Assaults That Hurt the Soul...
For the last couple of years I've used a prayer book called The Divine Hours (see sidebar) as a guide for my prayers in the morning and evening. It's given me the needed structure and language for a prayer life which had grown small and self-focused. Part of the book's design of the book are prayers to be used every day in a given week.
Here's part of a prayer for this week - "that I may be defended ... from all evil thoughts that assault and hurt my soul."
As I have lived with this prayer I've been reminded of how persistent the enemy is with his assaults and accusations ...
I've taken these from my journal just this week ...
- Failure as a father when I see my kids struggling from stuff they inheritied from me
- Insecurity as a pastor when I fail to live up to someone's expectations
- Disappoinment when people fail to live up to my expecations of them
- Anxiety about everything financial
- Indifference created by the nagging thought that my efforts are small and insignificant
Too often such thoughts stir feelings of self-criticism and judgement within me - occupy a lot of space in my soul - send me to places that are neither healthy or productive.
Would it make any difference if I saw more clearly that such thoughts may enter my life as direct asaults from the enemy - whose intent is to 'hurt my soul' ?
It has for me (at least this week...).
- Rather than self-pity ... I've found a little more courage to fight for something valuable enough that it attracks the enemy'sattention and assaults
- Rather than self-criticism ... I've seen with more clarity how the wounds and weaknesses of my story make me more vulnerable
- Rather than self-judgment ... I've experienced grace in surrendering to God and asking Him to defend me (rather than thinking I can/must defend myself)
- And rather than self-defeat .... I've enjoyed the stability of everything I have in Christ to stand against the assusations and assaults
So my prayer for you...
..that you may be defended ... from all evil thoughts that assault and hurt your soul."
Fighting for You Soul