A good friend of my shared this raw and real prayer experience so I asked permission to share it. Other than a few edits, I am sharing it as is.
“Have you ever gotten to the point where you say to God, ‘I don’t know what the f*$k I’m doing with my life.’? That’s the prayer I prayed today. Somewhere between listing off all the horrible things that the devil was pumping into me about myself. I didn’t have any religious spin on the fact that I feel like a bag of shit, so I said quite frankly, ‘F*$k it, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.’
The politically correct Christian in me wants to say ‘How dare you use that language in the presence of God?’ But it’s not like He doesn’t already know where my heart is, so what’s the point of cleaning up my language, if my heart is cussing to high heaven?
You ever get to that point where you’re praying, and you don’t even know what the hell to pray for because everything just seems like one big jumbled mess? You know God has been there for you before, but in your Israelite moment you feel like God has dropped you off in a scene from ‘Lost’ and you’re trying to navigate yourself off this island that is a literal death trap. Welcome to my world!
I watched this video on Facebook yesterday – it was of vegans protesting animal cruelty. God forgive me, but these idiots were branding their bodies with hot iron and rolling around practically naked in blood to show how animals ‘feel’ in the meat industry. I’m all for being sensitive, but there are people being shot to death because the color of their skin ignites fear, and you are protesting for animal rights? Seriously?
I’m not diminishing the value that God puts on His creation, and yes, we have been horrible stewards when it comes to managing the natural resources that God has given us. But honestly, when the lives of cows, chickens, turkeys and the like gets elevated above those of our fellow man, I shake my head in dismay that creeps into anger.
I can usually tell I’ve reached my saturation point when my will to do anything constructive disappears. I spent the day in bed today. I didn’t want to face the world, because honestly, nothing about it impresses me right now. I look around and ask God, ‘Where are You? Why are children being killed at the hands of evil men? Where is the God of Elijah? I need Him to show up right now.’ I laid in bed today, trying to fill the listless feeling with Soduko, Mahjong, Facebook…that didn’t work. I listened to Lux Radio Theatre (radio presentations of hits from the silver screen era), but not even Clark Gable nor funnyman Bob Hope could cheer me up. I know that when I get to this point I’m vulnerable, and only connecting with God will give me insight, but it doesn’t stop me from trying everything else.
I finally took out my prayer journal and decided that if I had any hope of facing the world today, I needed to hash some things out with God. This was the most interesting prayer I’ve ever prayed. I started by telling God all the horrible things I believe about myself… you know the usual – ‘I’m ugly, I’m stupid…I’m still single, because no one will ever find me lovable.’ I mean I took self-loathing to another level. Stuff came out of places, I didn’t even know I had places. It broke my heart to see how little I think of myself. But halfway through the prayer, the conversation took on a life of it’s own. I kid you not, I went from writing in the first person (‘I am this’) to writing in the third person (‘you are that’). It was like the devil was like, your self-loathing is not enough, so let me pile some more shit on… I did manage to get to the point in the prayer, where I was able to admit to God that I know all of what I wrote to be a lie, but that didn’t negate what I was feeling. And it was there in the middle of asking God to help me to focus on what I know rather than what I felt that I needed to stop all the repetitive crap. You know what I mean…?
“Father, please bless me with Your Holy Spirit
Fill me with Your neverending joy and may Your
grace shine on my face…”
Don’t get me wrong. There are times when I pray that exact prayer and mean it from the bottom of my heart, but not today. Today they were just words that did not mean a damn thing.
Because at the bottom of my heart, all I had to say was ‘I don’t know what the f*$k to pray for.’ So I prayed just that. Some might think me irreligious, quite frankly my first thought was the same thing – ‘can I cuss at God in my prayer?’ But like I said, He already knows what’s in my heart, so why bother hiding it. That didn’t stop me from feeling the need to listen to some religious programming to try to ‘hear a word from God.’ I mean if you’re swearing at God, something bad must be up. Turns out, even if you turn to God with a potty mouth, He will speak to you if that’s what you need.
I listened to a program on Focus on the Family as I got ready to go to work, and the guest Lisa Harper, spoke on many things that made me think hard. What spoke to me the loudest was when she spoke concerning a hard time in her life. She said she had to be willing to meet God in the basement of her heart, and He was able to bring her to the surface. As soon as she said those words I instantly recognized where I was – I was in the basement of my heart. It’s not a very nice place to be, but today my foul-mouthed self invited God there with me.
In the basement of my heart I realize that I am an Israelite through and through. I would probably have been one of the first ones taking off my jewelry to contribute to the stash to make the golden calf for ‘worship’ because Moses was taking too long on the mountain. God does amazing things in my life all the time to let me know that He is a good, good Father. But life is hard right now, so here I am asking God ‘where are You?’
You know what I love most about God’s relationship with the Israelites? Time and time again they turned away from Him and though it was heartbreaking, He approached them with this…
“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
So yes, I am in the basement of my heart where everything feels empty. This is the place where the devil drags you and tries to beat you to a pulp. I’ve invited God into the basement of my heart. I’ve invited Him into the place where the enemy tries to snuff out life and love and every thing good. No, I don’t have all the answers all of a sudden, but I know that God meets me here, and here in the basement, I don’t have to pretend I have it all together. Here in the basement, I get real with God, so he can put me together.
Today I prayed a prayer I have never prayed before, and God replied, ‘It’s about time, now let’s get to work!'”