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Archive for September, 2018

PRAYER: When You Are Angry


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 feelings has dominion over me,
I need Your help more than ever, Father.
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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PRAYER: When You Are Mistreated


 

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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PRAYER: When You Are Abused


MY PRAYER: Father,
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,
Amen.
Jack’s Prayers: mcgeeandme.net/books

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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,
Amen.
 
—Jack Watts

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