It’s Hard to Pray Sometimes

Our street has been a unique gift to us. Our neighbors are amazing, and we are thankful to be here. We’ve shared many a meal with them, babysat each other’s kids, handed out halloween candy together, cried together, and pulled many a prank together late at night in our pajamas.


But we find ourselves in the “searching for security cameras” mode because there’s a string of robberies happening on our street, primarily to vacant houses that are for sale, which leaves a gross unsettling feeling because we have no idea who’s out there lurking about, keeping an eye on our street.

It sometimes makes me want to move. We’ve done this before, lived in a neighborhood where our house got broken into three times back when Luke was in medical school and I was pregnant with Amaleah, and we finally moved. And some of those memories flash back to me and I don’t like it, the feeling that we aren’t safe anymore.

I’m sure though, that moving isn’t the answer right now, for several reasons. First, you might be able to move into a gated community or a community that doesn’t seem to get hit as hard, but the feeling of perceived safety is honestly a false sense of security, and I can’t rest on it. Secondly, we know we aren’t finished here, yet.

I can’t get away from the fact that we are here, on this street, for now, for a reason. I don’t know how long, it’s probably not forever, but God is working, and I have a hunch that there’s more work to be done, and that it may be slow right now, but the waiting and the journey is part of our job here.

Even in that, I come to this place with doubt. Doubt because sometimes it feels like we are at a standstill, and I’m not sure why. We’ve been here for almost 9 years, and it seems much the same. And I’m not sure how to read that.

The house directly across from us has been vacant for awhile. We’ve begun to wonder if anyone will ever buy it and actually settle down, after having several renting families there and now no one for a very long time.

In my heart I’ve prayed for a Christian family to move in, to grow to be our friends and to help serve our street and our neighborhood. Another neighbor has been praying super hard for this as well. But I know I’ve prayed in doubt, and in hopelessness.

I’ve realized that I so highly doubt that’s going to happen that I’ve all but given up praying for it. It just seems almost too good to be true and almost just too much to ask.

I’m not sure why I think it’s too much to ask. It kind of goes along with how I think it’s too much to ask the Lord to bring a family to our church that is in the throws of public schooling, and better yet maybe someone that goes to our public school too, so that we can have that in common and journey through it together.

These things seem like dreams to me, and it just feels so selfish to pray for them.

But why? Why do I hesitate to beg God to do these things that my heart longs for? Do I think He won’t do it because I want it too much? Or do I just think He won’t do it because He’s too busy doing other big things to care about my teeny tiny part of the world and my teeny tiny desire for friends in my same location doing what we do?

I’m not sure I have an answer, friends. And to be clear, I’m not depressed about this stuff, I’m just pondering, and hoping for hope–hoping that I might feel free to pray for the details of my life that matter to me, knowing that God does care for these details. And trusting His answer, that it’s best for me and that He’s doing a work that I can’t always see or understand.

Is there something you’re afraid of praying about? Something you feel almost selfish speaking out into the light and letting God listen? Let’s boldly approach the throne of grace and pray our hearts out before God, no matter how silly we feel about it.


Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 2.28.47 PM

Share this onShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest
  • Kendra

    Hey Gabby, I don’t think it is wrong to pray for these things and to hope for them as you keep perspective that this world is not our home. Also, by way of encouragement, there was an abandoned house diagonal from us several years. We prayed for a family to move in with kids the ages of ours, prayerfully Christians. This summer a guy bought it, rehabbed and flipped it to sell. In November it sold to a family with 3 kids the same age as ours, homeschooling, but not believing. We have been reaching out and playing over winter. God delighted to answer our prayer, showing me and my family He hears. We have big prayers now, for God’s provision for a new ministry position for Mark, for trust in His perfect plan in closing our church, and His sustaining grace in leaving our playset here at our house when the time comes to move. I think the simpler prayers and answers are a means of seeing God’s goodness, preparing us for the harder prayers. Love you friend.

    • Gabrielle

      I love hearing from you Kendra! Thanks for sharing all of this. It’s so true, that the simpler prayers sort of prepare us for the harder prayers. And I so understand about leaving your playset, something probably very important to your sweet kiddos. I’ll be praying for you as your family walks through this time of transition. I think you both are walking a very brave path, it takes courage to close a church because you know it’s the right thing to do. You inspire me. Miss you sweet friend!