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Archive for May, 2019


 

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,

Amen.

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Father,

I’m not where I want to be in life—not even close.

I am not the person I want to be—

Not the person I’m capable of being.

Even worse, the gap between who I should be

And who I am is widening, rather than narrowing.

If I’m being honest with myself,

Which I have tried to avoid for so long,

I constantly and repeatedly excuse

My poor behavior and even poorer attitude.

I don’t like myself the way I am.

I’m a pathetic substitute for what I should be—

For what I know You want me to be.

Nearly everyone who knows me well

Recognizes that my life is shipwrecked.

My life may look acceptable to casual observers,

But to those who have insight into me—

To those who know what I am capable of being—

They don’t like what they see. Neither do I.

My purpose and zeal for life have evaporated,

Even though I pretend to others that I have it all together.

I know who I am—who I have become from my addiction.

I’m responsible for all the self-destructive behavior

That has accompanied it—nobody other than me.

I want to acknowledge the truth to You, Father.

I want to discard my denial and my pretentiousness.

I want to be real—completely transparent before You.

You see me as I really am, so why pretend to be

Someone I am not and haven’t been for years.

I have traveled the wrong path for so long

That I’m not certain I can correct my journey.

Admitting the truth of who I have become

Frightens me and makes me feel insecure.

I have refused to face the truth for so long it is scary.

I know I can’t change my destructive patterns by myself.

Without Your help, I have no chance—none whatsoever.

Will You accept me just as I am—devoid of pretense?

Will You guide me on my journey back to wholeness?

Will You take my hand, touch my heart, and forgive me?

Will You be with me today and give me strength?

Will You guide me from this day forward, one day at a time?

Because, if You don’t, I will never make it by myself,

Amen.

—Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
As the vicissitudes of life have turned against me,
And it seems like nothing but misfortune
Will be in my path for the foreseeable future,
Anxiety and fretful worry fill my days.
When I awaken in the middle of the night,
I am filled with dread and foreboding.
My mind and my heart race apprehensively.
Nevertheless, at the deepest level of my being,
A quiet persistent voice tells me to never give up.
When I rise in the morning, I am filled with resolve,
Knowing that this quiet voice came from You.
As the days pass and my pressures increase,
I feel battered and beaten at every turn.
It seems like everything that can go wrong does.
Maintaining a positive outward demeanor,
I remain determined to do the next right thing,
Regardless of what that might be.
I have no choice but to follow this path.
Despite my resolve, my insides are numb and feeble.
Pressures from my circumstances intensify,
Weighing me down, grinding me to despair.
As I bow my knee, and I ask for relief,
Which can only come from You, I acknowledge
That I have no answers within me.
In the quietness of my heart,
Your voice continues to resonate,
Telling me to never, never give up.
As the weeks turn into months,
With no respite from my travails,
Having been abandoned by those who once mattered,
All that remains are villains who desire my harm.
I feel undone, fearing that my heart will break,
But I have no choice other than to press forward.
There is no alternative, and I cannot abandon my purpose.
It is not in my nature to do so, and this will never change.
Knowing this, I bolster myself, repeatedly affirming
That I will never give up—never, never give up.
Lord, my life is in Your hands, and You alone
Know when my complete restoration will eventuate.
Until that time, I know what I must do.
I must relentlessly press forward,
Despite each encumbrance,
And never, never, never give up,
Amen.
Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
My spirit has been rejuvenated.
Even my step feels lighter,
As the burdens from my past
Have been lifted from my shoulders.
Now free to walk into the future,
Unencumbered by guilt, shame, and remorse,
Which has triggered my self-defeating behavior,
I want my life to have more meaning
Than the mediocrity that has become my routine.
The pursuit of valueless materialism no longer
Has the appeal to me that it once had, which is freeing.
Even my definition of success has changed.
My spirit has been awakened, and I want
To spend each of my days that numbered by You,
Doing what You would have me to do—
What You have prepared for me to do.
I’ve learned that I can more accurately
Understand Your leading by looking back,
Rather than by looking toward the future.
Whatever You have in store for me,
Regardless of what that might be,
This is where I want to spend my days.
Having wandered so far from You in the past,
I know the mischief I am capable of inflicting,
But this is not what I want for my future.
Guard my heart, Father, so that
I will not wander away from You again,
Pursuing fruitless, meaningless diversions.
Let my heart rejoice in Your ways.
Give me peace, purpose, and the resolve
To accomplish Your will each day,
For as many days as I have remaining,
Amen.
—Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
Thank You for revealing Your will to me.
Now, I understand what I need to do and why.
My spirit has been disquieted for days,
As I’ve wrestled with my decision to proceed.
Deciding to confront my problem has been grueling,
But I’m certain this is what You would have me do,
Despite my apprehensions and desire for approval.
By stepping out, when I would rather pretend
That the problem does not exist—that it isn’t real—
I will be burning a valued bridge,
Which I have desired to maintain at all costs.
But I cannot, nor can I continue to remain
Immobilized by the security of being self-deceived.
I know what I need to do, and I will do it.
But doing so is difficult for me, Father,
And I cannot pretend that it isn’t.
About many things I appear to be strong,
But not when it comes to confrontation,
Especially when it’s with someone I care about.
I’m not strong at all; I’m timid and hesitant.
My fear is that my insides will become weak and
My resolve will vanish, rendering me useless.
Help me to be bold, confident, and determined,
While refraining from saying hurtful things,
Which is within my power and nature to do.
Father, help me guard my tongue from malice,
While also being straightforward and candid,
Amen.
—Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
There was a path that looked so promising—
A road that seemed like it was Your way,
But it was not. It required far too much
Compromise to be something You would honor.
In the deepest recesses of my heart,
I knew this—despite each of my protestations.
Nevertheless, I followed this errant path,
Which I knew was the wrong way to travel,
Paying a terrible price for doing so.
Later, with no other acceptable recourse,
I came back to You, just as I have always done—
Sorrowful, humbled, and crushed—with hat in hand,
Ready and willing to accept necessary change.
This time, instead of medicating my pain with alcohol,
I endured the compulsory heartache for a period,
Which I thought was far too long, but You knew
Was exactly the amount of time required for my healing.
You promised that, if I would humble myself,
You would exalt me at the proper time.
I didn’t believe this was true—not literally,
Nor that You would actually do this—not for me.
But You have done as You promised, and I can clearly see
Your hand in the restoration of my life.
Now, I stand strong, far wiser, and far more resilient,
With a renewed countenance that is calm and serene.
Humbling myself because I had no alternative,
I never considered that—in Your wisdom—
You had orchestrated the circumstances of my life
In such a way that my only alternative was to look to You.
This wasn’t the road I would have chosen for myself,
But it’s the way You have chosen for me.
I wish I could say that I have learned each of my lessons,
But I know who I am. I know that in my heart—
I am prone to wander—prone to leave the God I love.
Father, take my heart—take and seal it—so that
I will never have to follow this fruitless path again,
Knowing that it leads to nowhere worthwhile,
Amen.
—Jack Watts

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