A Prayer for Confidence

Here’s the truth: we want to get well but we don’t know how.

Instead, we know how to compare ourselves to other people, to other ideals, and even to a former, romanticized version of ourselves.

We know how to step on scales and shame ourselves, how to measure and sigh and loathe our choices.

We know how to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different outcomes.

And so we have traded the bread and the wine for a gluten-free version of the lie.

We swallow it down like it’s our last supper.

But we want to get well.

We don’t want to linger on the mat of self-pity.

We want to get well.

We don’t want to carry shame any longer.

We want to get well.

We want to be free of our own opinions of ourselves shaped by our mothers’ and fathers’ opinions of themselves shaped by a thousand images, assumptions, and expectations that are wrong in the world.

We want to walk with courage as men and women who know we are accepted.

We want to stop measuring, weighing, counting.

We want to take walks, to laugh deeply, to eat without guilt and play without so much self-awareness.

If we are honest, we want to be beautiful and we want to be loved.

And so we stand in Your presence and refuse to simply ask for courage as if Your hand is hidden deep within a velvety green bag, cosmic fingers wrapped around our deepest longings.

You don’t hold a bag with answers inside for each of us if only we would say the right words.

We’ve been through too much together to keep seeing you as the Wizard of Oz.

You are not other-than us. Not any more. Now, You live within us.

And so what we ask is more intimate than a transaction. We are not asking for courage, but begging for You to be our courage.

You came to live inside our bodies. You have made our hearts Your home.

Live out Your promise from the inside. Be courage on our behalf.

We are tired of our own opinions.

We are weary of expecting criticisms and being suspicious of compliments.

It seems an odd thing to ask for the confidence to accept ourselves as we are, not as we think we should be.

But we ask it anyway because where else will we go? We have already turned to the mirror, the world, the memories of ourselves back then or the longing for ourselves one day. But from those, we always come away with empty hands and hollowed out hearts.

You say we are Your beloved.

We confess how hard that is to accept.

We want to get well.

We want to believe you when you say we already are.

Teach us to be gentle and kind with ourselves, we pray.

A Prayer for When You Need Some Confidence

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