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Archive for September, 2019


 

 

MY PRAYER: Father,

I feel like a wounded gazelle,

Unable to fend for myself,

As hungry beasts surround me.

My demise seems certain,

And there is no place to hide.

My friends, those who call upon Your name,

Are nowhere to be found—

Just when I need them the most.

My love has abandoned me for another,

Never looking back—not even a glance.

I am undone and badly crushed,

And those who seek what little is left,

Fight over the scraps of my being—

Over the pieces of my shattered life.

 

How long will You leave me exposed—

Vulnerable to ravenous predators—

To those who seek to destroy me?

Tell me, Lord, when will it be enough?

When will You protect Your wounded child?

When will You move Your mighty hand to help?

If You do not rescue me soon, there may be nothing left.

My head, which was once proud, now hangs in despair,

And my countenance is greatly diminished.

Terrifying apprehensions have overwhelmed me,

And dread of the future has become my portion in life.

I fear that my adversaries will have victory over me.

Father, provide me with a way through this thorny maze,

To a place that is safe and secure—

Free from turmoil, free from pain,

Free from heartache, and free from despair,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: Father,

Unlike most, I know I have it all together.

I am a person of substance and value.

People listen when I speak,

As words of wisdom roll mellifluously

From the essence of my being.

My life is an example for others to emulate.

At least, this was what I have considered to be true.

 

This is when You came and shook my foundation,

Which was not built upon anything meaningful.

Knowing my vulnerabilities and insecurities,

You rocked my world like nobody else could.

In an instant—in a flash, I was undone,

Realizing I was not the person I thought I was.

I was not the man I claimed to be.

When You revealed me to myself,

I stood naked—laid bare before Your eyes,

Unable to hide my frailties from Your scrutiny,

From the truth of who I really was.

Broken, embarrassed, and unnerved,

I recoiled, consumed with shame.

 

Those who claimed their loyalty abandoned me,

While my enemies delighted at my misfortune.

In an instant, Your blessings—the outward manifestation

Of all that I thought had value—vanished before my eyes.

No longer confident, I became fearful and apprehensive.

Recognizing the weakness in my foundation,

You have shaken me, revealing me to myself,

And I am lost, completely undone.

 

Father, when will this nightmare end? When will it be enough?

When will Your heavy hand of discipline subside,

Restoring me to a life of peace, purpose, and tranquility?

Will Your pruning cease, or will it last for a lifetime?

Only You know; only You have the answers.

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I have learned my lesson.

O, how I regret my arrogant, self-serving ways,

Which I was too foolish and arrogant to acknowledge.

I beseech You, Father, hasten the day of my restoration,

Lest my sorrows overwhelm me and leave me without hope,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: When I Am Being Tested


MY PRAYER: Father,
In my pain and anguish,
When my heart was broken,
And I thought darkness would overwhelm me,
I felt lost and all alone, but I wasn’t.
Despite how I felt, You were there with me,
Diligently working in my heart—
Stripping me of all of my pretense,
Stripping me of all of my arrogance,
Stripping me of all of my self-serving ways—
Each of which has made my life a wasteland.
Although I am Your child, I had no awareness
Of the direction You intended for me to follow.
My only concern has been obtaining relief from pain,
But Your goals have been consistently greater than mine.
I thought my anguish would never end—
That I would never smile at the future—
But I was wrong about that, as well.
I expressed the self-serving desires of my heart
And asked You repeatedly to grant them,
But You never would, which grieved me deeply.
What I have gained through my loss, though,
Has had more value than I could have imagined.
Out of the abyss, You have raised me up.
You have placed my feet on solid, immovable rock.
You have strengthened me with power
In the inner man—at the core of my being.
No longer fearful or timid, I am resolute and confident.
Instead of being apprehensive, I remain calm and sane.
It is all because You have changed my heart—
Transforming my perspective about what has value.
Without Your loving, consistent care,
I would never have learned my lessons
And would have been destined to repeat my mistakes
Over and over again, like an unreasoning animal,
Rather than like a man—the child of a King.
Refusing to allow my life to be destroyed by dissipation,
You reached into the pit—into the quagmire—
Into the emotional carnage of my dysfunction
And redeemed me, providing me with a future
That is filled with hope and purpose,
Amen.
—Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
You know my troubles like no other,
And You understand each of my difficulties.
You know that sometimes I become
So fearful that my skin grows cold,
And it feels like I can hardly breathe.
My countenance shrinks and I feel helpless.
I’m afraid of so many things.
I’m afraid of people and of being alone,
Of never experiencing happiness again,
Of not having enough income to survive.
Father, it seems like the list never ends.
I feel parallelized, and I lack the resolve
To move forward—to deal with life on life’s terms.
I need You now, Father, more than ever.
Help me. Be my strength, when I am weak.
Be my fortress, when my world crumbles.
I cannot rely on anyone but You.
At times, I’m fearful that You don’t really care—
That You are not interested in helping me.
I want to be strong and confident,
But I am not, and I know that I am not.
I acknowledge this as one of my shortcomings.
Just for today, help me put one foot in front of the other.
I have nothing to sustain me but my confidence in You,
Which I admit is often tenuous and very fragile,
Amen.
Jack Watts

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MY PRAYER: Father,
I feel so broken and despondent.
My body withers in despair and anguish,
Consumed with tormenting, painful stress,
And I have a sense of hopelessness,
Which I fear will become overwhelming.
When will my travails abate?
I wander aimlessly, without purpose,
Without hope, without understanding—
Devoid of any joy or pleasure derived from life,
Which was once mine in abundance.
My grief is ever before me,
Reminding me of my loss,
Robbing me of sleep,
Increasing my sorrow,
Telling me that I have failed.
Others console me by saying,
“It all has a purpose.”
My friends want to fix me and to lift
The grief and despair from my heart.
But they cannot; nothing seems to help.
Nothing seems to ease my pain—nothing at all.
I can pretend to comprehend, to understand,
To grasp the lessons I am being taught,
But I do not. I don’t understand at all.
My heart is broken, perhaps beyond repair,
And I fear that it will never mend.
I may never laugh or be joyful again.
In my despair, in my hopelessness,
I cry out to You, begging You for relief.
You hear, but You do not answer—not a whisper.
I beseech You. I moan, whine, and beg,
But You allow my pain to continue,
Each day—long into the night.
Rescue me, Lord; rescue me quickly.
Place Your healing hand on my broken heart,
And make me whole once again.
Teach me my painful lessons so that
I need never replicate them.
I know how much pain I have caused.
My behavior is a constant, never-ending grief.
Take that, which is broken and shattered in me,
And mend it so thoroughly that I will be
Whole, resilient, and more productive than ever.
Allow my sadness to become a distant memory.
Strengthen me so that I can stand firm and
Bless Your name with joy and gladness,
Amen.
Jack Watts

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RECOVERY: In our society, we are repeatedly told to look at the glass as being half full, but doing so is frequently impossible. Often, the glass is nearly empty. For millions, grief and heartache are their daily portions in life. There are times when all a person can do is put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, they can’t even do that effectively.
For people like these, to view the glass as half full would be delusional. They would have to deny the reality of their daily lives to do so, which many are unwilling to do. So, they grind out their lives, one day after the other, coping with depression, despair, and hopeless foreboding the best way they know how.
Living life on life’s terms isn’t easy. This is why people drink, drug, and enable those who do. People self-medicate to ease the pain of their stressful, debilitating emotions. For a while this strategy is effective, but eventually it stops working. When it does, the original problem remains unresolved, but the addict ends up having to deal with an additional problem as well—alcoholism and/or drug addiction.
When people, who have become trapped by their addictions, hit bottom and have nowhere to turn, this is when they need God more than ever. It’s also when prayer becomes more important to them than at any other time in their lives.
We live in stressful times. Just when we think we have everything under control, with events going our way, the rug can get pulled out from under our feet. When this happens, addictive people are tempted to return to drinking or drugging. Sometimes, the compulsion is overwhelming. Living like this isn’t what you want for your life, and it isn’t what God wants for you either.
—Jack Watts

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