Prickly Prayer

God, I have entered the irritation zone.

In the irritation zone,

conversations always rub me the wrong way,

nothing is where I left it,

everyone is being inconsiderate to me

and it is all taking too much time.


In the irritation zone,

my skin feels like its crawling,

my stomach is a tight ball,

my hands want to bang things

and my voice finds a sharp edge to every word.


In the irritation zone,

I can’t imagine myself in another place.

I am wrapped up in my own affairs,

I cannot stand the people I love

and I feel like I would rather do anything than pray.


In the irritation zone,

I can find only prickly prayers.

I pray for things to go my way,

I pray for you to fix what’s wrong

and I feel like a spoiled child.


In the irritation zone I expect you

to tell me to pull up my socks,

to quit being a whiner,

to think about someone else for a change,

to stop being such a loser.


A still small voice,

calm as a benediction:

“Eat something.

Get some sleep.

You’ll feel better tomorrow.”

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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