I do not simply believe I have been mistreated,
I know I have been mistreated,
And You know I have been wronged as well.
I’ve told You what happened repeatedly.
Everybody in my life knows my story.
Now that it has been a while since my wounding,
All of my friends seem to have progressed
With their lives—everybody except for me.
I remain stuck in my debilitating mindset,
Which has not changed appreciably,
Despite the passage of so much time.
It’s infuriating and unfair that I am the only one
Who continues to experience such pain.
Those who used, misused, and discarded me
Should be the ones to suffer, but they are not.
At least, I can’t tell that they have.
I’m the one whose stomach churns in anger,
As I languish in resentment and bitter despair,
Refusing to move forward with my life.
I know I’m not hurting my abusers—not one bit.
I’m only hurting myself, and those around me.
It doesn’t seem fair—not fair at all,
But I can no longer continue living this way.
I refuse to waste my future nursing bitterness,
Rehashing my drama repeatedly in my mind,
But it’s going to be difficult to put my pain aside.
I didn’t realize I had drifted so far from You.
I didn’t consider how willful I had become,
But now I do. It becomes clearer to me each day.
I have blamed others for my plight for so long,
That resentment seems normal—even comfortable.
This frightens me for what lies ahead for me in life.
Show me how to find my way back to You.
Because, without Your active, healing guidance,
My life will never again amount to anything of value,
Jack Watts

MY PRAYER: Father,
As the years progress,
I often hear people talk
About how much they trust You,
But their proclamations seem less sincere
Than the promises of a fickle lover.
Lacking tangibility and depth,
Their affirmations, which flow mellifluously
From their self-serving lips,
Have selfish and egotistical motives,
Which are devoid of worthwhile substance.
Their loyalty has not been forged
By adversity nor weathered by hardship.
Their trust seems shallow and simplistic,
Rather than strong, resilient, and steadfast.
Believing that whining and demanding
Will gain favor, rather than being authentic,
They come before You with hearts that are
Petulant, peevish, proud, and pompous.
Lacking gratitude, they seem arrogantly self-righteous.
I understand their perspective completely,
Having spent decades of my life
Coming before You in precisely
The same self-serving, self-centered way—
Never understanding, never conceding
That You know what is best for me.
I acknowledge my effrontery and selfishness.
I have foolishly thought that my way
Was better than Yours, but I was mistaken.
I have wanted my will over Yours, believing that
When You refused to grant my demands,
You were being distant and detached—
Unloving, uncaring, rigid, and unconcerned.
How foolish I have been, Father, how foolish.
You do know what is best for me.
After years of perusing such frivolity,
I now understand the error of my ways.
I wish I had realized this sooner,
But I lacked the necessary maturity and discernment.
Now, as wisdom settles deep within me,
I bow me knee and acknowledge this truth:
You give and take away,
You give and take away,
You give and take away,
Blessed be Your name,
—Jack Watts


MY PRAYER: Father,

Having been used, abused, and discarded,

By those who insisted they spoke in Your name,

But most assuredly did not,

My self-worth has suffered significantly.

Having internalized this shaming charge,

Which has been levied maliciously against me,

I have acted in ways contrary to my beliefs,

Which You have set forth in Your Word—

Convictions that reside deep within my soul.

Having tried to run from You for so long,

I now see how flawed my judgment has been.

Returning to You has required me to renew my mind—

To look at life from an entirely different perspective.

Thank You for enlightening my tortured soul,

For revealing that You have good things in store

For me rather than the calamity I fear and dread.


At times, I still have trouble believing You—

Trusting that the purpose You have planted

Within me is real and will come to fruition.

The stinging indictment of my abusers

Has found fertile ground in my heart.

It continues to resonate, telling me that

I am a person without value—without worth.

When I begin to internalize this message,

Flood me with Your love, Your truth, and Your wisdom.

Let my heart believe You when You say,

“You are my child—loved and valued.

And I most assuredly have a purpose for your life.

Whenever you have doubts, come to Me,

And I will remind you of your value,”


MY PRAYER: Father,
I know You have not given me a spirit of fear.
Your Word assures me that You haven’t,
But this doesn’t mean I’m not fearful. I am.
Sometimes, my fear is so consuming
It sends a cold chill through my body—
Through my soul—through the essence of my being.
On the outside, it doesn’t show, but on the inside,
Where my insecurities and vulnerabilities reside,
I am undone. Every fiber of my being
Quakes with foreboding, immobilizing me,
Consuming me with dread.
When will it end? When will my heart know peace?
When will terror of the unknown and of economic calamity
Cease to grip my soul? Apprehensions toss me about,
Robbing me of sleep, robbing me of purpose,
Robbing me of a meaningful, productive life.
You know me intimately, Lord.
You know my thoughts and my anxieties,
But I cannot find You in this dismal pit,
Which has become my daily existence.
Assure me that I will experience joy once again—
That I will regain my self-confidence—
That I will smile confidently at what is to come?
Don’t allow my fears about the future to be my portion
In life, destroying everything that has meaning and value.
Father, You know what the future holds, but I do not.
What will my destiny be? Will my disquietude abate?
Will tranquility be mine again, or just a distant memory?
The answers are not in my possession. Although I desire
To know the future, I have no control over events,
Even though I deceive myself into pretending that I do.
My fears and anxieties rob me of my faith. Without Your help,
I lack the strength to overcome this limitation.
You see me as I really am and not how I pretend to be.
I need Your help. Rescue me, Lord; rescue me quickly,
Lest my trepidations consume everything of value in me,
Jack Watts

MY PRAYER: Father,
My heart aches,
And I feel so unworthy
To come before You.
I feel worthless and by the
Contemptuous smirks of others,
I’m certain they are correct.
I feel so ashamed of myself,
And nobody is there to say,
“It’s okay. God loves you no matter what.”
I feel like I need to cringe and shrink away—
Never again to hold my head high.
I feel like I should skulk about blindly in the darkness,
Rather than boldly embracing the light.
I feel like You don’t love me, Father,
And I wonder, how could You?
I know I don’t love myself, but I also know
That my feelings are a lie and not the truth.
I know that in the depth of my self-pity,
You are always with me, always vigilant,
Always available, always telling me,
“My child, I know what you’ve done.
I know how badly you feel.
I know you believe your life has no value,
But this is not how I see you—not at all.
In spite of everything, I love you
Just the way you are.
This is why I sent My Son.
He paid the price for your shame,
Washing you whiter than snow.
Now, leave the past behind.
Hold your head high and walk
With Me confidently into the future.
I still have a plan for you—
A plan filled with hope and promise,”
Jack Watts

MY PRAYER: Father,
Having been wounded at the core of my being,
I have stopped seeking You—
Stopped praying, stopped looking to You
For discernment, guidance, and wisdom.
I haven’t wanted anything to do with You.
I feel so angry, hurt, betrayed, and humiliated.
In my pain, I have acted in shameful ways.
I have tried to hide my behavior
From You and from everybody else.
I didn’t want my life to be like this.
I didn’t want to become the person I am.
My sins have gone over my head,
And I am unable to control them,
Which I foolishly believed I could.
They control me, and I know it.
I can no longer hide this truth from You.
I am weary of concealing my face in shame,
Of churning my anger and my bitterness—
Of medicating my pain with dissipation.
I don’t want the wounds from my past,
Which I have foolishly nurtured with vice,
To control my life in the future.
I want to stop my downward cycle.
I want to change my behavior completely.
Father, I am in a deep pit, and I know it.
Even worse, I cannot see an easy way of extrication.
I have routinely blamed others for my plight,
Choosing to embrace the role of being a victim,
Convincing myself that I have been faultless,
But I can no longer maintain this self-serving delusion.
I have to admit the truth to You, as well as to myself.
I need Your help. Without You, my life will have
Neither meaning nor value.
Help me to end my self-defeating behavior,
Which exercises dominion over me, so that I can
Once again be clean in mind and in body, for I know,
Only You can restore me to wholeness and sanity,
Jack Watts

MY PRAYER: Father,
My soul aches, and my spirit is weak.
Heartache has consumed me,
And I am fearful of the future.
Those who know You much better than I,
Have rebuked me, chastening me
With contempt, ridicule, and shame.
In my heart, I have cowed before them,
Never questioning their motives or intent.
Slinking away in defeat and despair,
I have vowed to never return—to remain aloof
From them, from You, and from their religiosity.
I have wandered far from Your Word,
To a place where there is no joy,
No peace, no kindness, and no future.
Time has not been my friend.
My mistakes have brought me low.
My accusers know Your Word,
But they do not know Your forgiving Spirit.
Father, I need Your help to return home,
To come back to where I belong.
Help me become willing to nurture
A real and substantive relationship with You.
Strengthen me with power in the inner man.
Allow me to stand strong.
Allow me to be bold and confident.
Allow me to be the person You created me to be.
Don’t permit my accusers to continue
Having dominion over my wounded soul—
Lest my future be as bleak as my past,
Jack Watts