I’m tired of confessing my shortcomings to God. I have no desire to ignore them either. I truly desire God to mold my life to reflect Him more. It seems I find myself confessing the same things over, and over, and over. Today, I realized once again, I forgot to pray for someone. Immediately the thoughts “When will you get it right, Sandra!” “I have failed once again”. “I let down a friend”. “I failed God”. “I am worthless”. Condemnation and shame flooded my soul.
God does not bring condemnation and shame. He brings encouragement in the form of conviction through grace and love. He convicts me of sin, not to shame or condemn. He brings conviction so I will become more like Christ; when others observe my day-to-day life they will see a reflection of Jesus. It’s the devil, Satan, who brings condemnation and shame. I was not listening to God’s voice of conviction through grace. I was listening to the voice of guilt, which produces condemnation and ultimately shame. I was listening to the voice of Satan.
I wonder what would happen if I took each shortcoming, each failure, which comes to mind, took it before God in prayer and asked him how to turn my shortcoming/failure into a positive? I wonder what would happen if each time I felt condemnation and shame, I stopped to recognize exactly whose voice I am listening to and denounced his voice in my life? I wonder what would happen if I responded immediately to each recognition, of a less than stellar performance, with grace and forgiveness for me; after all, isn’t’ that how God responds; with grace and forgiveness? How can I do anything less?
Yes, I forgot to pray for my friend’s request. My God is bigger than my failure. God is not bound by time or space. Prayer is timeless. My prayer today will be as effective as it would have been yesterday. It’s important I pray! It’s important I don’t let Satan sabotage God’s goodness, forgiveness or grace for me.
Not allowing Satan to sabotage might look like this… “God, I forgot to pray for my friend yesterday, as you know full well. Lord, I lift her up to you now. I pray You give her great wisdom regarding her family situation. I pray she will see and feel Your presence as you interact in her life and the life of her family. I pray You will bring the situation to the complete fulfillment of Your desire for this family. The enemy wanted me to feel shame and condemnation, today. You, oh Lord, only wanted me to feel love and encouragement. I thank you Lord for reminding me or your grace and forgiveness.”
This example of prayer is better than the one I started to pray. My prayer sounded something like this, “God, here I am confessing, once again, I forgot to do something I said I would do.” “What prevents me from follow through”? “Why am I so unreliable?” “Why am I no longer on top of things?” “I used to manage several items at one time, and they never got lost in the cracks. Now, I cannot seem to do anything right!” “I used to pray faithfully, didn’t I?” “I know I’m aging; I know my memory is failing. I have a prayer notebook why aren’t I using it?” “Oh Lord, help! I hate this part of me!!! Why can I not do better?”
Huge difference between these 2 prayers! The 1st prayer makes it all about my friend, about God, and a little about me. The little which is about me in the 1st prayer is about thankfulness before God, not about condemnation. It’s about praising God for his precious gift rather than condemning the child who He loves. It is about reminding me to be patient; God is not finished with me yet. The other prayer is all about me! It’s focused on my failures, on my lack of… It’s not focused on God at all!
Today, my prayer life changes! When I fail, and I will, I will no longer allow the enemy to bring forth condemnation and shame. When I fail, I will look to God and his goodness and continually receive his gift of grace, mercy and love. Yes, today my prayer life changes! “Get me behind the Satan! I am a child of the Most High God!!!
“So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Romans 8:1