One doesn’t have to live very long to discover the “happily ever after” ending of fairy tales is not reality. Life has a way of quickly introducing us to complicated challenges that elicit emotions such as loneliness, worthlessness, hopelessness, or inadequacy. Such emotions can leave us feeling powerless.
It is the rare human being who has not experienced feelings of loneliness, abandonment, or rejection at some time and to some degree. What makes this so difficult to deal with is that one of our most basic, innate needs as humans is the need to belong, to be accepted, to feel loved and enfolded. But no one is perfect and other people will not always nurture us. And, in truth, there's a lot in the world we don't control, including other people. When situations rob us of feeling fulfilled, we can find power to overcome our emotions with prayer.
It is precisely at those times of feeling powerless that we who have claimed Christ Jesus as Lord can remember we are far from powerless. Through God's Christ, we can be overcomers because our Lord has overcome… “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b). When we follow Jesus as our Lord, we also have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit and access to the Father’s listening ear. Prayer is a gift of grace that enables us to, “…approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
There is power available to us through prayer. In prayer we are empowered to overcome rejection or loneliness through intimacy with God. In prayer we can overcome feelings of worthlessness and appreciate our significance in God's eyes. Through prayer God equips us with the power to overcome tragedy and rediscover hope. In prayer God empowers us to overcome inadequacy and find the power of the enabling grace of God. Consider how prayer guides us away from loneliness to a place of contentment in God's presence.
Prayer invites into the presence of God, the King of the Universe. This fact alone should make us catch our breath and fill our hearts with awe and wonder. Ordinary, sinful, broken people like us, get to come into the presence of the Holy God who created and sustains all things. Today, Christians sometimes miss the wonder of that statement. Our image of God is often too small. Stop for a moment and let it sink in… the… presence… of… GOD!!!
The people of the Old Testament did not take the immensity of God for granted. At that time, only the High Priest could enter the presence of God in the Most Holy Place at the center of the temple, and he went in only once a year. And before entering, he had to make an animal sacrifice and confess not only his sins but also the sins of all Israel. I can only imagine how scary it was when he went behind the curtain to enter the shekinah glory of God. Yet, when we pray, most if not all of us are not afraid, because over 2,000 years ago, God’s son was the perfect sacrifice. When Jesus declared “It is finished!” on the cross, our sin was defeated and atonement was made for our rebellion against God. That temple curtain in the doorway of the Most Holy Place which had separated God from humanity was ripped in two from top to bottom. We were given free access into the presence of God by the blood of Jesus!! Praise be to God!!!
When we pray, not only do we come into the presence of a Holy God but we also come into the arms of our loving Abba Father. Our God loves us way beyond our ability to comprehend! Our Abba knows our brokenness and imperfections, yet accepts us as we are. Who we are at that moment is enough! Our Abba delights in our coming to him and longs to hear the cry of our hearts. His love for us and his desire for intimacy with us compelled him to provide the only sacrifice that would provide the restoration necessary for such a relationship to occur. No matter how many people turn their backs on us or walk out of our lives, our Abba will never leave us or forsake us. His love is more than enough to sustain us.
I imagine what it looks like when I enter prayer. I enter into a room so filled with glory and majesty that I am completely overwhelmed. There is just one piece of furniture, and it is the throne of my Father the King, who is ruling with love, power, and might. I timidly approach the throne, head bowed, my heart broken. Then God reaches down and picks me up and sets me on his lap. He holds me close to his chest, tells me he loves me, and asks me what is on my heart. It is here I experience the intimacy I have longed for all my life. Here I come to know I belong and will never be rejected or abandoned.
When your life overwhelms you and you feel the sting of rejection, abandonment or when you long to feel that you belong and are included, don’t let feelings of powerlessness paralyze you. Run into your Abba’s arms in prayer and experience the overcoming power of His love enfolding you, accepting you, loving you….just as you are.
Rev. Deb Koster