I’m Afraid To Pray For Myself: A Prodigal Perspective


December 29, 2016 by Renee Griffin


The foamy surf reaches out with green gray fingers.

Over and over the rolling water reaches for my toes.

How close will I wander?

Do I let the water reach me or hold a safe distance?

My heart guides close enough to feel the spray, but my feet resist the nudge to step in.

The same resistance forms when prayers for myself begin extending from weary places.

It’s hard to pray for myself.

Prayers for others pour out in waves of endless, passionate pleas.

Prayers uttered over my pain, my struggle, my needs melt away like castles of sand built beside ocean’s edge.

If I’m transparent, prayers for myself sound like the voice of a prodigal child.

I walk along the edge.

Roll back.

Roll back.


The break is familiar.

Hard crashing forces inflict anticipated blows.

The weapons collide with welcoming wounds.

Broken pieces embrace the breaking.

Roll back and break me again.

A brief pause to catch my breath, roll back, and I’ll break myself again.

If no new wounds appear, memories and deeply rutted thoughts step in to break me.

I stay on the edge until the rolling, breaking water suddenly changes.


There’s more to see here.

After the roll, after the break, there’s a reaching out.

I didn’t see it before.

Eyes gazing ahead on the shore line capture a new vision. I see thousands of fingers endlessly reaching.


He’s reaching out for me.

There on the sands of safety, where my prodigal heart resists, He opens my eyes.

Don’t be afraid of Me.

Stumble into My Presence.

I see you.

I’ll never tire of reaching out for you, right where you are.


“If you’re lost and wandering
Come stumbling in like a prodigal child
See the walls start crumbling
Let the gates of glory open wide

If you’re lost and wrecked again
Come stumbling in like a prodigal child
See the walls start crumbling
Let the gates of glory open wide
His invitation bears no earthly expiration.”

-Crowder, Lift Your Head Weary Sinner

Click here to listen to Lift Your Head Weary Sinner.


He calls out, Come to Me.

Reach out. Roll back.

Reach out. Roll back, again.


I see Him clearly beside His ocean.

Beside the waters He formed, He reminds me of a far greater fact: He sees me.

Kelly Balarie writes in Fear Fighting, “When we open our eyes to the greater possibilities, we enter an immersive experience where love comes alive, where the pin-drop nature of God’s whispers are heard, and where the form of who we were actually made to be emerges.”

My eyes open wide as the root of my fear washes up on the shore.


You fear My Presence because you anticipate punishment.

You accept the breaking because it’s what you believe you deserve.

You fear you aren’t good enough to pray for yourself.


The salty tears mix with swirling waves as Your Words from Ephesians 1 remind me who I am in You:

* blessed with “every spiritual blessing” v.3
* chosen “in Him, before the creation of the world” v.4
* holy & blameless “in His sight” v.4
* adopted ‘through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His PLEASURE and will” v. 5
* redeemed “through His blood” v. 7
* forgiven “in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” v.7

Replacing words of fear, doubt, & insecurity with God’s Word, a prayer for myself adjusts my prodigal perspective.

I’ll leave it here in case you need these words for yourself.



This anxious heart stumbles in dragging chains. Stepping past my fears, wading into deep waters, letting You wash me with Your Word, pull me close into Your Presence. Thank You for opening my eyes to ridiculous lies I’ve chosen to believe. Your conviction isn’t condemnation. You don’t speak shame. Your wounds on the cross nullify my need to wound myself with false voices embedded by the enemy. Change my prodigal perspective and give me new vision to see myself as Your chosen, adopted, blessed, and redeemed daughter. Give me courage as I pray for others, to also pray for myself.

In Jesus’ Name,


In a few days, my friend Kelly Balarie’s new book, Fear Fighting, will launch into the world. Kelly has battled fear. She knows the grip fear takes on a life. Fear Fighting will encourage you, challenge you, and equip you to reach out for Jesus and overcome fear.

Learn more about Kelly on her websites http://www.fearfightingbook.com and http://www.purposefulfaith.com.

Grab a copy for yourself and a few for your friends!


8 thoughts on “I’m Afraid To Pray For Myself: A Prodigal Perspective

  1. Jenn says:

    I love how He put it on both of us to post about the ways He speaks to us, reaches us, sees us and how that Presence combats fear. It’s time, my dear loved and chosen one. It’s time. Hallelujah and amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. it’s good to hear your voice again.


  3. mbethany says:

    Beautiful Renee! I’ve put this thought into words, thanks for saying it and speaking life into this fearful tendency so clearly!


  4. Kristine says:

    I know exactly what you mean! Why is is that we struggle to pray for ourselves? Your image of the seashore paints a perfect picture of God’s love. Beautiful, Renee!


    • Isn’t it the strangest thing? To struggle to pray for ourselves shouldn’t happen. Since writing this post, I have been able to pray for myself more than ever. Thanks for stopping by, Kristine. I appreciate your comments.


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