storefront prayers

I looked at a journal sitting in the front of a store.  The store was just a store.  They sell clothes and stuff, all for girls.  I was with my wife while she looked around and I meandered about until I saw a notebook resting atop an old box at the front of the store.  A prayer journal, for the public, to write their prayers in.  “Surely no one would use this,” I thought to myself.  Our world doesn’t like to reveal such things, even anonymously.  We hold our weakness tight fisted, hidden from light.  To write prayer requests in a storefront journal for others to read through, far too vulnerable.  I stared at it for a while, and finally picked it up.  I flipped through the pages.

“Pray for my mom and dad, please.”

“Life is too hard, pray for me.”

“Pray that my daughter finds God and lets me in.”

“Please pray for the man that I will marry.”

Page after page of true, revelatory words.  I continued to flip through the pages, reading each word.  A few of the entries weren’t serious; but most were completely, utterly vulnerable.  One after another they spoke a shattering truth:  Just because I’m in this fancy store does not mean that I’m ok.

Being vulnerable is hard.  Allowing others to see that side of you, even in an anonymous prayer journal requires a cup of honesty with oneself.  And let’s be honest, if there’s anyone we lie to the most, it is ourselves.  That evening standing there reading that prayer journal I felt part of a community, a peculiar one I admit, but part of it nonetheless.  I didn’t write anything down in the journal, perhaps I’ll go back and do that someday soon.  But I did stop and pray for those requests.  Because they need it.  Because they’re not ok, even though they are shopping or laughing or smiling, they have hurt and pain that I believe only God can heal.  So that’s what I prayed, that God would heal.

We all have storefront prayers.  Those honest, vulnerable words that we dare not utter to another person.  But there’s power in releasing those words.  Whether you write them down on a napkin, whisper them in the night, voice them as you walk, or share them aloud – there is power in being vulnerable before God.

May your storefront prayers be heard and answered.  May your heart be healed.

Lord Have Mercy.

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7 thoughts on “storefront prayers

  1. Greg Harbin

    Couldn’t wait to get home and read this…you amaze me! And so you know, i’ve passed it along to another….they have a granddaughter about 5 that is going in tomorrow for her cancer checkup….figured they’d need a “Storefront Prayer” !

    Reply
  2. Elaine Clevenger

    Thank you Rob for posting storefront prayer, and yes Greg we need prayer. Thank you so much for thinking of Kylie and our family. Wouldn’t it be great if more places would put journals out for people to put their prayers in. There are so many people out there that needs prayer including ourselves. God Bless You Rob, I look forward to reading more of your post.

    Reply
  3. Shannon

    The anonymous nature beckons us to be more honest, I suppose, than we can be in our communities, or inside ourselves. Your words created a picture of the store, and I was there. It makes me want to put a prayer journal in lots of places.

    Reply
    1. Rob Collins Post author

      It is a great idea Shannon. The store I was in has a sign that promises the store employees meet each week to pray over the requests. It’s pretty cool. But the idea of journals left in other places. That’s pretty awesome. Reminds me of people that participate in geocaching, using a gps to find a box hidden somewhere and writing your name on the discovered paper. Perhaps it could be done with Journals too 🙂

      Reply
  4. Katie

    I know just how hard it is to strip away the layers, gather courage, humble ones self and say pray for me. The hardest and most honest thing I ever did was letting you pray God’s will be done over Landon the day he passed. Thank you for my storefront prayer.

    Reply

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