I don’t go to church every Sunday. I don’t have scripture memorized. I’m not on a schedule to be a greeter, a snack table watcher, or a Wednesday night youth group meal provider. I’m not the girl you’ll find in the nursery, or the girl singing in the choir.

But I pray for you.

With the dirty hands of a Christian woman who doesn’t really keep track of sermons with perfectly drawn notes or cute drawings in a trendy Bible—

With the dirty hands of a Christian woman who doesn’t have the lines of important hymns committed to memory or a name tag to find on Sunday mornings—

I pray for you.

With a soul that was washed in the water in third grade, and a gritty, forgiving heart—

I pray for you.

On my skinned and scarred knees and in the dead of night. My forehead against my cool sheets. My lips moving quietly. My heart beating to a rhythm that He created. 

Or in my quiet car on the way to work. My rusty voice lifts up your name. Or your momma’s name. Or your cousin. My thumb rubs over the steering wheel as I beg for God to cover your hurts. 

I pray for you with a humble whisper before a God that still considers me His. 

I pray for you even when I don’t really feel like they are the right words. 

I beg God to cover you in strength. 

I pray for your babies.

I ask that He heal your broken heart, your cancer, or your cracked spirit. 

I call out to Him to fill you up with grace, or compassion, or empathy for others, or for that light I used to see in your eyes.

I talk to Him about you. I ask Him to refill your cup. I ask Him to help you find your self-worth again, and I ask Him to shine down so hard on you that the path before you is clear and brighter than the sun.

And when there are no words, no real way to communicate the unimaginable, I pray the one prayer that He taught us. 

And it’s for you.

I talk to God like maybe he’s my good friend from forever ago, and maybe that’s not how you’re really supposed to talk to the Almighty. He loves me anyway. I talk to God like He knows every single corner of my soul, and I talk to God like He maybe already knows what I’m going to say in the first place. I talk to God with my imperfect, rambling sentences that I am sure don’t make sense to anyone else, but Him. 

And I talk to God about you.

Where a girl goes to learn to speak to her Father about the world’s hurts, I have no idea. Where a girl should sign up for Prayer School, I’m just not quite sure. 

But what I’m here to tell you is that I—a girl who’s mostly vulnerable, and a whole bunch of unsure most of the time? 

I’m here to tell you that even when pray for you? 

He listens. 

He always listens.

Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca Cooper-Thumann is an English teacher in a sleepy town in the midwest. She has published four novels and is currently working on a fifth. She has a precocious four-year-old son, she loves nachos and Jesus, and she tries to live her life every day rooted in courage and joy.