speaks my mind." I always heard this from the lips of a non-Quaker, and another Quaker friend of mine would say she was using it wrong - BUT - I think your post is RIGHT ON!

    I too waver between loving the ornateness of some of the prayers I read in our prayerbook, and just wanting a prayer (I can remember!) to help me stay on track when I have to get my kids out the door to school in the morning.

    And I love it that you are accepting prayers here. What a great idea.

    So, I have 2:

    1) Please pray for my husband as he begins a new medicine for his psoriatic arthritis.
    2) Help me get to the root of my anger and distress - frustration - at home, and help me to let it go. I love my family, please help me find ways to express THAT (and not get annoyed when I have to repeat myself over and over.) Help me find the way to get the household routines to a point where I don't get upset about non-compliance.... something along those lines....

    Thank you!


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins