Where I See God
Journal Entry #4: Prayer Meeting
“Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3
It wasn’t were I saw God this week, but instead where I met Him.
For a few months, I have been struggling. I’ve been getting by, but a spiritually based depression has been slowly working its way in. Darkness approaching closer and closer.
Before Christmas a new prayer ministry was announced at my church. I knew I needed to call and make an appointment. My need for acceptance was growing out of control; my constant hunger for affirmation clouded my self-perception. I had stopped desiring truth from God and was seeking my friends’ words to fill that spot. A stronghold needed relinquishing.
Christmas came and went. Finally I made an appointment.
I wasn’t’ really sure what my stronghold entailed, but I knew I needed help and prayer from other believers in Christ. Believers who were trained to help.
The day came.
I arrived early eager to get started. I hit a low point two days before and did some damage to my relationships with my son and his future wife. I desired their approval for something I was working on for their rehearsal dinner. Something that didn’t really matter and had nothing to do with me as person, but for me it had mattered. My self-worth had hungered for affirmation as a sign of acceptance from my son and his soon-to-be wife. Emotions from my end sky-rocketed and feelings got hurt.
I walked into the prayer room, made myself comfortable and sat while praying. “God, I know I need help. This fog of confusion on my heart is clouding my judgement and my perception. I love my son and his fiancé. I love my family. More than anything though, I don’t want all of this need for acceptance to damage my ministry or lead others from you.”
One of the prayer leaders came into the room. She was trained in the Celebrate Recovery ministry and was very good at listening before she said anything. Listening for what I was really saying. We first prayed for guidance and for God to reveal the stronghold. Then I prayed just talking to God. I don’t even remember what I said, I just tried to humble myself and get to work.
Then the second prayer minister arrived. We talked, prayed, talked some more. About half way through the process the second of the ladies shared a story about feeling like an embarrassment growing up.
I recognized that feeling. The constant need for praise from others so I wouldn’t experience that feeling. As though people’s praise could somehow protect me from embarrassment. Somewhere along life’s journey, I bought into the lie, that I was an embarrassment to others, not good enough to stand on my own. The compliments of others had become my proof to myself that I was not an embarrassment. Unfortunately, praise was never enough. It didn’t satisfy long term. Only God could help me handle embarrassment. Only God could give me perspective and fill me with His truth.
With tears running off my cheeks, I joked, “I think we found the stronghold.”
We prayed some more. God’s word was poured over me. Truth was spoken into my spirit.
Before leaving the prayer leaders armed me with scripture to read over and over for reassurance and truth planting. So I would know that I am created in the image of God. I was created for a purpose. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I met God in that prayer room as He held me close and told me I was a treasure to Him and that fear of embarrassment stronghold in my belief system had to go. He already approved of me. I was not an embarrassment to Him.
I entered the prayer room ready for battle. Two prayer warriors joined me and with bowed heads we steadied ourselves and took our fight to the foot of the cross. The battle was swift because God met us there to strike the enemy down and break my stronghold through submission before Him. Then God did something so beautiful. He lavishly poured His truth into me to strengthen and build me up so I would understand He wanted something far more amazing for me than I had wanted for myself. I had desired the praise from others, but He gave me acceptance.
I met a fearless, mighty, and compassionate God in prayer this week.
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NLT
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14