Honest Prayers

Sheep and Shepherd

Isaiah 40:11 (NKJV) – He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.

 

 

You may have been wondering about my extended absence from my blog and I’ve wondered about that too!  It’s interesting because I know when I have something I want to post and over the last month or so, I’ve not had the words to share.  I’ve never been a book writer, so I’ve not experienced writer’s block, but this wasn’t a block it was knowing that what God was doing and saying in me wasn’t to a place that it could be shared.  But today is your lucky day, here it is!!

I think of myself as a very honest person; I work to tell the truth at all times, believe what is true and also stand for truth.  So you can imagine my surprise when it felt as if God was telling me I haven’t been honest with Him and a big part of that was because I wasn’t being honest with myself.  To describe this is going to take God’s grace because when you aren’t honest with yourself, but have always thought you were being honest with yourself and everyone else, it’s difficult to understand how you can be so far off.  This is where I believe I was, I had spent the majority of my life trying to be good, to act right, to believe right, to counter improper thoughts with correct thoughts, to forgive or have grace if I was mistreated…and the list goes on and on and on.  The bottom line is I have worked to be right.  I’ve used my will to manage myself and behaviors so that I would line up with what I thought God said, God promised and, quite frankly, what God expected.

Over this last month, something, and it hasn’t been this clear event but more of a journey, has made me realize I never have felt I could just feel and think all of these things that I feel and think when I’m angry, hurt, mad, confused or any of these negative emotions and spill them out to God.  For numerous reasons, even though I knew God knew everything I thought or felt, I believed if I thought too long on them or said them that I would cancel out what God said He would do on my behalf in His word.  It’s funny because when you really allow yourself to get to some beliefs that are way down there deep and you are able to see them, they aren’t complex or so weird that they aren’t understandable or they are not thoughts that make no logical sense, usually they are just these simple lies that we’ve believed to be true but based on God’s word, aren’t and we’ve filtered thousands of thoughts and actions through them.  Lies like we’re unlovable, that because one person close to us betrayed us that we can’t trust anyone or God is mad at me or I’ve been so bad, I can never be truly right.  But when these deep lies are exposed and God’s light of truth is shined on them, we can see what maybe for a lifetime, has held us hostage and if we can believe God’s truth we can really be free.  Also, that freedom breaks many other issues in our lives that grew because of that lie.

That’s what I’ve been doing these last several weeks.  Getting to a place where I could let God tell me I have a problem that’s affecting many areas of my life.  Things I’ve wanted to see God change, big things, have been rooted in this problem.  When I was hurt or upset I wouldn’t let myself be honest, with myself or with God, and I’d cover it and cover it and cover it but God in His mercy only let’s us hide stuff for so long.  And if we’re asking, and I was!, He’s faithful to show us, but at the same time He’s working in us to be in a place where we can come out in victory on the other side.  There’s pain in the process, and that’s usually why we avoid it, but I’ve had pain from all of the things I’ve been covering, so I’d rather plunge in with God in the pain and come out healed vs. hitting it unwittingly when I least expect it because I’ve got land mines buried everywhere.

So here we are, I suddenly (it was a suddenly that was a long time coming!!) realize that I don’t acknowledge the ugly emotions that I get when something bad happens or someone or something hurts me and because of that I don’t tell God what I’m feeling so that He can overtake me with His word and His love and keep that experience from becoming a new wound that never gets healed.  And I don’t get stronger in those areas because I don’t let Him become my answer in those areas, instead I’m looking for a solution somewhere else and usually in someone else; myself, my husband, my kids, friends or someone I think is an expert in that area, but not God.  Again, seems obvious when you see it in black and white, but in the murky waters of our inside self, it’s so easy and so natural to look for an answer that’s not God.  Here’s what I’ve been learning, though, it is so freeing to be honest with God and it’s been really amazing that as I spew out the junk then a scripture pops up in my mind and I look it up and His Word overtakes me and my spirit says, “Yes, Lord, that’s what I want in this situation.  That’s what I want You to be for me in this.”  I’ve had this happen while I’m in bed when I was dealing with some really hard emotions, I’ve had it happen at my desk, while I was writing out my fears and frustrations over a big issue, and I’ve had it happen in the shower while I cried because I was so mad at an argument I’d just had and felt I’d been totally treated unfairly.  Each and every time I poured out to myself and to God all of the ugly emotions I felt, all the unfairness it seemed I was being subjected to, all the rights of mine I felt were being trampled and the injustice of my circumstance and situation and then God in His kindness and mercy put a piece of scripture in my mind.  I would then look it up and each and every time it was so amazing how appropriate it was.  Some times I’d look them up on Google and God would also point out an article or teaching that would lead me to an additional passage that just made the truth even greater in me.

This is huge in me right now, and I want to give you every chance to see what and how God is doing this so I’m going to share one of my prayers (this is my way, you should always feel free to do it your way because God loves it exactly how you are comfortable doing it).  I hope that my experience will help you feel comfortable to have your own if you haven’t in the past.  I’m also going to provide at the end of today’s post a link to some resources that helped me tremendously in praying honest prayers.  Let the chips fall where they may and then see our Heavenly Father, who loves His daughters so much more than we know, show up and love us through the mess.

A Daughter’s Honest Prayer:  Lord, today I just feel bad.  I feel lost, confused and down.  I know that there are things that you are doing and have done, but the unknown is overwhelming me.  Help.  I need help.  In my spirit it’s like I’m in a dark rainy place and I’m curled up feeling abandoned and hopeless.  I’m asking, “Where are You God?”  Why is this so hard and why does the way forward continue to escape our inquiries?  I don’t know what to do.  I have no clue as to what You are saying, what You desire.  I don’t hear “yes” and I don’t hear “no”…it feels like I hear nothing.  Well maybe not nothing, maybe, “Follow Me”, but I’m not sure I know where “Follow Me” is coming from.  I’d love to follow You, but where are You?!

I feel like I’ve asked and have kept on asking, and that I’ve knocked and kept on knocking but the part where You open the door and where You answer the question…that part hasn’t, isn’t happening.  You’ve promised that You never leave us, nor do You forsake us, so based on that I know You are here…but the lamp unto my feet and light unto my path part…where is that?  You say You are that, You say that as You do this new thing You’ll show us…where is that part of the promise?

I know I am feeble, but as far as I am able I’ve surrendered and I’ve laid myself at Your feet.  I’ve asked to die to myself and become alive to You.  When does the alive part happen?  I admit it, I’m just plain scared.  I know I’m not supposed to be, but I am.  Not all the time, not every day, but today, right now I am.  And I’m upset!  I’m upset with everyone else who knows what we’re going through and doesn’t say or do what seems like would be helpful and encouraging.  I know these aren’t right thoughts and emotions, but they are what I have right now.  All I can do is tell them to You and let You do with them what needs to be done with them.

Help.  I know I need Your help.  Holy Spirit, my Comforter, Jesus my ever present help in time of need.  I desire help from my good shepherd.  As Rich Mullins said, “Hold me Jesus, I’m shaking like a leaf.  You’ve been my King of Glory, won’t You be my Prince of Peace?”*  Amen.

Resources:

Here is a link to a folder where I have several exercises and tools I’ve used as I’ve dug into spending more time talking to my Heavenly Father and being in a place to hear His voice and experience His presence.  I think you’ll find them very helpful!  Prayer Resources

If you’re unfamiliar with Rich Mullin’s song, “Hold Me Jesus”, here’s a link to the words and his video.  I find this song really moving, especially when I’m struggling with what’s going on in a bad situation.  Hold Me Jesus

4 thoughts on “Honest Prayers

  1. Dearest Kari,

    I hear your heart in this post! I understand part of your journey and can feel your hurt and pain as you have so accurately stated. I personally want to thank you for your honesty and deep felt desire to follow your heavenly Father in all things! You are so right about praying in honesty with Him; of course, He already knows where we are, but it is for us that He requests us to come and bare and hearts.

    I am here for you; I will share your hurt and pain…it is also God’s way!!

  2. Hi Carrie, I have had company and not had a chance to read this until now. I am so glad I didn’t. I woke in the night from a terrible dream that threw me back into an old situation so painful I have spent years healing. This message is a very powerful one and the “honest” prayer is one I wish everyone who suffers from the things you wrote about will pray. To love God so much and feel such failure in our walk at times is for me, a very deep agony. As usual, I will pass this on. Good work, Carrie…wonderful grace.

  3. Hi Carrie…I wrote a comment but it disappeared I will revisit your site and see if it shows up but I just want you to know this was a amazing revelation and you wrote it so well. The timing couldn’t have been better…hope you get the first comment…I hope this gets where it needs to go.Love, Stevie

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