The Worthless Prayer

In my last post, I wrote about our place of hurt. Our place of hurt is as individual as each of us. Its’ origins are varied as well.

It is easy to get stuck in the sinking sand of despair when any slight can take us back dwelling in our place of hurt. I remember a time in the summer of 2016 when I was utterly stuck in my place of hurt. Since the summer of 2009 after losing my career and executive title, I struggled to find a new career, even while establishing a contract landed a position finally that would put me back into the career that helped my family attain a comfortable lifestyle. A former colleague had referred me to a company I was very familiar with, the interview went well and the person who interviewed me said she was passing me onto the next step in the hiring process. In less than 24 hours later, I received a standard rejection notice by email.

Like a punch in the gut, all the air went out of my body. I was in total shock.

“I don’t understand, God!” I wailed internally. “I don’t know what else you want from me. I don’t know what else to do!”

The only way I can describe the despair was I felt hollow. I had nothing left to give.

Worthless

In that moment, my sense of unworthiness was at its’ peak. I told my husband, I don’t know what else I can do. After literally submitting hundreds of online resumes’, interviews that always held out promise, I was beyond being despondent.

I could not even begin to pray. I literally just didn’t have any words. I would look at the blank page in my prayer journal in the darkness of my despair and close the cover. Then I turned to reading God’s Word and I opened my prayer journal once again. Although I did not have the words, God certainly did. I began to re-write my favorite bible verses in my prayer journal and other verses I had learned through my daily devotional readings. Inspirational quotes from some of my favorite authors began to flash on my social media feeds that described their countless rejections. God was talking to me.

I prayed on God’s promises.

Shortly thereafter, I had an interview within an industry similar of my contracting business, but it would mean learning and starting something new all over again. I told my husband that if I didn’t get this job, I was done interviewing. I was giving up.

I simply prayed, “Dear Lord, help me to accept and trust in my future. Amen”

I was still in my car 30 minutes after finishing the interview when I received a telephone call from the human resources recruiter telling me I had the job if I wanted it. I gratefully accept the job.

The Worthless Prayer

Guess what? Within two years my position was eliminated along with almost 600 of my co-workers. The company had decided to exit the industry.

Was my prayer worthless?

You may have seen the same memes or inspirational devotions that I have that read, “God always answers prayers. His answer may be “yes,” “no” or “not yet.”

I do NOT believe that sentiment for one split second. I have since come to believe that God always says, “YES!”

God says, “Yes, I hear you.”

God says, “Yes, I love you.”

God says, “Yes, you ARE worthy.”

God says, “I did not sacrifice my son, Jesus Christ to say “no” or “maybe.” He died for you! If you only accept and trust your future to me.”

When I was re-writing God’s promises in my prayer journal, they were becoming etched into my heart. I knew God would provide me another employment opportunity.

Our Place of Hurt

When my colleagues and I were all standing in that conference room listening to the president of the company tell us about the decision to exit the industry, how the dissolution of the company would play out, and how long we would have our jobs I looked around the room and saw all those places of hurt in my colleagues’ faces. I had been in their shoes in the summer of 2009 and I prayed I would not put those shoes back on and walk in my own place of hurt again.

My place of hurt originated when I was a child and I have often visited that place of hurt. It’s difficult not to go to that place of unworthiness, but the more I trust God with my future, I don’t stay long in my place of hurt for very long and the visits become further and further apart. I pray my way out of it even when I don’t have the words.

I am worthy. God even gave me the words to pray – HIS words. His promises.

Within two weeks I would again begin a new another new career in a different industry. I didn’t even stay to collect my severance package.

tree of life.jpg
From the prayer journal

Dear Lord, teach me to trust the Spirit You have breathed into me. Give me grace to believe Your Word, which I am made me Your child. Help me to understand that I am worthy because I belong to You. Enable me to live without despair and accept again the new life of my Lord, Jesus Christ. Lead me in joy by teaching me to no longer build walls of fear that protect myself from coming to You in prayer even when my words will not come out.

Father, help me to live in that joy where others can see You in my faith and service to You wherever and in whatever capacity you place me.

I love You. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, Amen

May I pray for you?

We all have our place of hurt. Wherever and whenever your place of hurt originated or if you visiting that place of hurt right now, just remember you are worthy.

The Prayer Journal’s blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!
I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Connect with The Prayer Journals

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Email:           Hoot@thebloggingowl.com
© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

The 5 P’s of Faith

Spirit of Faith

It has been almost two months since I last posted here at The Prayer Journals. Within two weeks after my last post, Praying the Scriptures, I received and accepted a job offer from a nationally respected insurance company.

The Lord has blessed me abundantly throughout my lifetime. And in writing my spiritual memoir I was communicating how I was transformed by growing closer to God, particularly since the collapse of my career in the summer of 2009 during the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression. Yet here I am again. I have experienced another sudden end to what I thought was a beginning of a new career to only have the company to completely dissolve operations this time. My reaction to the unsettling news would be much different than the summer of 2009 because I listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to fully and completely turned my face towards Jesus Christ.

Praying the Scripture

“If (I) have died with Christ, (I) believe that (I) will also live with him. (I) know that Christ, who was brought back to life will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once and for all to sin’s power. But now he lives and lives for God. So (I) consider (myself) dead to sin’s power but living for God in the power Christ Jesus gives (me).” Romans 6:8-11

The “5 P’s” of Faith

No doubt many of you have heard the phrase, “Prior planning prevents poor performance.” Often that phrase is heard when someone must make a presentation to another or a group of people. I heard it many times throughout the course of my sales management career.

God has awesome power to turn the negative into a positive

When my career came to an end in 2009, I was two years shy of turning 50 years old. I feared I would never obtain a job worthy of my past position. I was right. I didn’t. At least not in terms of compensation, but I would gain something even more valuable – insight into the power of faith in God. With God and his angels on earth, I created a job in the form of a contracting business in another sector of the financial services industry. It would help keep my family financially afloat.

God be the glory!

Within seven years in 2016, I was given an opportunity of full-time employment in a related sector in the financial services industry of the contracting business I had created. The position offered learning new skills, stability in compensation, a retirement plan, and dinner every night with my family.

Again, God was firmly in control.

So, when the news came again that I would need to look for a new job on Friday, April 13, 2018, I turned to my own “5 P’s” statement. It has become my personal statement of faith.

“Poised prayer produces purposeful performance.”

What does this statement mean?

Poise: God is control

God is in control of all situations and outcomes. That is, if I allow Him to be in control of my life rather than the world.

Prayer: God’s promises and presence

Praying without ceasing relying on God’s promises and fervently asking for His presence in my life and in all situations.

Productivity: Positive attitude

In my fervent prayer to God, asking for his help to present a positive Christ-like attitude that reflects the power of His mercy, love and peace.

Purpose: In joyful service

Accepting wherever God places me, so I may joyfully serve others in Christ’s name to fulfill His purpose through me.

Performance: God-centered

And in every position, not just in my job, but in all I do and say that I may keep God as the center of life’s work giving Him all the glory and praise.

“Blessed is the person who places his confidence in the Lord.” Psalm 40:4

The attitude of Christ

“So then, as Christians, do you have any encouragement? Do you have any comfort from love? Do you have any spiritual relationships? Do you have any sympathy and compassion? Then fill me with joy by having the same attitude and the same love, living in harmony, and keeping one purpose in mind. Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2: 1-5

On May 29th, a full month after my last blog post, I started a new career once again. At the end of this coming week, I will have been employed one month at this new company. I am thoroughly enjoying it! I know that all I have gone through in my life, God has and will continue to prepare me to joyfully serve with the attitude of Christ. I gratefully give Him ALL the Praise and Glory.

My prayer journal of May 3, 2018 – Accepting an offer of employment

Dear Lord, Great and Wondrous God who is in control of this world and of my life, it is with thanks and praise I acknowledge Your majesty and power. Because in Your steadfast love and mercy You have made Yourself my Father in Jesus Christ and recreated in me the image of Your holiness. I cannot by fully comprehend the extent and fullness of Your love. In faith, I thank and praise Your grace and mercy. You do so much for me without any merit in me that I all I can do is thank and praise Your holy name through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen

(Prayer adapted from the Lutheran Book of Prayer.)

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series relating to this theme. If you have just joined The Prayer Journals, I hope you will take the time to explore previous posts on this site.

Please join me next time as I continue my series, Getting to Know God.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. Use your gifts to communicate with God however you wish in your prayer journal. God enjoys hearing from you and you will be blessed!

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook: Facebook/ThePrayerJournals/PrayerPrompts

Twitter: @PrayerPrompts

Email: Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved