Today I came across a short journal entry I’d written one morning years ago:
“I slept well last night, which I so needed, as my body has been fighting an illness. I thought I would feel refreshed this morning but instead, I felt discouraged and depressed. Not because of the illness, I’m sure (although one thing does add to another), but because of a different, ongoing situation very close to me that doesn’t seem to be getting better in spite of days, weeks, and months of prayer.”
Although written quite some time ago, this could just as easily be my story – or your story – today. Especially today – in 2020. Ongoing problems, seemingly yet unanswered prayers, weighted and worsened by isolation, COVID fears, lockdowns, and loneliness.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? Is it happening now – at the end of 2020?
In your weakness, a voice speaks to you and it says, “God doesn’t hear your prayers. He isn’t answering your prayers. You might as well give up.”
I’ve heard that voice – often. I’ve come to recognize it, knowing it is not from God because it brings fear – fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear that God doesn’t care. God doesn’t give me fear. His Word tells me He gives me a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) So when I hear that malevolent voice, I simply pray,
Thank you Father for the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.
But sometimes it’s difficult to pray. Very difficult! I forget the words, the Scripture, or I’m too exhausted. It is then I simply speak to my Abba Father, pouring out my heart:
Lord, I know you love me and you love my family. We need you.
When I speak, a single tear fills each eye.
Abba Father speaks to me through His Word: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19)
Yes, I perceive it Lord! Thank you!
Then I go to His Word to read more about the new thing He is doing. I read that He is making a way in the desert and the wasteland we have been going through. He is providing (Living) water so that we might praise Him. (We do and we will!) He reminds me that He has chosen me, made me, formed me, and will help me. He pours that Living Water and His Spirit out on me and on my children and grandchildren. And they will spring up! (Isaiah 43, 44)
I keep opening and reading His Word because I know that faith comes from hearing the message of Christ. And it is faith I need. (Romans 10:17) And the message adds to my continuing prayer today:
Lord, let me remember who I am, whose I am, and the territory that belongs to me. For the loss I and mine have suffered, take back that ground for us. Release the boldness of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in my prayers – that my prayers will be fierce – that they will rise from a whisper to a roar.
And as my day progresses, my prayers become more fierce, intensifying from whispers to roars, knowing that He is making the way for me and for my loved ones through the desert and the wasteland.
Isaiah 43, 44