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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

MY PRAYER: When I Am Fearful


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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PRAYER: When Life Gets You Down


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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LIVING LIFE on Life’s Terms


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. It’s 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
 
Jack’s Books: mcgeeandme.net/books

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CHRIST Wants You Just as You Are


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I AM NOT ASHAMED: I was at a church service, when the pastor gave the following sermon illustration. Holding up a beautiful red rose for all to see, the pastor said, “How many of you think this flower is beautiful?” Within a few seconds, nearly every hand in the congregation was held high, including mine. Continuing, he asked, “How many of you would like a rose like this?” Again, hands shot up all over the sanctuary. Stepping forward, the pastor handed the flower to someone in the audience, asking that the flower be passed around for all to take a closer look.
Returning to the pulpit, the pastor began his sermon on the necessity of maintaining moral purity. He went to great lengths to make his point. Concluding, he asked the audience, “Where is my rose? Someone bring it back to me, please.”
As people watched to see who had the rose, a teenager in the back stepped brought the rose forward, handing it to the pastor. Holding the flower high in the air a second time, the pastor thundered. “Look at what has become of this rose. After being handled by so many, it has lost its beauty, its purity, and its value. Tell me, who would ever want this rose now? If you want it, please raise your hand.”
As he looked around the room, not one hand was raised, including mine. While driving home, however, with my spirit being troubled, I thought about the message all of us internalized that morning. It focused exclusively on how we were to behave, rather than what we were to think. I thought that if Christ had been in the audience that day, He would have looked at the wilted, badly damaged flower much differently. If He had been there, Jesus might have said, “I want that rose, and I’ll pay any price for it.”
When I had that thought, the answer to my earlier question clicked into place, and I knew why we are not as impactful as we should be. There may be more Christians in our generation, but we are not nearly as strong, nor as robust, as earlier generations. It’s because we focus on ourselves, and what we are to do, rather than on the power and authority of the Holy Spirit working within us.
 
Jack Watts
 

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MY PRAYER: Taking My Inventory


 

MY PRAYER: Father,

I’ve come before You so many times,

To tell You about my life—

About my woes, my heartaches and my failures.

I have come to tell You who I really am—sort of.

I want You to know me, but only from my perspective,

Which certainly is not an accurate picture of who I am.

I know this. It is why I only tell You

About myself in bits and pieces.

But now that my circumstances have become

Too much for me to bear—too much for me to shoulder;

I am forced to be completely honest and forthright.

Until now, my admissions have been begrudging.

I’ve refused to consider that more has been needed—

That a complete cleansing of my soul has been required.

As I continue on my journey to recovery and wholeness,

I want to unburden myself from all of my shame,

All of my guilt, and everything that has encumbered me,

But doing so seems like such a daunting task.

There is so much there. I know this, and so do You.

Father, this is why I need Your guidance.

Only You can help me become completely transparent

With myself, with others, and with You.

 

As I begin to journal, divulging my unvarnished inventory,

Provide me with courage to be thorough and honest.

Give me the grit and determination I need to purge my soul

Of each of the character flaws that have been so debilitating.

Provide me with the discipline necessary to be thorough.

As I begin this process, my insides churn with apprehension.

Because I’ve loved the darkness rather than the light,

Even though I have pretended to others that I do not,

I have to force myself to be straightforward and candid.

Father, without Your help, I cannot change a thing.

I know this, but with You empowering and guiding me,

I can be strong, courageous, forthright, and thorough,

Amen.

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MY PRAYER: 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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THANKSGIVING PRAYER: Father,
As we celebrate this wonderful holiday,
With family and friends, eating and drinking
Far more than we should, let us take a moment
To acknowledge the true purpose for this holiday.
It is to honor You for having been consistently faithful,
And for having blessed us with riches and bounty
Far beyond anything our Forefathers could have imagined.
For nearly four hundred years, since the Pilgrims landed,
Americans by the millions have celebrated Thanksgiving,
But multiplied millions no longer recognize or understand
The reason why this holiday even exists. In the foolishness
Of their hearts, they have accepted Your bounty
Without thought or appreciation, somehow believing
There is no need to do so, but such ingratitude is misguided.
We do need to recognize and honor You as the Author
And Provider of the great abundance we take for granted.
Consequently, for the sake of others and for ourselves,
We, Your faithful remnant of believers, in complete humility,
Willingly bend our knees before You this Thanksgiving Day
And acknowledge our gratitude to You for Your provision.
Thank You, God Almighty, for blessing our nation bountifully,
Amen
—Jack Watts

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