I prayed but God didn’t help.
I’ve been tirelessly praying for a very dearly loved friend for a LONG time. He’s been battling some terrible things on his own for even longer than I’ve been praying about it. I’ve spent countless nights pleading with God to heal him. I know the only way that will happen is if he turns his life over to God. I’d pray, “Soften his heart for You, Lord. Help him to grow closer to you. I’m trying to encourage him, but it’s not working. I know You can work miracles in his life and I’m believing that You will.”
When I’d get the chance to spend a lot of time with this man, it would be evident that he hadn’t done much changing. He’d talk about it & how he was doing better, but it was obvious. He hadn’t been healed. I knew in my heart that he would have to want to, but he doesn’t…at least not yet. He finally even flat out said it, “I don’t know that I ever see myself changing, or even wanting to.” You can pray until your knees bleed, but if that person doesn’t want what you are praying for… I mean, God doesn’t force himself into folk’s lives, ya know? Free will and all that jazz.
When I finally accepted that he just doesn’t want to change, I broke down. It’s hard to accept that someone you care for, doesn’t care enough about himself to want to be better. I started pleading with God again. “Help ME, Lord. Show ME what I can do. I know You can’t force yourself into his life, so show me how I can do better to be a light to guide him to you. Heal ME. Lighten what is dark in me so that You shine so brightly in me that he WANTS to change and grow closer to You. If there is something hindering me from being a person You can use to lead him to You, SHOW ME. Where am I going wrong?!”
Y’all. You know what happens when you ask God to call you out? HE CALLS YOU OUT!
That night, I started dreaming that I was sitting in an empty room, talking about him to a girl I don’t even know. I guess there needed to be a face though, right? The only words I actually spoke were, “He just isn’t ready.” The girl responded, “Are YOU ready?” She didn’t say it, but I knew exactly what “she” was referring to.
My anger. My bad habits. My bitterness. My ability to be so compassionate towards others’ problems, but not toward the man I’ve been praying so hard for. My attempts to control situations that are out of my hands. My mouth.
I immediately wanted to defend myself because, I mean–hello??? Don’t you see why I struggle with these things? Can you blame me?! I’m TRYING! He just makes me so angry! It’s because of HIS stupid actions! Before I could speak these thoughts aloud, “she” very lovingly said, “How can you expect him to be ready, when you aren’t?” Whoa.
And just like that, the dream was over. I see what you did there, Lord. I heard You loud and clear! I’ve been praying for the wrong person. I won’t stop praying for my loved one, but I know now that I need to be praying harder for ME! Despite my best efforts, I’ve still been trying to lead others to Christ, instead of letting Him lead through me. I’ve been walking the walk in all these areas, except in the areas I’m desperate for God to intervene.
So, here I am. I’m laying it all down. Right now, I’m making a conscious commitment to be a light in the darkest areas–the places where I let my feelings override my faith. I’m making the commitment to work harder on me for Him. I’m going to spend more time praying for God to HEAL ME. Make me a better vessel.
Lord, I’m ready now. ~ Lacey
Your Turn: Are YOU ready? Is there someone or something you’ve been tirelessly praying for only to find out that the answer lies in praying for yourself? Has the Lord given you a similar revelation and moved in your spirit giving you new perspective to your prayer request? We’d love for you to share your story. ~ Breath On Paper