How To Pray to God For Help and Healing

Recently, I’ve seen major spiritual growth and recovery in multiple “problem areas” of my life that I’ve tried time and time again to change for years. I haven’t tried harder – in fact I’ve probably never tried less. I have simply changed the way I pray for aid and guidance.

My prayers would often begin, “Lord, help me”, “Grant me the strength to”, or “God may I start”. I would pray often and fervently. And yet, I would fail over and over again. My motivation was able to push me through a few failures, but eventually, it left me in one of two camps: either I was filled with shame, regret, and was convinced I was a terrible person, or I would direct my frustration at God for setting up a world in which the wrong choices are so easy and the right ones are so hard (and on top of that He didn’t seem to be hearing my prayers).

It became hard to continue and was pushing me farther away from God, unsure of Him and myself. My prayer life ceased to exist. What good is prayer if all it leaves you feeling is a. shameful, b. mad at God, or c. doubting His existence at all? And so I sat at the crossroads, unable to move towards atheism but beginning to grow weary following God and tired of trying.

It wasn’t until I took a good look at my requests for aid that things began to change. Who was the main doer is all of my prayers? Me. I. Myself. My conversations with God came from the assumption that I’m doing the work and getting close to success, but I just need a little extra push to get myself up the hill. That’s not a savior. That’s just a friend you’d ask, “Hey buddy, you mind giving me a hand over here real quick?”

My breakthrough happened when I realized I am not truly in control of my transformation. The only part of the transformation I have any control over is my submission to God’s will. It was really in looking at Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous that inspired me. It states, “[We] Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” And that’s what we are – insane in our sin. God can restore us to sanity but not by our own doing. It is God that does the doing within us.

Humility is the cornerstone of the Christian life and of the Cross itself. It is only in admitting that we don’t know the way that we find it. God doesn’t desire to be just someone who gives you a little push when you need it but a savior who rescues you from the pit of despair. Not because He needs to be the hero but because He wants to strip us of the delusion that we were making any progress up that hill to begin with. It is only by fully submitting to God that we become our true selves that He created us to be, wonderfully made in His image.

My prayers are now empty, void of my own desires. I attempt to only consent to the Spirit dwelling within me. Though empty, they are fuller than ever because I have come to believe that it is God alone who can restore me. I am not in control. It is not God who gets in the way of my healing, but I who gets in His way. My prayers are still far from perfect, but God is restoring me to sanity.

Work less and trust more. Fully submit to God and allow Him to push you all the way up the hill, resting in His love. It is amazing to see that the more helpless we realize we are, the more help we receive. I think as Christians we often equate “carrying your cross” with grunting through labor and bearing the burden. But the Cross had nothing to do with what Christ did but what he allowed to be done. He could have saved himself. Instead, he humbled himself and fully submitted to the will of the Father. Let us all submit to the Father’s will and let His will be done rather than our own.

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Poem About Gratitude, Having a Positive Attitude and Blessings





No Quarter

If I look, I'll find 1000 complaints,
but I've resolved to give no quarter to protest
when I've been so blessed
with gifts raining down from Heaven like manna.

If I find my vision
dull, dark, and gray
it's because I've chosen to stay
blind to how lucky I truly am.

Of course there's darkness.
But there's also an abundance of light
available when we keep our sight
fixed on our graces and gratitude.

Dark cloud, keep on moving. 
I'll no longer grant you quarter.
My attitude is back in order - 
my storehouse is far too full to harbor complaint. 

Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

The Cloud of Unknowing A Poem on the Dark Night

The Cloud of Unknowning

To be free from the desires of the mind
step out into the night,
outside of space and time.

Wear the darkness, clothed like a dress.
In your unknowning,
you're truly blessed.

What you seek lies farther than eyes can see - 
step after step
faith must lead.

Like a flower, like a seed,
in the darkness
is where roots feed.

We need not act but only be open to receive
gifts that are imparted
but which the mind is unable to perceive.

Justin Farley




Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Poem About Nature, Creation, and God





The Wonder of Creation

I'm not ashamed to admit
that I'm in love with creation - 
not for its own sake
but for what it tells me about you.

The mountains may move me,
my spirit may rest in the river's bed,
and the birds of the air may fill me with wonder
but all because their beauty
points beyond themselves
and leaves me gazing at the Master's hand,
awed by his artistry,
lulled by his love.

Nature is a sweet song,
a familiar melody on the tip of your tongue
whose origins you can't quite recall
until you join in the chorus
and with a bittersweet longing remember,
feeling the Spirit gather around you.
Your soul recognizes the mother
who birthed its existence...
the source of all love...
the source of all beauty...

We are all drawn to the wonder of creation
because it offers us a glimpse,
a taste of what's to come.
You feel eternal power in the forest.
You find something supernatural 
looking in the clear, cool stream.

So I'm not ashamed to admit
I'm in love with creation
because it's your work,
close to your heart,
and you love it
like any artist loves their work.

But most of all I love it
because I find you there,
because my heart hears you the loudest
among the pines and oaks of the forest,
swimming with the minnows of the creeks,
dancing with the fireflies in the summer skies,
and scurrying with the squirrels
up trees and jumping from limb to limb.

Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Christians in Business

Christians In Business- Can We Live Out The Gospel and Run A Profitable Business?

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Are Christianity and Business Success Compatible?

As a Christian business owner myself, it is often difficult to mix the necessity of profits and making money with the language of the Bible considering the numerous warnings about money. Furthermore, I believe today’s culture labels business owners as greedy and always using other people to become successful. We now have a entitled society who bashes those who make money and believes everyone should be allowed to reap the benefits of success, regardless of whether they have sowed seeds of hard work or not. That doesn’t mean that some of society’s arguments about rich, wealthy business owners aren’t valid; it just means that for Christians in business, it’s easy to feel guilty or even sinful to make money and be successful.

Christianity and business (as well as money in general) are both compatible and incompatible. The key aspect that determines which category business men and women fall into are the business’s values. What contributions is the business making to society? Does it simply exist to rake in the highest profits at any cost? What are its core values? Are they consistent with the teachings of Christ? Is the business team using their talents towards the glory of God and to help serve a need in the community through a product or service?

Let me be clear here. I’m not talking about running a nonprofit business. A business has to make money and profits must fall somewhere among the top of key goals. But it must not be the only goal. There has to be something more – a key set of values and principles that it is founded on that are sacred and are never disregarded in search of higher profits. There is no need to apologize for being successful, but success comes with obligation to make a difference in the lives of others.

I think for Christians in business the main question we must meditate on and ask ourselves daily is “Am I running my business to serve me or serve others?” When we keep our focus on others, we can forego all of the guilt and hold our heads high in the face of public criticism of business in general. I think as Christians we often think of serving and helping others in terms of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, etc. And while these are things every Christian is called to do, I believe that God calls each of us to help and serve in different ways. Monetarily we can help, but we may not be called to the front lines on a daily basis physically. Our contribution may be making or designing a product or service geared to bring laughter to a child and put a smile on his or her face. We may be called to help people file their taxes, help people save money, provide a good or service that makes peoples’ life easier or better. And we must make money doing so. But Christianity is compatible with business when we ask ourselves what we can do to help serve the community, rather than serve ourselves. The mark of a great company is that it gives something back. It produces, but it does so by serving a need and making a difference in the lives of others.

Even as Christians in business, we have to make profits, or it wouldn’t be a business for very long. Usually though, when we place others in front of our own pursuits and constantly ask how we can improve the lives of others with our talents, profits naturally increase. What we do with those profits and with the gifts we’ve been given determines whether we’re serving God or serving self. Christians in business have tough obstacles and temptations, but we can be assured we’re in compatibility with Christian teaching when we wake up each morning with the customer in mind, instead of ourselves.


photo credit: Dr John2005 Shoreditch Bridge Portraits 265, Shoreditch High Street, London, 26 August 2016 via photopin (license)

Opus Dei – A Poem About the Work of God In Your Life

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Opus Dei – A Poem About the Work of God In Your Life

Your hot breath has blown on me
and provided the oxygen for glowing embers of love
where there was once nothing but cold, hard coals.

You’ve cultivated my soul
and provided the rich, black soil for roots of patience
where there was once rash temperament without restraint.

Your loving hands have lifted my head hung low in shame,
while your fierce winds have blown like a cyclone across a barren desert,
beginning to level this wall of pride.

You’ve provided for me a solid fortress
deep in the heart of your city
with ramparts tall and wide, impenetrable by the sufferings of this world.

You’ve blessed me with the gift of wisdom, to pause for breath.
I once dove headfirst into life’s battles like a torpedo of chaos without thought,
only to be whipped into retreat, scrambling for cover alone in the dark.

Your tongue has embraced my closed eyelids;
your passionate kiss has restored my sight.
You’ve given me a new pair of eyes able to see farther than myself.

Your loving discipline has provided the humility capable of producing laughter
when I take myself too seriously,
caught up in grandiose schemes and dreams of personal glory.

You’ve implanted in me fragments of courage.
Each day I’m getting more comfortable stripping off clothes of delusion
and encouraging the world to look at my naked frame; imperfect, bound in anxious chains.

You’ve taught me how to sow, where I once only reaped.
The seeds of contemplation have grown into hope,
setting my heart on distant destinations, where not long ago I accepted defeat.

The Spirit moves in incalculable paces like a dancer swayed by rhythmic beats.
You’ve given me a new appreciation for the wind, smirking at how it blows wherever it wishes; I was once engulfed by anxiety embracing unpredictable forces.

Faith has given me footsteps where my feet were once immobile, heavy as iron.
Fear remains, but it doesn’t incapacitate me.
I can walk on water as long as my vision is focused on you.

I’m no longer terrified of your wrath; you’ve given me the green light
to doubt, to challenge, to investigate, to verify, but you’ve also allowed
my heart to accept that sometimes our walk requires steps of blind faith.

It’s becoming easier to call you Captain and turn over the keys to my fate,
finally able to humbly accept that I am incapable of steering this ship,
understanding your hands are the only ones qualified to take the helm.

You’re consistent affirmations are beginning to ease my mind over finite time.
I once restlessly rattled the cage, unceasingly beat and banged
upon the heavy door of immorality, feeling owed admittance.

But you make peace of mind a possible reality; detached from the bondage of self, starved from the selfish desires of the flesh. You give me food filled with substance where I once only chewed and swallowed emptiness.

I am far from at peace.
I am not absent of fear.
I am still riddled by questions without answers.
I am not unmoved by my sufferings.
I come unhinged by my own madness.
I am inhibited by narcissistic obsessions.
I am wavered by trials.
I can be found in moments of doubt.
I still unsheathe my tongue as a weapon.
I am sometimes caught without showing patience.
I am occasionally guarded and scoff at love.
I still sometimes rage against offering others my hand or my time.
I am not always victorious over my passions.
I fall prey to temptations.

Yes, I admit that I am far from perfect.
But your perfection is slowly, but surely
working to change me into a better man.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

Opus Dei – Latin for the work of God


 

photo credit: 2750 Hot colors for a cold days via photopin (license)

A Post-Modern Portrait – A Poem

“But I like the inconveniences.”
“We don’t,” said the Controller. “We prefer to do things comfortably.”
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
“In fact,” said Mustapha Mond, “you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.” There was a long silence.
“I claim them all,” said the Savage at last.
Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. “You’re welcome,” he said.

-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 

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A Post-Modern Portrait

Steel covered sky.
Gun-stock gray rays.
Metallic molten moon.

Where do you turn when the hovering dome
That covers your head is sucked void of joy
Like an eternal vacuum, gasping for breath?

Is this really all there is left –
Empty shells consisting of robotic movements,
Resembling humans, but without hearts beating in their chest?

Why are the pure at heart so easily discarded as trash,
But the deceivers received as gold?
What kind of world do we live in when all meaning has been lost –
A heirloom remembered, but regarded as ancient and old?

I’m afraid the heart seeks a treasure that doesn’t exist,
Washed out by the waves of progress
And swallowed by the deluded ideals of feminists.

Woman, do you want to know why there’s no longer
Knights in shinning armor walking the streets?
Because you have become accustomed to the darkness,
Mated with the dragon, and your pride refuses to admit you’re in need.

Independence and self-reliance have paved the death of the soul.
Romantics lay in anguish,
Lost in a world gone cold.

When the Self becomes king,
Selfishness reigns supreme.
Love is shackled and silenced When “ME” “MY”, and “MINE”
Are the passions and desires the heart screams.

Gun-stock gray flock
Of unfulfilled passionate yearnings
Flutter across the cold, metallic sky.
Heartless, inhumane existence clatters
With each footstep of people passing by.

And I am lost in this game.
I don’t know how to join in the delusions.
I have no desire to come to your miscalculated conclusions.

I don’t know how to still the warm heart beating in my chest.
I have no desire to walk like a lamb to the slaughter
And watch my soul shrivel like all the rest.

I have no desire to play by the rules
Of this revised edition of the Game of Life.
I’ll boldly wait in my alienated prism reflecting the light
Rather than sell my soul and vulnerability for the sake of safety
And step out into that dark night.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

Grace – A Poem

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Grace – A Poem

I am awed by the way you move me
like freshly fallen snowflakes dusting across the frozen ground.
Some days I forget the barren tundra from which I came
and how you whispered by name, echoing across that vacant landscape
so that a lost soul could be found.

Some days time passes by me without a single thought
that each waking moment is a treasure –
a gift granted, light years away from being deserved.
But despite all my wrongs and all the foolish footpaths
I chose to walk, in my time of desperation I called
and without hesitation you answered.

Each single second is abounding opportunity,
a renewed possibility for new life.
My destination was one I was unable to arrive at
by the work of my own hands, but while I lingered,
withering away in the darkness, you nestled me
within your loving embrace and brought me back into the light.

The fact that I breathe and my heart beats
is a living testament to your endless love and grace.
May I never forget from where I came and that each day is a gift
that I should unceasingly praise and never waste.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Morning mist via photopin (license)

Like Me – A Poem About Loving Yourself

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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God doesn’t make mistakes. It’s easy to compare your weaknesses to other peoples’ strengths and become discouraged; it’s easy to let it tear down your self-esteem and think you have no value or self-worth. But often times, it is our weaknesses that have the greatest potential to transform other people. Our weaknesses are what make us human and give God the greatest opportunity to reveal his glory and redemption. As hard as it is sometimes, by learning to like our weaknesses and accept them instead of hiding them in the dark, we can allow others to see God’s light and give others the confidence to open themselves as well. That doesn’t mean we don’t try to improve them or allow them to run our life because “that’s the way God made me”; it means we have the courage to admit we’re weak, have issues, and allow God to transform us instead of pretending like they don’t exist or trying to do all the work ourselves.

Like Me – A Poem About Loving Yourself

I like me.
I’m learning to love the flaws
I see staring back at me in the mirror…
They keep me humble.
Each time I stumble humility grows
And flows through my eyes. allowing me to accept others’ shortcomings.

I like me.
Just as crazy as I come,
Never refusing to silence the feelings that drip
Like sweet drops of honey from the tip of my tongue…
They keep me honest and open, vulnerable and true.
They give others the confidence to let down their guard
And feel comfortable walking in their own shoes.

I like me
With a belly full of fear
And a heart filled with angst…
It keeps my pride in check
And my will at bay,
Knowing that left to my own devices
I’d likely be lying in a grave.

I love me
Even when I don’t like me,
For after all, this is the way God made me.
Who am I to critique his work?
What can the clay say to the Potter,
Except to appreciate and accept
The art sculpted by His hands.
I like me because in the chaos created by my flaws
I know He brings order from anarchy and has a plan.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: via photopin (license)

Illusions – A Poem

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Illusions – A Poem

The demon water you drink
Is devouring your soul.
Don’t you know this road has no happy ending
And your heart will turn cold?

Repeating lies does not change reality.
Sooner or later you’ll have to face life’s inevitable truth.
Don’t set yourself on foolish paths, don’t chase foolish pursuits,
And hang your happiness up by your own noose.

The lies we tell our hearts are more deadly…more potent
Than the poison spewed from your lips.
Silence the serpent, the viper, the piper
That sings you mirages of bliss.

Strength is weak;
Weak is strong.
Pride brews careless ways
And pushes you to places you don’t belong.

Independence is dependence;
Dependence is independence.
Try to sweep the truth under the rug if you like,
But in solitude you depend on a mind of madness.

The free is captive;
The captive, free.
For the one who relies on self alone
Is bound in lonely chains of slavery.

Call yourself what you wish,
But truth still stares back at you in the mirror.
Pretending to be confident and defiant,
Does not erase your heart of fear.

The proud are brought to their knees;
The meek stand on their own two feet,
For the first step of growth
Is admitting you’re in need and weak.

So bat your lying eyes and put on a show.
But through your smirk, you’ll find only tears.
The road to hell is seen as heaven
By eyes that are blind and ears that refuse to hear.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley