A Midlife Prayer Offered in the Middle of the Night

***I took this post down yesterday, so that I could add a few explanatory thoughts that might be helpful if this seems “heavy.”  This is a real prayer first written in my journal – just between God and me. Friends have asked me how to pray — to have a personal relationship with Jesus. There are many answers. I decided to share one intimate prayer of my own.

I posted this with a lightness of heart and spirit only God can provide. He showed me that while the backside of life and the empty nest require a lot of letting go, it’s not predominantly about loss but change. And that there is value and purpose NOW – especially growing more like Jesus, which means more like myself every day. This half (including a few tears) is a wonderful gift we can slowly unwrap and savor until we understand fully what’s at its center (spoiler alert: it’s Jesus).

My blogs often involve being vulnerable and allowing others a view into my heart. My prayer below is a glimpse of a small fragment of my prayer-life — which is filled with honesty, love and joy.  Please read this noticing how God moved me from acknowledging my fear (the world tempts us all with its ways) to victory and joy. To Him be the Glory!***

The response to moms at midlife was humbling. My husband said men experience similar emotions and told me he wanted to read more… for me to answer so what now?

I don’t know. I’m not there yet. God’s still working out His plan and asking me to share my journey as it unfolds. The vulnerability  that requires is scarier than the actual experience. But God has never disappointed me when I listen and obey Him.

IMG_0176I’m no longer at home in my “normal” life. I usually sleep well, but restless, I started to pray this morning around 3 am.

Dear Jesus, I’m scared. I’m not sure who I am or what I’m doing — but I’m pretty sure I’m off-track. Something feels wrong. I need Your help.

I’m thinking about my children and the details of their lives; You are good. I’m worried about my parents, our business; You are sovereign. My neck hurts and doctors have no answers; You are my Healer…

I’m quickly recognizing that I’m more focused on circumstances than Your character and faithfulness. I’m not trusting You. Why can’t I hang on to what I know to be true? I know You use all things for good – I’ve lived it. Yet, I feel stress, unrest and fear.  Is this something you can work with?

IMG_5919You say Your strength is made perfect in my weakness — I am ripe for the pickin. I know myself to be less strong, less in control, less knowledgable, less proud, less attractive, less useful… than I ever thought before.

I’m 50 years old and often don’t know what to do, and don’t do what I know is right. My head knowledge masquerades as faith, while my heart so often doubts the Truth. I don’t feel as together as I thought I would at 50.

I conformed to this world’s idolatrous bill of goods instead of believing Your Word alone. How ridiculous that I thought life was about events, accomplishments and circumstances I could piece together and control — instead of about You. Instead of fearing You, I’ve put you in a box I could understand, and built a life around that. It turns out it was a house of cards… and what has proven to be truly meaningful in my life is all about You, relationships and love.

IMG_1059I naively thought if I checked the boxes, did my best (or at least followed conventional wisdom), life would look a certain way. Today’s reality wasn’t my vision. In fact, this whole in-between stage was never on my radar. I’m totally caught off guard. My present life is a blank slate of sorts. Maybe that’s how you want it?

I know it sounds dumb — and it was — but I didn’t anticipate my body beginning to ache, pooch and wrinkle. Not yet. I believed in my parent’s immortality, too. I thought if I was a great mom I could protect my children, and they wouldn’t have to learn things the hard way as I did. It’s difficult letting go of what was and what was supposed to be, even though I know you love us all more than I can comprehend.

I took the financial climate of the 80s and 90s for granted, and let it offer me security. It’s obvious now that the global economy is fragile, and my trust was misplaced. You are my only real supply. And you offer abundance.

I’ve been surprised by the many troubles I’ve encountered in a fallen world, even though you gave me fair warning. I thought people were basically good and life would constantly get easier. I believed in arriving at some greener patch of grass — just around the bend. You are teaching me to lose entitlement and live in consuming gratitude — usually my best lessons have come in the midst of storms.

IMG_4167I welcomed the freedom of living in the United States and felt sorry for people in many other nations. “They” were the ones we send prayers, money and missionaries to. I never dreamed of terrorism on our soil or of Christians being persecuted here. I fear it’s only the beginning. I never thought I would really have to suffer for You.  Listening to the news is beginning to humble me;  I want to be courageous and honor Your Name, if that’s where You lead me.

Jesus, forgive me. I haven’t been humbled nearly enough by your completed work on the cross. Or overwhelmed by your love for me. I haven’t feared you. I’ve often asked You to bless my own desires, then been surprised by unfavorable outcomes. I haven’t understood my sin or taken it as seriously as You did. I still condemn myself instead of fully accepting your forgiveness and freedom.  You are teaching me more and more about the magnitude of Your Grace, Glory and Majesty.

IMG_0747I can talk a good game, Jesus, but I want to walk your walk. Drink from your cup. I know how earthbound my heart is. My hope is in YOU Lord, but this world’s promises tempt and distract me. You are wooing me to be still at your side. To prayer and listening.

I see You in it all, Lord. Before me, behind me, holding me, guiding me. This season is a gift, isn’t it? Thank you!

Forgive me for resisting it. Keep teaching me what it looks like to repent. To turn toward You. Jesus, here I am at 50, a hot-flashing mess of a child. But I’m Your child and heir, and you love me. I desperately want You, despite my selfish ways. You will never leave me. You want to bless me with abundant Life.

IMG_1324My hands are open, Lord. Take what I need to let go of.  Fill me with your Spirit. Teach me what it means to let You carry my burdens. Your yoke is light. Teach me how to love my neighbors well and how to be a friend who loves at all times.

Lord you are dissipating today’s stress and fear and replacing them with hope. I am closer to You than ever before. You are my Life. My changing body is clay in Your hands. Mold me into whatever vessel pleases you. I want to reflect You.

Thank you for this unique season where the noise is a little less and distractions more negotiable. I have ample time to pray; Lord give me discipline and desire for You. I want to hear Your voice.

Jesus, I sense this second half of life is less about loss than I thought. “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” You are actively working in my life. As long as I surrender my will, each day I will more closely resemble the woman you created me to be. I’ll be a little more like Jesus.

IMG_1840Give me patience in the journey. Sometimes I just want to be home with You. The joy of the Lord is my strength! Fill me to overflowing. I’ll trust You and lean not on my understanding. With You all things are possible. I will not fear for You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Teach me to trust Your Word, not my fickle feelings.

It’s a bold prayer offered in total weakness, Jesus. I’m trusting You to have Your way in my life and to help me remain focused on You. You knew this was how 50 would look on me. You began a good work in me and by grace through faith, You promise to finish it.

Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I am greatly encouraged by your comments and thoughts!  If you would like to get future posts by email, please let me know below. You can unsubscribe at any time.






12 thoughts on “A Midlife Prayer Offered in the Middle of the Night

  1. L, another amazingly honest, descriptive (and familiar picture for many of us) in the form of a prayer I could never have articulated! Thank you for sharing your gift!

  2. Profound thoughts… Takes such courage to share all that’s in your heart. No doubt God has you right where He wants you… Poised to hear Him and be open to what His direction is for your life. Our God loves you (and me:)) in a way we will never be able to completely understand or wrap our heads and hearts around. Be encouraged… Love you and your willingness to share your burdens, vulnerabilities, challenges and the deep love you have in your heart. Thank you for your 3am prayer…sometimes that’s when God does His best work:)

  3. i love this description of your heart at this transitional time in your life, Louise. Jesus is pleased to speak through you in this place.

    1. As always, Ed — it means a lot coming from you — one of the most honest and authentic people I know. Thank you.

  4. Louise, I wish I could have prayed that prayer on my own. Thank you for helping me to pray almost exactly how I feel and have felt. I am trusting Him more but never enough, the flesh and world can corrupt our ability to trust totally. Jesus understands, as He was human, and forgives us. Our names are written in the palm of His hand, He calls us by name, He promised He would not forget us. He is faithful! Thank you for being courageous and vulnerable to share this. We all are broken, and He loves and forgives. We will always be broken until we see him face to face. God is love and He loves us and calls us in our brokenness by name. Amazing!
    I am so blessed to have you as my sister.
    Love, Mames

    1. Mames — I think what you have written here is beautiful! You are very courageous and vulnerable and your love for Him spills over to so many. I too am blessed that you’re my sister. You’re welcome and thank you. Much love!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *