Last week I received a comment that reminded me of how I've felt in the past.
Robert E. said...
Why is it so hard to pray? I have been going through a lot of external stuff (finances and parenting) and that is causing a lot of internal issues (failure at parenting, failure to provide adequately for family, etc). I know I need to pray. I know I need to get closer to God. But I just keep on listening to those stupid voices in my head that are telling me that there's no point. That I'm fooling myself thinking God would help me. Why would God help a failure like me? What good am I?
How do you break that wall down? I've heard all the usual stuff that people tell those who are depressed but I just shrug it off as "that's not what I need".
Why can't I break through the wall? I don't like feeling this way about me. Why won't God just take this helplessness away?
I'm going to go through each of these questions and will give what is hopefully a brief and pointed answer.
1. Why is it so hard to pray?
"Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer." (Psalm 4:1) - if David, a man after God's own heart, had to ask God to HEAR his prayer than I would suggest that we all consider asking God to hear our prayers before we start praying away. James 5:16 says that the "Prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective". The last thing the enemy of your faith wants is for you to be praying with power and effectiveness. The last thing your flesh wants is to be praying in a way that God becomes so highly exalted in your life that every distraction is seen by your spirit as an opportunity to rejoice. "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7). Are you submitting yourselves to God - in other words, have you given him full authority to do whatever He pleases in your life? Are you resisting the devil?
2. Why would God help a failure like me?
Because He loves helping failure's like you and me. Each of us, apart from Jesus, fall short. Even with Jesus we are constantly falling short of His glory. His blood covers us so that God sees us as heirs, co-laborers, and children He loves. "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Cor. 1: 26-29). Stop believing the lie that you are a failure. If Jesus does not call you a failure, then who is speaking the failure lie to you? Resist the devil and he MUST flee.
3. What good am I?
Not much, apart from having received the victorious blood of Jesus shed for you which is the ransom paid to salvage you from worthlessness into glorious worth.
"O my soul, you have said to the LORD,“You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.” (Psalm 16:2)
4. How do you break the wall down?
You don't. There's not an ounce of human strength that can overthrow the walls put up against us. Asking God to move in, and root out everything in your heart that does not please Him, is your only hope. Prayer is our strongest weapon. "The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds". (2 Cor. 10:4) When you see prayer as a gun, bazooka, or even a tank, it changes why and how you pray. God has given us a weapon to fight with and it's strong enough to pull down strongholds not only in our lives but in the spiritual realm.
5. Why can't I break through the wall?
Have you asked God to show you what is standing in the way of the wall coming down? We have a tendency to over think everything. But, in reality, it's so simple that even a child could figure it out. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7) I wonder if half our problem is that we just don't ask.
6. Why won't God just take this helplessness away?
Sometimes he does allow us a level of helplessness so that we are practically forced back into His arms. It's entirely possible that the enemy is trying to hold you back because he knows how dangerous you might be if you were to be set loose. But don't write everything off as your flesh or as Satan's work. God loves to put us in a position where we HAVE to trust Him 100 percent. "For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us". (2 Corinthians 1: 8-10)
Lord Jesus, would you please show Robert and any others who are feeling the same loneliness, helplessness, worthlessness, pressures from the world, and despair, that You alone are the answer. Would you remind them that they are chosen by You and that you have a beautiful plan and purpose for their lives (Romans 8:28). I pray that you bring down every hindrance on their path to be freed from every stronghold. In the mighty name of Jesus, please release them from the depth of their despair and lift them up out of the pit. I rebuke and resist the devil, along with all his plans to capsize their faith; therefore He must flee. Would you please come, Jesus, and increase their love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness, and goodness. Please work the miracle of restoring a deep sense of trust in You to their hearts. "With God all things are possible"(Matthew 19:26).
Don't give up. "The Lord will fight for you, and you will hold your peace" (Ex. 14:14).