This is a prayer I wrote in my journal a few days ago. I have to admit … I made some revisions to it before posting it publicly, mostly to protect a few people in my life and to prevent revealing too much about my struggles. My main intention in sharing this was to show a bit how I pray. I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way, necessarily, as long as you are open and genuine. But I’ve never shared a real prayer like this before … subjected it to the court of public opinion and left the words out there in a way that can be analyzed and criticized. So many of our prayers, we think, disappear as they leave our mouths, never to be heard again. We don’t imagine them letters making their up to Heaven so they can be felt, in full, by the Lord God Almighty.
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord,
Why do I continue to set myself up for failure? I know what pleases you and what you despise. So why do I intentionally wander off course? I follow you close for a few days – a week, a month – starting my days with Bible study, involving my family in church and youth group – mentoring young men. And then, after a time, I pull away from you. I long to feel your closeness, so why do I let loose and not only take a step back, but run from your presence?
My own father – the one you gave me here – was not someone I wanted to be close to. I was afraid of him as a boy and I was constantly worried about what he might do to me. I lived in fear and so did my brother. In the busyness of growing up, it never occurred to me what a toll this must have taken or how it might separate me from your love.
Despite being a father myself, I have no idea what a father-son relationship should be. I know how I parent my son but my ways are riddled with imperfection. Who knows how deep his respect for me actually reaches?
Lord, I ask you to heal this for me. Lord, let me find a way through the brokenness to your arms. I know that’s what I want. Love like yours is something I’ve never experienced before. Lord, take me up into your arms and protect me. Hold me close and take away all my fears. Let me trust you. Let me feel comfortable with fatherly love. Maybe then I will stop acting out. I want to be real with you. You see everything, Lord. You know my struggles. And you know how they play out. I want to be more for you. I want to bring millions of people to you, not just a boy or two from summer camp every year. I know that these boys are miracles and should be happy with that. I should probably focus on my own family first before making requests like this, Lord. And I am. I will continue to. But I want to sense you every day, more and more. My love growing, my faith growing every day. I love you, Lord. Rescue me.