Praying in the trenches

Praying in the trenches

Written on 06/24/2020
Natalie Lantz

God doesn’t need our pretty, perfect words

Written by Natalie Lantz

There have been times in my life when I felt like I was crawling through the valley of death, the darkness draping its heavy body over mine. I struggle through these trenches to get to the other side, reminding myself that the light always does come.

Last year, I walked through one of my lowest and darkest trenches so far. There were days where the depression weighed so heavily on my shoulders, accompanied by its good friend, anxiety, that I felt as if I was physically bowing under the weight. There were days where I didn’t know if I could move on, but I learned how to take each day as it came.

That trench drained me of everything I had, yet that’s where I met Jesus face to face. In that pain of wanting the cup removed from my tired hands, He met me there. It was in that trench where I learned how to strip my words and simply ask for help.

It’s in these trenches where honesty happens. There’s a ripping away of the padded words that make my prayers sound pretty to the ears around me. I’m left with the simple “God, I need you right now.” I’m reminded of Jesus in the garden in times like this, how He asked for the cup to be removed, and yet He was willing to keep holding it if that was still God’s plan.

When I’m crawling through these trenches, desperate to get to the other side, my prayers are stripped down to what I can utter through lips dripping with tears. Often, those prayers look like me asking Him to remove the cup. “Take it, I can’t do it anymore.”

It’s in these moments of brutal honesty when I’ve been brought to what I think is the very end of who I am, that He whispers, “Keep going, I’m still here.”

It needs to be said that the trenches will come. There will be dark seasons that leave you questioning. Being in a relationship with the One who created dandelions and paints the sky every morning and night doesn’t mean those trenches won’t come.

But by crawling through these trenches and standing on the other side, I’ve learned I don’t need to fluff up my prayers. He already knows, and He just wants to hear my voice, even when He’s still by my side.

In the garden when Jesus didn’t know how much longer He could hold out, He simply asked God to take the cup. He didn’t explain all the feelings building up in His chest, He simply prayed, knowing His Father already knew.

These are moments we need to tuck away for the seasons spent crawling through the trenches, knowing that honesty with the One who goes before is all we need. In my life, I’ve seen Jesus show up through these honest prayers, the simple, “Hey, I need you right now.”