My prayers usually start with gratitude and thanksgiving for the blessings in my life. Half the time, lying in bed, I fall asleep - never getting to the good part when I ask God for the desires of my heart.
As a young brat, I fought my mother each and every Sunday, refusing to attend church. There were times we would arrive at church, I would refuse to go in, and she would leave me in the car until the service was over. Why she didn't beat me, we'll never know. I'd like to see my future children try that one...it wouldn't go over well. I never felt a connection with our church and I sure didn't feel a connection to the snobby girls in Sunday School that never talked to me and left me sitting all alone. Slowly, I pushed church to the back of my mind. Thanks to DM for helping me find the church I needed. The church that allows people of all walks of life, all stages in the game - believers and seekers. For once, if I miss a Sunday, things are just not right that week.
I've always prayed, but not regularly. There is something about losing children that makes you a praying professional. I have prayed more deliberate prayers in the last year and a half than I have in the last 30 years. When the grief strikes me many times during the day, I have to remind myself to slow down, stop, breathe, and pray.
So, today on this National Day of Prayer, I pray for the health and safety of family and friends, my friend's children, and my sweet little kindergartners. I pray for the strength to keep going. The strength to not give up until I am holding my newborn baby or a baby I have chosen as my own. I pray for humility, wisdom and grace. I pray for comfort and patience. I pray for kindness and love. I pray for energy and serenity. I pray for gratitude. I pray for forgiveness...someday soon I will forgive myself for the loss of Kinsey and Ryan. I pray for so much more, but most importantly - I pray for peace.
I've learned I don't need to have my thoughts organized and coherent. They don't need to be elaborate or profound. I don't need to set aside a certain time or place. God listens and hears a sincere, "Amen," wherever I am. I know someday he will grant me the desires of my heart - even if I voice them from a snore.