Create a prayer for your pressures
Have you put together your prayer strategy for your purity? I hope so! This week we are moving on to Prayer Strategy number eight, your pressures! If you’re just joining us, come on in! We’re working through the book, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. If you want to purchase the book you can do so through this affiliate link by clicking here.
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What is pressure?
According to the dictionary, pressure is the burden of physical or mental distress. It can also be the constraint of circumstance: the weight of social or economic imposition. I feel like we are approaching this prayer strategy at just the right time of year! I know the holiday season can bring a lot of added pressure to our lives. We say yes to too many things and try to please to many people. Can you relate to that? If it’s not the holiday season, where do you find yourself feeling the constant pressure to please? Is it to please a parent? An employee? A wife? A friend?
“If I were your enemy, I’d make everything seem urgent, as if it’s all yours to handle. I’d bog down your calendar with so many expectations you couldn’t tell the difference between what’s so important and what’s not. Going and doing, guilty for ever saying no, trying to control it all, but just being controlled by it all instead… If I could keep you busy enough, you’d be too overwhelmed to even realize how much work you’re actually saving me. ”— Fervent By Priscilla Shirer
being a people pleaser
I love this chapter of the book. It speaks directly to my heart as someone who has spent way to long wrapped up in the pressure to please everyone. The pressure to be perfect, and have it all together. The pressure to do it all and do it all well. It is sooooo overwhelming and exhausting. Just thinking back to how I operated the last several years at my corporate job makes me feel exhausted.
the pressure to be perfect
Do you know what I’ve learned about pressure over the last year? When I’m looking for affirmation and acceptance from others, giving into the pressures of perfect, I will never be fulfilled. No matter how hard I try, and believe me, I try hard! I’m a go-getter. I want to be the best, work the hardest, outperform, and over-deliver. But when I’ve succumbed to those pressures I’ve felt overwhelmed, incapable, and exhausted. Ironic isn’t it? Aiming to please others, and caving into the pressure to be perfect only leaves me feeling depleted, not fulfilled.
why do we put so much pressure on ourselves
Priscilla points out in the book that it’s because of intimidation; because of fear. We know that fear doesn’t come from God! Remember our prayer strategy on fear? We fear what people will think of us, that we won’t be good enough, and that we won’t be able to keep up.
Priscilla said, “Satan’s ploy is to make you believe your core value as a person is tied to how much work you do, how much activity you can accomplish, how much stuff you can accumulate, how much business you can generate.” Let that sink in for a minute. I don’t know about y’all, but I can say with certainty that I’ve allowed Satan to get a little too close when it comes to allowing pressures to rule my actions, thoughts, and emotions.
pressure is often a mask for idolatry
Priscilla makes such a good point on page 142. She said, ” One additional thing, but a very important thing; pressure is often a mask for idolatry.” This was such an eye opener for me! When I’ve felt an immense amount of pressure to outperform and over deliver for someone or something, I can look back and see that I was putting my heart and my devotion in….other people/my position/my income/my authority/etc., and not in God.
Priscilla said, “When our lives are packed to the brim with things that squeeze God to the periphery, it’s a sure sign we’ve replaced our devotion to God with a love for something else.
THE PRESSURE TO…
- … perform, for example, often means you’ve made an idol of your reputation.
- … maintain a ridiculously jam-packed schedule: the idol of self-reliance.
- … maintain an impressive standard of living: the idol of achievement.
- … take on everything in which your kids show even the slightest interest: making an idol of your children.
Our hearts can make idols of anything….yet sometimes be the last to realize it’s happening.“
Resting in god
This year I’ve been so grateful to have time to rest and reflect and my biggest prayer has been that whatever I do, wherever God leads me, that I would always put Him first without fail. The pressure I allow others to put on me and the pressure I put on myself to be perfect, to have it all together, to be the best…..it just isn’t worth it. Not when the cost is hindering my relationship with God. Let’s forgo the pressure to keep up, make more, do more, be perfect, please everyone, etc., and let’s rest in God’s grace and love for us while focusing on serving Him.
“You don’t need to keep pushing, rushing, gathering, hustling. You’ve already received approval from the only One whose approval really matters. He has stamped His value on you, and that is enough. Even the activities He gives you to steward are not given to see how many balls you can juggle, but instead so you can participate with Him in staking a kingdom claim on the patches of ground where you live. ”— Fervent By Priscilla Shirer
Create a prayer strategy for your pressures
Consider adding these scriptures to your prayer strategy for your pressures. If you’re following along in the book you can find these scriptures, plus more, on pages 146-149.
- I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. -Pslam 62:1-2, HCSB
- You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. -John 8:32
- Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. -Matthew 6:33, HCSB
- Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4
- You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. – Deuteronomy 5:15
- He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; He does not value the power of man. The Lord values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love. -Psalm 147:10-11, HCSB
Go ahead and grab your Heartfelt Prayers Journal and craft your prayer strategy for your PRESSURES. Remember, if you don’t have a journal, you can download this Prayer Journal that I created specifically for this study and use it throughout the series!
My personal prayer
I’m sharing my personal prayers with you as inspiration while you work to write your own. Here is the prayer strategy I wrote in my war binder for my pressures.
I’m praying for you as you work to craft a prayer for your pressures. See you next week as we dive into prayer strategy number nine on hurts.
Rooted in the love of Jesus,