Thursday, January 9, 2014

Praying for you

Many of my life's
big changes
have come as a result
of a seemingly smaller change.
A new habit or thought
belief or reaction
here and there
have made all the difference.

I used to see or hear
that someone I knew
was going through
something tough
and I would always say
"I'm praying for you."
But the truth
was far from that.
What I really meant was
oh, that's sad,
but I know that I
can't do anything about it.

I wasn't praying for them.
I was barely praying at all.
I was more concerned
with my own crazy life
than I was with praying for others.
I knew their pain was real,
but so was mine
and nobody understood.
Of course, I didn't trust
anybody enough
to really share
what I was going through either.

Too deeply entrenched
in anxious worry and pain
to even think
that a heartfelt prayer
might mean a real change,
forgetting the miracles I had seen
and forgetting the miracles I had received
I began a spiraling cycle
of anxiety and stress
followed by bad choices
meant to make myself feel better.

It did for a time.
Until I had to face
the repercussions

and those brought more stress.

Trying to stop the spiral
with sub-par coping skills
only increased
the fear and anxiety.
I tried praying.
Despite what a friend said
about the impossibility
of 'praying wrong.'
I knew it was...

I have asked for help with this, I have asked for blessings on that. I have asked for mercy here and forgiveness there. I have asked that You give me all of these things that I need. I have thanked You for what I have and praised You for being Who You are, but You still let panic grip me like this when You could clearly take it away. What lesson am I to learn here? Just tell me so I can move on!

And He reminded me,
quietly, but clearly,
"your anxiety is because
you are making it
all about you."
It's sad how many times
we humans have to relearn
that lesson.
Sometimes daily,
usually more often
we have to be reminded.
"It's not all about me."

Then God gave me a new coping strategy.

When fear and anxiety and panic
start to build within me
I still pray.
Only now, I pray for you.

Every time I send a heartfelt prayer
for someone who is in need of one
I remember a little less about
my anxiety and a little more about
how awesome the God is
who can do for you abundantly
more than we can ask or dream.

So I am not only sharing a strategy to combat anxiety, I am writing this to say thank you! Know that the next time you share a burden with me or ask for prayer... you are not asking for a favor. You are giving me the opportunity to continue to win these battles with the enemy who would much rather see me practically incapacitated from stress and anxiety than asking God to abundantly bless my friends and enemies alike.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

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