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

Facebook:     Facebook/ThePrayerJournals/PrayerPrompts
Twitter:         @PrayerPrompts
Email:           Hoot@thebloggingowl.com
© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Three things I pray

Day by Day,” is a folk-rock ballad from the 1971 Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak musical Godspell. The refrain’s origin has been ascribed to the 13th-century English bishop Saint Richard of Chichester.

Refrain:

“Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day”

I was 10 years old in 1971. And then over the years I would sing this song to myself whenever I was anxious and scared. I often think about the many times in the middle of the night I would hug my younger self singing this song in my head eventually falling asleep.

That song always comforted me. It still does today. Perhaps this song was the seed planted all those years ago that is now become The Prayer Journals. I hadn’t thought about that until now.

God’s perfect timing

While I have written in journals over the years, my prayer journal did not become a consistent practice until about eight years ago. I cannot imagine not going a day without my daily writing and praying visits with God.

“To see thee more clearly”

Even on the cloudiest of days my prayer journal has helped me to see God more clearly. The practice of reading God’s Word every day has given me new insight on His presence and asking Him to show me His presence in the darkest days. Because no matter how much I rely on my faith, there are days I when I feel the raindrops of doubt are the ones I do see Him more clearly.

1 John 4:12-15 (GW)

“No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.  We know that we live in him and he lives in us, because he has given us his Spirit.  We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.” 

Acts 2:32-35 (GW)

“God brought this man Jesus back to life. We are all witnesses to that. 33 God the Father used his power to give Jesus the honored position—the one next to him on the heavenly throne. Jesus has also received and has poured out the Holy Spirit as the Father had promised, and this is what you’re seeing and hearing. David didn’t go up to heaven, but he said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Take the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne
until I put your enemies under your control.”’

“To love thee more dearly”

On some days when it is difficult to love myself or others because this world seemingly becomes more hostile and unforgiving, God’s Word and my prayer journal are my refuge for reminding me of God’s love and the power of His peace that only He can provide me. It’s my place where I talk it out whether with tears of anger, hurt or hopeless, I know I am loved. But it isn’t just on the difficult days, it is every day that I praise Him for His many blessings and I find that I love Him more dearly.

Luke 10:27 (GW)

“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”

Luke 1:77-79 (GW)

“You will make his people know that they can be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
A new day will dawn on us from above
because our God is loving and merciful.
He will give light to those who live in the dark
and in death’s shadow.
He will guide us into the way of peace.”

“To follow thee more nearly”

This third thing is often the most difficult to do because I want what I want when I want it. You too? And when I find myself being bitter about not receiving the thing I want or something not happening when I think it should happen, I go to the prayer journal and I write:

“Lord, I only want to be where you want me to be. I only want what you want me to have and when you want me to have it and not a minute sooner.”

God lifts the burden and I feel His peace.  It never fails to amaze me the feeling that comes over me. “I follow You more nearly, Lord.”

Deuteronomy 32:4 (GW)

“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.”

1 Peter 4:19 (GW)

“Those who suffer because that is God’s will for them must entrust themselves to a faithful creator and continue to do what is good.”

These things I pray

Dear Lord God, I pray for the grace and wisdom to understand that in Your gentleness there is power, in Your kindness there is strength, and in Your forgiveness, there is life. Keep me from relying on my own power, my own purpose and the love of this world instead of my love for you. Help me to understand that wisdom is born and grows to maturity through faith in Christ. Grant me the patience and confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who is Wisdom. I love You. Amen

A Psalm.JPG

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 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