One of the keys to survival in this dog-eat-dog world is knowing when to get help. When our back hurts, we go to the chiropractor. When we are worried, we call a friend. When we have had surgery, our neighbors and church family bring us meals. There comes a time when we exhaust all that we can do on our own and we have to call on someone to come to our aid. It is humbling and difficult to admit defeat but it is an important skill for health and growth.
There are lingering wounds in my heart that time and prayer alone have been unable to heal. There are battle scars from raising children and leading a ministry and family relationships that I need help with. I admit defeat. I need help. I can’t overcome them on my own, try as I might. So today, August 1st, beginning at 10 am, I’m getting some help from one of my pastors and a wise Christian woman.
Our church offers an amazing service to our church and community called “prayer ministry.” My appointment with my pastor is not just me sitting on his couch pontificating on how my life would be better if people would just be nice to me. Prayer ministry is a time to confront the lies that we believe about ourselves and the spiritual forces that are reinforcing them. It is a long, grueling, exhausting process, but when it is over, you feel so free.
One of the main things that happens in prayer ministry is identifying the lies that we are believing about ourselves. The pastor and another person will listen to your story and make note of where you are not believing God’s truth about your life. In preparing for prayer ministry, I went ahead and made a list of the lies that I am already aware of that I am believing about myself.
These are my struggles. They encompass my motherhood, my family, my friends, my faith, my health, and my ministry. I’m terrified to write them down for all the world to see because then you will know what a mess I really am. From the outside I may look like I have it all together but these are the inner beliefs of my frail human heart.
I was wrong to raise my children with rules and consequences.
I’m faithless because I go to doctors instead of waiting on God to heal me.
I’m the “most self-centered person in the world.”
I don’t speak in faith because I am honest and I admit where I am struggling.
When my children go off to college they will not want to come back home because I’ve not been a good mother.
I’m “judgmental, prideful, graceless, and cold.”
I’ve not taught my autistic son how to be a responsible adult because I do too much for him.
Another woman could lead the ladies ministry better than I can.
I burden my friends when I ask them to pray for my migraines. I shouldn’t even say, “my migraines.” That is faithless.
My personality is defective because I am not spontaneous and willing to drop everything and take someone a meal.
Where do these lies come from? I might hear them in my mind or from the mouths of others, but I know their source. They come straight from the Father of Lies himself, the devil. He has been lying and accusing and reminding us of our failures from the beginning.
Some of these lies I came to believe on my own…they originate from the insecurity of my human heart. Insecurity over faith and motherhood and physical appearance affects every woman, no matter how mature she is. And sadly, some of those things I believe about myself were spoken directly to me by others. Those are the hardest to deal with.
Gosh, what do I do when I am wrestling with these “lies of the heart” on a daily basis? Some lies of the heart we can deal with by believing the truth of God’s word about ourselves. But I’ve not been able to overcome these lingering wayward thoughts just by studying my Bible, spending time in worship, and praying. So I’m going to get help via prayer ministry.
So there, devil. Take that!
If you are human, there are lies about yourself that you are believing, too. There are lies about your faith, your shape, your health, your family, your worth, your motherhood, and your friends. Why not take a minute and jot a few down? What is something that the enemy has spoken to you, through your insecure heart or through the voice of another person?
I encourage you to take those lies and go to a trusted friend, a mentor, a counselor, or a pastor and talk about them. There is freedom and healing in confession (James 5:16). When we keep these lies of our heart covered up, they grow in their power and influence over our lives. But when we confess them to others, we begin to diffuse their power over us. When we tear down the lies, we can begin to believe the truth about ourselves.
I’m here for you if you’d like to share with me a lie of the heart that you are believing about yourself. I will keep your confidence and I will pray for you.