Prayer works, but it requires some patience and resilience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4 (KJV)
At the beginning of 2021, I fasted with my local church and prayed that God would reveal everything that I needed to know to get through the year and become healthy in the end. It was a courageous prayer, but honestly, I was more focused on the outcome of getting “there” and not the journey to “there.”
I felt fixing a couple of things would motivate me to be a better person in the end. Alas! I was unprepared for all of the revelations that would pop into my life from a past event I was unaware of. A lot happened in a particular season— I reached a point where I didn’t think I could take any more bad news— from family secrets to present-day struggles that subconsciously began to play out in my daily life and tear me apart emotionally and spiritually. The weight of the revelations got so heavy, extremely heavy to carry, so I demanded that God would stop revealing things to me. The very thing I prayed for seemed like a curse. I learned the meaning of the saying, “be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.” It wasn’t easy to see how my experience could turn into something good because I saw an incredibly weak version of myself, and my faith began to waver. I knew that I would not get through that season on my strength. I needed God’s strength.
In moments of doubt, I was led to this scripture:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
After revelations about past events and what was transpiring in the present, I went through the seven stages of grief. Thankfully, I reached the acceptance stage of grief by accepting the things that I could not change. Later, I remembered why I prayed for revelation and how I wanted to go through the year to get over it.
I proceeded to break generational curses that I was unaware of, and I began to see how God was operating in me, that I needed to deal with some things within myself to move forward healthily. God restored me in that season when I didn’t even realize I was broken. He reconciled family members that were at odds with each other for decades. He restored my relationship with my son when I believed all was lost. The prodigal son story has new meaning to me now that I have experienced a newly defined reconnection with something I lost. But I lost more than just my connection with my child. I realized I had lost a connection with the Father that was causing me to be so oblivious to what was going on around me and I needed to be reminded of who God was and the power of prayer.
God is waiting on us to get on board with Him through prayer so that He can partner with us to get us through and over life’s obstacles. The journey to “there” may take an entire year, it may be tough on the heart, but it is so worth it as the reward is complete and total freedom from anything keeping us in bondage and stopping us from advancing.
I challenge you to ask God for something in 2022 that will inevitably grant you peace amid your situation, promote love and compassion for others, help you mature in God, cultivate a new level of worship, and reconnect you even closer to the Father.
Going into this new year with fasting and prayer, I am encouraged and excited to ask God precisely for what I want to see manifest over this new year. I am prepared for the tough parts that may bring some grieving because I know that some things have to die for me to live freely. I know that God loves me and that He is good despite what my circumstances may look like. He always prevails, always saves, forgives, and always delivers. Don’t let another year pass by without allowing God to reveal the things to heal, restore, and set you free.
Author: LaShondra “Shinny” Sutherland
Shinny is a military wife and military momma of a 21-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter, with a heart for marriages. She serves in a ministry that provides tools for couples to learn how to do marriage the way God intended it to be. She enjoys traveling around the world and experiencing new cultures and of course the food! She has learned that a deep relationship with God and community will alter your life’s path shaping a better you and ultimately a better marriage. You can connect with Shinny @this_loveworks