Prayers to the Father

All posts in the Prayers to the Father category

Dear God

Published January 17, 2015 by Dawn

Dear God,

You have always wanted me? From before I was born, you have loved me? You knew me in the womb and before I was born, you had named me and made plans for me? How is it that the magnitude of that never blew my mind until now? No one has ever wanted me. I’ve spent my entire life feeling alone, rejected and invisible. But you have always been the God who sees me. I matter to you. You care about me and for me. You love me. You love me because … why do you love me? I fail. I’m imperfect. I’m judgmental and cruel and sometimes I have hate in my heart. I’m not a good witness for you. I am a hypocrite. My heart continually yearns for someone to physically be here; real flesh and blood to love me imperfectly and way less than you do. My whore heart would trade your love for imperfection in a heartbeat. I can’t even love myself after knowing that. HOW DO YOU LOVE ME?! How do you, how can you accept this?

 

Because I chose to.

                                -God

Prom

Published May 10, 2014 by Dawn

Today is my first prom. That’s right, I’m 28 years old and going to my first prom. I didn’t go to prom in high school because by the time my prom rolled around, I was a mother and would have rather went with a wet dog than the guy who asked me. So today, I go as a chaperone to my special needs students. I am super-excited, and thought that perhaps, even though I don’t want to dress up in a prom dress, I do want to dress up. So I looked in my closet and pulled out anything I had that I thought might be worth wearing. I tried it all on, and nothing seemed to give me the look I wanted. I looked fat and frumpy in everything. So I invited my sister over, and she brought something she thought might look good. It was a bust. So my first dilemma was, there’s nothing to wear!

My second was I have no idea how to fix my hair. If it ever looks good, it was either my savvy sister’s work, or a complete accident. My hair air-dryed after the shower this morning, so it was pretty wanky from the get-go. But then she tried to fix it … I own three bobby pins. So, my hair was a no-go too. I thought I might like the ‘do she put in better if I put on make-up, so I went for my make-up bag and since I hardly ever wear make-up, I had no idea where it was. Turns out, it’s nowhere to be found. With the stress building in me, I yelled, “I’m such an ugly woman!” And then laughed about it, because that’s what you do when you realize you hate yourself in front of other people.

After she left, I headed off to shop for something to wear. Tomorrow’s Mother’s Day, I’m going to prom tonight, so preceding that all is a me-party! An hour or so later, I came home with a few skirts and shirts that looked good in the dressing room mirror. And the weight of rejection on my heart. My old church was hosting a b-b-que in town to raise money for their children’s program, and half the congregation was there. Four years as the youth leader, and out of every fundraise I ever held, my record number was eight people from church helping out. Just so you know, eight is way less than half.

This is all piled, of course, on the rejection from a job last week that would have really benefited my family, and years’ worth of rejection from falling in love with men who don’t really want my heart. Yes, I spent all the quiet me-time today reminiscing about the past…My me-party became a pity-party.

I realized, as I sat here letting all these things hurt me all over again, that I really do hate myself. I’m sure, though, that I’m not the only one struggling in this.  And as much as we know about God, and as much as we love Him and love Him loving us, we struggle to accept His love. we struggle to receive it. It’s so foreign, and I think, deep down inside, we’re waiting for Him to give up on us. Waiting for Him to get sick of us. We’re expecting God to reject us, because that’s what we know how to handle. Maybe we’re so used to pain in our hearts and rejection in our lives, and that it is more comfortable to us than being loved.

Here I am, in the midst of a storm of emotions, refusing even now to let go of what I know: God is good. He loves us tremendously, and even though right now, I’m feeling resentment, fear, frustration and bitterness, my God is big enough and loves me enough to rescue me from this pit of despair. And He will. I know that sometimes, God allows us to know the deep, hidden things in us so that we can be healed. So all we need to do right now is surrender this to Him. I have messed up so many times in my life, and not any less since becoming a Christian, and yet I find Him at the point of my need beckoning me. Or I find Him at the place of my pain wooing my heart. He hasn’t run away. He hasn’t rejected me. He’s still loving me, even though I am not good enough to earn His love. Every time I turn to Him, He’s there. Surely the same is true for you.

Father, I want so desperately to love myself. Regardless of how others treat me or make me feel. I want to be steadfast in you and able to love myself. Even if I mess up. Even if I’m ugly. Even if I don’t measure up to what other people want. I want to be okay with myself. I want to love myself. I want to be able to receive your love everyday for the rest of my life. I’m tired of wavering in my relationship with you. I want to know, always, that you are with me and that you love me, no matter what.

A Loveless Marriage

Published March 19, 2014 by Dawn

When we first met, He swept me off my feet and I fell hard. Right into His strong arms. He was all I’d ever wanted. I took Him in in every possible way, allowing Him to consume me as well, and we were one. The love of my life.

As time  went on, though, I lost sight of the simplicity of our love. The acceptance that used to come so easily now became a battle between the two of us. All my insecurities created an atmosphere of hostility and familiarity bred it’s own contempt until finally, I woke up to the face of a loveless marriage. Bitterness, distrust, and disillusionment replaced every trace of our all-consuming fire. I don’t want to be here anymore.

I don’t want to be here, in this place where I look at the One I used to love and feel next to nothing. I remember passion and fire between us. Now it’s just cold. It’s not Him, it’s me. But I can’t help how I feel … right?

No. No, that’s not right. There was something there before. Something real, something fierce. And if I remember nothing else, I remember this: it was the best thing to ever happen in my life. I was happy, and whole. I was full. I was satisfied. It was amazing. He was amazing.

Dear Lover,

Whatever gap is between us, let’s overcome it. Love covers over. Love covers over. Let’s talk again. Let’s reveal ourselves. Let’s be vulnerable and real. Let’s walk together and share our hearts with one another. Let’s laugh together again. Let’s touch. Let’s look at each other again, and blow on the embers between us. Let’s start a fire together. Let’s let passion burn again, molding us together again. Be with me. I want you. I need you. You are my everything, Jesus. Be with me.

Restless

Published June 25, 2013 by Dawn

With his head bent over and his eyebrows furrowed, he colored so intently, with such purpose that you would have thought it was his grandest work … until you actually saw it. When my son finally held up his finished work at the craft station at VBS yesterday, it dawned on me what was going on: he was restless. Clearly not wanting to sit still another second, he had hastily scribbled color over every area of his artwork and then announced, “DONE!” and held up his paper as evidence. And, in truth, he was done. No amount of coaxing could have kept him in that seat a moment longer. He was restless. He had reached his sitting quota of the day, and it didn’t matter that it was only ten in the morning. He was done.

Perhaps he gets this from me. I don’t know. I mean, I can sit for hours and enjoy a good book on some days, whereas on others, I can’t hardly sit still at all. My schedule reflects this antsyness in me, and although I prefer the calm, quiet stillness in my inner being because it is refreshing to me, I find myself working ceaselessly it seems. When I’m not working for the paycheck, I’m cleaning at home, volunteering in some way, shape or form, or working to catch up on Q-time with my kids. And it all feels like work. I have recently begun to wonder, though, what am I accomplishing in all this busyness? What fruit am I producing, and what good am I for the Kingdom of God in all of this “work?”

This new restlessness has just recently come upon me. I’ve been squirmy for a while, but it reached a feverish pitch this past week in which I know it’s going to be awful difficult for me to sit still much longer. Allow me to ramble a little as I try to explain this restlessness in me:

A young woman I minister to at the local skate park came back from Oklahoma this past week and shared a video of the devastation there, and my heart broke. Hearing about it is one thing, but actually seeing it is … well, it’s devastating. There are literally piles of debris everywhere; piles of what now looks like trash, but was once beautifully constructed homes and the intimate belongings of families who are now displaced. As the hype over the tornadoes there fade out, clean-up will trickle down to a faithful few but in the end, someone still has to clean all that up so that homes can be rebuilt and life can go on.

In the same sense, I know there are people whose lives are falling apart before their very eyes, much like tornadoes have touched down in the midst of them. Young men who have turned to heavy alcohol and drug use to drown out the pain of life, and young women who sell their souls to the lowest bidder in exchange for flattery. And I have often prayed with much fervency, “God, please help them!” But all of the sudden, I am a Christian who’s sick of sitting in church talking about all the great things God can do like it’s the best kept secret in the world. Because for whatever reason, it is the best kept secret in the world, to the detriment of society at large. Do you know what Christians call “evangelism” these days? Political soapboxes and hate-filled speeches against the latest evil thing the world is doing. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s not how Jesus rolled. Did he talk about sin? Absolutely. Called a spade a spade and encouraged repentance. Repentance is the core of his message. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” But look at the life of Christ: his approached to people was gentle and with much love. We’ve got it all wrong if we are spouting off hateful tirades. I find it interesting the things Paul has to say in his letters to Timothy regarding such things:

“…they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions.” (1 Tim. 6:4)

“Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” (2 Tim. 2:14)

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” (2 Tim. 2:23)

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think God speaks well for himself, don’t you? I find that when we present the Word of God in love, it is much more effective than when we use it as a weapon. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” The purpose of evangelizing is not to condemn people for their sin, but to bring them to repentance so that they might become more like Christ and share in the inheritance of the saints. We can’t cause someone to become defensive and then demand they repent and expect them to come weeping to the foot of the cross we profess to know. We can’t strong-arm people into the kingdom of God. Christians today need to get off their soapboxes and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, realize that the ground is level at the foot of the cross and stop standing in the way of those who need Christ!

Furthermore, there is still this issue of the mess: who’s going to clean it up? I can sit here in my comfortable, air-conditioned house and pray over those piles of debris in Oklahoma, “Dear God, please clean up that mess over there.” Just like I walk past messes of people everyday and pray, “God please help that person.” But what am I doing? He has called us, his children, the BODY! As I have already mentioned the mouth, let me now address the hands and feet: MOVE! I’m so restless right now I can’t hardly stand myself. There is so much devastation in the world today. People are dying, physically and emotionally and spiritually, and I’m watching it happen. I see it in their eyes, and I pray, “God, please help that person.” But I have the good news! Why am I not sharing it? Why are we just talking about God in our Christian huddles? We are keeping the best thing that ever happened to us to ourselves. We are hoarding food and water while people are dying of hunger and thirst!

Father, I pray for a restlessness to come upon all the Christians in the land. I pray for holy boldness from heaven to envelope your people, and I pray that you will send the lost and dying to those who are ready to profess you to the nations, that people who are bound may find freedom and begin to live! I pray for your church, Lord, that your body may rise up and begin to take responsibility over the clean-up of your world. Help us not to stay comfortable, but to say, “Here I am, Lord send me!” I pray for the hurting, Father, that they may recognize the sustaining power of your righteous Word. And Lord, I pray that you would shut the mouths of those who profess you with their mouths when their hearts are far from you. I pray that you would protect your servants in the field, Father, and that you would sustain them as they labor for you. Lord, I pray for direction for those of us who are sick of sitting around. We have the keys to the kingdom! Help us to know how to use them. Give us guidance and lead us out into the work that you prepared for us before time began. Lord, send revival to the church so that more would become restless for you. As you know, the harvest is ready, but the laborers are few. Send out laborers, Lord, into your vineyard. You have prepared us for the work, now release us into the field. I glorify you, and pray that you may be exalted in the all the earth. In Jesus’ name I pray these things, AMEN!

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20

As Requested: reprinted prayer for emotional wellness

Published February 10, 2013 by Dawn

Below is a prayer taken out of my Spiritual Warfare Bible, pg. 1397. I have only reprinted the parts I used while speaking at the Singles’ Conference at Solid Rock Family Church on Saturday, February 9, 2013. To those who asked:

Dear Heavenly Father,

In Jesus’ name … I loose myself from the affects of all bad memories, painful memories and memories of the past that would hinder me in the present or future … In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by the authority given to me to bind and loose, I loose my emotions from every evil spirit that has come in as a result of experiences of the past. I loose myself from all … deep hurt, pain, sadness, grief, anger, hatred, rage, bitterness, fear and bound and blocked emotions … I decree freedom to my emotions in the name of Jesus … I loose myself from all guilt, shame, condemnation, self-condemnation, and legalism. I loose my will from all control, domination and manipulation from Satan, his demons, and other people. I loose my will from all lust, rebellion, stubbornness, pride, self-will, selfishness, and ant submissive spirits that block and hinder my will. I break and loose myself from all chains around my will, and I submit my will to the will of God. In Jesus’ name, amen!

*written by John Eckhardt, Prayers that Break Curses, 112-116

Dig Deeper

Published January 21, 2013 by Dawn

I got up really early yesterday morning to read my bible before leaving for the latest wrestling tournament. It’s been three weeks since my last Sunday morning service, and although I attend church Sunday evening and Wednesday evening, there’s something about a Sunday morning …

I opened my Bible to the passage of scriptures for this Sunday, the scriptures the Holy Spirit had impressed was our “weapons of war” for this week: Psalm 91. I was longing for it before I even opened the pages. Psalm 91:1 is one of my most cherished verses. As I began to read, I became aware of this painful feeling in the back of my throat. It was a burning sensation, but it was borne of thirst. I was so thirsty! I couldn’t even recall when the last time I had taken a drink, and so this burning thirst made sense. But more than making sense, it hurt. What hurt the most about it was not the physical pain so much as the sudden realization that this thirst in my throat mirrored the thirst in my spirit. I had such a longing for God!

My devotion to Him during this season had not wavered. I missed two Sundays on account of wrestling and one was canceled due to ice and illness. But every one of those mornings, I was up spending my time with God. I was searching for Him daily in the scriptures, praying and fasting. Still, I felt so far from the Source of Life.

At church yesterday evening, I was asking a fellow brother about one of my teens and he began relating their latest troubles to me: their well at their house had run dry. They had no water. My heart went out to them. My spirit picked up on this: dig deeper.

It seems that I am drawing from the same well in the same way I have always done it, and all the sudden it seems that my well has gone dry. I am still thirsty, and the water that was once on the surface and bubbling up to meet me is no longer visible. My only option is to dig deeper. I have to pursue that water, because it is my lifeline. If I don’t have it, I die. This is so spiritually real to me right now. There’s water to be had, in abundance. I just have to dig deeper. This will take something out of me, require something more of me, but it’s so necessary. What other choice do I have? And even if I had another choice, why would I take it? This water has quenched me for so long, I wouldn’t look anywhere else. I must dig deeper.

Dearest Father,
As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship thee.*

Lord, I thirst for you. Help me, Holy Spirit, to dig deeper this well so that I may again drink deeply of the rivers of living water. I am parched within. Father, satisfy my longing with more of You.

I love You.

Love me always,
Dawn.

*psalm 42:1

Prayer for the Lonely

Published December 25, 2012 by Dawn

I’ve been considering this topic for several days now. Well, ever since I heard that some guy jumped off the overpass the other night into on-coming traffic. This is supposed to be the season of bliss, and yet I can’t help but think about all the people who become desperate this time of year because they are overcome with loneliness. I’m not completely alone this time of year.  I have two beautiful children and family that I enjoy time with. Though my nights still feel lonely, I make it through because I know that I am blessed beyond measure. But what about all the people out there who, for one reason or another, spend the holidays alone? Many of them get so lost in their feelings, they resort to desperate measures to end the agony. This time of year keeps the ER and the Coroner very busy.

I know there are many out there who do not sympathize with people who attempt or successfully commit suicide. It’s hard to understand why someone would take their life, and most people think it’s the ultimate act of selfishness. It may be. I guess it just depends on which way you look at it. After all, the decision to cease living isn’t an easy one to make. It hurts to feel like you will always be alone and invisible. So badly that it seems like death would be a sweet relief. I know it’s hard to imagine that pain, I guess you would have had to experience it to know how these people feel. My heart goes out to every lonely person this holiday season.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, you know the pain of loneliness. You know all about rejection and loneliness. There are people all over the world who will not make it through the Christmas season without your divine intervention in their lives. People are hurting and alone, and Father, I hurt for them. I hurt for every person who lies awake crying, agonizing over their emotional distress, spilling out their tears to an empty room. Lord, I pray that you in your mercy would send the lonely and lost your Comforter. Holy Spirit, wrap your arms around those who are hearing the voice of the enemy speaking suicidal thoughts into their ear. Silence the voice of Satan in Jesus’ name and release those who are bound by demons or surrounded by demonic activity. Loose your warring angels on their behalf and save them from the one who seeks to destroy them. I pray that you would reveal your self as the friend who sticks closer than a brother. I pray that you will fill them to the fullest with your love and peace, and may they be blessed to know your joy from this point on. Lord, may this be a time of restoration in the land for those who are desperate for Love. Reveal yourself to people as the source of their hearts’ desire. Pour out your love on us. Help those of us who know you to be your hands and feet that the world may know you through us and glorify you. Thank you for your goodness and thank you for loving us so well. In Jesus’ precious name, I offer this prayer. Amen.