Sometimes I slip into doubt. The enemy does not want me to trust in my Lord and savior. Instead, he wants me to question God's love for me. He drums up every sad memory he can to attack me. He reminds me of how people hurt or betrayed me. He whispers the grievances I have felt towards others...and stirs it up again. He reminds me of my failures and tells me that I could never minister to others by telling them about my deliverance from spiritual bondage. He tells me that my story is a total joke because I am not living victoriously. He tries to make me believe that my Lord does not have my best interest in mind...that He is actually a cruel God. The pit of despair looms near...threatening to swallow me up in it. I've been down this path many times and I know that the only way to get through it with victory is to go to the foot of the cross. To fall on my knees before Him. To regain focus on God's truth and who He is.
Sometimes I "pray the alphabet." The Lord showed me this trick one night as I lay in bed. I often have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Too many racing thoughts. I have quieted my mind by lulling it to sleep with dull thoughts. One of the ways I have done this is to go through the alphabet and for each letter, say as many names that I could think of beginning with that letter. It shuts off the crazy, worrisome thinking and replaces it with the mundane. So I would start. "Ann, Amy, Abigail, Antoinette, Alice, ...Barbara, Bernice, Betty, Bernadette, Babette,...Colette, Catherine, Christine, Cassie, Cassandra, Camille,..." (I'm not sure why, but I always stick to girl names) Usually by the time I got somewhere between H and N, I had fallen asleep.
One night as I lay in bed, not only did I have racing thoughts, but they were all the attacking thoughts that I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post. I started the alphabet name trick...it wasn't working quite as well. It came to my attention that the Lord inhabits the praises of his people. If I praised Him, how could anything negative be present? Satan hates the praises we lift up to Jesus. He cannot stay around for that. I decided to try praising the Lord using the alphabet. There are no hard and fast rules for this. Sometimes I linger on a letter and come up with several praises or attributes. Other times, it is just one.
Heavenly Father, you are Almighty, you are Beautiful, the Beginning and the end. You Created the heavens and the earth. You are my Deliverer. You are Eternal. Your love goes on Forever. Great are your works, Oh Lord! You are Holy, the great "I Am." You have Justified me. You Keep me in the shadow of your wings. You are all Knowing and Loving. Father, you are the Maker of everything. You Made me and have promised to Never leave my side. Only you, oh Lord are worthy of my praises and my full admiration. You give me strength to Persevere and to never Quit the race set before me. You have promised me Rest when I come into your presence. You are my Salvation and my Truth. You bring the Ultimate Victory against the lies of the evil one. You are Wonderful. Yahweh. Thank you, that I will be one day in Zion. In your very presence. Why do I get so hung up on things here on Earth, Lord? Why do I not trust you? Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me all the time. Every minute of every day...even when I am straying away from you. Help me to be ever faithful to you each day. Amen.
As you can see, sometimes it doesn't end at "Z." Sometimes I keep going and drop the alphabet entirely or I start over. Sometimes I fall asleep in the middle of it, but I know that my Father doesn't mind...just as I didn't mind if one of my children fell asleep while I read to them. I have never prayed the same alphabet prayer twice. Sometimes I vary it to be a prayer of gratefulness and I name blessings he has brought to me.
I hope this post encourages you and gives you a tool to use to combat the lies the enemy tells.
(If anyone can come up with something for "X" or another "Q," just leave your suggestion in the comments.)