A Prayer for Disappointment
By Glynnis Whitwer
“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered.” John 21:4-5 (NIV)
Scripture doesn’t record the disciples’ thoughts, but I can imagine they were a bit annoyed at this piece of advice. After all, they were professional fishermen, doing everything they knew to do. The fish obviously weren’t there!
The disciples were about to learn an important lesson about success and failure. They obeyed Jesus’ directive, shifted the nets to the other side of the boat, and Scripture records: “When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:6b, NIV)
At that moment they recognized the Lord, and the disciples headed to shore, towing the fish behind. The disciples didn’t just have success, they had great success.
Jesus needed the disciples to see the difference between self-directed effort and Jesus-directed effort. And in order to show them, He let them fail on their own first.
Oh, how I need to learn this lesson myself. I wonder if Jesus has watched me try on my own and held back success while I do. Is He just waiting for me to listen for His voice? To watch for His plan?
Yes, we can do many things on our own, but that doesn’t mean we should. Why would we choose to ignore the greatest source of wisdom and power ever known, in exchange for our paltry efforts in comparison?
When we operate in our power, we see what we can do. When we operate under Jesus’ direction and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we see what God can do.
As I look back on my life, the times I’ve seen God work in the greatest ways are when I admit my natural strength isn’t enough. That’s when His supernatural strength is evident. Viewed from this perspective, it reminds me sometimes failure is an opportunity to see God work miracles.
God is always up to something for my good. And that’s a much better way to look at disappointment.
Lord, thank You for working in my life, even in ways that look like failure. Help me keep my eyes on You and not on my situation. Help me trust You more, especially when I face what looks like a disappointment. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Encouragement for Today devotional, “A Better Way to Look at Disappointment,” written by Glynnis Whitwer. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.
Disappointment is an inevitable fact of life. For as long as we are alive, there will be highs and lows, ups and downs, laughter and weeping, happiness and sadness. Our lives can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride. All of us battle feelings of disappointment when life goes wrong. When our dreams become shattered and our hope and expectation fails, disappointment is the natural result. Pain is inevitable. Why? Because we live in this world and as long as we are in this world, disappointments will come.
A few years ago, I had gone through a couple of bereavements in my family. First of all my loving dad passed away, and then my brother-in-law died a few years later. I was distraught, hurt and disappointed. My world shattered at such great loss. I was totally distraught, never thinking I would recover from such depth of pain. My heart ached of pain, loss and grief. The future for me at that time looked bleak…my world was shattered. Friends and family did their best to bring some form of consolation, but there was a great big hole in my heart and only one person could heal it…God. I knew if the disappointment was left to pile up, it would lead to discouragement, and then to despair. I had to find a way of pouring out my pain, as the disappointment was too heavy a burden to bear. It took some time for me to heal, I cried myself to sleep most of the time, my eyes hurt, as my heart ached of pain, but I knew if I didn’t do anything about the situation and pour out my heart, I would spiral into a deep, dark hole of depression.
God gave me the strength and courage to pick myself up and keep moving on, though not easy, I gradually picked myself up. I persevered in the face of adversity and moved on, not forgetting my loved ones who had passed on to glory, but fondly remembering them and thanking God for giving me the privilege of knowing such wonderful people. Looking back now, I can thank God for pulling me through by His power and grace.
What are you going through right now? Is it disappointment, hurt, hopelessness, bereavement, heartache and pain? I think it is time to start unburdening yourself and handing over your pain to the one who can handle it and bring healing to your soul. You must hand over the pain to someone who is capable of handling it, somebody who is willing to help, someone you can trust and empty out your heart to. If you look in the Psalms, King David shared a lot of his hurts, grievances and pain. He poured out his heart to God. God listens and is still listening to our heart’s cries today. He is the God of yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Cry out to Him today, he will listen to your heart’s cries and answer. Call to Him like King David did in Psalm 121:1-8,
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.
My prayer for you today is that you will not keep bitterness inside and harbour hurts and grievances, but that you will empty out your heart to God and ask Him to come and set you free and heal your pain. I pray that God will turn your disappointments into an appointment for blessing. I pray that He will heal your pain and set you free from any affliction or pain you might be going through. I pray that the Lord will be your strength in difficult times, that He will be your peace in the midst of the storm. I pray that in your times of weakness, the Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth will increase your strength. I pray that you will hear the voice of the Lord speaking to you through Isaiah 41:10,
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
I pray that you will let go of the past, so that you can move on to a new beginning. Forgive those who have hurt you, forgive yourself, forgive your neighbours, your brother or your sister. Forgive and let go. Forgive your friends, your relatives, your colleagues and all those who have hurt you. You must forgive and let go, otherwise you will not be able to experience the new beginning God has in store for you. Forgiveness is a choice, God requires it of us. Our prayers cannot be answered if we are harbouring grievances and bitterness in our hearts. We must let go and let God, so that healing can take place. I believe the Lord is speaking to you right now through Isaiah 43:18-19,
“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.”
And then He goes on to say in Isaiah 45:2-3,
“I will go before you,
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the LORD
who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.”
May God restore your soul and lead you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. May your cry come before the Lord and may He deliver you according to His word. May the Lord revive you according to His lovingkindness. May He keep you in all your ways and cause His angels to keep watch over you. May the angels of the Lord bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. May God preserve your soul and deliver you out of the hand of the wicked. May you never be put to shame. May the Lord be your strong refuge and fill your mouth with praise. May He not be far from you and hear your heart’s cries and come to your aid. May the Lord be your refuge and your strength, a very present help in times of trouble, therefore, your heart will not fear. May God turn every disappointment into a blessing for you. If you are ill, may the Lord sustain you and strengthen you. May God preserve you and keep you alive. May you be blessed in all that you do. May the Lord be merciful to you and raise you up from your bed of affliction. May His lovingkindness and truth continually preserve you. May He never withhold His tender mercies from you and your loved ones. May the Lord redeem your soul and be your help and your shield.
Finally, I pray that you will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season. May your leaf also not wither and whatever you do shall prosper. May the Lord cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace in Jesus Name. Amen.
Have peace, God is with you…and smile 🙂
(Written by Freda Ladé-Ajumobi, 2012 © All rights reserved.)
JEHOVAH SHAMMAH, we bless YOUR Holy Name and divine presence. Pour down Your blessings upon us, let it rain! Hallelujah!
You are worthy of all the praise we have to offer. None can compare to Your holiness. We need You lord, for You are our strength when we are weak and weary. In the power of Your name, we are lifted up.
Psalm 4:8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.
Today I release all disappointments and setbacks in my life and hang on to the promises of God Click To Tweet
JEHOVAH SABAOTH, we are tested by the disappointments of life as well as disappointed by others. Help us to realize You are the faithful and everlasting Father.
You never fail or forsake us. Even when we have been let down in a circumstance, let us see that it was all part of Your plan to open our eyes, and make us better, stronger individuals.
Colossians 3:23-25 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.
I pray that God will turn your disappointments into an appointment for blessing. Click To Tweet
Replacing all that’s lost
Day or night, we can relax in your tranquility. Hold us as we find peace and safety within You. Reveal clarity and calmness within us as we thread the raging waters. Only perfect gifts come from above, from you, the light of the world
Teach us to be patient as You replace what is lost with greater opportunities. There may be pain in the night but joy always comes in the morning.
In JESUS’ mighty name, we declare that we will be patient and peaceful when disappointments surface for YOU LORD supply all our needs, according to Your riches in Glory! Amen.
James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen
Father, I pray for (name one or more) and others in my circle of family and friends who are struggling with challenges… When they’re disappointed that You haven’t answered their prayers or haven’t seemed to make any move to change things yet, forgive their impatience. Help them to live like the prophets of old, who were patient even when they had to suffer, and who didn’t quit though they must have felt like it sometimes. Help these I’m praying for not to quit either.(James 5:10–11a)
Help them to trust You and believe that You care, that You haven’t forgotten them—and You won’t! When trouble comes their way, when they’re facing tests and challenges, help them be willing to thank You in all circumstances, difficult as that is.(Nahum 1:7a; Isaiah 49:15b; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20)
Help them to love You with all their hearts, souls, and minds, for You cause all things to work together for our good when we love You and are called according to Your purpose. Help them realize that somehow You’re fitting them into Your plans. Help their love for You to be as steadfast and unchanging as Your love for them.(Matthew 22:37; Romans 8:28, 38–39)
May they never question Your love, knowing it was settled once and forever at the cross. (1 John 4:10)
In Jesus’ name, amen.