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Archive for November, 2015


MY PRAYER: Father,

I’ve wanted relationships and possessions

That You have not intended for me to have.

I have wanted them so badly that

I’ve come before You repeatedly—

Pleading, begging, whining, and carping—

Beseeching You to grant my desires.

But all You have done is say, “No.”

Refusing to accept Your answer as final,

I have continued my relentless badgering,

Insisting that You make my will be Your own.

In my willfulness and stubbornness, I maintained

That right was wrong, and wrong was right,

While deceiving myself into actually believing

My purposes were noble, honorable, and altruistic.

In my foolishness, I have done my best

To convince myself that my way has been righteous,

But You remained unmoved, refusing to acquiesce.

Still unwilling to accept Your will over my own,

I manipulated events until frustration

And exhaustion finally overwhelmed me,

But You never budged or wavered in Your decision.

 

Now, at the end of all my peevish fretting,

I bow my knee and accept Your decision.

“No” it is, and “No” it shall be forevermore.

There are still parts of me that regret this,

But You are Almighty God, and I am not.

Now that I have resubmitted myself

To Your leadership, rather than to my own,

I have begun to view my situation differently.

No longer reluctant to be submissive, I acknowledge

That Your way is superior to my own,

Which I should have done from the beginning,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: Father,

Nothing is how I planned it to be,

As I thought it would be,

As I believed it was promised by You.

Perhaps my aspirations were nothing more

Than my own self-serving, wishful thinking,

But the despair from my failure is real.

Nothing could be more real

Than how brokenhearted I am,

Knowing that my life didn’t have

To unfold the way that it has.

 

As a youth, when I turned my life,

My will, my heart, and my purpose

Over to You for Your safekeeping,

I believed I would experience nothing but abundance,

Carefree living, and smooth sailing, but this

Has certainly not been my experience—not even close.

It seems like I have failed at each turn,

With everything I have chosen to do.

Even worse, when I’ve needed You the most,

It seems like You have become more distant than ever.

My enemies delight at my misfortune.

The pain from their sharp, demeaning remarks never abates.

Each one stings, crushing my soul and wounding my spirit,

While derailing my resolve to become strong and purposeful.

Those I’ve trusted have used and misused me,

Rejecting me without cause—never casting a backward glance.

 

Like a fool, I never fathomed what was happening.

As I recoiled from my wounds, filled with despair,

I called upon You, but You were nowhere to be found.

I didn’t want to fail, Father, but I have.

I know I have, and I can’t change the past or what has occurred.

My history is what it is, and it will always remain so.

Many doors have now been closed to me,

But my journey is not yet complete.

Other opportunities will eventuate, but unless

You teach me through my mistakes,

I will never learn my lessons. Instead, I will be doomed

To replicate my errors and remain devoid of discernment.

Help me gain wisdom from my current situation, Father,

Because I don’t want to be in this hopeless, tortured position again,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: Father,

I’m praying because I know I should,

Not because it is heartfelt.

I can do things for myself.

I always have—always will.

I don’t need Your help—not really.

“Bring it on,” is my motto.

In my heart, this is how I feel—

At least, more often than not.

I’m certainly not trying to hurt anybody,

But I really don’t trust people either—

Not even You, Lord, not even You.

As I grit my teeth obstinately,

With insolence and arrogance,

I convince myself that I can handle anything.

Then, You allow adversity to have full reign over me,

Shaking me at the core of my existence.

Defiantly, I fight You each step of the way,

Refusing to learn the lessons I am being taught.

 

My headstrong attitude defines who I am.

Undaunted by my inflexibility,

You increase the pressure on me,

And I wince and whine at the discomfort,

But I will not yield—not yet.

I still have too much fight left in me.

I cannot submit; I will not submit!

Then, You double the pressure, redoubling it again.

Finally, when I can stand no more,

I break—just a little and, in my bewildered distress,

I cry out, “Why me, Father? What have I done?”

As if completely innocent, I whine, “Why is this happening?”

Revealing Your purpose, You allow me to recognize

Just how much my world required shaking.

Finally, coming to the end of my intransigence,

I acknowledge what I should have earlier.

Your will, and not my self-indulged will, is what I need.

Do with me as You please, Lord, I finally acknowledge,

For You are Almighty God, and I am not,

Amen

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MY PRAYER: Father,

The wounds from my mistreatment run deep,

Creating anger, frustration, and an overwhelming

Sense of worthlessness that

Enervates every area of my life.

With my mouth, I refuse to admit

That this is how I see my situation,

But in the deepest recesses of my mind,

I wonder if the castigation of my abusers is correct.

Maybe my life doesn’t have much value, after all,

Precisely as I have been told repeatedly.

It’s a message I have internalized as accurate.

 

When my exploitation occurred,

I was angrier with You

Than with those who abused me.

Because of the relentlessness of their vitriol,

I believed they spoke the truth,

Which was certainly what they indicated.

But now, I have begun to view things differently.

In my woundedness, it never occurred to me

That Your Son was also abused—just like me—

By hateful, self-righteous religious leaders.

You permitted His abuse—just like You’ve permitted mine.

What Christ’s abusers meant for evil, You meant for good,

Redeeming Mankind through his death and Resurrection.

Without the suffering of Your Son, all would be lost.

Thank You for allowing such a tragedy to occur,

On my behalf, as well as on the behalf of others.

 

Father, can You make my life have similar worth?

Can You use my abuse for something that

Has transforming value for others as well as for me?

Can You turn my pain and my weakness into strength?

Can You take my life, which has been shattered,

And make it joyful and purposeful once again?

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: Father,

As I grit my teeth defiantly,

My anger is so consuming that

Toxic emotions rule my soul.

My fury clouds my judgment.

The smile on my face has vanished.

Dark shadows dominate my countenance,

Warning others to stay clear.

I entertain vivid thoughts of being vengeful,

Of making my enemies pay a terrible price

For the injustice they have inflicted upon me.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t like

The person I see—the person I have become.

I spend my days feeding my anger,

Amusing myself with vengeful imaginations

That race through my mind repeatedly, in a never-ending

Cycle of malice. I’m consumed by thoughts of retribution

That dominate my waking hours and also my dreams.

 

I know I’m not ready to forgive—not yet.

While my hostile mindset has dominion over me,

I need Your help more than ever.

Move me through this toxic period quickly.

Heal me from desiring merciless retribution.

Teach me to forgive—just as I have been forgiven.

While my anger consumes my conscious thoughts,

Depriving me of joy, peace, patience, and kindness;

Keep me from these four injurious behaviors:

From saying harsh words that can never be retrieved;

From wasting hours, feeding my bitter fantasies of reprisal;

From self-defeating behavior that assuages my pain—

And from desiring Evil to come upon my wrongdoers,

Amen.

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God Understands Your Abuse

 

God could and would if He were sought—AA Slogan

 

 

Father,

The wounds from my mistreatment run deep,

Creating shame, anger, and an overwhelming

Sense of worthlessness that

Enervates every area of my life.

With my mouth, I refuse to admit

That this is how I see myself,

But in the recesses of my mind,

I wonder if the castigation of my abuser is correct.

Maybe my life has little value, after all,

Precisely like I have been told.

When my exploitation occurred, I was angrier with You

Than I was with those who abused me.

Because of their confident self-exaltation,

I believed they spoke the truth,

Which was certainly what was indicated.

 

But then, I began to think about it differently.

In my woundedness, it hadn’t occurred to me

That Your Son was also abused—just like me—

By hateful, self-righteous religious leaders.

You permitted His abuse—just as you permitted mine.

What Christ’s abusers meant for evil,

You meant for good, redeeming Mankind through it.

Without the suffering of Your Son, all would be lost.

Thank You for allowing such a tragedy to occur,

On my behalf, as well as all others.

Father, can You make my life have worth?

Can You use my abuse for something that

Has value for others as well as for me?

Turn my weakness into strength,

And my broken life into one that

Is joyful, substantive, and purposeful,

Amen.

 

Be gracious to me and raise me up, that I may repay them. By this I know that Thou art pleased with me, because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. As for me, Thou dost uphold me in my integrity, and Thou dost set me in Thy presence forever. (Psalm 41:10-12)

 

Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,

Understanding Your leading is not always difficult.

You are crystal clear about so many things—

About honesty, fidelity, and caring for others.

With these, it’s impossible to misunderstand Your will,

But most of life isn’t this simple—

Nor is Your will that easy to discern.

It is not always crystal clear—

Not black and white—which I wish it would be.

Instead, it’s hues of gray, making choices perplexing.

It seems like I am never clear about Your leading,

And yet You expect me to follow You blindly,

Putting my trust in You without reservation.

As I try to discern Your purpose, I have been forced

To step out in faith and be bold many times,

Without any idea of what the future might hold,

Or of what the results of my actions would be.

Nothing ever seems to end the way I think it should,

Or the way I thought it would, forcing me to wonder

If I have understood You accurately. I wonder

If have I done nothing more than project my desires,

Calling them Your will, when they really were not.

As I walk by faith, I rarely receive the answers I expect,

Which You could easily disclose but never seem to do.

I look at my situation, demanding to know the outcome,

While You already knowing what that will be.

 

Your ways are beyond my ability to discern.

As others view my life, scornfully mocking,

Delighting at what looks like my certain failure,

I can count on the assurance of Your guidance.

You know what You have planned for my life.

No matter how contemptuously others view my plight,

From the depth of my soul, Your voice

Constantly assures me that You are in charge.

You are God Almighty, and I am not.

As I acquiesce, my soul is quieted, and I become still.

When I obediently release the outcome to You,

I accept that I may look foolish to many,

Especially on the outside; but on the inside—

Where it really counts, I’m becoming incredibly strong

In ways destined to have value for me and others,

Amen.

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