A Prayer for a Whirling Head
by Joseph Franks
Father, my head is whirling. I find it hard to concentrate. I find it hard to rest in you. I want to come to you and find peace. Desperately, I desire to be content in you. Can you help me be as the Psalmist of Israel? Can you help me experience satisfaction as did David – the man after your own heart? He declared, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Can this become my declaration and not merely my desire and supplication?
Help me to meditate on your compassionate affection for me. From ancient days, you have seen my heart and my faults; my sin has always been before your face. You have always been well acquainted with my rebellion and double-minded folly. Yet, before I was born you determined to provide a benefactor for my soul. Father, before I was a sinner, you sent your beloved Trinitarian partner and Son to live and die on my behalf.
Son, before I rebelled against you, you put aside your divine prerogatives, earned my righteousness, and was executed for my transgressions.
Spirit, before I was born you came to earth and filled and fruited the sacred family. You blew upon men’s souls and regenerated them. You blew upon Christ’s church and it became a global phenomenon. Yes, before I was born you set up fathers and mothers to pass along the Gospel. Before I was, you infected people who would infect me with the Gospel. What undeserved love, and all of this before I took my first breath. Then, when the time was right, you gloriously and graciously breathed spiritual life into my soul. It was then that you grabbed hold of me in love. It was then that I repented and grabbed hold of you in faith. As was predestined before the beginning of time, I became your adopted child and betrothed bride. What wondrous love is this?
Every day since that day, you have not let me go. Goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life. Sure, in your mysterious, perfect, and pain-filled plan, you have allowed me to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Much time has been spent in the presence of my enemies. I am prone to wander; consistently I foolishly or flagrantly seek to explore Satan’s pleasures on my own. However, your rod and staff have disciplined, discipled, comforted and kept me. Over and over, you have proven to be like the Father of the Prodigal Son. Like Hosea, you have reclaimed your beloved rebel.
Now I glory in your immutability. You change not. You will not go back on your word. Even when I am faithless, you are faithful. You who have begun a good work in me, will complete it. You are the Alpha and Omega of my salvation. Yes, I must run and finish the race. Yes, I must not put my hand to the plow and turn back. Yes, I must persevere to the end. And, it is a predetermined end, for you lose not one of your sheep. Therefore, while I persevere, you preserve. O love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee. You have loved me. You do love me. You will always love me.
Now, forgive me and save me from my illogical anxiety, discontentedness, despair, and/or depression.
Forgive me and help me take my eyes off my sin. It is horrible. It is offensive. I want to lust, think and walk in this sinful manner no longer. However, help me to fully understand all my iniquities are taken care of by my Savior and Friend. Help me to rightly understand my unity in Christ.
Forgive me and help me take my eyes off my performance. Yes, I want to please you. I want to think more biblically. I want to love more genuinely. I want to talk with purer tongue. I want to lust after godly things and do good works. I am called to be your slave, servant, disciple, and priest. But again, help me to rest in the past performance of Jesus and present power of his Spirit.
Forgive me and help me take my eyes off my neighbors. Yes, I have too many friends that I want to impress. I also have too many enemies that I wish to avoid. Allow me to cherish, prioritize, and enjoy you as my best friend. Allow me to hear your compassionate voice always in my soul. Make those who trouble me less important in my life. Help me to more properly love my friends and my enemies. However, cause me to focus so much on you that peer-pressure carries less and less influence.
Forgive me and help me take my eyes off my needs. I will work. I have a family to support. I have mouths to feed and neighbors to love. However, you supply my daily bread, and so far you have done so abundantly – pressed down, shaken, pouring over, thrown into my lap. You care for the birds. You know the number of hairs on my head. You control economies. You grant financial success. You are the one who makes rich and makes poor. Allow me to rest in your provision and enjoy that which you provide. May I learn to be content whether hungry or well-fed. Forgive me for my sinful materialism. Forgive me for my illogical anxiety.
Father, Satan is the deceiver. He is the unrelenting liar. He tells me untruths about you and your world. Be thou my vision. Help me to meditate on you day and night. Help me to worship rightly. From the inside-out, transform my mind, affections, conversations, and actions. As you do this, I will walk with greater faith, confidence, and joy. Protect me from the lies of my spiritual enemy.
And now I praise you. Father, my head seems to be not whirling so much. I find it a bit easier to concentrate now. I have to say, I am resting in you. Peace is mine. Confidence is welling up in my chest. I am not perfectly content, but I am more content in you. You love me. You guide me. You are my shepherd and I realize afresh that I am lacking nothing that I need. This is still my desire. This is now my declaration. This is eternal truth!