Tired FROM Praying

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I was trying to figure out why I was so exhausted as I lay sprawled across my bed at an unusually late hour for a nap and an unusually early hour to go to bed for the night. Was it caring for the 17 mostly special needs and senior rescued dogs in my care, a number of whom have health issues and/or medication needs right now? Surprisingly, no. Was it all the driving I did this week, especially some city driving I have grown to really not like? No. Was it the people I ministered to over the phone throughout the week, knowing how I pour my heart into ministry even on the telephone? No. Was it the intense counseling session I had early in the week, given I am at last dealing head-on with the incest perpetrated against me as a child? No, it wasn’t even that. Now, it’s not as though any of those things – not to mention all of those things combined – would not be enough to cause the average person to be incredibly tired. Then it dawned on me. I was tired FROM praying. I most assuredly am not tired OF praying. I am exhausted FROM praying. But how can prayer be exhausting? For me, it can given the wildly raw, wildly intense, to some perhaps unusual way I have learned to pray.

While I get countless prayer requests, this has become my least favorite way to pray. I was offended years ago when a strong man of God who had walked with the Lord for many, many years, said he might not pray in answer to my prayer request. How dare he consider refusing my request, I thought. But his explanation, years later mind you, made sense. He was inundated with prayer requests, as many people are. Yet this was not the reason. He felt very strongly that his job was to pray as the Holy Spirit led him rather than how people wanted him to pray. Isn’t that something?

All these years later now, this is my favorite way to pray. While praying in answer to people’s requests can sometimes be dry and stilted as I try to muster up the energy and strength and direction to pray in my own human flesh, praying by the Holy Spirit is an incredible experience. This is not to say that I don’t deeply love and care for and have great compassion for those who ask for prayer. But it is to say that I would rather love and obey the Lord and be led by His Spirit as to whom He wants me to pray for, how He wants me to pray for them, and when He wants me to pray for them. So how exactly does this work?

I wait until I sense a leading in my spirit. I receive a prompting from the Holy Spirit to pray for someone, friend or stranger, and sometimes whole groups of people or a nation or a situation. I begin to pray. As I pray, I hear and see things in my spirit I know are from the Lord. Oftentimes, they make absolutely no sense to me. Sometimes this is because what I see or hear in my spirit is simply symbolic of, or an example of, or an indicator of, how it is I am supposed to pray. Example? Yesterday, I kept hearing the words “watch your feet, watch your feet, watch your feet,” in reference to someone I was praying for. Within a few minutes, I understood by the Holy Spirit that He was showing me that the devil was trying to attack this person. In my spirit, I saw serpents and scorpions around that person’s feet. Then, I realized that a person walking through a field doesn’t see a snake coming unless he looks down at his feet. This was not only a warning for the person that I needed to share with that person, but a prompting to me to pray regarding attack. Then, the Lord gave me a scripture in the book of Luke in the Bible about the authority believers in Christ are given over serpents and scorpions.

Another example would be that I not long ago finished praying for a longstanding loved one who has been in a horrific spiritual battle for decades and is in an ongoing life-threatening situation. As I prayed, the Lord revealed in my heart how I needed to pray for this person. I saw the person struggling to breathe, and knew to pray for the person physically. But I also knew the struggle to breathe was emotional  and spiritual as well. I prayed all the way through until I sensed a release from the Lord that I had finished praying as the Lord was leading me.

Through the years, the Lord at times has given me words of knowledge about someone, telling me in my heart things about that person I would not otherwise know. I used to think this was for the purpose of confronting the person, but have since learned that that is only sometimes the case. Sometimes, God simply wants me to pray for that person according to the knowledge I am being given.

Additionally, I have also had little “visions” whereby I have seen something in my spirit that is metaphorical. For instance, I will envision someone trying to turn a doorknob over and over. I wait on the Lord to explain why I am seeing this. As an example, He will speak into my heart that the person is trying over an over to open a door that won’t open. And He leads me in how to pray for this. Another example is that years ago in a church service I saw a man that I knew being stripped of everything and then being clothed in a robe of righteousness. I knew in my spirit this man had to undergo a stripping of lots of stuff. I told his wife this, and she had me share with her in writing what I had seen in my spirit. For a long time now, I will actually write down what the Lord speaks to me and shows me. In any event, several years later, his wife shared with me that God had literally stripped this man of everything he had to be stripped of in order to walk in the freedom God has for him. What an amazing testimony they both have now.

Needless to say, in reflecting on this, I can now understand why I am so exhausted after this week. I lead an intense life, to say the least. It’s not that I am as busy as I once was. But I now walk in the spirit more than I used to, am utterly sold out to living for Christ as I have been for some time now, and am sometimes a bit wiped out (understatement) from the intensity of being so sensitive to, and so dedicated to, and so connected to, the love and power of my greatest love in the universe – the Lord God almighty.

May all glory be given to Him that I am so privileged, and blessed, and honored, and humbled, to be called His servant. Tired FROM praying, yes, but blessed beyond measure – to be called His daughter, and to be called His servant.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 ESV

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