Monday, February 8, 2010


Women of Faith:
We often feel overwhelmed because we feel inadequate, as if we are not worthy, like Isaiah felt today, Is 6:1-2a, 3-8, We feel this way because we have lost control because we can’t take care of a situation or a person the way we want to or in a way we think should. The apostles felt these same feelings as they walked in faith with Jesus.

Our natural reactions to feeling inadequate and overwhelmed are those of anger, fear, escape, or to try to take control of the situation. As Father said, anger is a childish reaction, which usually only creates more frustration and hurts those we love; fear creates more anxiety, and escape doesn’t fix the problem but simply puts us away from the problem and leaves others to deal with it. And personally, I have found that the more control I seek the more inadequate and overwhelmed I feel.

Jesus answered the Apostles feelings in Mk 6:30-34 by advising them: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Jesus was telling them to PRAY, to find a quiet place where they could “listen” and put themselves in his “spirit” in prayer.

1 Kgs 3:4-13 tells the story of Solomon who feels inadequate and asks God for wisdom and understanding so that he can serve God and distinguish right from wrong. He, too, received God’s call and message during a quiet, listening time.

Solomon and the Apostles found God by going to a quiet place to pray, by putting themselves in God’s presence thru deep and serious prayer. As Father compared, we need prayer like we need exercise. Exercise builds a strong “skeletal” body, our bones which we stand on. Likewise, prayer builds a strong “inner” body, our soul which is the core on which our emotions and spirit are built. We cannot live without either.

In verse after verse God instructs us to pray, to remain focused and centered in Him. We are instructed to give God control, to find a quiet place, and that if we place our trust in God, he will take our inadequacy and He will handle our overwhelming feelings. He will be our foundation, our rock, our strength on which we build inner peace, contentment and dash away those overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Once we give God control, Psalm 56:3; Psalm 51:6; Psalm 130: 1, 2; and Matthew 19: 26, “all things are Possible.”

As the apostles prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane they felt completely overwhelmed, but as is God’s way, they were given wisdom, understanding and God’s grace. As the first Pope, Peter was called Lk 5:1-11 to carry out Christ’s mission. Thankfully, he answered the call even though he was overwhelmed by the responsibility to continue Christ’s church. His ability, and the ability of the Pope’s who have followed, is to pass on Christ’sTruth from generation to generation. Many of God’s messages have been given to His chosen prophets in quiet times, prayer times, in sleep (dreams), and especially in listening to Him in those times when they felt the most inadequate and overwhelmed.

Jesus told the apostles to pray with others, to pass on His message, to share prayer. He began with them the “habit” of prayer, so that we would always be able to find him when we they needed Him. From the very beginning He was their strength, their Hope, and their constant guide. They asked for His help and protection, and for ways to pass on His wisdom.

This is certainly the time of year when I could become the most overwhelmed but I stay focused through prayer daily and often. My daily prayer is a habit which puts God in control, which keeps me centered in God. It is more important than even bodily exercise, but equally important for growing my commitment to God and keeping my “skeleton” of faith strong.
To pray deeply I try to include the elements of ACTS.

I adore, by praising God for being at my center; for taking control of my life.

I go to him in contrition, for the times when I need to forgive myself for a mistake I made, or for judging others, or for the times when others for gossip hurt me. By asking for His forgiveness it is easier to admit my own sinfulness and errors and to keep myself from holding grudges, and from becoming stubborn. Contrition helps me to be able to admit when I am wrong and forgive those who hurt me. This is the most difficult of prayer, because it requires me to follow His truth, not mine.

I Thank Him, for the many blessings I have been given, including the most basic needs of warmth, a roof, clothing, and food. And I thank Him for the gift of my “job” which allows me to help others and most importantly has, over the years, given me many friends in Christ by putting me in a place where I have crossed paths with people I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet.

And I pray in supplication, (asking for needs), my own needs for wisdom, sleep J, the ability to stay alert and focused, and for His control to solve client issues which cannot be solved by pencil and paper. I pray for the chances where I can share God with those I meet, and to ask Him for help when I feel overwhelmed, and for the ability to admit my mistakes when I feel inadequate. And I place before God other people’s needs which I am allowed to see by my interactions with them. (ACTS-adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication).

And finally prayer should not be work, our work should be to pray, it should be the staple in our lives, done in quiet, but also done with our spouse, with our family and with our congregations. It should be Always, Faithful, Daily and Deep.

Dear God, I praise your presence in my life, my marriage, my family and my profession. Forgive the times I have let “gossip” get the best of me and for the times I have wronged others with unfair judgment. Thank you for taking away the feelings of inadequacy and overwhelming problems and replacing them with hope, comfort and courage, wisdom and understanding. Bless you, my friends; keep you safe, healthy, and praying in God’s presence in every moment of your daily life. Amen.

Prayerful Blessings,
PS: Just so you know, when I listen, I usually get told to “not be so independent.” The reason God put “people” in my life is so that they could pray for me and help carry out my day to day tasks, especially my husband, my family, my coworkers, and my friends. I am told, I can’t do it all myself, He has control. Oh, and Get Some Exercise and Sleep! :)

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