One day I hope I am spiritually grown up enough to say (and believe), “Prayer is the first and best thing I can do.”  Sadly, today,  after 50 years of Christ following, I sometimes instead find myself saying, “I guess all I can do is pray.”

I was reflecting about this last night after our Family and Friends small group discussion.  We had such a rich time of sharing together about our fears and hopes for our children.  The last few minutes of our discussion turned toward the wonder of what the Lord is up to and how we are recognizing His work in our hearts and minds.

We shared the points of growth we have experienced—often surprised by the context within which  it happens—arising out of our grief like “beauty from ashes” and finding ourselves putting on “a garment of praise instead of despair.”  (Isaiah 61:3)

I am reminded of a comment made by Eugene Peterson during an interview with Bono of U2:

“According to the psalms, the primary use of prayer is not for expressing ourselves but for becoming ourselves—and we cannot do that alone.”

In our small group discussions at Where Grace Abounds, we are not alone.  And in the mutual support we offer one another, we find ourselves becoming bit by bit more and more like Jesus, more and more like who we were designed to be, more and more “becoming ourselves.”

Please pray for our small group discussions on Thursday evenings.  Pray that we will learn, as Annie Dillard has exhorted us in her book, Teaching a Stone to Talk, “the power we so blithely” call upon is so immense, we should be wearing “crash helmets to church” in preparation for the coming of the power of God upon Whom we are calling.

That same God, who the Apostle Paul reminds us, can “do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine,” (Ephesians 3:20), is constantly at work on our behalf and for the best possible outcomes for our children.  Do I believe this?  Lord “I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”  (Mark 9:24)

I want to pray first more often and do my problem solving in the prayer context, with the power of the Holy Spirit infusing my prayers.  Join me?

For further reflection:  The Peterson and Bono interview is delightful and can be found at:  (118) Bono & Eugene Peterson | THE PSALMS – YouTube


Mary Heathman

Mary Heathman

Founding Director

Mary is one of the founders of Where Grace Abounds and served as Executive Director from its inception on July, 1986 through March 31st, 2007.  She speaks and teaches at churches and conferences across the country. She has also served on several boards of non-profit organizations, is a conference speaker on a variety of topics that include: Intimacy with God, Healthy Sexuality, and leadership development.  Currently serving in leadership in her denomination, Mary’s favorite ministry roles are discipleship counseling, group facilitation, and leadership development.

Mary often characterizes herself as “a seeker of Truth” and has a long-standing fascination with human behavior and motivation.  Her education consists of lay and discipleship counseling, independent study about the integration of psychology and theology, counseling and human sexuality. She also holds a BS in Human Services and an MA in Psychology from Regis University.

Mary attends a Friends (Quaker) Church.

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