A Prayer and An Answer

This poem is the product of one of the groups for which I lead prayer classes. This particular group was all men. One evening, the exercises in the workbooks asked us to list our shortcomings, so we could learn to pray about them.

When I got home that night, I was touched by the genuineness and the honesty that these men showed, I also hurt for them as I recalled the things they were so concerned about. I took their worries and fears and combined them into the first part, "Prayer to God". Then I wrote how I thought God would answer their prayers in the second part, "Answer from God".


Prayer to God

I wanted to show others
       what God means to me
But when I tried to speak
       my courage did flee
I wanted to pray
       but could not utter a word
I wanted to express God's love
       but my heart's voice has never been heard


I wanted to serve God
       to do what pleases Him
I have thought this all out
       I'm not acting on whim
I wanted to show others I care
       to somehow meet their needs
But something gets in the way
       for it is my heart that bleeds


I wanted to be wise
       to be able to discern
But God is still a mystery
       there's so much to learn
The tasks that I try
       all seem so great
My efforts aren't enough
       or they just come too late


I cried out to God
       in Heaven above
What is the problem
       why can't I show Your love?
I thought I was special
       that I should stand out
I should be better than this
       my merits I should shout


I must be so perfect
       others attention to grab
I must be so brazen
       that the Bible won't seem to be drab
I must get others to notice
       the wonder in me
Then God's glory
       maybe they will see



Answer from God

You don't have to be perfect
       no, that's not part of My plan
You don't have to be complicated
       no, you are just a simple man
Don't worry about your failures
       I know that you try
Don't worry about your weakness
       I hear your low sigh


Move forward with today
       leave yesterday behind
I will lead you each step
       you are not walking blind
Don't fuss about tomorrow
       just do your best
Lean on Me gently
       and I will do the rest


I will take you by the hand
       and lead you through life
I will pick up the pieces
       when you face strife
March boldly into action
       just give it your all
Do not be frightened
       I will catch you if you fall


You think you are inadequate
       this much is true
But every person is flawed
       it's not just you
You can be an example
       you can be in plain sight
But Jesus is THE example
       He is the true light


To show My great strength
       I wanted you weak
To show My great wisdom
       I would not let you speak
Like a man freed from his chains
       your shackles did fall
But you are not He-Man
       it was My power that did it all



When I want you to speak
       the words will be there
When I want you to act
       My love you will share
When you find that you lack
       what it takes to be bold
The Holy Spirit will fill you
       with something more precious than gold


My power and wisdom
       will make this come true
My great love and devotion
       will be apparent to you
Like water from a deep well
       My Spirit will flow
Your needs will be supplied
       and My tender mercies you will know


To prepare for your purpose
       pray to be filled with My Spirit
Listen for My voice
       expect it, and you will hear it
But you can't just sit back
       waiting for glory
Study the Bible
       it tells the rest of this story


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