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Archive for July, 2019

MY PRAYER: When I Am 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.
Jack Watts
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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.
—Jack Watts

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A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE


HI, MY NAME IS JACK: Last Friday, I had tightness in my chest that I thought was acid reflux, but it just kept getting worse. I finally called my daughter, Katie, and she took me to Piedmont Hospital, just four blocks away. Within minutes of entering, after an X-Ray and bloodwork, over the loudspeaker I heard Code STEMI in room 14 . . . my room.
Within two minutes, I was in surgery where it was discovered that I had 100% blockage in my right carotid artery. The cardiac surgeon put in a stint and the pain was gone immediately. He said that if I had waited another twenty minutes, I probably would not have survived.
For the rest of the weekend while in CCU, they poked and prodded me constantly with this and that but finally discharged me Sunday afternoon.
That being said, I am extremely grateful to be alive, but I told the Lord I was ready to go if this was my time. Obviously, it wasn’t. My prognosis very good. Look fir me to continue being a warrior for the Lord and our American way of life.
Jack Watts
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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 Watts

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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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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,”

Amen.

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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,
Amen.
Jack Watts

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