Friday, July 22, 2016

Overwhelmed by Prayer Burdens

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm the kind of person that has a hard time letting go.  Letting go of my expectations.  Letting go of my worries.  Letting go of my problems.  I don't know what it is, but I constantly struggle with the aspect of letting go.  (Elsa made it seem so easy in the movie, Frozen.)  I guess that's why I can become overwhelmed with prayer requests.

Over the past week, I've received the news that my grandmother is clinging to life with a weak and weary grasp.  I found out that a dear lady who is like a mother to me is in the hospital because of a terrible reaction to her new cancer treatments.  A teacher and mentor from college just discovered that his body is filled with cancer, and the doctors say it doesn't look good.  A family whose children I taught in kindergarten broke the news that their pre-teen son was to have his leg amputated.

I wish I could tell you that the list stops there, but it doesn't.  That's only those I know personally.  That doesn't count the requests made at church or made known to me through my ministry.  Broken families.  Broken hearts.  Broken bodies and broken spirits.  It's enough to make me cry out, "What in the world are you doing, God?  Why are so many of your children hurting?"

Before I go any further, let me say this:  if you have a request or need prayer, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I consider it part of my ministry and call to help encourage God's children.  I don't want you to hold back because of what I'm saying here because I assure you that's not the point.  And for those of you who have shared your requests with me, thank you for trusting me with your pain.  I am happy to carry your burdens to the Lord.

Here's where I have a hiccup in my prayer life, and I wanted to address this topic this morning because perhaps you have the same issue.  I carry the burdens to the Lord.  One by one, I lay them in great detail at His feet.  I pray for healing, grace, intercession--whatever the need may be.  I pray that God will have His will and way in each and every situation.  So far, so good, but here's where I mess up.  Remember what I said at the beginning of this post--I can't seem to let go.  So, when I leave the throne, I carry all those burdens back with me and bear them all day, every day.  No wonder I feel overwhelmed!  We were never intended to carry such burdens.  The Bible makes that abundantly clear.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. - I Peter 5:7 

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22

Please understand, letting go doesn't mean that we dump our problems at Jesus' feet then merrily skip away like we haven't a care in the world.  I don't know that that's even possible.  We still have to deal with reality.  We still feel the heartache and sorrow of the situations surrounding us.  The difference is that when we leave our problems at His feet, we'll also feel peace in knowing that everything is in His hands.  He's in control.  He knows all about the issues, and He is capable of doing what needs to be done.  That is a peace we cannot experience when we're trying to "deal with" the issues ourselves.  Sure, we took them to God, but then we took them back which signifies that we didn't really trust Him to take care of it.  Whether we meant to imply that or not, the fact is that it's a slap in God's face when we pull our burdens away from Him.  Not only are we insinuating that He can't handle them, but we're also acting as if God doesn't care enough to deal with it like it needs to be dealt with.  Ouch!

Brothers and sisters, we live in a dark world, and according to Scriptures, it's only going to get darker.  It's easy to become overwhelmed by the many burdens surrounding us on a daily basis, but we don't have to be weighed down by the cares of the world.  We need only take them to Jesus and allow Him to have control of each and every situation.  That doesn't mean we put it out of our minds or hearts but rather that we take it out of our grasp.  It doesn't belong there.  Give it up.  Lay it down.  Let it go!
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