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Archive for August, 2019


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.
—Jack Watts
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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
Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: When I Feel Rejected


 

MY PRAYER: Father,

I feel so broken and beaten,

So abused, rejected, and abandoned.

I never thought my life would be like this,

But I was wrong—dead wrong.

In spite of everything, You have been there,

Standing beside me in my darkest hours,

Even when I wanted You to leave me alone.

Things have been difficult for a long time,

But I’m tired of rehashing my pain and my angst.

I want more from life than being a perpetual victim.

 

Help me learn my lessons, which have been so painful,

So that I never have to repeat them again.

I don’t want to waste my years replicating foolishness.

Turn my imprudence into discernment,

So that I may gain wisdom and others can profit

From my experiences—just as I have.

In all of my broken places, heal me, Father,

With Your tender, loving, and caring hand,

Because I am ready to move forward,

Free from each of my enslavements and debilitations,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: Father,

You know how badly

I have been mistreated

By those who should have nurtured me

But have done exactly the opposite.

Instead, they have taken advantage of my trusting nature.

I’ve expressed my outrage and indignation

To You so often that I’ve lost count of the times.

This affront has wounded me so deeply that—

In my pain and outrage—I know I have hurt others,

Which I have excused and tried to justify, but I cannot.

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

Wounding the innocent—just as I have been injured.

Father, I acknowledge I have behaved this way,

Which causes my conscience continuous grief.

I am becoming someone I do not want to be.

I don’t want to behave like my abusers,

But I concede that this is exactly what I have done,

Despite my persistent denials to the contrary.

 

Forgive me, Father. Heal my wounds,

And restore gladness to my troubled heart.

As a conscious act of contrition, I choose to renounce

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

Despite my pain, anger, and disquietude,

I want to make a commitment to abandon my malice.

To ensure that I follow through with my intentions,

I will need Your strength and guidance.

Reach out to me and touch my heart, Father.

Help me bridle my sharp, caustic, and injurious tongue.

Keep my feet from stumbling, by seeking comfort

Through my addictions, which have been so destructive.

Transform my wandering heart and make me steadfast.

Because, without Your help, my resolve will be short lived,

Amounting to nothing more than a whimsical promise,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: Father,

It is so easy to live my life each day,

Never taking the time to pay attention to You

Or to all that You have done for me.

I haven’t disregarded You purposefully,

But I have not made You a priority either.

Even so, when my life unravels and falls apart,

When nothing works and everything

That can go wrong definitely does,

My focus on You becomes immediate and complete,

And I regret the capriciousness of my folly instantly.

Becoming panicked, fearful that my world will crumble,

I want You to “fix” my problems quickly and easily.

 

Being honest about my desires, I’m embarrassed to say

That it is not You I want as much as what You can do for me.

It grieves me to confess this fact, but it is the truth.

Being fearful, in my pain and discomfort, I call upon You

From the depth of my being, begging You for relief.

I want You to take the mess I have created,

Solving each of my dilemmas quickly and effortlessly.

 

This is when I discern Your voice, which gently tells me,

To be still and know that You are Almighty God—

That Your thoughts are not my thoughts and that

You are in charge of everything, and all is well.

I know this should give me complete confidence—

That I should cease from my anxious fretting

And become still, but this is not what happens at all.

This has never been my experience.

Instead, I become more intense and insistent,

Beseeching, whining, moaning, begging, and harping—

Doing anything to gain relieve from my painful circumstances.

But no matter what I do or how animated I become,

Your answer never varies—not even a smidgen.

 

As I sit in solitude, in the few moments that are quiet,

Your voice becomes even clearer, reminding me

To be still and to know that You are God.

If I were stronger, I would cease from all my striving,

But it isn’t in my nature to trust this easily.

I wish this was my way, but it certainly is not.

I want to be peaceful and rest, but this doesn’t happen—

Not until I’ve exhausted myself with anxiety and fretful worry.

Finally, when I am completely spent and can no longer

Muster a complaint; I bow my knee, as I should have earlier,

And submit to the small quiet voice that never ceases to say,

“Be still and know that I am here for you—that I am God Almighty,”

Amen.

 

—Jack Watts

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