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Archive for February, 2011


Father,

I’m so grateful for all that you have done,

So honored that you would love me,

And pay attention to my needs.

On my best days, which seem to be rare,

When I am peaceful and tranquil—

When I am confident that You are in charge

And that I need not worry,

I know how blessed I am.

Help me live in this truth each day.

Help me show others that You care

And that You are always available.

Let people see by my actions

The depth of my confidence in You;

Let them see that Your ways are always the best—

That they are always wise and prudent.

Teach me to refrain from boastful arrogance;

And let pride be far from me,

Knowing that this too would be my witness;

Pushing those You care about further away,

Rather than drawing them nearer.

Teach me to be mindful that

Whatever I do, whether positive or negative,

It is a reflection of me but also of You.

Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear; but certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His lovingkindness from me. (Psalm 16-20)

To learn more about about the subject, go to: Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.

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Father,

Allow me to serve others with gladness—

Without keeping score,

Always giving, never expecting to receive.

Allow me to give of myself,

To give of my talents and of my goods,

To give of my time and of my energy,

To give of my heart and of my soul.

Help me understand the needs of others,

Never criticizing,

Never demeaning,

Never scolding,

Never condemning.

You have been so gracious to me,

Always Loving,

Always forgiving,

Always restoring—

Never chastising me for failure,

Even though I have been wrong

More times than I can remember.

Father, keep a criticizing spirit

Far from my heart and further from my lips.

Allow me to serve others with gladness,

With compassion and tenderness,

Never diminishing their value as the price for my aid.

Let me extend mercy to the brokenhearted,

Just as You have done so often for me.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you; with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to Godl And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:16-17)

To learn more about about the subject, go to: Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.

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Father,

For those who wait patiently for You,

For those who come to You for help,

Rather than taking matters into their own hands,

You promise that they will mount up with wings like an eagle,

That they will run and not grow tired—

That they will walk and never become weary.

In the depth of my despair, in my heartache and rejection,

Your promises seemed so remote, obscure, and meaningless,

That I was certain they were beyond my reach.

I never considered them to be real or tangible.

To me, they were nothing more than sappy, poetic words.

In my pain and heartache, all I wanted was relief,

Which at times was so intense I thought it would never end.

I begged You to answer my prayerful demands,

Which You never did, adding to my distress.

I felt so unloved and abandoned—even by You,

Which magnified my pain tenfold, maybe twenty.

You did answer my prayers, by just saying, “No.”

You loved me enough to prevent me form situations,

Which were clearly not in my best interest to obtain.

In my disquietude and short-sightedness,

I couldn’t understand or fathom Your will, but now I can.

Because I chose Your path instead of my self-destructive way,

You have brought me to higher plateau—

To a place where I am now capable

Of mounting up with wings like an eagle, as promised.

Because You restore the years eaten away by locust,

I feel refreshed—invigorated with resolve,

As I experience increased energy.

As my strength and faith increasingly abound,

I feel empowered to run and not grow weary—

To walk and never faint.

Now, with my vision and joy restored,

I willingly bow my knee and thank You

For caring enough to tell me no.

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am you God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10-11)

To learn more about about the subject, go to: Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.

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Father,

The darkness has lifted—

Darkness permitted by You

To refine my character,

Purging each of my foolish ways

And making me more like

The man I’m supposed to be—

The man I’ve always wanted to be,

But have never become—

Not on the inside where it counts.

In the midst of my despair,

When at night I longed for the day,

And in the daytime desired it to be evening,

When sorrows made it difficult to breathe,

You were always there beside me,

Even when I was certain that You were not.

As fear relentlessly rattled my being,

You continued transforming who I would become.

Ever mindful of my frailties and weaknesses,

You purged and pruned and cleansed.

Then, one day, as I waited for the gloom

To overwhelm me once again,

Which had become my daily routine,

But it was gone; vanishing like it had never been there,

Leaving me stronger, more resilient, and far wiser.

My purpose returned to me, along with my smile,

As I embraced life with renewed enthusiasm—

No longer chained to my heartache,

No longer imprisoned by my distress.

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (II Corinthians 4:6)

To learn more about about the subject, go to: Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.

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Father,

You know how badly I have been mistreated

By those who should have fostered my welfare

But did the exact opposite—instead,

Taking advantage of my trusting nature.

I’ve expressed my outrage and indignation

To You so often that I’ve lost count.

This affront has wounded me to the depth of my soul.

Out of my pain and ire, I know I have hurt others,

Which I have tried to excuse but cannot.

I fear I have become like those who have hurt me,

Injuring the innocent—just as I have been.

Father, I acknowledge that I have done this,

And I fear that I am becoming a hurtful person.

I don’t want to be like my abusers,

But, in all candor, I know that I have been,

Despite my insistence to the contrary.

Forgive me, Father. Heal my wounded heart,

And restore gladness to my troubled soul.

As an act of contrition, I have chosen to abandon

My self-serving ways, which have been so wounding.

Despite my pain, my anger and disquietude,

I choose to stop spreading malice and bitterness.

To sustain my determined resolve, I need

Your strength now, more than ever.

Will You reach down and empower me?

Will You strengthen me to bridle my caustic tongue?

Will You keep my feet from stumbling?

Transform my wandering heart, Lord,

And keep me close to You at all times.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)

To learn more about about the subject, go to: Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.

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Father,

You are the Master Architect

Engineering the events of my life,

Providing an opportunity for me

To rise to the occasion each minute of the day.

At times, Your guidance seems clear,

While at others, it’s remote, seeming so far away

That I can’t find You no matter how hard I try.

Even when Your presence alludes me,

I know that You are there.

You are always guiding me—

Always present, always vigilant.

As my life becomes increasingly exposed

And people look at me, and occasionally to me,

My life speaks of what You have done—

Of the person You have made me to be—

Not by my words, which seem so inadequate,

And may appear to be petty, trite and shallow,

But by my actions, which are clear for all to see.

Oh, how I loathe the pompously religious

Who extol their virtues, with a heart that never yields.

May I never be like them—like those

Who talk of Your love and guidance,

While seeking an advantage over the unsuspecting.

Let my witness be by my actions,

And not by my mellifluous tongue,

Which I know can be self-serving and serpentine.

Make me know Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Ty truth and teach me, for Thou are the God of my salvation; For Thee I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5)

To learn more about about the subject, go to: Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.

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Father,

My heart aches,

And I feel so unworthy

To come before You.

I feel worthless and,

By the contemptuous smirk of others,

I’m certain that I am.

I feel so ashamed of myself,

And nobody is to say,

“It’s okay. God is there for you

No matter what.”

I feel like I need to cringe

And not hold my head up high.

I feel like I need to lurk in the darkness

Rather than boldly embrace the light.

I feel like You don’t love me,

And I wonder, How could You?

I know I don’t love myself

And I probably never will.

And yet, in the depth of my shame,

You are there, always vigilant,

Always available, always telling me,

My child, I know what you’ve done.

I know how badly you feel.

I know that you think your life has no value,

But that’s not how I see you—not at all.

In spite of everything, I love you

Just the way you are.

That’s why I sent My Son.

He took care of your shame

And washed it whiter than snow.

Now, leave the past behind.

Hold your head up high

And walk with Me into the future.

I still have a plan for you—a plan

Filled with hope and promise.

Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; do not hide Thy face from me, lest I become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in Thee; Teach me the way in which I should walk; for the Thee I lift up my soul. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in Thee. (Psalm 143:7-9)

To learn more about about the subject, go to: Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom.

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