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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 195 - Prayers

We're linked with Messy Marriage's From Messes To Messages. Please drop by for some great posts about all aspects of marriage.

Being a caregiver for anyone is hard, and you're going to need help to keep it all together. Friends, family, co-workers...they're all important.

But don't forget God. (And remember the old British Navy prayer..."I will be busy in the battle today, O Lord, but if I forget Thee, please do not forget me.")

That means taking some time in private conversation with the Big Fella. Not "while I'm running errands", or "I'll pray when I go to bed toni...ZZZZZZZ".

In this kind of hard passage, it's got to be intentional.

So, I have a suggestion. Take five minutes and write your prayer down. Physically. You can do it with a pen and notebook, or on your computer, or on your phone if you like those nasty little touch-screen keyboards. But the important thing is to frame your prayer intentionally, and record it.

This does a couple of things. First, i focuses your thought on what you need to pray about. You have to choose the words; may as well make them count, right?

And second, you're building a spiritual discipline. You get in the habit, and it will stay a habit. As things get worse, as your spouse circles ever-closer to the drain, you're going to need it.

And when death comes, you're really going to need that spiritual grounding, because while it may seem like it will come as kind of a relief (and it will be kind of a relief, nothing wrong with that) the time of mourning can't be shortchanged, and it'll cut you deeper than you can ever imagine.

You can and should also write a prayer for your husband or wife...and if your mate is up to it, ask for one in return.

If you keep them, these pits of paper or patterns of pixels will turn to golden links in a chain that will bind you closer to God. (Wish I could say the image is original, but I lifted it from Tennyson's poem "The Death Of Arthur", from the cycle "The Idylls Of The King.")

Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.


He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. I'm with you on this Andrew. I love journaling my conversations with God. I don't necessarily like going back and re-reading them.

    Tend to sound a bit whiny and self-absorbed. But I know He was happy that I focused on talking to Him about my stuff ... especially when I unpacked it all and left it in His most capable hands.

    1. Linda, I journal, too, but thought I might be the only one who didn't like to re-read them...for that very same reason!

  2. Andrew,
    I just love how you use every morsel of your experiences to encourage us ALL. Even for those who are not in similar circumstances...journaling our prayers can STILL be "golden links" in our relationship to Him. And, of course, as we see prayers answered...well, that just brings our gratitude to a greater level.

    Grateful for your words today, friend!

  3. Such good words, Andrew. I love the idea of having prayers my spouse has written on my behalf to hold onto and remember him by. We're not in a place of terminal illness right now, but your suggestion has the potential to transcend the time of grief and bring back sweeter memories and images.

    And you're right. Grief won't be shortchanged. When my grandmother died after a long battle with Alzheimers, my grandfather wept and grieved. He once said he thought he'd done his grieving while she was still alive. Turned out, there was more for him.

    Praying for you, my friend!

  4. Oh yes, Andrew...the, "I'm going to pray while I'm lying here trying to get to sleep because he's already asleep and I am sooooo tired and....zzzzz"! Yep!!! That's how it it!! I love the idea of intentional prayer, the writing in a journal/notebook or even on the computer. That is what I need to do instead of the bedtime, while IN bed prayers!!

    Thanks as always for your very useful words; and prayers still lifted for you and Barb.

  5. I do this at times, especially when I'm not rushed. When I reread them, they tell a story about my spiritual journey, the problems I was facing, the joys I was receiving. But I do worry about who will read them when I'm gone. Don't like the thought. Very repetitive.

  6. Dear Andrew I journal my prayers too! I am borrowing your Old British Quote....i will like to put it up in my new office space. Looks like I will need it a lot more now I work with kids for long hours now and they are always going to drop by *unannounced* just to say hello๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚