This business of caring for my own heart feels a bit daunting to me. I know my heart is good, but I also know that the enemy of my soul would like to entrap me again with lies about myself. Caring for my heart feels like a “warm and fuzzy” kind of process over which I have no control. Nothing in my orphan background prepares me for this. But as I read on in John Eldredge’s book, “Free to Live”, I found that the next steps marked out for me were very practical. This delighted me because I am a deeply practical person. I learned that I can participate in my own healing.
I have been practicing the spiritual disciplines for that past few years now (see “Narrow Path to Transformation”), and have developed some helpful prayer routines that John’s suggestions fit into very nicely.
John suggests that we begin with the truth about ourselves (see “our hearts are good”). He reiterates that we need to then address our own agreements that we have made with the enemy. When we agree with the lies of the evil one, they play out in our thoughts, actions, and relationships. I had to ask the Lord to show me any agreements that I have made that contribute with the sense of shame I wrestle with. My list began to grow fairly quickly and I am including them below as an example for my readers. I am also including scriptures that I have added to my prayer journal, and that I will pray daily.
I had agreed that I am an orphan and that I am quite alone.
Thank you Jesus that you said you will not leave me as an orphan, but that you will come to me. (John 14:18)
Thank you God that you decided in advance to adopt me into your own family by bringing me to yourself through Jesus Christ. This is what you wanted to do, and it gave you great pleasure. (Eph. 1:5)
I have always thought that there was something despicable or dirty about me that I needed to hide.
I believe that I am already clean because of the word you have spoken to me. (John 15:3)
You chose me to be holy and blameless in your sight. (Ephesians 2:10)
I believed that I am an imposition and that I don’t really have anything to offer.
I believe that I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he planned for me long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)
I have always thought of myself as a good sufferer or a good griever. Praying Isaiah 61 seemed like the best antidote.
1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
If you don’t use a prayer journal like I do, but you feel you need to pray over yourself daily, see the prayer resources available on the Ransomed Heart website.