by Jack Watts

Father,
As I have done so many times before,
I come before You feeling worthless,
Feeling like I can never hold my head high,
Feeling broken, scorned, and devalued.
The Scriptures teach that my transgressions,
Which have been so egregious, have been forgiven,
But I cannot seem to forgive myself for what I’ve done.
I can’t divest myself of my culpability.
My sin is ever before me,
Relentlessly wearing me down, grinding me down,
Telling me that I am not a good person,
Which in my heart I know is true.
Living in a dense fog of despair,
I wander through life purposelessly,
Never free from shame, never able to be myself,
Never able to experience sustained peace or joy.
I want to find pleasure in life and to cast aside
My debilitating low self-esteem,
But I have no power to accomplish this task,
Regardless of my earnest desire to do so—
Regardless of my determined efforts to believe differently.
 
My enemies scold me for my wrongdoing,
Wagging their condescending fingers in delight,
Mocking me with their disingenuous smiles,
Reminding me of what I have done—never letting go.
They seem confident my life will never have value again.
I loathe their reproachful, insincere counsel,
Which constantly reminds me of my failure.
It chips away at my self-worth each day, everyday.
Help me, Father. I have no place to turn but to You.
Forgive me and restore me to wholeness.
Help me regain my strength and sense of wellbeing.
Let my heart know joy and serenity once again.
Teach me to face my enemies with self-confidence,
Knowing that their condemnation no longer has merit—
Now when I have found complete forgiveness in You,
Amen.

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