Do you ever have times when your life seems out of control? Do you ever feel pressured and fear you are missing out on a certain quality of life because your days are so busy?
Do you worry that you are neglecting one or more areas of your life because you are trying to fill numerous roles and meet endless expectations? I've experienced that too.
Have you ever felt as if you are stuck in one place and are going nowhere? Or worse yet, have you ever felt as if you are going backward?
Have you had times when you've lost your vision for the future? Or have you been frustrated because you never had a vision to begin with?
Have you wondered whether you can actually move into the full purpose and destiny God has for you? I, too, have felt all those things.
But God doesn't want you to feel that way.
God doesn't want you to live the kind of life in which you are barely hanging on. He doesn't want you to merely eke out an existence, find a way to cope with your misery or just get by.
He has more for you than that. He has a great purpose for your life.
But it won't be fulfilled without prayer.
Do you hunger for a greater sense of the Lord's presence in your life? Do you desire to know God in a deeper way?
Do you want to serve Him better and more completely? So do I.
The good news is that this is the way God wants you to feel.
God wants you to long for His presence. He wants you to find your fulfillment in Him and nothing else.
He wants you to walk closely with Him and increase in faith and knowledge of His Word. He wants you to put all your hopes and dreams in His hands and look to Him to meet all your needs.
He wants you to totally depend on Him. That's because when you do, He can move you into the purpose for which you were created.
But not without prayer.
If we are not praying about our lives, we can too easily become people we don't want to be. We become women who hear the truth but don't act in faith to appropriate it for our lives.
We spend valuable time grappling with doubt, fear, insecurity and uncertainty. We end up going around in circles, always passing through the same territory and coming back to the same problems, same frustrations, same mistakes and same limitations. We become callused, unforgiving, anxious, impatient or unteachable.
None of this is what we want! We want to break out of any self-defeating cycle of repeated patterns and habits and transcend ourselves, our limitations and our circumstances.
We want to be more than just survivors—even though there are times we are grateful to be just that. But we want more. We want to be overcomers.
And we want to be a part of something greater than ourselves. We want to be connected to what God is doing on the earth in a way that bears fruit for His kingdom. We want to abound in God's love and blessings.
We want to live life on purpose and with purpose. We want it all—all God has for us. But we can never achieve that quality of life outside the power of God. And then only as we pray.
We've all had times when we feel completely powerless in the face of our circumstances. We know we don't have what it takes to attain any kind of permanent transformation in our lives. Our best efforts to change ourselves and our circumstances always fail to produce lasting results.
We recognize our need for a power outside of and far greater than ourselves. But there is only one power in the world great enough to help us rise above ourselves and the difficult things we face and move us into a life of purpose. That is the power of God.
Without God's power, we can't transcend our limitations or get out of our ruts. We can't stand strong in the face of all that opposes us. We are doomed to a life of spiritual mediocrity.
God wants to deliver us from all that separates us from His best. He wants to set us free from everything that prevents us from moving into all He has for us. And He wants to use us to make a difference in His kingdom. All this requires the power of His Holy Spirit.
How do we appropriate it? Only through prayer.
CREATED FOR A HIGH PURPOSE Every one of us has a purpose in the Lord, but not all of us realize it. And when we don't have an accurate understanding of our identity, we either strive to be something we are not or compare ourselves to others and condemn ourselves for falling short.
When we don't become who we think we are supposed to be, it makes us critical of ourselves. It causes us to be insecure, oversensitive, frustrated and unfulfilled. It forces us to try too hard to make life happen the way we think it is supposed to.
God doesn't want that for you. He wants you to have clear vision for your life. He wants to reveal what your gifts and talents are and show you how to best develop them and use them for His glory. That's because He knows you will never find total fulfillment until you are doing what He created you to do.
Don't think that if you haven't moved into the purpose God has for you by now that it is too late. It's never too late.
I did everything late. I came to the Lord late. I got married late. I had children late. And I didn't start writing professionally until I was more than 40. The greatest part of my ministry happened in my 50s. I believe my best years are ahead.
Trust me, if you are still breathing, God has a purpose for you, and it is good. But God won't move you into the big things He has for you to do unless you have proven faithful in the small things He has given you. So if you are doing what you deem to be small things right now, rejoice! God is getting you ready for the big things ahead.
Although it may often feel like it, there is never a time when nothing is happening in your life. That's because whether you realize it or not, you are never standing still. You are either going forward or you're sliding back.
In order to keep moving forward, you need to become more and more passionate about God. You need to spend quality time with the lover of your soul every day.
I don't want any of us to wake up one morning and realize we didn't lay a good foundation in the things of God or didn't protect the foundation we had with prayer. This is not about getting things from God, although He has much He wants to give to us.
It's about getting into God and allowing Him to get into us. It's about letting Him make us complete. This is about a deep, intimate relationship with God and the wholeness that will be worked in us because of it.
God wants us to want Him. And when we realize that it's Him we want, it frees us to identify the longings, loneliness, frustration and emptiness inside us as our signal that we need to draw near to God with open arms and ask Him to fill us with more of Himself. It's in that kind of relationship that we will find our purpose.
But this deep and intimate relationship with God that we all desire and can't live without doesn't just happen. It must be sought after, prayed for, nurtured, treasured and protected.
THE FUTURE GOD HAS FOR YOU Though God has a plan for your future that is good, remember that the devil has one too—and it's not good. But the devil's plan for you cannot succeed as long as you are walking with God, living in obedience to His ways, worshiping only Him, standing strong in His Word and praying without ceasing.
When you live this way, according to God's Word and by the power of His Holy Spirit, you can trust that you are in the right place at the right time and that the Lord is working His perfect will in your life. You can trust that He is moving you into the life of purpose He has for you.
So don't give up if you are not seeing all you want in response to your prayers. You will! Just keep on doing what's right and refuse to give way to discouragement if things don't happen as fast as you would like them to. They seldom do.
And don't be concerned about your future. God wants you to be concerned with Him, because He is your future.
If you find yourself fearing that your future won't ever be any different than it is at this moment, please know the truth is quite the opposite. It's at these very times, when you feel as if you're not getting anywhere or you're missing the future God has for you, that God is actually preparing you for your future.
And when the time is right, He will undoubtedly do a very quick work. Though it's good to set goals, don't look so far into the future that you become overwhelmed by it.
Look to the Lord instead. Draw close to God and do what He asks you to do, and you will see God's purpose for you become manifest in your life.
More than at any other time in history, believing women are being given an open door to become all they were created to be. They are moving out in different areas of expertise and ministry and making an important difference in the lives of those whom God puts in their realm of influence.
God is looking for women who will be committed to living His way and stepping into the purposes He has for their lives. He wants women who are willing to sacrifice themselves for His kingdom. Women who say, "Not my will, but Yours be done, Lord." He wants praying women who are led by the Spirit, who will do what it takes to be equipped and ready when He opens the doors of opportunity for them.
You are one of those women. In order to move into the purpose and future God has for you, talk to Him about it every day. Say, "Lord, show me clearly what the gifts and talents are that You have placed in me. Help me to grow in them and enable me to use them according to Your will and for Your glory. Lead me in the way I should go as I move into the future You have for me." When you do, God will "grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose" (Ps. 20:4, NKJV).
Stormie Omartian is the author of The Power of a Praying Woman, from which this article is adapted. Published by Harvest House.