The Gift Found in the Book Prayer Starters
The last few weeks have been a battle. Sure, there have been many good things happening in the middle of the hard, and from the outside looking in, things probably don’t seem so bad to others. The things I have struggled with and wrestled with don’t seem as big as the battles others are facing now.
But it is still hard, and weariness has fallen upon me these last few weeks.
I get weary of battling my body, the frustrations and hurdles that come with my hearing loss and having to depend on technology for things in my life. The struggle my body faces as I go through this season of life as a woman. The season of life with parents and children. Even the calling in ministry and writing can be challenging.
This week has been especially hard physically and mentally. I had thought to myself that I understand how we, as people, can be tempted to give up and quit. I was talking to God about it the other morning. I was struggling not to say no to things that were feeling overwhelming to me.
I was reading through the book Prayer Starters by my friend Suzanne Eller, who launched this beautiful book into the world this week, and it has been a blessing to be a part of that process.
This particular morning, after talking to God about how I was feeling and sharing that with Him, I opened up to page 29 and read the prayer starter for that day.
It started like this, “Jesus, I am tempted to lie down, to give up, and at times throw my hands up and just quit.”
I paused there for a moment and realized this was a very personal response from God to me. He saw me, He knew what I needed, and this prayer starter helped give words to what I felt. I continued to read that prayer and go deeper still with God in conversation.Tweet
The Prayer starter continues and says, “You understand this feeling because you have been tempted in all the ways I have.”
I am reminded that Jesus can relate to my feelings. I think back to when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed so deeply he sweat blood. He was asking His Heavenly Father if this cup could be taken from Him. He prayed this three times.
Jesus knew what it means to wrestle with doing the things God has called us to do. He knows what it is like to desire these struggles and battles to be taken away. He knows what it is like to ask God to take them away if possible.Tweet
I have prayed for healing with my hearing and sought it out in multiple places. I know and believe He can heal me, but He chooses not to take the cup away. There are other things I have prayed for this way too. Sometimes He lets the cup linger for a while and then takes it away; other times, He does bring quick healing and takes it away. But just like with Jesus, I want to be willing to do what He calls me to do just because He is the one asking me to do it.
I want His will to be the most important thing.
Sometimes the things that are disturbing our peace and overwhelming us may not be from Him. So we need to ask and pray for His wisdom and discernment in those things.
Jesus understands us. He understands the struggle, the wrestling, and the battle. He understands the flesh because He lived in it while He was here on earth.
“Thank you for that. This is why you are a strong place to bring this unwanted temptation and talk to you about it.” (Prayer Starters book)Tweet
After reading that sentence, I stopped and talked to God about what I was feeling and my struggles that day. Thinking about HIm being that strong place brought another scripture to mind.
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10 (NASB)
He is my strong tower. I need to run to Him, and He will keep me safe. He is my safe place. I don’t have to worry about HIm using my words against me or making me small for what I am feeling. He doesn’t take my words and tell someone else about them as people sometimes do.
I am truly thankful for this truth. It gives me peace.
As I continued reading this prayer starter, I came to another place that really helped me go into prayer in a deeper way with all of this.
“Remind me of the true needs of my heart in this challenging place. Help me to see beyond this temporary season, this temporary battle, this temporary moment, and to settle in for the race that I’ll run long term with you. Give me the words to speak to this temptation with authority, even as I embrace all the hope and peace you give in its place…” (Prayer Starters book)
I talked to God about my needs here in this place. I have to be content with what my needs are sometimes, even though it is frustrating or seems to limit me in ways I don’t like right now. I keep asking for His eyes to see beyond circumstances and life situations and to help me gaze my eyes on Him. Jesus saw beyond the cross. He knew the joy that was coming, and that was HIs focus. I want to live with that focus.
I want to live confidently as one who has the Holy Spirit living within that has the same power that Jesus has and the same ability to walk in freedom and victory with the joy and peace only Jesus offers.
I want this for you too!
Prayer Starters has been a helpful friend the last few weeks. It has helped put some struggles into words for me. God has used it as a tool and a vessel to help me move from being stuck in some moments to refocusing my eyes, mind, and heart on the God who loves me unconditionally and infinitely.
I believe it will be that for you too.
Suzanne Eller, is a sweet friend, and she has been a mentor to me as a sister in Christ and as a writer. As I have gotten to know her and her heart, she is a woman who loves Jesus and loves people. Her heart’s desire is to honor God in all she says, writes, and does and to see people live free in Him.
I will leave the link here so you can go and get your own copy today, or maybe you know a friend or someone you love who is going through a hard time right now and needs some love and encouragement.
Father, I thank YOU for being our strong tower. May we run to You today and know and trust that we are safe in You. Help us to bring all our feelings, struggles, and wrestlings to you transparently, and meet us there today. Please give us Your eyes and fill us with Your joy and peace as we walk through these seasons. In Jesus’ Name!