prayer by Jami Amerine

“Dude!?!?!” and Other Inappropriate “Prayers” I Say to Jesus

“Dude!?!?!” and Other Inappropriate Things I Say to Jesus

Here among the humans, which call me mommy, mom, Baby, Jami-Jo, and ‘Muuuuther,” insert premenstrual 16-year-old insolence, I am well known.

They know.

And the stuff they know, some of you know too.

Because I am known for being… candid.

Perhaps too much so, according to the one who calls me, “Baby.”

However, he’s too quiet.  Which is why we make a great couple.  He rarely says anything, and I say everything.

It’s beautiful really.

As I prepared to write this post on prayer, I decided to get quiet and listen.  It was ugly.  I am “on,” all the time.  My “Muuuuther,” loves to tell the story of a long road trip when I was about 3.  According to my parents, I had not shut up for about 236 miles.

In an effort to silence me so they could sing along to Jim Croce and Pete Townshend, my mom offered to stop for an ice cream cone in the next town, if I would be quiet until I spied the Golden Arches.

After extensive and uncharacteristic silence, she turned to check on me.

Blue in the face, tiny fists clenched, teeth-baring down as if I might explode, she realized the gravity of the request, and let me off the hook.

I would oppose, she is just embellishing.  However, now at 47, I tend to react to prolonged incidences, where my silence is obligatory, in the exact same fashion.

Still, I took a long bath and then I went into my studio and sorted a new shipment of beads and said, “Hey Jesus, its me, I am supposed to be writing a blog post on prayer. And, um… yeah.  You know.  Right?”

He knows.

And the stuff He knows, some of you know too.

Because I am known for being… candid.

Still, I waited.  Because I wanted this to be… important?  No, not important like, “OH MY WORD!  SHE IS SO WISE!  SOMEBODY GET HER AN ICE CREAM CONE!!!”  But important like, “Friend, He knows.”

So, I am inclined to say that.

“Friend… He knows.”

Of all the things I say and write, of all my hopes and dreams, most certainly my failures and fears, I know that He knows.

The thing about Him knowing is, I used to be of the belief that He knew, and I utterly exasperated Him.  I would picture Him clenching the steering wheel, biting the inside of His cheek, moments from utterly losing it and barking, “FOR THE LOVE OF MYSELF!  SHUT UP!  I CAN’T HEAR ‘THE WHO’ AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE SONG!!!!”

I really did dwell in this place of slanted certainty, He could barely stand me.

So, I held my breath, clutched any religious relic I could get my desperate hands on. And on bloody, worn knees, I tried to be someone He might like.

I apologized profusely, constantly.

Then, I made lists of things I believed He hated about me.

Next, I lamented my awfulness to the religiously pious, who seemed to know Him better than me.

They would nod and pity me, because, really, I was pathetic.

A few paragraphs in, it dawns on me, no one ever clenched the steering wheel.  My dad never told me to shut up, although I do remember he would turn the radio up louder after a spell.  And while I know, I wore them out with my questions and yammering, they were just a mom and dad, moseying down some back road between San Diego and Salt Lake City.

And, they knew me.

Perhaps the greatest gift of prayer to me is to be known.

I wonder, did this God grow more impatient with me for trying to be someone other than who He created?  Rather than what I believed exasperated Him most, my “Jami-ness?”

Hold on, I am waiting for Him to answer….

Yeah, it wasn’t impatient, but it was a longing.  Okay, I know, hit me with the emails and comments, “God doesn’t long for anyone or anything, He has everything.”

But me and Jesus disagree.

If you wanted to be with someone, in a relationship with them, and you loved them so much you would do anything to accomplish that, what would be the limit?  I mean, would you be whipped naked, spit on, brutalized, nailed to a cross, and hanged until your lungs collapsed?


Yeah, me either.  But, in all fairness, I have an exceptionally low threshold for pain.

[bctt tweet=”Perhaps the greatest gift of prayer to me is to be known. #newblogpost” quote=”Perhaps the greatest gift of prayer to me is to be known. #newblogpost”]

Undeniably, this was the image that got me off my knees and into my prayer chair.  Cross-legged, with stale and disgusting house shoes, (seriously, I am not kidding they are gross,) in my worn-out Backstreet Boys t-shirt, crusty yoga pants, and a “messy” bun, which I still claim was on purpose, I met with my Jesus.

There were no formalities.

I wrote nothing down.

My highlighter and journal were nowhere in the vicinity.

To the best of my recollection, there was no Bible in the room.

Gone where the worn out and rote rituals, lost were the perfected syllables, I had repeated a million times over.  Chants I memorized and regurgitated, with the genuine hope, He would like me best.

“Dude, I am a wreck.  I can’t keep up.  Are you even really there?”

And I heard it in my bones.  I know the difference.  The Jesus of old, He sounded an awful lot like me.  He was harsh, critical, and his formalities were ridiculously, pious and offended.  He was resolute I behave according to lofty laws of Weight Watchers and my personal trainer.  Thou shall and thou shall not.

And this, this was not that Jesus.

Dude, I am a wreck.  I can’t keep up.  Are you even really there?”


And so, it began.  A constant clamor of my “Jami-ness,” some nonsense, some incessant drivel. Pleas for the Starbucks line to move, or for my jeans to zip.

Brokenness, by life and its harsh struggles, but now, here I sat curled up in His lap, His daughter.

A chorus of needs, fears, wants, disappointments, and utter confusion as to why, He said no.

In an instant, I knew He heard my groans of impatience and shouts of thanksgiving.

Then in another moment, I released quiet whimpers for help. And in the next, lavish bellows of worship.

From one instant to the succeeding, I talk in my head and out loud, and there He is.

So, while this was far from technical, hardly a “How to Handbook,” this is how I pray.

As you would suspect, I have been most candid.

Yeah, He knew I would be.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12

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  1. […] Paul the apostle wrote, “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Pray all the time, constantly; in your thoughts, out loud, on paper, with singing and poetry, together, alone, in your worship and praise, pray. It's easier than you think, do like my friend Jami: just talk to Him! […]

  2. Rebecca Huff on January 29, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    He hears our every cry and he knows our every thought, so why not just speak to him honestly?!
    Great post!

    • Jami on January 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you, friend.

  3. Theresa Graybill on January 29, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Jami, I really needed this today. I have been batteling chronic lower back pain most of the month. At first I felt bad because I was in so much pain I couldn’t even bring myself to “pray”. I just kept asking, “Jesus, fix me.” I don’t think I have ever felt so disconnected with God, yet trying to lean into him the most I have in recent years. Today there was some relief from the pain (and some prescribed steroids). I needed some way to connect with God again so I started reading this post. After reading said post, it turns out I was never disconnected after all…..sometimes “Fix me, Jesus” is enough of a prayer. Thank you for clarity and encouragement that I needed today.

    • Jami on January 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      God bless you. I am praying for you right now. Jesus be all over you, Love – Jami

  4. Glenna McKelvie on January 29, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Well, in my recollection (and I could be wrong) I only asked you to be quiet for five minutes! And for that I would reward your sweet 3 year old self with ice cream. I didn’t know it would nearly make your head explode. I should have understood your limitations better— as now I realize Jesus understands mine. (And yours). No hair shirts… no hours on our knees.. no litany of what we did wrong or what terrible people we are.. Just promises we are His girls and… maybe, ice cream.

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