A Prayer of Exhaustion

A prayer for when pushed past your limits:
 
Lord I am scared. I am worn out, defeated. I wake up dreading each new day, I go to bed late not wanting the day to end. I’ve given you my best, but it consistently has fallen far short as has been needed, and quite honestly I can’t even tell which way is forward anymore let alone how to get there.
 
But still YOU are GOD.
 
I pray that you save me. That you give me a path forward. For I am weak and cannot walk this path anymore. But even moreso I pray that if this is truly the path you would have me walk that you give me the strength to move forward. For how many could you save through one servant’s suffering? How many years of blessings could you bring in turn for this short period of pain?
 
I am broken, and in pain. I have lost so much yet still fear losing more. Each time I feel I’ve hit bottom, I am shown that there is still lower I can and will go. But more than my fear of losing what I have… I fear leaving your plans when they are still only half finished.
 
No matter where I am, nor what I have, nor what I am dealing with, you are watching over me, and you will provide. Even if many of my things I think I need go unanswered… even if I feel powerless watching those around me hurt and suffer knowing I have nothing left to give them… you will still provide when it is truly needed. You will let me feel the heat. You may even let me scorch. But you will not let me be destroyed.
 
Lord I pray again for I am scared. I am truly afraid and terrified. Yet I have seen your hand working so clearly throughout this all. I have seen you again and again working even if not in the areas I wish you were. Lord I am scared. I am scared. I am scared. These giants in my life are far larger than me. And I lay here chained in place half by my own doings. Lord forgive me for what sins I have done to bring me to this place, but also do not let your work be hampered by my own weakness. Lord to me these chains are lethal. Choking and restraining. To you they are brittle. Petty and weak.
 
Lord. I pray not for you to save me. Though I truly desire to be saved. I pray that you use me. That you use these circumstances to help me grow, and to encourage those around me. What a waste of suffering it would be if you brought me this far just to bring me back to where I left off. Lord I pray. I am not some victim struggling to survive. I am YOUR servant! Servant of the most high God!
 
Lord, if you are willing, I pray that you take this meager life, and use it to create an impact that only you can. For what do I have but you? What can I get that is not from you?
 
Lord, strengthen my heart, widen my understanding. Let these things soften me to become empathetic, not harden me to become bitter. Lord I am struggling. Lord I will fall. Lord I already have many times. Please Lord. I am yours. Do your way with me.
 
Amen
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Proof in Pain

What do you do when things keep going wrong?

I don’t mean you get called out for the corners you cut, at least then you would have the comfort in believing that things would be better if you pushed yourself harder… I mean, what do you do when you push yourself far beyond your limits daily, you address every sin you can think of, you organize yourself, you face things you don’t like doing, cut things out of your life that hold you back, pray daily and hard, read your bible daily and intently, seek wisdom of others, and you still fail! (Not that you are perfect but if life required perfection, which ones of us could stand?) When the problems that keep coming up aren’t from lack of foresight, but incredibly unlikely things which mercilessly barrage you and threaten to overtake you. “If it’s out of your hands, why worry about it?” Is comforting until most of your life is out of your hands… until you find yourself continuously backed into a corner… as your own strength and endurance is continually taken away from you, as the size of your problems only seem to multiply…

What do you do when life is unfair, there is no hope, and the harder you pray, the more ridiculously hard life gets?

You find hope in that…

Because there is no logical reason for all of this to happen… because it is totally unfair to suffer so much when others who work half as hard end up 10x more successful and relaxed. Because it makes no sense that the harder you pray for deliverance, the harder your suffering becomes…. it makes no sense unless you consider life simply trying to tell you to grow up and take life in your own hands.

But why would life try to say that? Why would a non sentient state of being alter the forces of our world just to get that point across? The only way is if there were an entity of great power trying to make one give up hope that there is an entity of great power. The only one who would benefit for the denial of their own existence is one who wishes to destroy you, or the devil. The only reason the devil would work so hard to make you give up would be if there was one he was trying to keep you from seeing.

The world says, “Because there is suffering there is no God.” I say, “because there is suffering there MUST be God!”

Take faith, walk strong, pray!

When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers; Pray!

A few times now I’ve asked the question… what do you do when God doesn’t answer prayer? What do you do when instead things just get worse?
 
You watch as your hope slowly goes away. You wrack your brain for what you could be doing wrong. You work yourself to passing out because “Your still standing! That means you can still do more!” Subconsciously you lower your expectations to your prayers because… well you’ve been going for months, and years now of having your prayers not answered… it’s okay… you know the answer… why would it change now??
 
The answer though, at least from what I’m starting to see, is none of those things above.
 
So what do you do when God doesn’t answer your prayers? What do you do when instead your situation continues to get worse and worse?
 
You pray again…. And you believe….
 
Pray and persevere! If you wake up to find that nothing has happened, pray again! Perhaps there is a level of spiritual warfare you are not aware of like in Daniel. Perhaps God is using this to help you grow. But pray again!
 
Is God bound to helping you? Does God HAVE to answer prayer?? OF COURSE NOT! He is God! He doesn’t answer to you and me! He isn’t bound to codes and rules! He is God!
 
But! It is because He is God that you can take faith that He WILL provide. That He WILL answer prayer. Not because He has to, but because it is who He is!
 
But what if He doesn’t answer prayer? Then what will happen to me?? Won’t I just look like a fool desperately whacking my head against this same wall as I slowly drown? What if I’m missing something? What if I was wrong all along?? What if God wants me to do it myself??
 
PRAY! PRAY! PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY!
 
If God wants you to do something differently then ask for Him to show you! If God is waiting for you to do something, Ask Him what it is.
 
Do we serve a God who is mute? Who plays a “hot and cold!” game with us in finding His will? Does He delight in seeing us torment ourselves worrying about if we are doing it right or not???
 
DON’T BE AN IDIOT!
 
If you’re that worried about if you’re doing things right or not, then ASK GOD! ASK HIM! ASK HIM FOR CLARITY! He created the universe with nothing but His voice, do you honestly think He can’t get through our thick skulls to clear things up?
 
I cannot say this enough. If you truly believe in God, then why do people question this so much? Why do people feel it rests on their shoulders alone to determine what’s God’s will and what’s just our own selfishness talking?? If that’s the case you may be better off not believing anything at all! If you don’t believe that God can do so little as explain what He wants you to do when you genuinely want to know in spite of your fear, then what good is it to ask ANYTHING of Him??? Are you turning to God because you truly believe there is a creator far more powerful and wise than you could ever hope to understand?? Or are you simply fulfilling some sugar pill of a reason to have morals.
 
If you believe there is a God then BELIEVE THERE IS A GOD! If you don’t believe God is there, then don’t! How empty a life would we live in if we tried to go half way???
 
And what if God doesn’t answer? Did Abraham see himself turn into a great nation? Did Moses see the promise land? Did the disciples see the return of God??
 
These people devoted their lives to causes they never saw happen in their life times… are they to be pitied? Did they waste their lives that they could have spent building up wealth and security on something they felt might happen yet never did???
 
NO! The Bible praises them. We hold them in high respect for their faith. Even though they did not see the exact thing they were looking for come to fruition, the journey God took them on in their faith rewarded them in ways we do not realize. But even if they didn’t… is it not better to die following God than to live running away from Him?
 
What can this world offer that’s worth living for? Wealth is a cold companion, relationships can feel shallow, people betray us, power is fleeting, fame turns against us… Without purpose and the rock to stand on, are we not just biding time until we die? Is it not better to die living for something than to live to fear dying??
 
And if you do start to doubt… what will happen? Will your life problems suddenly go away because you stopped trusting in God? Will giving life your best suddenly start working because you stopped giving glory to the creator of all things?
 
The only reason that would work is if there was someone pleased enough with your lack of hope to stop fighting you and give you what you want. The only one who would find joy from such a choice would be a devil, and be careful when he gives you what you want. The juiciest bait lies in the deadliest trap.
 
If God does not answer your prayers, that is His choice. That is His right. That is His decision. BUT DON’T STOP PRAYING! AND DON’T STOP BELIEVING!
 
It is God’s choice whether He answers your prayers or not. It is your choice whether you’ll keep believing in Him or not.
 
No matter what trial you face. Be it spiritual, mental, physical, legal, societal, mechanical, or any level of problems you can find yourself in… God CAN save you. God says He WILL look out for us. God says to ask and He WILL answer, provided we chase His will. BUT! Even if He doesn’t. Even if we fall. Even if we lose everything and are laughed and ridiculed out… Even so! I will still follow Him. For He is the only choice there ever has been.
 
Amen

The Way Forward

Give God Your Best!
Continue To Strive To Improve
But realize that it is not your strength that can save you.
Realize until God says it’s time for you to be saved you will not be.
 
Is it your own failings that are holding you back? Would your life have been better if you had known about one weakness or another? Do you panic constantly about what sin in your life you can’t find yet that is keeping you from moving forward??
 
Don’t be crazy. If God worked like that how could anyone move forward? Are we not all sinners? Do we all not fall so short of where God wants us to be?
 
If life is not going the way it should then pray. Pray for God to save you. Pray for God to show you all you need to improve on. Pray for God to give you the courage to endure and the wisdom to move forward. But if you cannot think of how to improve, or if you stumble after trying so hard to overcome one sin in your life…. will God keep hitting you until you get it??
 
If there were a sin in your life you knew about but would rather justify or ignore than deal with than that is different. In fact, there will be many who will tell you this is the case as others can pick up the appearance of evil in yourself better than you can… but only you and God can truly know your heart.
 
If you know of sin in your life, deal with it! Even if you fail at dealing with it, keep trying to deal with it! Pray to God for help, He is very reliable when it comes to dealing with temptations! But if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. If you can’t think of how you can do any better in your old weakness. Should you be beating yourself up on how you cannot move forward?
 
Does God’s plan rest on your shoulders? Does God’s plan rely on you having the purity of a saint? Does God’s plan require you to have a greater strength than any other human in the world?
 
God does not ask you to be perfect to complete His plans. In fact the Bible says many times that you never will be perfect.
 
It is not our goal to be perfect and lead His plans. It is our goal to follow Him!
 
God has used liars, cheaters, murderers, and lunatics. Idiots, cowards, the depressed, and the anxious. God CAN use you. God WILL use you. Realize your current circumstances does not rest on your shoulders alone. It is God who will decide what and when your rescue will be. And He will do all things for His glory and your good. So trust in Him!
 
Amen

At the End of My Rope

What do you do when your best isn’t enough? What do you do when your prayers aren’t being answered? Or even worse, your strongest prayers are met with greater hardships within minutes? What do you do in the times when the greatest proof that there is a God is that it makes no logical sense for your hard work to be met with such emptiness and for your luck to be THIS bad with such timing?
 
At least when you are holding back or not facing something you can at least find comfort in the fact that life would be better if you kicked your butt into gear. But what about when you’re trying your hardest? What about when you’ve addressed every sin and weakness that you can think of? What when your ambitions have led to making the burns worse every time? When you’ve failed so many times and the fires grow so big that you’ve forgotten which way is forward, which is back, which is up, and which is down?
 
What when you seek wisdom and you just are told what you’ve already been doing? What when you seek comfort, and instead find pain and emptiness? What about when you’ve forgotten how to dream and want, because all you dream and want is just to survive another day? What when what you find through prayer and the Bible, vs what the wise people in your life tell you clash?
 
Do you blame people? For their empty words… for their offensive comfort? It is not their fault…. If they say what they feel God is leading them to say, it’s not a matter of saying what is wise, or what will help you. It’s up to say what they feel God is leading them to say. Whether it comfort you or test you further.
 
Do you blame society? The cruel, cold, and empty machine… who at one point was designed to face a problem, but has long since forgotten it’s purpose, and is now run by fools who only know how to milk it dry to prolong the time till their own punishment reaches them? Such a ridiculous thing is out of your control and you were never meant to rule the world in the first place…. you wouldn’t be much better at it…
 
You realize that you are part of a bigger game… A game that transcends society, feelings, emotions, relationships…. yet a game that is simpler than most…. a game between God who wants you to trust Him and to show what wonders can be done through Him, and the Devil who wants to convince you how much better the world would be off without God.
 
I can’t say what works and what doesn’t in this world…. I am not that wise, and if I could then what would be the point of faith. I write now not as a conquering hero who overcame hardships and saw a brighter future… but as a weak, confused, and lost little kid… who is completely overwhelmed, with the room spinning, confused, and out of ideas of what to do…. but I write this now not out of searching for pity…. but because THESE are the points when it is most important to decide….
 
It is when you have no strength left that you most need to stand.
It is when you have no hope left that you most need your faith.
It is when you have no path left that you most need to move forward.
It is when you feel empty that you must keep running on full.
It is when you feel most abandoned that you must know how loved you are.
It is when you feel most abused that you must accept how blessed you are.
It is when you want it all to end, that you MUST keep going forward.
 
I know not what the future holds… and quite honestly, from where I stand I see no light. I see no hope. I see no peace. I find little to no comfort from others. I see no way my future can work out. I feel like no matter what I say or do, more bad news will come in a few minutes time. I feel like this is all my life is… all my life has been… and all my life ever will be… The thought of being excited for the future… having things I can’t wait to see happen… hope… they all sound like luxurious dreams which people like me have no right to have. But I know what the Bible says…. and even if I haven’t seen it…. even if I never do see it… I am going to follow it..
 
It says that if you are lost then God will find you (Luke 19:10)
 
It says that when you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, to remember to whom you belong (Ephesians 2:19-22)
 
It speaks of how God is able to do abundantly more than what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
 
It says how God can turn our storms and devastation into something good (Romans 8:28)
 
It says even what is intended for harm, God can use for good! (Genesis 50:20)
 
It says how the Lord will give you strength when you have none (2 Timothy 4:17)
 
It says how this battle was never ours but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15)
 
It says how there is nothing the Devil can steal from us which God can not restore, and how the one thing the Devil can not steal from us is God Himself!
 
It says how patience and perseverance are rewarded but at God’s timing not our own.
 
It says how we shall never be abandoned. How we are loved in spite of our weaknesses.
 
That God knows our weaknesses and still has great plans for us.
 
That none of this life has caught God off guard or by surprise. That He knew our weaknesses and problems before they even came to be.
 
That God works all things to His glory, beyond human comprehension
 
That it is not our ability but our faith to Him that let’s Him use us
 
That He can use the uneducated, those with rough pasts, the socially inept, the weak, the cowards, the proud, and more
 
That even though we should never stop combatting our weaknesses, that God accepts us in spite of them and can use us in spite of them.
 
That our circumstances are not directly tied to our efforts or our path. It is up to God to decide who rises and who falls.
 
That He brings rest for the weary, hope for the helpless, strength for those who can move no further.
 
That He is GOD and that He can do great things. That no matter what comes our way we are never beyond His saving.
 
So while I know not what the future holds… I barely know what tomorrow will be like…. and while I fear more suffering and hardships because even if God is strong enough to face all things, I am not and I passed the end of my rope years ago…. I know that He is God… that my life always has and always will rest in His hands. That no, there is no way to save myself… but God put me in a place where no one but Him could save me for His glory and for my strength. Much like chasing away the armies for Gideon, or putting Job through trials and ridicule…. He is the Lord. He is God. He is the only truth and way. And so yes I am scared. Yes I am tired. No I don’t even want to wake up tomorrow…. but I can come to Him about this…. I can come to Him with how I feel…. because He is God. And He loves me. And He already knew in the first place.
 
Amen

When Prayers Aren’t Answered

As prayers go unanswered, and trials pile one after another… As you strive to follow God only to have the paths forward cut off one after another… It is easy to let your mind wander to what you have done… “Did you do everything you could? Could you have done more? Should you have done things differently? Did you fall short?” And honestly the answer is… “Yes…”
 
I’ve never really liked giving the advice “Well is there anything else you could have done?” because we use it in the wrong context. Of course there is things we could do differently. Of course there is more we can do. Of course there are mistakes we made. Of course we didn’t do everything perfect because we AREN’T perfect!
 
This is good to recognize as we analyze and grow… but beyond that, what good is it?
 
We tend to treat it as “God’s plans fell through because you faltered in your faith at the last second… God didn’t let you move forward because you take 15 minutes in your preparation instead of 10. If you had given up drinking coffee as well I’m sure your life would be much better right now.”
 
POPPYCOCK!
 
If God’s plans relied on our ability to do everything in our ability at every given second, what would be done in this world??
 
YOU are imperfect. YOU will fail. But newsflash. God already knew that!
 
God KNOWS you are weak. God KNOWS you are human. God KNOWS you are going to fall flat on your face an innumerable amount of times. If things are getting tougher, and everything is falling apart in spite of you chasing after God… don’t go kicking yourself up. You’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re following God! All the rest is a matter of His timing and His methods… and trust me… just ask Gideon… He likes setting up a losing situation first.
 
So then… should we sit back and live life as we please, because God loves us and is ultimately in charge of what works and doesn’t??
 
Replacing one extreme with another rarely works…..
 
God calls us to follow Him… not to make His plans work… Not to do miracles so we can get to Him… God knows where you stand. God knows who you are. God knows where you are strong and where you are weak. He wants you to grow through this journey, but you have to be willing to follow… and believe me that’s scary enough!
 
Are you following God? Are you trusting in Him? Are you praying? Are you reading the Bible? Are you asking others to pray for you too?
 
Unlike what society may say…. results do not necessarily show if you are doing what’s right or wrong… because all we can see are the results in this moment. We can’t see the path that lies ahead.
 
Learn from your mistakes. But do not feel you have failed God…or are too weak for Him. He knew where you stood before He asked you. You cannot let Him down as you were never holding Him up to begin with. The road ahead is treacherous and scary… but your safety has already been looked out for. Walk in confidence

What Is Strength?

What is strength? What is weakness?
 
Compared to true strength, are we not all weak? Compared to true wisdom, are we not all fools? Compared to true power, are we not all hopeless?
 
Yet true strength, wisdom, and power are things humanity is not capable of. And as such we lower our expectations. We lower the transfer point between strength and weakness. It is hard to imagine what you have not seen and cannot comprehend so it makes sense that we do that.
 
So by human standards… what is strength, and what is weakness?
 
Some would argue that a strong person is one who goes through life without breaking a sweat. “That person gets all A’s… they pass every trial… they got the job they want, the family they dreamed of, everything is going their way… I wish I was that strong… I feel too weak to even cover basic survival in life… how am I supposed to have the strength to be ambitious as well?”
 
But is that strength? Is that person truly strong? Or has that person simply not faced trials yet like you have?
 
If that were all there were to being “strong” then there would be a strength to weakness the strong cannot imagine.
 
The weak face failure. The weak face hardships. The weak face tasks they cannot overcome. The weak are forced to adapt. The weak are forced to compromise. The weak are forced to think of new ways forward aside from the straight path that the rest have taken.
 
Life WILL have trials… no matter who you are. The fact that you face them while others does not mean you are weak… in fact, it means that you have a strength the strong do not have. To know your weakness, and to be forced to think of a way around it… is that not a strength in itself?
 
I would argue that it is not the strong who can keep moving forward in life. Instead I would argue the ones who keep moving forward are strong.
 
It is not about what strength you have to face the current circumstances that decide if you are strong or not.
 
If Usain Bolt ran against a series of kindergarten students and won…. who would seem stronger? The kindergarten kids who tried their hardest only to lose? Or Bolt who breezed through and won…. Now if the rest of their lives this match continued… who would BE stronger? The one who is simply breezing through on ability? Or the ones who seek to push past their own??
 
It is not strength that lets us move forward… it is moving forward that gives us strength. What matters is not how much you fail. What matters is not how much easier those around you succeed. What matters is that you never give up. Pick yourself up. And keep moving forward!