An excerpt from Pray, Like a Woman in Labor pgs.9-11:
Prayer Born in the Night
“”Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.””~Lamentations 2:19
Thank you for joining me here. There’s a story behind this book of prayers. As a part of my invitation to you, I’d like to begin there…
When we have been born in the image of God a flame has been lit inside. It is flame born of Flame and to that original Flame we must return again and again. I have found this possible in my loneliest hours—the most anxious and gripping moments have often been as I lay on my bed at night.
At first, I thought these feelings of anxiety had come only to pain me, torture me, in restless wakefulness in those precious few hours of sleep motherhood often affords.
One night in particular, as I laid there, desperate for relief from the ache of anxiety that gripped me, a moment of realization occurred. In that space, I finally knew that this deep burning in my chest was not there to harass me. It was there to compel me. It was not there for me to turn back from, as I had always thought: “do not be anxious about anything” in the Bible meant. On this night, I saw this deep inside me and it was need. It was holy. It was invitation. Deep calling out to deep. Flame seeking to return to Flame, to be fed again.
As a Christian I knew the Bible said,
…do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Somehow though, I had turned that into a practice of turning away from the anxiety—trying to be thankful in prayer instead—hoping it would “replace” the anxiety. On that night, I saw I didn’t have to turn away. I could press through—reach through—the anxiety. This deep inside me, calling out to The Deeper still.
Like a rope hung out for me on a treacherous cliff, I grabbed hold and yelled for my Salvation, as if my life depended on it— “Jesus!!”. My spirit soared through this jungle of pain that I felt lost in and suddenly I was lifted higher! So high.
“I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog, and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
~Psalm 40:1 & 2
I realized even as this was occurring that this was my spirit and the Holy Spirit of God meeting. My spirit was crying out to my Maker—the only One who could save me. I was praying from a completely different place within me that I never had consciously before and this place was made for this. It was carved out by my Creator, filled with deep longing, dire need, in order to teach me the way to intimacy with Him…
Thank you for reading this excerpt! If you would like to read more, here’s how…Buy the Book
A note from Raynna:
My personal story continues on from here for several pages and then a collection of prayers follow, with several Scripture quotations for each day, prompts for chewing on the ideas prayed about that day and then some space for writing your own prayers and thoughts.
In this book I’ve put my heart onto the page and shared a collection of prayers seeking seeking wisdom and vision to be faithful in the work of serving and living an awake, set apart life. It is a 14-day, written and photographic, journey based on the prayer Jesus taught his disciples. As a mom to six I have written this from the trenches with mothers in mind, but I hope it will be a source of strength and tool for women who nurture and lead in many positions in life.
To encapsulate my perspective shared in this book:
In the quiet (and not so quiet), deep places in us call out to the deep of God. We often call it anxiety or fear, but it is miracle too.
A miracle of labor and birth, of spirit and truth. He invites us into this work with Him. Like a woman in labor whose pain is not pointless, our pain is an invitation that beckons us to experience the very presence of God. We were created for this communion.—From back cover, Pray, Like a Woman in Labor, by Raynna Myers
What others are saying:
“We find, during our fleeting life on this earth, that Love and Fear are dual realities.
Raynna, drawing deeply from her own experience as a wife and mother of six beautiful and lively children, illustrates how the two can be woven together to form a garment of praise and prayer. What flows further from this coalescing is a resolution to pain, fear and anxiety by pressing in and passing through them in the Name of Love; which results in an outpouring of God’s glory. Whether a physical or spiritual parent, or simply a seeker with a hungry heart, the birthing of this glory transforms one’s life. It then pours forth to transform the world, around us and beyond, in ways we cannot imagine but that God knows and sees…” ~From the foreword written by Keren Hannah Pryor, Author of A Taste of Torah and A Dash of Drash
“These prayers came into my life when I knew I was being called to a deeper union with Christ, but I didn’t know what to do about it. The daily meditations gave my soul the words I wanted to say to God, but couldn’t seem to find. I spent time each morning praying these prayers and reflecting. What struck me the most was the beauty of what God had done in the writer’s own soul – the wisdom, the honesty, and the intimacy I could see on each page gave me hope that God could do the same in my life.” ~Seana Haggard