I Can’t Pray

There is it in black and white. Staring me in the face.

One time in Tulsa I went to a salon to get a spray tan. So I entered the room they sent me to and the girl starting giving me directions. She told me to leave “all” my clothes “over there”….

After that, whatever else she said was kind of fuzzy. Long story short – a complete stranger spray tanned me in my birthday suit. The most awkward moment of my life. Still can’t believe I did that…but enjoyed some laughs with my friends later.

This is more vulnerable and more awkward than that.

I just cannot pray.

It’s the elephant in every room with me. I think he sits on my bedside table when I’m sleeping. And tries to squeeze into the small guest bathroom with me.

It invades every thought I have. Even that space in the back when I’m not thinking.

I tried in my car recently. To pray. I started and ended with “God?….”

To explain (for lack of a better word) how deep this really goes with me, it would matter how much I prayed before.

I’m a pastor’s wife…and a Christian since I was 14, so this doesn’t really jive with my life. I get asked almost daily to pray for someone, and I’m like, “Uhhhh…..”

After the long “Uh” in my mind, I don’t really know what I spew out. And, really, trying to teach or lead anything gospel right now is like spewing old milk on people. I’ve got nothing.

I’ve wondered if I should just pull away from everything ministry (like that’s possible). Can I just go to a beach somewhere for a month until I might possible have the courage to listen to Him, for Him, again? Or honestly, sometimes I want to insert earplugs and pretend I never knew what it was like to hear Him.

I had a hurt. That’s vague…and an understatement. But, for another day. Prior to that time, I would call my daily talks with God, sometimes for hours….intimate. And when I walked (stumbled, fell?) into a very “dark night of the soul” when it was like “beating on the doors of heaven with bruised knuckles” (George Buttrick)….everything I thought I knew about God and his communion style with me was questioned (read ruined). Because we all know we can figure Him out.

I’m still there, I guess. Peeling through a dark space, typing almost blind.

The curtains seem to move in the wind, like a light wants to come in. Like I can have what I had before.

I lack courage. I know I’m afraid of disappointment again. But deep down, in that inner part of my heart – I know Him from my youth. I know the strong, loving personal God who visited with me by my bedside and spoke to my heart, burned my heart in His Word.

I saw a picture in my mind recently of a great chasm. I was on one side. He on the other. And the “Christian” answer is: Jesus closed that space between us. Yet, I’m still sitting on this edge, my feet dangling. Unsure, but wanting to hold His hand again.

I’ve missed out on so many prayers for so many people in need. And I’ve just plain been off balance – like those people in the V8 commercials.

Honesty is my feeble way of standing up on the ledge, wanting to fall into Him…..while wishing He would take my hand, sit me down again, and say, “You don’t have to rush this, Ginger.”




  1. Thanks for being honest and vulnerable. You’ll never know who you will reach when you share. I too am having trouble praying for myself right now and I need it ! ( Concerns about my parents – and Mom with Alzheimers ) I miss the way I used to feel His presence. Your description of being “off balance” fits it to a tee. I KNOW that He is near and trying to teach me something but I’m struggling to learn what it is. We’re going on vacation soon and I’m looking forward to being still and listening – going to that secret place where I can be with Him and He can make me like Him.( song: Wrap Me in Your Arms). You have always been an inspiration to me – don’t under estimate yourself – you don’t have to DO ministry – you ARE ministry. We can’t help it when we share our lives.


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