Pause + Pray

Pray Like Martha

woman looking up questioning


Martha and her siblings Mary and Lazarus were dear friends of Jesus. In two different circumstances, Martha is direct and tenacious in her questions toward Jesus. In a situation with her sister, she says, “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the serving myself?” And after Jesus waits days after the death of her brother, in her grief, she cries out: “Lord, if you had been, here my brother would not have died.” Sometimes we all have questions like these to Jesus throughout life.


Loving God,
Sometimes we overcomplicate prayer trying to fit it into a box
or making it into a neat, tidy formula.
The reality is that deep, true prayer is raw, messy, and honest—
just like Martha in her bold questions to Jesus.
Help me to pray like Martha—direct, tenacious.
You are never put off by me and receive me just as I am.


Put yourself into one of these two stories featuring Martha: Luke 10:38–42 (where Martha welcomes Jesus into her village) or the raising of Lazarus in John 11:1–42. What do you notice? How is God speaking to you through this experience?

Patricia Breen

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