How Do I Pray?

You're not suppose to talk about trying to get pregnant right?

And you definitely don't talk about miscarriages or infertility. You're just suppose to hunker down, for however long it takes, then come up with a creative way to announce it to friends, family and Facebook if/when it's time to "safely" celebrate. Yup, through the first 7 years of marriage, this is what Ally (my wife) and I thought, too. And while we're not talking to others about it, we're not remotely sure how to talk to God about it.

My wife and I went through a season of secondary infertility while trying to have our third child. As the husband, and with two kids already that came without much difficulty, it took me about 8 months before I would even acknowledge this as "infertility". Ally had already developed some fears about this as we had been through it with close friends in church. It would be about another year and two miscarriages before we were able to conceive our baby girl, Norah. 

I had two completely jacked up tendencies as we endured this season: (1) I didn't want anyone to know, including our church family and (2) I prayed the lamest prayers. The prayer part: I've noticed a huge tendency in my entire prayer life where I hedge my bets. It's like I feel like I need to protect God and my faith in Him in case he "doesn't come through".

"God, I only want what you want for us.

A baby would be awesome, but You just do your thing." 

This tendency was amplified in early stages of infertility. I prayed as though God was fragile. I wouldn't have vocalized this, but my prayer life indicated it--I thought that if I just prayed gently enough that a baby or no baby could both be interpreted as a "yes" from God, then I could protect this fragile God, that apparently needed my protection, and I could maintain my fearful, fragile faith. 

Here's the thing I just had to grow into: God is good and God is faithful. I know you've heard that in church before. I know you probably just rolled your eyes a bit, especially if you're in the middle of this. When the disciples, freaking out, woke Jesus up in the middle of a squall that they thought was going to sink their boat and kill all of them, Jesus' response cracks me up. (my paraphrase) I hear his tone like this: "Are y'all serious? For real? You still don't know who I am and you still don't know my love for you, huh? Welp...(storm stops and sea calms IMMEDIATELY)". I realized that I could come to Him with my fragile faith, but I couldn't come to Him as though He was fragile. That boat could've sank, but He's still so good and He's still so faithful. He had that atemporal perspective, but the disciples didn't. We don't. 

So let's boil it down to a couple of things: 

Pray Boldly. Pray the prayer you're scared to pray. Trust in His goodness and faithfulness and eternal perspective. Know that that doesn't mean the story ends the way we want it to. But there's nothing fragile about God that needs protecting. Our trust in Him gets rattled sometimes, not because He falters, but because we simply (and thankfully) aren't Him. He loves you. He's totally and completely faithful

Pray Together. I know the thought process that leads us to keep things private. I'm encouraging you to completely buck that thought process. When you're too scared to pray boldly, let your brothers and sisters do it for you. They're not perfect, and they may even be insensitive at times, but y'all, God knew what He was doing when He designed and empowered His Church. We weep with those who weep and intercede for one another. Let the Church be the Church. 

Praying was difficult to do and even understand its role in this season. But if we focus on who He is and who He designed His Church to be, we start to see the answer. 

- David Saxe  (written from his teaching session at "You Are Not Alone", Waiting in Hope Annual Event in October 2015. David Saxe is a Director & Teacher of a Young Married Adults Life Bible Study, "Journey", at Houston's First Baptist Church. Please connect with David Saxe through Twitter @davidsaxe )


-Waiting in HOPE- How Do I Pray?