Life sometimes brings difficult situations or circumstances that can leave us feeling run-down, drained, worn-out, and threadbare. Illness, the death of a family member, the loss of a job, natural disasters, a pandemic. The events of this year have left us struggling in ways we cannot articulate. These are the times we most desperately need prayer, but they can also be the times we simply don’t have the words to form a prayer. How do you pray when you can’t find the words?
In Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless (Abingdon Press), Stacey Thacker presents 100 simple yet heartfelt devotions to guide readers on the days they don’t know what to pray. Each entry in this attractive, gift-worthy devotional contains a Bible verse, a brief thought, and a simple, concise prayer to encourage the reader’s heart.
Interview with Stacey
Q: What is a threadbare prayer?
A threadbare prayer is a simple prayer based on Scripture that is easy to remember. Sometimes we go through seasons when we are feeling hidden, hurt, or hopeless and want to pray, but we just don’t have the words. I’ve gone through those times and found focusing on one simple prayer at a time was the key to holding on to Jesus.
A threadbare prayer can also be something we whisper in our hearts because we don’t have the strength to voice them aloud for others to hear. In those quiet moments, we can be sure that Jesus isn’t threadbare at all, and He will hear us and hold us together.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your new book, Threadbare Prayer. Who did you write it for and how is it intended to be read?
Let’s begin with who I thought about when I was writing this book. I thought about my friends, women I know from college and bump into at church or online who are feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, desperate and broken. Right now, I think that describes a lot of women—they feel worn and like they are hanging by a thread.
At the core of her heart, I think a threadbare woman is determined not to put distance between herself and God—but to draw near, press in, and cling to the hem of his robe. She shouts her ache to Jesus who she knows is holding her heart.
This book is a way to do just that. I wrote it so we could all focus on the Word, honestly pour out our threadbare hearts, and hold on to Jesus. He does beautiful work in our broken places if we let Him.
Q: How did the idea for the book come about?
I started writing Threadbare Prayer in my journal, during my Bible study. They were, from the beginning, very personal. I shared a couple on my blog and social media, and my friends and readers all said, “This is your next book!” I was actually surprised, but I’ve learned to listen to my followers throughout the years! So, I started to be a little more intentional about writing and sharing them and began to think about what a book about threadbare prayer could be.
I knew each prayer would have a verse, a short devotional, and the threadbare prayer. I also knew that a threadbare woman doesn’t have a lot of time or capacity for a deep dive into prayer. It needed to be meaningful and rich but simple. In the end, the idea for it to be a gift style book of 100 prayers emerged and I couldn’t be happier! It is the perfect book to leave on your coffee table or desk at work and give to a friend. I’m so happy with how it has turned out.
Q: In the book, you share stories of some of your own threadbare moments. Can you share some of the times when you have found yourself grasping for words to pray?
Throughout the book, there are glimpses of some of my most threadbare moments. They include a period of three years where my dad passed away, my almost 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a severe and relentless chronic illness, and my husband suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. I found myself alone, fearful, weeping, and wondering what God was doing.
During each of these times, I would describe my prayers as desperate and simple. I didn’t have fine or fancy words. I couldn’t remember long passages of Scripture. I just had small breath prayers that I repeated over and over. “Lord, you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1) was one that I prayed when Mike was in ICU and later in rehab. I knew, Jesus was enough. He wasn’t threadbare, He was holding on to me.
Q: Is it always a major life event or stressor that causes threadbare periods or can these times also come from busyness and general weariness?
I think right now we are seeing that being threadbare can actually be a lot of little things that we are faced with in everyday life. Pandemic? Suddenly being HOME for 6 months, virtual learning, having to figure out how to see our parents who live in another state during quarantine?
I actually found the word “threadbare” in a book I was reading. As I read it, the word “stuck” in my heart, and I looked down and noticed my jeans had become threadbare and worn at the knee. Little by little with daily wear and tear, the hole got bigger. Isn’t that a picture of how little things can wear on us and we find ourselves hanging by a thread just trying to get the laundry finished or the groceries put away?
Q: What would you say to someone who is in the middle of a desert right now who can’t seem to see the better days ahead?
I would say that Jesus is powerfully drawn to your threadbare heart. His invitation in Matthew 11:28 is to “come to him and he will give you rest.” He is a comforter. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is not far off. When you are hanging on by a thread, pray. Be honest. Pour out your heart. Take one Scripture and tell your heart the truth about who He is. Praise him. And let him do a beautiful thing in that broken place.
He will. I’ve seen him do that in my own life
Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or HopelessBy Stacey Thacker
Available October 6, 2020 from Abingdon Press
Hardback ISBN: 9781791008017 / $19.99
eBook ISBN: 9781791008024 / $19.99
About the author
Stacey Thacker is an author, blogger, speaker, and believer who loves God’s Word and connecting with women. Her passion is to encourage women in their walks with God and equip them to study the Bible. She created the blog community Mothers of Daughters and now blogs on her site, StaceyThacker.com.
Thacker is the author of seven books including Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess and has written a series of Bible studies, The Girlfriends’ Guide to the Bible. Her latest book is Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless.
She worked with Campus Crusade for Christ for five years before becoming a full-time mom to four daughters. Her family lives on the Orlando, FL area.
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