Welcome back to 10 Prayers to Heal Extreme Burnout! This post is the third in this series. Today, we are praying through prayer directives 7-10, and asking God to make you vibrant, fruitful, and well-watered. 🙂
Prayer #7: Help me to fill up on Your Words, which are spirit and life.
In John 6:63, Jesus said:
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
“Life” is not just a random concept. It is not merely “the state of being alive.” “Life” is an actual force that God emits from His Person. That's why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (see John 14:6), and that's why He can give eternal life to those who receive salvation–because LIFE is a thing that can be given.
It is essential, therefore, that Jesus said that His words “are spirit, and they are life.”
This means that the words that come out of His mouth carry–or emit–LIFE, the same way God emits life. The Word carries the same power that God Himself carries–which makes sense, considering that Jesus Himself IS the Word made flesh (John 1:14).
When we feel burned out, we are suffering from a lack of LIFE–that healing, power-giving, hope-infusing, joy-filling substance that Jesus gives. The actual substance of life is running low in our body, soul, and spirit. And if we suffer from a dearth of life …
… then we need to fill up on life …
… which means we need to fill up on God's Word, for the words that Jesus speaks are spirit, and they are life.
The Lord has healed me so many times using this principle.
I can't even tell you how many times I have sat down on the floor in my study, closed the door, and said:
“Jesus, I feel dead inside. I feel like I've got nothing left. As I read Your Word today, please fill me with Your Spirit and life. Thank You, Jesus.”
Then, I open my Bible to read the words that bring life.
Sometimes, I've felt so desperate that I've skipped from passage to passage through the Gospels, only reading the red print. (Bibles that have red print put the words of Jesus in red, but all the other words in black.) Is the whole Bible God-inspired? Yes. Did Jesus speak the whole thing? Yes. Does the whole thing give life? Yes.
But on those worst-of-the-worst of days, I haven't always had the faith to believe for life from the passages that list the genealogies, or the stories of the ancient kings! In those trying times, I read the red letters that Jesus spoke because it's all I have faith for!
But Papa God has never let me down. He has always met me wherever I am.
And no matter what I read, those words that Jesus speaks have brought me back to life. Each and every time. Without fail.
It feels like starting an old car engine.
At first, there's no spark. You turn the key–or open your Bible–and there's no life in you at all.
But then, as you read, you feel one spark. A few minutes later, there's another one. A few minutes more, and another two or three or four.
After awhile–sometimes without your even realizing what's happening–you've got a put-put-put-put-put starting up in your spirit. And a little while after that, all of a sudden you notice your spirit has roared to life …
… and you go forth from your quiet time in God's Word with both barrels flaming, all cylinders firing, and you're roaring like a lion over your day.
That's the power of God's Word, which is spirit and life.
Do you need to fill up on His Spirit and life today? If so, pray this with me:
“Father God, I come to You in Jesus' name. Father, thank You for saving me with the blood of Jesus. Thank You for giving me eternal life in Christ. And Father, thank You for knowing where I am and everything that's going on with me.
Abba Father, You have given me rest–and I'm thankful. I choose to rest in You again today. But right now, Father, I need You to fill me up. Fill me with Your Spirit, Father, and fill me with Your life.
Papa God, I'm opening Your Word to read the words of Jesus right now.
Please lead me and guide me to the passages You want me to read today. Bring them to life in my heart. Speak directly to my spirit, soul, and body, Lord, and fill me with Your Life.
Papa God, let Your Word take root in me and bring forth good fruit–thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. Help me to be a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only, Father. And bring my body, soul, and spirit to life, filled with Your power and glory, as I read Your Words.
Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name, amen.”
Prayer #8: The prayer of peace
Philippians 4:6-7 says:
Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
When we are burned out, it's often because we have anxious over our circumstances for a long time …
… and anxiety is a result of prayerlessness.
(Incidentally, the Bible says that anxiety causes depression … which means the root of depression is also prayerlessness. Read Are You Depressed or Anxious? Here's God's Cure for more about that.)
The Gospel is simple, folks:
- Jesus saves.
- He heals.
- He delivers.
- He raises you up in newness of life by His Spirit …
- … and it's easy.
If we do what He says, He will fulfill His promises to us. And one of those promises is that, if you will “in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God,” then “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It's easy. But too often, we fail to do it.
I'm certainly guilty here.
Pretty much every time I've felt burned out, the Lord has convicted me and shown me that I've been anxious or worried about something, and I haven't taken the situation to Him in prayer enough.
So I repent and confess my sin to Him. Then, I begin to pray about the situation … and, sure enough, He brings me peace.
We need the Lord's help to remember to pray instead of getting anxious.
We need Holy Spirit to remind us. We need to take responsibility for obeying God, yes, but we also need to partner with Him in this–acknowledging that we need Him for everything. We even need His help to ask Him for help. 🙂
So if you, like me, have been carrying things you shouldn't carry and worrying about things you shouldn't worry about …
… then pray this with me:
“Father God, I come to You in Jesus' name. Father, I confess my prayerlessness to You. I have been anxious and depressed over things, but I have not been releasing the load to You in prayer. I have failed to cast my burdens upon You day after day so that You could sustain me.
Father, please forgive me. I confess these things as sin, and I repent.
Father, please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Please lead me and guide me. Make me humble, and give me a broken and contrite heart before You that You will not despise.
Father, right now, I choose to cast my care upon You. (Pour your heart out to the Lord right here about whatever has been worrying you.)
Father, I give these things to You. Please help me. (Remind the Lord of His promises here regarding Your situation, and ask Him to fulfill those promises in your life.)
Father, please change my heart and make me a person of prayer.
Help me to be anxious for nothing; but in everything, with prayer and supplication, make my requests known to You. Fill me with Your peace that passes understanding. Let Your peace, that passes understanding, guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus always.
Thank You, Father. I love You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer, and thank You for loving me. I praise You and adore You. In Jesus' name, amen.”
Prayer #9: Lord, be my help and send me help.
Psalm 121 says this:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore” (Psalm 121:1-8).
At the beginning of 2018, the Lord told me that Psalm 121:2 was my 2018 word of the year.
This verse is the one above that says “My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” When He told me that, I thought it was a great thing. I thought that meant the Lord would be helping me left and right, and together we would have an AWESOME YEAR!
What actually happened is that I have had a really TOUGH year.
This whole “extreme burnout” thing? Yeah, there's a reason I'm writing about this. 🙂 This learning-to-be-a-mom gig is not for sissies, and all the hats in my closet are off to those of you who are parents of any kind. 🙂 I was totally unprepared for just HOW hard being a mom would be.
Well, as I described in this encouraging Facebook video I recorded recently, I have tried and tried to find help. Help with the housework, help with the ministry work, help with the _____.
But you know what? Every bit of help I've tried to find or thought I've found has petered out:
- People developed scheduling conflicts.
- People moved away.
- People got other clients.
- You name it, it's happened.
And although I didn't want to think this, I began to wonder: “God, is this somehow YOU preventing me from finding the help I need?”
For a long time, I thought, “Nah. There's no way that's God.” But things kept coming up with ALL the helpers I found. And finally, just a couple of weeks ago, I finally surrendered to it. I went down on my knees and finally said:
“Father, Your Word says I can do this on my own. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I sure don't feel like I can do it, and YOU KNOW I can't do it in the power of my own flesh. But all things are possible to him who believes, so I'm choosing to believe that You can AND WILL help me do ALL of this–seeking You, being a wife and a mama, handling the ministry, cooking, handling the housework–on my own, with just You and me.
I surrender, Father. Help me.
Do everything through me and for me today. Send angels to help me. Make Your grace manifest through me as a tangible force today.
Father, if I need physical help from somebody, then send it. But Papa, Your Word says that Your grace is sufficient for me, for Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. So fill me with Your grace today. Fill me with Your anointing. Anoint me to do everything that needs to be done today.
Father, please make Your strength perfect in my weakness.
Order my steps in Your Word. Instruct me and teach me in the way I should go, and guide me with Your eye upon me. Help me to obey You and follow Your instructions. Help me to do what I should do and avoid the things I should avoid. Fill me with Your shalom peace (nothing missing, nothing broken), joy, and power today, which are Your Kingdom.
Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name, amen.”
And you know what? The funniest thing happened when I prayed that:
Yes indeedy, good sirs and mesdames, I, yours truly, yes indeed I, got breakthrough:
- All of a sudden, being a mama didn't feel daunting.
- I actually began to enjoy playing with my baby for hours on end.
- The Lord showed me ways to work and care for him at the same time.
- He began sitting on the floor next to me and playing with his toys for extended periods–without needing me to constantly interact with him–for the first time ever. (Grace!)
- I began to get cleaning done around the house that hasn't been done for a VERY long time.
- I began placing my son in his high chair with me while I COOKED. (That is HUGE. I've never liked cooking, so I've avoided it like the plague. But microwave meals only do it for you for so long.) 😉
I could go on, but you get the point. All of a sudden, nobody was around to help me–but God's GRACE was sufficient for me. God and I and the baby were getting it done.
Sometimes we seek help from outside sources, but God in His goodness actually withholds it.
He doesn't withhold it because He's mean. He's not mean; He's GOOD! But sometimes He withholds the help we seek when we seek it from other sources than Him. Why? Because:
- He wants us to lean on Him.
- He wants us to trust Him.
- He wants us to learn to place a bigger draw on His grace for the help we need.
- He wants us to stretch our understanding of what's possible for us to do.
- He doesn't want us to miss out on the most important things that we sometimes try to get away from (so we can deal with things that “feel” more pressing).
He wants us to learn that our help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.
If you have also been trying to find help without success–or if you need help from the Lord but haven't asked Him for it–then I encourage you to pray the prayer I prayed above:
- Lift up your need to Father, but lift up your faith too.
- Ask Him for the help He promises to be to you.
- Believe that He is big enough and good enough to BE all the help you need.
Prayer #10: Heal my spirit, body, mind, will, and emotions. Help me to be vibrant and well-watered again.
Isaiah 44:1-4 says:
“Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses'” (Isaiah 44:1-4).
Burnout makes you feel dry and wasted like a desert. BUT GOD!
You don't have to put up with feeling dry and stale. You don't have to stay burned out. You have a Papa in Heaven who loves you, and He is ready right now to pour His Spirit on you, making you vibrant, full of life, and well-watered again.
That's what He means when He says He will pour water on him who is thirsty. That's what He means when He says He will pour floods on the dry ground! The thirsty one is YOU! The dry ground is YOU! But when God's Spirit comes:
- He renews you (Revelation 21:5);
- He refreshes you (Acts 3:19);
- He fills you with love, joy, peace, big fierceness like a lion's roar, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and that wonderful thing called self-control (Galatians 5:22-23);
- He restores your soul (Psalm 23);
- and so much more!
Acts 3:19 says:
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord ….”
When we align ourselves with God in every way, obeying the instructions in His Word, everything changes:
- He blesses us.
- He empowers us.
- He gives us rest.
- He restores the things the locusts have eaten–the things the enemy has stolen out of your life.
And beloved, Papa God wants to pour His Spirit on you.
He wants to make you new and well-watered again. Do you want this? If so, pray this with me:
“Father God, I come to You in Jesus' name.
Father, I love You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for taking care of me. Thank You for seeing me and everything that pertains to my life.
Father God, I want to be right with You in every way.
If there is any sin in my life, please convict me of it. Please change my heart and forgive my sins. I believe Jesus died for me, taking my sins upon Himself so I could be forgiven and have eternal life. And now that I have received that new life in Christ, I don't have to sin anymore.
So search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me; and if there is, get it out and lead me in Your way everlasting!
Fill me with Your Spirit, Lord.
Please pour the refreshing water of Your Spirit on me. Fill me up, inside and out.
Holy Spirit, I surrender to You. Have me all for Yourself. Please change my heart and make me like Jesus. Take away my old, stony heart, and give me Your heart. Take away my old spirit and give me Your Spirit.
Father, please water me with Your Spirit. Make me vibrant, whole, and well-watered again.
Heal my heart, body, soul, and spirit. Put the pieces of my life back together as only You can. Fill me with Your joy unspeakable and full of glory. Guard my heart and mind with Your peace. Renew, refresh, and restore my soul; and make all things new in my life.
Father God, please glorify Your own name in me and my life.
Let Your rivers of living water spring up in me right now. Change everything about my life that You need to change, and give me rest. Convict me always. Keep me on a short leash, and keep me from sinning against You.
Help me not to grieve Holy Spirit, but rather to obey Him in all things. Help me to be ever filled with the Spirit, and let psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs come out of my mouth.
Father, thank You. Thank You for filling me up with the water of Your Spirit. Thank You for the rivers of living water flowing out of my belly right now. Thank You for healing me and making me new. I give You all the praise.
In Jesus' name, amen.”
Beloved, these ten prayers give God permission to heal your heart and life from extreme burnout.
(Or burnout of any variety, really.) 🙂
Will you pray them today? Will you believe God's promises and claim them for yourself? Will you let Him heal you and make you vibrant and well-watered again?
If so, please leave a comment below!