Category Archives: pain

The blessed mourner

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Life has never been so overwhelming for me. I had encountered hardship and pain before, but this was one of a kind. There were days when I sat in silence and just did not know what to say anymore; I was puzzled and confused. How can so many hurtful things all happen at once, and why in this way?

The journey commenced in January 2015 when the Lord spoke to me and told me to urgently go to Uganda to pray for my grandmother. At first I doubted my hearing, especially since my grandmother was of a different faith. However, my prayer partner received the same revelation and said she would also accompany me on the journey.

So in April 2015, I went to Uganda. We asked my 87-year-old grandmother if she was receptive to us praying for her and she agreed. We laid our hands on her, prayed for her and her salvation. She was so grateful and asked when we would come back and pray for her. That was the last time I saw her. She passed away in December 2015.

Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015
Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015

             

I was shocked as I did not have an incline that she would pass, let alone that the significance of the prayer and that it would usher her into heaven. It really taught me that when God calls you to move and do something, you have to act instantly- no hesitation or doubt. I was really distraught by her death and as she passed away a few days before Christmas and my arrival in Uganda, it was a sombre mourning festive season.

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It was during this trip that I got my hearts desire to pray for John, a minister who spiritually guided me over the years (read blog post – Discerning the season). He was a man of God who I looked up to, who believed one-day God would use me and wanted to see its manifestation. He suddenly passed away in July 2016. It was very devastating and painful. For days, I would stay awake at night wondering if this was really happening. I just didn’t understand how someone who had just started such a huge ministry passed away so suddenly.

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Minister and close friend, John Baptist Mukajanga

During this time of mourning, is when I found out my cousin, brother and friend Hamim had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I don’t even know if the word “shocked” can sum up how I felt when I got the news. Is this really all happening at once? How can a fit, athletic, non-smoker, 29-year-old have lung cancer?

I found myself for the next few weeks going to the hospital almost daily to see him, to try and encourage him. The good thing is that he had a lot of friends around him and a big family support. I continued to ask God to heal him and for his salvation (as he was of another faith) but he became worse every day. Within weeks, he went from being a healthy athlete to being unable to talk and eat. It was heart breaking. It was during this time that I went on a prebooked holiday to Uganda. Days after arriving in Uganda is when he passed away. This was August 2016. I just couldn’t believe that another close person had passed away within the space of weeks.

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With my cousin, brother and friend Hamim

The pain became unbearable- I could feel the physical heart ache. This lead to panic attacks and depression. Depression is a silent killer which brought along old bad habits/sins, confusion and disconnecting me from the Lord. I stopped hearing and dreaming and was unable to pray. The spirit of fear had taken over and I was unable to sleep at night. I allowed the pain to consume me, and that was a mistake I made. However, at this time, I no longer knew how to deal with it or what to do anymore.

A week after my return from Uganda, my mum woke me up at 6 am. She initially asked me how I slept and if I was okay. I said yes. It was at that time that she informed me that my other grandmother had passed away. This was a lady I had seen the previous week before my return to London. She was fit, healthy and jolly and there was no sign that it would be the last time I would see her. At this moment, I felt like bad news had become the norm of my life. As I continued to suffer from anxiety, I went back to old habits and sins. I felt trapped in a box.

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Last time I saw my grandmother, August 2016

During this time, people would still send me their prayer requests and would ask me when I was next posting a post on Pearl Sisters. But I thought to myself, “How can I encourage some else when I need encouragement myself?”

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As much as people told me I was going to be “alright” and “get through it”, the times when I was alone in my bed  were when the real manifestation of emotions occurred. It was at this stage that I realised that only God was going to get me through and strengthen me.

1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that this was for a season (read the blog post Discerning the season), and this season would pass. I started to discern the tricks the enemy was using to destroy me and my ministry, and knew I needed to stand firm. So I took a step back from ministry to focus on myself, my healing and deliverance.  I knew I needed to continue, to encourage someone that everything will be okay.

I want to encourage you today that regardless of what you are going through, you will get through it alive and in one piece. We all go through stages in life where it is so difficult, painful and sorrowful. But this is the time you need to hold unto God the most. He is the only one who can restore and repair and there is always a great lesson to be learnt. It is okay sometimes to take a step back and reflect, seek God for direction and focus on yourself. Take your time, there is no rush. God has seen every tear, pain, and sadness and it is His will for your to be joyful. Take courage.


In memory of Jajja Namutebi, Jajja Namazzi, JB and Hamim xxx


Why me?

1453022739779Why me? A question I repetitively asked myself throughout 2015. Everything that could possibly go wrong occurred. All that I feared happening in my life manifested. Why me? My prayers were not being answered the way I expected them to. Moreover, God was silent. Why me? Pain, grief, disappointmentFather where are you. Perhaps this was punishment for my former sins or maybe I was born to live a life of hardship. Everyone around me was having breakthroughs and my journey was getting harder- Why me?

I then found encouragement in the book of Job. Job was a perfect, wealthy, upright man that feared the Lord (read Job 1). One day, God gave satan permission to intervene in Job’s life and cause affliction.

Job 1:6-12 “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger. ”Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

One would ask, why would God do or allow such a thing? Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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The conversation between satan and the Lord was beginning of Job’s misfortunes and affliction. Job lost his cattle, his children, his honour all at once (read Job 1). What amazed me is despite this occurring, Job continued to worship God (Job 1:20-22   At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing).

However, this led to the Lord allowing satan to afflict Job for a second time.

Job 2:3-10 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”  “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life. ”So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”  He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

However, this caused Job great pain and he repetitively cursed his existence on earth. Job 6:8-10 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life! Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

What did Job do to deserve great pain and hardship? In addition to this, he faced shame and even his own wife and friends rejected him during his time of calamity.

Job 19:13-20 “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

Although Job wallowed in self-pity, he did not curse God and Job passed the test of obedience

Job 7:20-21 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.

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God  promises us that we will reap more than we have lost; all to the glory of His name.

Job 8:7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.

And indeed after God’s purpose was fulfilled in Job’s life, He blessed Job with even more than He had lost out on.

Job 42:11-13 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.  He had also seven sons and three daughters.

When I made a list of the hardships I faced in 2015 and compared them to the affliction Job faced, it was incomparable. Let us ask God what lesson He is trying to teach us, what His plan and purpose is for the affliction, rather than complaining and dwelling in self-pity (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus).

Like Job, God knew that you would be able to handle the affliction, to pass the test He has set before you. He has placed a hedge of protection over you. No matter what hurdle comes into the path of His servant, you will jump over it victoriously. The book of Job also shows how powerless satan is, and that God Himself has the final say over your life.

Why you? Because God loves you and wants to use your life as a great testimony to others. Why You? Because God has installed greatness into you that will do wonders in His kingdom. Why You? Because you are His entrusted vessel who cannot be broken, and can withstand the challenges life offers. Why You? Because God was confident enough that you would overcome any misfortune that come your way. Why You? Because no plan of the enemy can destroy you, it only makes you stronger!!!

 

Blessed are the broken hearted

In this life journey, we have all had our hearts broken at some point in our lives. The emotional feeling when you think your world is coming to an end accompanied with an endless atrocious pain. The aching heart which manifests as if it’s about to physically erupt- consolation is unable heal the broken heart. One will wonder, where is God and why has He allowed such a thing to happen to me? Or perhaps it is all entirely my fault? What could I have done to avoid this situation?

Two months ago, I found myself asking God these questions. A close friend of mine had sadly passed away from adrenal cortical carcinoma. We all know that death is inevitable, yet when it occurs the shock is unexpected and unbearable- irony (Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return”). I remember 6 months ago when I found out about her illness. I went before the Lord and prayed and had a captivating vision. I saw a white room, glowing with light and a white coffin in the middle. I started contemplating whether I had really seen this or whether this was my imagination. But deep in my heart I knew this was confirmation that it was her time to be with the Lord. Dazzled with emotions, I continued praying for her and believed God for her healing (Psalm 77:14” You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples”). Whenever I spoke to her, she was weak but joyful, anticipating on when we would see each other again. We planned all the activities we would do, and reminisced on old memories. Up until the very end, she was positive, knowing that the Lord would heal her from this unpleasant condition. I had planned to see her, and although she was 4000 miles away, I knew I would get there in time to spend time with her and physically pray with her. My deepest heart desire for her was that God would use her as a vessel to show His healing power, and to bring more people to the Lord- for it to be evident that the miracles that occurred during the days of the apostles are still very much a alive. 6 days before my departure, she passed away. I was devastated and even now at times when I remember her it brings tears to my eyes- Gone too soon! I was disappointed and sorrowful, with many unanswered questions. “God, If in Your word it says that “..by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5),why did you not heal her and let her live?”. 

Sometimes our prayers are not answered in the way in which we want them to be answered (Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD”). However, God has a way of manifesting His mighty power in all situations. My friends’ medical condition made headlines throughout the nation and disseminated to communities within the diaspora, as well as on social media. Worldwide people were praying for her healing.  People sympathized with her and donated financial funds towards her medical treatment. The day before her death, a car wash fundraising campaign was launched in which over £20,000 was raised to aid her treatment. Her departure touched the lives of many.

I have come to understand that although we plan things in our life, God already knows our beginning and ending (Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega-the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come-the Almighty One”). It is His desire for us to join Him after we have completed our purpose on earth and live in eternal joy (John 14:4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going”).

When a loved one leaves us, whether it is in a relationship or to be with the Lord, it leaves a hole in our heart that only the Lord is able to fulfill. Its very easy to praise and thank God when we get what we want and when we are joyful; but what about in disheartening, sorrowful, disappointing times? (“1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”). My prayer for you today is that regardless of the kind of heartbreak you are going through, God still loves you and has an amazing plan for you. The fact that you are still alive shows that you still have an impact to make on this earth and have a bright future ahead. It is always hard to say goodbye to a loved one and there are many unanswered questions. But there is always something to be thankful for- always!

In the loving memory of RN, miss you loads xxx

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       Blessed are the broken-hearted- prayer

Dear Lord,

I thank You for today and for the amazing plans You have for me. I thank You because the joy of the Lord is upon my lips and I am blessed and highly favoured. Father, I come before You because of (state situation). Lord, my heart is heavy and I am in pain: spiritually, physically and emotionally. Father, You see all that I have gone through and know You are with me, I am not alone. I pray that during this time you will be my source of strength (Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”). I pray that you will help me to understand that everything I go through in life has a beautiful ending. I may not understand it now but pray that You will heal me and help me to forget about this experience. Help me to forgive all those who have hurt and disappointed me.  I pray that You will bring the right people in my life that will encourage, uplift, love and bring joy to my life. Anyone that is not meant to be in my life, I cut them off in the name of Jesus. Restore me O Lord, renew my strength and help me to continue to run the race of faith. I pray that You will carry any burden I may be carrying (Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”). Help me to put all my trust in You and remember that man will disappoint me but You never will. I thank you for I believe my prayer has been answered. AMEN.

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Prayer of healing (bereavement)

I thank You for this time, I thank You for today, I thank You for the wonderful plans that You have for my life. I thank You for waking me up today, for allowing me to see another day. I do not take this for granted (Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves”). Father, although my heart is heavy right now, I know it is pleasing to You to praise and thank You even in our lowest moments. My prayer for today is that you will heal me from the pain I am encountering because of the death of my loved one (Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”). It is difficult to know that I will not see this person again and that they are gone forever. Whenever I think about them, it brings such sorrow and sadness and words cannot explain how I feel. I pray that during this time You will comfort me and be my strength (Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”). May you strengthen my family and that of (state the persons name). May I acknowledge that this was Your perfect will and that nothing happens without You allowing it. I thank you for allowing (state the persons name) to fulfill their earthly purpose and for being a blessing to my life. Help me to hold on to the precious moments I had with (state the persons name) and pray that they have joined You in eternity, a place without pain, sadness and sorrow. Help me to move on forward with my life and fulfill the purpose you have for me on earth. AMEN   

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Rejected but not forgotten

 Rejection, the big letter R word that no woman wants to be reminded of. The thrilling feeling accompanied with pain and shame. It’s a feeling which makes you feel devalued, unwanted and worthless. Having dealt with rejection at various stages in my life, the question which always came to mind is: was I not good enough? The first person to reject me was my father. From conception until the age of 9, he was nowhere to be seen. I was too young to understand why he was not there, but how do you miss something you never had? The longing and desire for a father grew by seeing my other friends with their daddies at the playground, daddy buying them their first barbie or sitting on daddies lap. Rejection robbed me of those experiences and many more.

It was not until the age of 9 when the opportunity came to meet the mystery man. I was full of excitement and anticipation. The big day came, I wore my best dress, had my biggest smile, but the mystery man did not show up. Uncontrollable tears fell down my cheek, and I told my aunt: “my daddy doesn’t love me”. As much as my aunt tried to console me, no words were able to fill that painful void. Two weeks later, the mystery man appeared; much taller than I expected, but his smile and hug made up for all the lost time and tears. At last, I was loved.

 It was not until 5 years later after the first meeting that I saw the mystery man again. At this point in my life, teenage emotions of rage and disappointed had subconsciously taken over. The communication had deteriorated and promises were never fulfilled, rejection eating me up inside. The question came back: was I not good enough? By this time he was unwell, in a coma on life support. I was remorseless and cold-hearted, in fact perhaps this was God’s way of punishing him for rejecting me. Nevertheless, I took the courage and went to his hospital bed. There he was, lifeless. I remember praying and asking God to wake him up and I promised that if he did, I would try to build a relationship with the mystery man and forgive him for all the pain he caused me. The next morning, he woke up and his smile and hug made up for all the lost time and pain. At last, I was loved.

Three years of occasional phone calls and emails went by, until one day he asked for me to move in with him. At last, after 17 years of waiting my daddy finally wanted me. Finally, I was good enough! Little did I know that those 10 months would be the worst months of my life and that I would feel emptier than ever. Rejection at its highest peak, a bleeding heart which was unsewable.

Piercing words which one can never take back, “pack you things and get out of my house”, “you are not my daughter”, “I don’t care if I don’t ever see you again”, have haunted me even in my adult life. Again the repetitive song came back again but in another format: why I am I not good enough? The discrete DNA test for me was the peak of pain and rejection. Our mirroring resemblance was not enough, he wanted biological proof. “The alleged father is not excluded as the biological father of Vanessa N. Based on the testing results obtained from the analyses of the DNA loci listed, the probability of paternity is 99.9%”. There was no apology or remorse. Vowing to fully disconnect from the mystery man, I tried to move on with my life; nevertheless the pain was unbearable. People say that time heals, but I believe it was a wound only the Lord was able to heal. Eight months later, he passed away. There I was at 19, empty, in pain and fatherless. This time he left me for good, never to return- rejection.

                                

The most important thing I have learnt from my experience with my father is that only the Lord can fully satisfy and love us unconditionally. Does that mean that we don’t need people in life? Yes we do. But people will always disappoint us in one way or another (Ecclesiastes 7:20-21 “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. Also do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you”)

One mistake us humans make is to allow humans to determine our worth and value. We forget that Jesus Himself paid a price that no human being is able to ever pay for us (1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sin in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed”)

When we take a look at the bible, there was a lady called Leah (read Genesis 29) who was rejected by her father. Her father devalued her worth and beauty and gave her away unjustly. In addition to this, she was rejected by her husband. At times, us women hope that our husbands will be able to fill the void of rejection we received from our father, and forget that our husbands are humans- imperfect just like us. Only God is able to fully satisfy us. As much as Leah tried, no amount of ‘trying to please’ her husband changed his view towards her. The blessings God gave her did not sustain her because she was focused on making her husband love her. It was not until she turned to the Lord full-heartedly that she found the joy, love and comfort she was looking for.

(Genesis 29:31-35 “When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing”)


Things I have learnt from being rejected:

  • Know who you are, be firm in your identify – do not allow a human to define this for you (Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”)
  • The enemy can use the people closest to you to destroy your life (1Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”)
  • As a follower of Christ you will face rejection at some point in your life (2 Timothy 2:3 “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus”).
  • God allows us to go through situations to build character in us (Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”)
  • Only God is able to fully heal you from pain and give you the grace to forgive (1 Samuel 30:6 “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God”)
  • Christ Himself was rejected by mankind (Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem”

 


Daily declaration

  •  I thank you God because when you created me, it was not by mistake but You had and still have a good purpose for my life
  • I am still alive because the future ahead is bright, regardless of my current situation
  • Reveal yourself to me, I desire a deeper relationship with You
  • Show me Your hidden mysteries through dreams and visions
  • Give me wisdom on how to be a woman of impact in this current generation
  • Mould be into a virtuous woman and a role model to other women
  • I am blessed and highly favoured wherever I go
  • I declare a legacy of faith over my life
  • I take authority over any generational curses in my lineage and declare victory over them
  • Reveal anything that I may have done that has displeased You, knowingly or unknowingly

Philipians 4:6-7


Prayer of healing

Dear Lord,

I thank You for today, for my life, for the lives of my family members and for good health (Psalm 118:1 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever”). Thank You for waking me up today, You have decided to spare me because You still have good plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future). Thank You for loving me, although I fall short daily of your expectations, You have not deserted me (Romans 3:23 ” for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”). Father, You are a loving and merciful dad, You have seen all the rejection I have gone through. People have pained, emotionally and physically. These are wounds only You are able to heal me (Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”). People have abandoned, rejected, despised and hurt me. God, heal these wounds with Your precious blood. You have seen every tear I have shed, You have seen the shame I have endure. I pray You will help me to forget about this experience. Erase the pain from the past for my life. I come against any spirit of rejection in my life and my in family lineage and I speak favour in Jesus name. I pray God that You will give me the grace to forgive, this does not come natural to me. I pray for those who have rejected me, that you will change their hearts and may salvation be their portion. I pray that you will fill any emptiness I may feel and that I will not look at any person/thing to fill this void. I pray God that in my marriage, it will be full of peace and joy and be content with the person You have given me. In Jesus precious name I pray, AMEN