Tuesday, September 23, 2008

When I Stop Praying

When I stop praying - my whole life falls apart,
No joy thrills my soul, no peace fills my heart,
My compassion soon dies and my desires are not met,
The future seems uncertain, and there's no end of debt.

When I stop praying - it is obvious, the Lord I have not sought,
I have not seen Him work in my life and heart as I ought,
The things that I loathe about myself are still there,
And the plans that I am making are castles built on the air.

When I stop praying - I have let reign fear and doubt,
I have taken the reins of my life and left the Master out;
To other Christians and the world, I have let it be known
That I am prideful and think I can do it all on my own.

When I stop praying - it's obvious to the Lord that I fell
From my own steadfastness while others are on their way to Hell,
I am not standing in the gap, nor caring for the lost,
I am not plucking brands from the fire, nor counting the cost.

When I start praying again - the reverse is quite true,
I have moved my eyes off of myself and put them back upon You,
Claiming God's promises, seeing hearts and lives truly changed,
With a burden for souls, my priorities are rearranged.

When I start praying - answered prayers are only part of the story,
Now my mind is transformed, and I am living for God's glory,
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the word on my lips,
And my soul is grieved when I let an opportunity slip.

When I start praying - Jesus is precious to my soul,
My heart is no longer broken, but perfectly whole,
Fellowship with my Lord is wonderfully sweet
As my life is filled with victory instead of defeat.

When I start praying - there are riches that are waiting to be found,
Joy fills my heart, and the peace of God does abound,
The Word of God opens up like a bounteous treasure chest;
As the burdens are lifted, I am secure in my haven of rest.

Written By: Bro. Jerry Bouey

I was reading this today and God really spoke to my heart in that I have not been praying like I should. I have prayed but only for those things I need in my life (a selfish prayer indeed) and forsaking the needs of others. Yes, I've been praying....but not bearing burdens of others as God would have me to do. I'd like my readers to forgive me and more importantly I ask the Lord to forgive me for my selfishness. This poem describes what I have been experiencing as a result of this in my life. Thank You Lord for giving Bro. Jerry these poems to use in the lives of Christians such as myself to help us to see what we need to see. And thank You for convicting my heart and setting me straight. I love You Lord!!

10 comments:

That Good Part said...

A wonderful post!

Your blog is so uplifting!☺

Sis. Julie said...

That Good Part...Thank you so much!! I appreciate your comments and the kind words you have to say.

Mimi said...

Julie,
my short coming is that I do not take enough time to listen when I pray...I seem to be too busy stating and asking and yes even thanking...but some how I fall short when it comes to listening...
thanks for the post and I will try to do more listening for God's answers...
Mimi

Sis. Julie said...

Sis. Mimi....I know what you mean. I think we all tend to have that problem.

Jerry Bouey said...

Sis. Julie, thank you for posting one of my poems here. I hadn't read it for awhile, and it was convicting to me too. I try to make sure my poems are Scriptural, and there are so many times God will later use the truths in them to be an exhortation or comfort to me in return.

I hope you are doing well. Have you checked out the song I wrote the other day? I changed some of the words in one stanza, just to make it flow better - and perhaps some day be sung (maybe Sis. Deb or someone else will tackle that... I could always dream...).

As far as praying goes, I really need prayer that I would pray more and be more consistent with it. ;) (Smily, but I am serious.) These last couple of years (with all that has gone on), I have let my prayer life suffer - and I am not content to leave it at a mediocre level.

(P.S. Somehow you have a "Nor" instead of "Now" in the 3rd to last verse of the poem.)

May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

Sis. Julie said...

Bro. Jerry...I have done the same thing due to all that I have been going through since my brother's death in June. Not many even know what all we have been faced with. I have let it affect my prayer life and my reading of my Bible. I never mean for that to happen....but it does I guess. This poem really helped me to take notice of a few things. Your poems are such a blessing and are convicting to me too.

I have not seen your latest song as of yet. I will go check it out though.

Thank you for your proofreading. I sure didn't notice that I had changed the word. I would not want to change the message of the poem by any of my typo's.

Jerry Bouey said...

When we are honest with our friends about how we are struggling, then I think that is when we are able to truly get the support and encouragement (not to mention exhortation!) that we need to grow in the Lord and strengthen our spiritual walks. I know too many times I have just coasted spiritually, thinking I was okay - but the fact that I was not spending as much time with the Lord was proof that I was not. For me, the problem is generally not neglecting Bible reading (though that does happen at times), the problem is usually that I will neglect heartfelt persevering prayer. Sure, I will still pray for the Lord to open up His Word, for Him to give me wisdom, at other times when I am expected to do so (such as at work, before meals, etc.) - but sometimes those prayers seem dry to me.

It is when I am challenged (such as by your post) or convicted about this matter that I take a step back and look at my prayer life as a whole and realize how poor it has gotten.

Keep me in your prayers, and I will strive to keep you in mine - and perhaps together we will be strengthened and comforted in the Lord, to continue to be a blessing to others.

As I think I mentioned in an earlier reply, I am encouraged by the fact that I am starting to write poetry again - three poems since June. It was 2 years since my last poem, and truly in 2005-2006, I did not write that much then either. Due to pain, I know I shut off the emotional part of myself, but it is like the spring has started flowing again. When I am writing these poems out of love and concern for my friends and brethren, I get past myself, and the Lord can work again through me.

I don't want to be a stagnant pond - which is what I truly became last year with my depression - but a flowing fountain of living waters, flowing out to others. The healing will come - we just need to keep going to the Healer of the broken hearts, something which we neglect to do as we pull back from our Saviour when we are hurting.

Sorry, I seem to be rambling - but even in your struggles, your posts have been such a tremendous blessing and comfort to me, and I wanted to try to be one in return.

God bless you, my friend.

Sis. Julie said...

Bro. Jerry...Thank you so much!! You may feel you are rambling...but I feel you are helping me!! You are a dear friend and I'm so very thankful for you. Your book you sent me has been such a help to me!! More than you will ever know. I read your poems and God uses them in my life. I'm thankful that God has allowed the "spring to flow again". You have such a gift that God has given you with writing poetry and songs.

I'm thankful the Lord helped you through your depression. I have wondered lately if I'm not in that state myself. This latest trial concerning my youngest daughter Michelle has knocked the wind out of me and I'm having a hard time getting back up from it. If those that are no doubt judging me would only realize how things happen at times to affect us like we never dreamed we would be. I'm not saying there is anyone that comes here to my blog that is judging me....but I know some in our family and such that are. That has made things even harder for me. Why do I let it be that way? I want to be so much stronger than all this. I thought I was...but the Lord has shown me I wasn't. And now I wonder if I'll ever be what He wants me to be. I have failed Him so miserably!!

Jerry Bouey said...

I don't think being weak means we have failed the Lord - I have failed Him by taking some areas of my life back or by losing my focus - but not by being weak. That just reveals that we need to grow more in some areas - perhaps those areas are what the Lord wants to work on and why He allowed those trials in our lives - and need to lean on the Lord even more.

Actually, there is much to meditate on when we think about our weakness, His strength, and what He is working in and through us.

2 Corinthians 12:5-10 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


Ah, read these again:

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

for when I am weak, then am I strong.

We just need to remember that when we are weak in ourselves, we are strong in Him. He not only gives us strength, the Bible says He is our strength.

Psalms 18:1-2 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalms 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Psalms 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

Psalms 105:4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

Psalms 118:14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Psalms 138:3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

Some wonderful verses/promises there!

Sis. Julie said...

Bro. Jerry....Amen!! And perfect promises too!! Thank you for reminding me of these. There are several the Lord has given me recently to meditate on and you have reminded me of more. Thank you!!

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