when the power of prayer seems lost

There’s a box in my room. A recipe box. Blue. Translucent. Etched in cheap silver metal. And it hasn’t been opened in over six months.


When I bought the box my heart was filled with dreams. Overflowing with hope for the future and faith in a God of miracles, I lovingly wrote the names of my loved ones on index cards and tucked them away there for safe-keeping. My secret prayers.

The box symbolized a season of new faith in God’s Word, God’s love, and the power of prayer. Challenged to believe in a God Who could and would meet all of my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus, I hand-selected private prayers for each of the people I love most in this world.

For a month I faithfully prayed for God to help my boys love to read. I joyfully pleaded with Him to provide us with a car (after I wrecked the one we had). I wholeheartedly believed in His ability to bring healing to my loved ones and provide for their needs. And I petitioned Him to breathe life, and health, and peace into the heart of the tiny baby I carried next to my heart that no one really seemed to be excited about but us.

In early September of 2011 we went in to the OB’s office for a regular seven-week maternity check-up. I had been feeling much worse with this pregnancy than with either of the two before it. I was drained, and nauseas as we waited to be seen, and remember telling my OB that the morning sickness just felt worse this time. He joked and said it was probably because I had two other small children to take care of. I thought he was probably right.

We made our way to the ultrasound room and prepared to meet our newest addition for the first time. However, it was apparent to me within the first few moments that something was wrong. After several twists of the wand and pushes of the button, the sonographer, a friend of ours, turned to me with tears in her eyes and broke the news: this baby was no longer with us.

On September 20, 2011, our third child slipped from my womb into eternity with God, and I haven’t opened my prayer box since.

Closing the Lid

The day we lost our baby, I closed the lid on my dreams and locked away my secret prayers for him inside of a cheap blue recipe box. My closest friends and my precious husband took good care of me, and God continued to provide for my needs, even answering the desire of my heart to miscarry naturally. There were constant signs of His love and care for us during that season of loss, but a part of my heart closed that day with the box. I put away my dream of having three boys, embraced all of the good God had already given me, and closed the lid.

I appeared to be managing the grief well to those around me. But the depth of my prayer life took a hit, and a pervasive cynicism crept into my heart, replacing my faith in the God who could move mountains. I was shaken, and no longer sure God would come when I called.

Question:  Have you ever “closed the lid” on something that was just too painful to process? 


Join me Tuesday for the next part of this new series on prayer and faith as we take a look at what happens when radical faith goes in mourning. And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a “my life is beautiful” necklace from Grace Tags! The giveaway is open all week!


I adore Logos Bible Software, and it helped me write today’s post. Check Logos out for yourself!

  • http://www.walkingwithangels.co.uk/ Sara

    When my daughter Livvy died I too shut that box scared to open it in case any more dreams got lost or broken, at times I have felt God had opened my box and just dropped all my dreams on the floor. I spent a long time questioning what it was that I had done to have to face such pain.

    Now I understand that God was with me ad I wrote for that box, I’m every loving word I wrote. He called to me saying I don’t need that box I just read your heart. X

    • Brooke McGlothlin

      Amen Sara. I’m so glad we serve a God who knows our hearts before we even share them. He’s big enough to handle our pain and even our dissatisfaction with Him. Grace friend.

  • http://thisgalsjourney.wordpress.com Jennifer

    Brooke, I love your honesty and vulnerability. Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Brooke McGlothlin

      Thank you Jennifer. Hearing about other people’s brokenness helps us realize we’re not alone!

  • Brenda

    I closed the box when my 2 teenager daughters rebelled & strayed from the Lord. God has done & is continuing to do a great work in their lives. I praise Him!

  • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

    Wow! This is so moving, so honest and beautiful. I know the sting of disappointment, and closing myself off to God, viewing Him through my hurt. But He waits for us, doesn’t HE? He is an ever present help, He lives to make intercession for us, He is FAITHFUL even when we are faithless.

    I am so thankful for that. Congratulations on your new site. I liked your facebook page. I read your books, love them both (there is only 2 right?).

    Blessings to you,


    • Brooke McGlothlin

      Two main ones Michele-Lyn! Thank you so much!

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  • http://stayathomeadventures.wordpress.com/ Meggen

    As always thank you for sharing your story and your heart. I know this has been a very difficult season for you. Your posts always get right to the heart of the matter. I love this new direction of your blog and look forward to seeing where it leads. Much love my dear, dear friend and big hugs from me to you! *By the way – girl time needed soon!!

  • http://www.wanderingonpurpose.com Amanda @wandering

    This brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. I lost my first baby to miscarriage – I was on a “girls” vacation w/ my mom, aunt and cousin when it happened. Even now, almost four years and two children later, I still feel the loss. My other two babies were preemies, and so with the way my body doesn’t seem to handle holding children in the womb we have had to make the hard decision to not have any more biological children and are unable to adopt at this time (but hopefully in the future). My heart is heavy thinking of this dream that has died or whatever you want to call it…

    • Brooke McGlothlin

      Thank you for sharing Amanda. I don’t think we ever quit hurting from the losses and how they impact us long term, but there is grace and freedom that can come after time.

  • http://blessedtimes7.blogspot.com/2011/12/braggin-on-my-boys.html Ginger

    thank you for still holding on to Jesus and your faith. Thank you for not allowing this chapter to ruin what God intends for you life,. Thank you for not running. Your heart I’m sure will forever hold this little one close. You are a momma to 3. NOTHING will change that. God continues to sit on his throne, he sees the tears you shed and not a single one has gone unnoticed by Him. he is waiting for you and one day you will be reunited.

    Brooke, your strength and faith In Jesus amazes me. Your life has been a testimony of the goodness of God, a testimony of Gods grace and mercy. Please continue to hid yourself in the shadow of HIS wings so that HIS face can shine upon you.

    wish i could reach through and give you a hug…

    JEsus, i lift up my sister in you, i pray tonight that she would rest upon your chest, hearing YOUR heartbeat, flood her with your peace that surpasses all understanding. Please give your angels charge over her tonight. Guide her foot steps and may she turn to see only one set. surround her with a wall of fire that the enemy’s attacks would not touch her. Fill the emptiness Jesus with your love, bless her in a new and refreshing way i pray. In Jesus name

    • Brooke McGlothlin

      Thank you Ginger. Thank you for acknowledging that I AM a mother of three. I needed to hear that :)

  • Elizabeth

    I had a miscarriage shortly before you did. I thought that because I left the bitterness behind that I was doing ok (that my box was open) … But this week I am realizing how much it is still affecting my relationship with God.

  • http://www.christian-momma.com LaToya {Christian Momma}

    Brooke it’s like you have been walking around inside my heart for the last few months. I closed my box back in October when I walked into Planned Parenthood for an abortion. It has been hard to move forward. Can’t want for the rest of the series!

  • Aria

    I loved this—it describes my heart exactly! Ever since my father’s suicide (he was dying of pancreatic cancer) and my 3 miscarriages, I cannot shake my “closed lid.” I can’t wait to hear how to get on with the healing process. It has been 15 years! I am ready!

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  • Trista

    This is a great blessing. Thank you for sharing your pain to help someone else receive their blessing. God Bless and keep you and your family.