My Prayer Life Suffered, Until I Realized That My Faith Was in Myself

Savannah, 25, Florida, USA

For a long time, I prayed the same prayer: “Lord, make me content. Help me to be satisfied with you. Help me to be at rest in you.” I prayed this over and over, to no avail. Often, it felt like I was just shouting my prayers at the ceiling…like I was submitting them to a cosmic suggestion box that remained unopened, gathering dust. 

Why wasn’t God answering? Didn’t He want me to be satisfied in Him? I was frustrated, until God turned it. He showed me He wasn’t the one holding out — I was. All of the satisfaction and delight I was looking for was within reach — I just wasn’t reaching. I was doing everything in MY power to find satisfaction in Christ; I didn’t realize that that satisfaction would only be granted by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than putting my faith in God’s grace, I had been putting my faith in myself.

It’s easy to forego the power of the Holy Spirit in favor of our own vain efforts. Though God’s providence and power has been proven to me countless times, I still tend to teeter on the side of my own strength. As 1 Corinthians 4:20 says, “the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power”; indeed, the power of the Gospel is the source of everything true and good in my life. Yet, I often live as if I’m on my own. I have avoided reality in some moments and white-knuckled my way through in others; in doing so, I have disregarded the incredible power of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. 

I’m sharing this not to call attention to my struggles or garner pity, but to encourage other believers. Brothers and sisters, preach the Gospel to yourself daily. Remind yourself of your own powerlessness and of God’s wondrous, righteous power at work in your life. Open your Bible and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. No amount of self-help will help you be satisfied by the Lord alone. This sanctification  and purity of mind comes only through the grace of God and the power of His word.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

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