What is the prayer that got you through?
We are indeed pulled through, fortified, sustained, strengthened, challenged, corrected through praying the presence of God.
There is one prayer, however, that I return to over and over again. It’s the prayer that reminds me that I’m in God’s hands. Each evening, I imagine the setting of the sun and this prayer
When we’ve been hurt, we want a quick magic fix. Prayer is not that. It is neither quick nor is it magic. It is a well-worn road that we travel; the grooves are deeper in the places where we are honest. This road becomes the journeying place with God – the place where we can talk, listen — be.
I prayed this prayer during a painful period in 2002. I found guidance to own these words from a book I no longer have. In fact, I can’t even recall the book’s title. But as I read the book and allowed my heart to adapt and transform the words to speak to that deep groove in the road where I found myself in that lonely, painful night – I found a friend. Yes, this prayer has been a friend – walking with me, reminding me of the road I wanted to take; pulling me back when I would wander toward bitterness or despair, and kicking me when I felt like calling this prayer a lie.
We need to own the desires of our prayers. They are not disposable. And according to Revelation 5:8, these prayers have no expiration date. They are transformed into the incense that fills the bowls before the Lamb of God. Our prayers matter to God – so do our efforts to live into our prayers.
Here’s a piece of what I prayed. It might not help you, but I hope it will. I hope that you have a prayer that is honest enough to become your friend on a lonely road.
“God, You are my refuge and High Tower. You are not only my stronghold in this time of trouble – you are the only strength that matters. Like a beloved mother and father, you smell safe to me and your arms are not too short to reach me even here. Thank you for being merciful and gracious to me. I have no confidence outside of you. I have no confidence outside of you. I have no confidence – outside of you. The hope I built on something else stands shattered. And yet, here you stand…still…with a deeper assurance. I am overwhelmed by your grace and I want to be caught up in the transforming love that is bigger than me. There has got to be a love bigger than the bloat of pain that is heart right now.
Keep me every hour…
Steady my feet so that my stumbling won’t hurt others; and God, I’m stumbling. Stumbling. I can’t see the next moment and I’m afraid that I might harm as I grope.
Forgive me better than I forgive.
Love me better than I love.
Call me up a little higher, and don’t leave me here on this road alone.
You are near to those who have a broken heart and you save such as have a contrite spirit.
So Stand near me.
So Save me.
So Keep me. So Press me.
So Break and Mold me and Fix me and heal me and be with me.
So hold me in your hands.
So, send me out again and again and again and again as one broken with a testimony and witness for every broken place.