This was a prayer that I was led into today, and which the Holy Spirit has prompted me to write down, as a model and source of encouragement for all His people who are in the thick of the battle:
Abba, everything is dark. I don’t understand what is happening. I don’t feel your presence. I don’t hear your voice. I am hard pressed on every side, and I feel crushed. I am persecuted, and I feel abandoned. I am being confined and forced into greater loneliness. I feel like I will suffocate. I feel like nothing is fair. I don’t even know if I have been walking your road, if I am a true prophet, if I have grieved you in some way, if this path of proclamation has been a work of my own vivid imagination.
I hear a command: “Proclaim the truth.” I begin to say aloud:
I am blessed. I am loved. I am chosen. I am redeemed. I have been bought with a price. I know that if I confess my sins, you are faithful and just to forgive me my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I know that if I believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord and proclaim with my mouth that God raised Him from the dead, I will saved. I know that the promise of your Spirit is for me and my children and for all who are far off, to all whom you, oh Lord, will call. I know that you are faithful to fulfill all your promises. Why are you downcast, oh my soul, and why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. I am indeed hard pressed on every side, but I am NOT crushed. I am perplexed but NOT in despair. I am persecuted but NOT abandoned. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. I know that as far as the East is from the West, so far have you removed my transgressions from me, and as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is your love for those who fear you. As a father has compassion on his children, so you have compassion on those who fear you. You promise that if an earthly father, though being evil, knows how to give good gifts to his children, then you will surely give the Holy Spirit to those who ask of you! I know that you are my refuge, my strength, my ever-present help in trouble. You will save me from the snare and the pestilence. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, I need not fear, for you are with me! You are my shepherd, and your rod and staff comfort me. You have anointed me, and you will set me above my enemies! Those who wait on you WILL renew their strength; they WILL mount up as eagles; they WILL run and not grow weary; they WILL walk and not faint. Though I suffer for a little while, you yourself promise to restore me and make me strong, firm, and steadfast! I know that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, yet it will yield a harvest of righteousness, and I know that hardship means I am a true son! Thank you for your unfailing love and your never-failing promises. Thank you for your discipline that draws me nearer to your heart. Thank you that I can be assured that every decision made by every authority over me is directed by you and will result in my good and your glory.
I then heard in my spirit: “I want to draw you nearer, ever nearer to myself; all carnal crutches have to go. All outside devices must be crushed. I must wean you from all sense of necessity on earthly things, including relationships. I must show you that if I place you into a place of solitude, that I am enough! If I call you to go into confinement, I myself will replace that which has been stripped from you. I will be to you all things. You need not fear! Rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer for the Name, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you! Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you! The joy of my nearness will far exceed the pain of deprivation.”