Did you ever feel as though your prayers weren't strong enough, or that it really didn't do anything noticeable? Why do some prayers get answered and others not?
I love what Pastor Rick Warren once said,
"When you’re going through fire, do you ever wonder why you have to go through it? It’s for testing and purification. As you pray about something over and over again, you face tests that reveal more about you. God says in Zechariah 13:9, 'I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold.'
You test gold by putting it in a big vat and heating it until it gets so hot that all the impurities are burned off. How do metalsmiths know when gold and silver are pure? When they can see their reflection in them. God can see his reflection in you when all the impurities have burned out of your life—after you’ve been through the fire. He says that, after he’s done the testing and purification, 'They will call on my name, and I will answer them' (Zechariah 13:9). Answered prayer comes after the test. Before every blessing, there is a testing. God tests you with stress before he trusts you with success. These are the principles of persistent prayer."
Before and after losing my mom from cancer, I always woke up with a pit of fear in my stomach. It started late into her treatments, when I realized nothing was working. I'd wake up with this pit of fear---a feeling of doom. My heart would race, or I would be 'off' all day long. It lasted well into the years, even after she passed away. I was never the same. My worst fear had come true---mom's no longer with me. One doctor even told me that I had what's called, "broken heart syndrome," which is an actual real diagnosis. It can even be fatal for some.
First Things First
Changing the Atmosphere
Have you ever had the feeling of impending doom, or that something bad is going to happen? It's enough to make you wanna curl back up in your bed and throw the covers over your head. I've been there, and from time to time, I can relapse into that mindset. Prayer changes everything. Fervent prayer. I'm talking about the prayer that has you crying, sending goosebumps and chills up your spine. Some would call this the anointing, that Jesus is right there with you---but Jesus is always there with you. It's when you finally believe He is, which sends that message to your soul. Have that conversation with Him, even if you're shaking under the covers---talk to Him and tell Him everything that's on your mind. Watch how the atmosphere changes. It automatically raises your vibration. With that being established, the fear will lessen or diminish altogether. Sometimes, when it's a struggle, I put on worship music. That alone will change the atmosphere, because most worship songs sing out biblical scriptures. The devil can't fight that. Resist the devil and he will flee.
Conflict Among Friends or Loved Ones?
Pray. I know that sounds like the simplest solution. But Jesus teaches us to "pray for our enemies"---this isn't meant to sound like they're the "evil enemy"---but to pray for those you're arguing with, or have no contact with. Pray sincerely---not just words to cover whatever you want out of this. It has to be a blessing for that other individual you had a conflict with. A few years ago, I thought I could do it all myself. And while I still can lash out from time to time out of instinctive self-preservation, to make things better or to restore what was lost (or) accept things that I cannot change---I pray for the wellness and blessings for the other person, even if I never speak to them again. And it's okay to remove people out of your life sometimes. Ephesians and Corinthians speaks a lot about not associating with certain people who are either unbelievers, or who are doing evil things. It literally says, "Therefore, do not be partakers with them." It also says, "Do not be yoked with unbelievers." ----This is not to say to shun those who aren't sure about their faith or who are of another faith. It's the opposition, or even those who say they believe, but their actions speak otherwise. My point is: if an unbeliever or someone of another faith (or set of standards) pushes you to be disillusioned over your own, then cut ties.
What Others Think of You is None of Your Business
How can you know what someone thinks about you? What conclusions did they conjure up? You have no idea, unless they tell you....or they tell someone else. Then it becomes a 'he said she said' game of telephone. But we sometimes get in this mindset that if someone is too quiet, or not as talkative as they once were, then that means they don't like you, or that they think you're doing something against their moral standards. This is super common. I used to torture myself with these thoughts, until I realized, that the only one I truly care about what they think of me is God, and God alone. You can't control someone's thoughts or first impressions of you...or their last. You can only control your response to whatever situation you're faced with. If you truly care about that person, then call them, make that initial contact and ask them, "Are you ok?" Or just call them as you would normally do. You might just be surprised. And again, as always, pray for those who you are unsure of.
Shifting a Tense Atmosphere
Life is too short to be worrying about what someone else thinks of you. Never settle for anything less than sincere and genuine friendships---the ones who can make you laugh while you're down and lift you up just by listening to you. Even if you're isolated and feel alone, it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Society deems that being a loner or being isolated can be bad for our mental health. If isolation bothers you, then yes, you will suffer, but if isolation soothes your soul, then that's a beautiful thing. Of course there's a beautiful balance of mixing the two: isolation and congregating around positive people who love you. Resistance to anything causes suffering, and of course, whatever you resist, persists. Sometimes we have to welcome unwanted changes, and with that, comes acceptance. After those stages, it's up to you whether or not to choose happiness or depression. If you choose depression, then make a conscious decision to stay in it for a little while, feel all your 'feels' and evaluate what you need to do to move forward. We can't be fully happy if we don't experience the lows, and vice versa.
If you're happy, remember, it won't last forever. If you're depressed, remember, it won't last forever.
Warning: If you're reading this post today, you've been prayed for. Prayers of emotional and physical health from head to toe in Jesus' name. Amen...