Whether you have been following The Prayer Journals blog, this 8-weeks series of 40 Prayer Journal Entries, or maybe, you have just begun writing a journal, writing allows each of us to explore our pain and our pleasure of mind, body, and spirit. Journal writing helps me to figure things out about myself, others and the world. My prayer journal draws me closer to God so He can help guide me in this pursuit of self-awareness, self-expression, and in communication with Him and others.
This week’s five words are words that really touch on the mind, body, and spirit. Words that either drive us closer or sometimes drive us further away from our relationship with God. When writing about these five words this week pray on these words that they may draw you nearer to understanding, seeing, and feeling God’s presence in your life.
I will be having surgery next month. While I am looking forward to surgery that may alleviate the pain and suffering physically for a long time, I pray the surgery will also alleviate the anguish in my mind and spirit as well. When praying upon the word, pain, remember there are many forms of pain – pain we suffer and the pain we cause others.
“Why is my pain unending and my wound incurable, refusing to heal?
Will you disappoint me like a stream that dries up in summertime? This is what the LORD says: If you will return, I will take you back. If you will speak what is worthwhile and not what is worthless, you will stand in my presence.” Jeremiah 15:18-19
“Slaves, place yourselves under the authority of your owners and show them complete respect. Obey not only those owners who are good and kind, but also those who are unfair. God is pleased if a person is aware of him while enduring the pains of unjust suffering. What credit do you deserve if you endure a beating for doing something wrong? But if you endure suffering for doing something good, God is pleased with you.” 1 Peter 2:18-20
“Whoever corrects a mocker receives abuse. Whoever warns a wicked person gets hurt. Do not warn a mocker, or he will hate you. Warn a wise person, and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:7-8
“I have seen all of this, and I have carefully considered all that is done under the sun whenever one person has authority to hurt others. Then I saw wicked people given an honorable burial. They used to go in and out of the holy place. They were praised in the city for doing such things. Even this is pointless.” Ecclesiastes 8:9-10
The toxicity of shame is debilitating. Shame kept me from truly understanding God’s grace and mercy. Much can be written about shame.
Has someone done something that has caused you debilitating shame?
Perhaps you are the perpetrator of that shame?
“Don’t be afraid, because you won’t be put to shame. Don’t be discouraged, because you won’t be disgraced. You’ll forget the shame you’ve had since you were young.” Isaiah 54:4
“If you suffer for being a Christian, don’t feel ashamed, but praise God for being called that name.” 1 Peter 4:16
“Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.” Romans 5:5
“He is a rock. What he does is perfect. All his ways are fair. He is a faithful God, who does no wrong. He is honorable and reliable. He recognizes that his people are corrupt. To their shame they are no longer his children. They are devious and scheming. Is this how you repay the LORD, you foolish and silly people? Isn’t he your Father and Owner, who made you and formed you?” Deuteronomy 32:4-6
Poverty can make us feel pain and shameful in mind, body, and spirit. Even if you were not raised in poverty, you may have walked by someone on the street who is living in poverty.
How does poverty make you feel?
What do you see when you see others living in poverty?
“Oppressed people will see this and rejoice. May the hearts of those who look to God for help be refreshed. The LORD listens to needy people. He does not despise his own who are in prison.” Psalm 69: 32-33
“He will judge the poor justly. He will make fair decisions for the humble people on earth. He will strike the earth with a rod from his mouth. He will kill the wicked with the breath from his lips. Justice will be the belt around his waist. Faithfulness will be the belt around his hips.” Isaiah 11:4-5
“He called his disciples and said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: This poor widow has given more than all the others. All of them have given what they could spare. But she, in her poverty, has given everything she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44
“You know about the kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor in order to make you rich through his poverty.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
“I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when I’m hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little.” Philippians 4:12
None of us escape guilt. The term, “guilt trip” is often mentioned when someone knows they are guilty because no one can make another feel guilty unless they already are guilty. As long as we live on this earth, guilt will be a part of our life. Yet, faith in Christ can guide our lives
Where does your “guilt trip” come from?
What has you feeling guilty?
How has your guilt affected others?
“Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words. This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and how we will be reassured in his presence. Whenever our conscience condemns us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our conscience and knows everything.” 1 John 3:18-20
“We know that if the life we live here on earth is ever taken down like a tent, we still have a building from God. It is an eternal house in heaven that isn’t made by human hands. In our present tent-like existence we sigh, since we long to put on the house we will have in heaven. After we have put it on,[a] we won’t be naked. While we are in this tent, we sigh. We feel distressed because we don’t want to take off the tent, but we do want to put on the eternal house. Then eternal life will put an end to our mortal existence. God has prepared us for this and has given us his Spirit to guarantee it. So we are always confident. We know that as long as we are living in these bodies, we are living away from the Lord. Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight. We are confident and prefer to live away from this body and to live with the Lord. Whether we live in the body or move out of it, our goal is to be pleasing to him. All of us must appear in front of Christ’s judgment seat. Then all people will receive what they deserve for the good or evil they have done while living in their bodies.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Whatever we feel in mind, body, and spirit, God is our great comforter.
Do you feel God’s comfort? If so, how? If not, why?
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.
That is why we are not afraid even when the earth quakes or the mountains topple into the depths of the sea. Water roars and foams, and mountains shake at the surging waves. Selah
There is a river whose streams bring joy to the city of God, the holy place where the Most High lives. God is in that city. It cannot fall. God will help it at the break of dawn.” Psalm 46:1-5
1 Loudly, I cried to God.
Loudly, I cried to God
so that he would open his ears to hear me.
2 On the day I was in trouble, I went to the Lord for help.
At night I stretched out my hands in prayer without growing tired.
Yet, my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I sigh as I remember God.
I begin to lose hope as I think about him. Selah
4 (You keep my eyelids open.)
I am so upset that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old,
the years long ago.
6 I remember my song in the night
and reflect on it.
My spirit searches for an answer:
7 Will the LORD reject me for all time?
Will he ever accept me?
8 Has his mercy come to an end forever?
Has his promise been canceled throughout every generation?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he locked up his compassion because of his anger? Selah
10 Then I said, “It makes me feel sick
that the power of the Most High is no longer the same.”
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD.
I will remember your ancient miracles.
12 I will reflect on all your actions
and think about what you have done.
13 O God, your ways are holy!
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles.
You have made your strength known among the nations.
15 With your might you have defended your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 The water saw you, O God.
The water saw you and shook.
Even the depths of the sea trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water.
The sky thundered.
Even your arrows flashed in every direction.
18 The sound of your thunder rumbled in the sky.[b]
Streaks of lightning lit up the world.
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your road went through the sea.
Your path went through raging water,
but your footprints could not be seen.
20 Like a shepherd, you led your people.
You had Moses and Aaron take them by the hand.
Pray for comfort in mind, body, and spirit
“Jesus replied to them, “Now you believe. The time is coming, and is already here, when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go your own way and leave me all alone. Yet, I’m not all alone, because the Father is with me. I’ve told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you’ll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33
(All Bible verses are GOD’s Word translation.)
“When you read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, “It is talking to me, and about me.” Soren Kierkegaard
“Absorb the Word into your system by dwelling on it, pondering it, going over it again and again in your mind, considering it from many different angles, until it becomes part of you.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Continue to read and re-read the book of Matthew and add the books of Mark, Luke, and John as we are nearing the end of this 8-week series to understand the heart of Jesus Christ. Biblegateway.com or Bible.com are both excellent online resources. On their home page, search any word for Bible verses containing the word. Keep writing your way through whatever has brought you to draw closer to Him.
May I pray for you?
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Blessings on your day!
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