You might assume I am writing a blog about some good experience I’ve had in my prayer life. But that is not the case. I am writing to tell of an experience I recently had with my wife and sister, as I knelt in prayer before them. It certainly went against my natural inclinations as a man.
I use myself as an example of what is typical of men in their spiritual life. We have difficulty being vulnerable, not being able to “fix” what is wrong in our spiritual walk. It is hard for us to admit that we have needs, especially to other women. There comes a time when we are meant to let go, stop managing our spiritual life and simply surrender to God’s love for us, by crying out for mercy.
This was the case in my life, when my only sister came for a visit. There are only the two of us. Ann Marie is three years younger then myself. I am very thankful for how our relationship has grown in these last years. She is an understanding and very perceptive person.
I have had some spiritual struggles, that I finally was able to admit to her. This was not easy as the older, “spiritual,” pastor brother. I had to admit how needy I was to my younger sister. She was able to pinpoint my dilemma as that of being anxious. It seemed to her, that I was manifesting some of the same traits that our father had when he was my age. I didn’t like what I was hearing.
So I had to digest what I was receiving in a very loving and concerned manner from my wife and sister. Both They both agreed that I was struggling with anxiety. As I was on my prayer walk alone, I sensed that I needed to humble myself before both my wife and sister, by kneeling at the couch, so that they could pray for me.
Now this was not easy for me to do. But I knew God wanted me to do this so that I could get some release from what was going on in my soul. I knelt and confessed my sin of unbelief and my inability to get out of the spiritual slump I was experiencing. Then I asked them to lay hands on me and pray.
I can report that I have gotten some release from inner darkness, along with a freedom to avoid being curled up within, focused on my need rather than trusting Jesus to carry me. It will continue to be a process. But I can testify that when I humbled myself before them and asked for prayer, something got released within my soul so I could gain a new perspective on my journey.
The main reason for writing about this prayer experience is the comment that my sister made after our prayer. She said something to this effect: “I wish more men would do what you have done.” I was surprised at her comment
Again it demonstrates how God can use our weakness, to be our strength. At the end of Jesus parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus says of the tax collector who cried out for God to be merciful to him as a sinner, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).
My advice – don’t resist humbling yourself and seeking help for spiritual needs and struggles, particularly from women who love you.