A Prayer

How can I find myself in a Christian Seminary being trained to deliver the Word of God when I am so sinful? My selfishness knows no bounds. All my waking hours I’m calculative and evil. I don’t listen to others. I brag about myself. But, of what is there to brag? Is not all that is good from the Lord?

Meaningless, meaningless, says the teacher, everything is meaningless. I know not my direction. I sometimes question whether I exist. The simplest philosophical problems tear at my mind. What do I have? Will God teach me his purpose? Can I ever really learn to love people? Every person I see; I see only faults. Cynicsim and sarcasm control my mind.

A torturous life of following God. I seek all my days, but to no avail. Rejecting others to prevent being rejected myself. Scars from many trials. It seems that all those around me trust God in all they do. Why can’t I find this relief if for only a moment? I feel as Martin Luther yelling out in his cell “Take your hands off me, Satan.”


My knowledge is as an infant to learned scholar. My trust, my patience, my love. Where are they to be found?

My soul longs out for you, oh God. Help me through these days of trouble. Keep Satan at bay. Bring my mind and my heart to you. For you alone promise salvation and forgiveness of my many sins.

About douglasdouma

I am a husband to beautiful wife, an ordained minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church - Hanover Presbytery, and founder of Sola - Appalachian Christian Retreat (www.discoversola.com). In addition to blogging at this site I am the author of The Presbyterian Philosopher - The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark (Wipf&Stock, 2017) and compiling editor of Clark and His Correspondents: Selected Letters of Gordon H. Clark (Trinity Foundation, 2017). I have a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering (University of Michigan), a master's in business administration (Wake Forest University) and a master of divinity (Sangre de Cristo Seminary). I'm an avid hiker, having completed a northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian trail in 2013 and the first 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016.
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4 Responses to A Prayer

  1. seamus says:

    keep your head up doug. remember you are learned. I would not call a person with a engineering degree a person with an infants knowledge. philosophy question for you. if God is all knowing and all powerful, can He make a stone so heavy He can not lift it. thought you would enjoy coming up with a philosophical answer.

  2. Lydia says:

    That reads like a Psalm, my friend. And you covered a lot of ground. What a packed statement you have made! I’d love to unpack it with you, and I dearly wish I could teleport up to CO to sit by a fire and talk through it all.

    As for the “all those around me trust in God” comment, I think the fact that you even cried out to God in this way shows that you trust in him. You’re calling him on the carpet and expecting him to live up to the reputation he portrays through Scripture. God said he’d be there, and you expect it of him. God promised he’d give you comfort, and you’re asking him to keep his promises. I just finished a book (published by CPH but written by a Norwegian theologian) all about the “complaint Psalms.” It took a hard look at the Psalms that asked God where he was, what he was doing and why he was doing it the way he was doing it. Challenging God. Questioning. Expressing loneliness, doubt, abandonment. You know…those Psalms. It was a great exegesis. But bottom line, it boiled down to this: the fact that people, even in their anger or frustration with God, still opted to cry out to him – well, that fact revealed a more powerful faith than the speakers themselves probably realized they had. Their faith, and yours, is a faith in the God of Scripture who promised he’d take care of us, that he had plans for us, that he would give us comfort in our grief and angst, that we matter so much more than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field. It’s a truly faithful follower of God who expects, no DEMANDS, that God be who he promised he’d be. And only someone who believed that he truly is those things would expect it of him and sit tortured, waiting for it to come about. You are allowing yourself to sit, tortured, as you wait for God to make good on his promises to care for you and give you peace that passes all understanding. And that, my friend, is the decision of a faithful follower.

    Be faithful unto death, and he will give you a crown of life. The peace will come.

  3. Julie says:

    Hi Doug, Mom here. read your prayer with tears in my eyes. I do know that the good Lord will take care of you and that when you are finished with the seminary, you will be so knowledgeable about the Bible. When you were here, I listened to everything you were telling me, and I did learn a lot from you within those 10 days. Uncle John also gets a kick out of everything you tell him. He says to me, how does Doug know all that? All will be well with your soul. I am so proud of you and want to make sure that you know that. You have never given me a minute of trouble and Dad and I appreciate that so. Oh, I can see you being a Lutheran bartender. Your dad bartended for Trish’s dad, Uncle Pete at the Scoreboard Bar on Plainfield one summer when you were a kid. Hang in there and God loves you. Mom

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