Tag Archives: low self-esteem

In Which I Am Made in the Image of God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, January 29, 2016

image of God

In Which I Am Made in the Image of God

Another birthday is drawing near. Another year older, and another day of reflection. (I find that’s what I tend to do on my birthdays now.)

Also, another day to remember how it was. Remember back to when I was a child, and then an adolescent. I was terribly self-conscious. I had low self-esteem. The youngest in my family, I was on my own pretty much, once I got into school. So, once again on the familiar hamster wheel of self-doubt, second-guessing, and all the uncertainty of adolescence.

I reached out for the life preserver that God provided. (Thanks, God!) That helped a great deal, but I still was self-conscious. Still had low self-esteem. (They didn’t go away, although they were lessened.) Thank God, they are still diminishing.

I have come to learn that—just as with each other person on the face of the earth—I am created in the image of God. Even though I might be looking at a mirror, I can see the reflection of the glory of God! And, my reflected self in the silvery mirror’s face shines brighter with Your image. Your Word says so. I’m not imagining it.

Yes, I do get disheartened from time to time. Yes, I still can beat myself up, internally, forgetting I am made in Your image. Dear Lord, forgive me. I can get paralyzed with anxiety and fear, too, even though I know—intellectually—that You know me thoroughly. You know me inside and out, and You still love me. You know me far better than I know myself. As the psalmist says, such knowledge is far too wonderful for me.

All I can say is, thank You, Lord.


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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Listening to My Higher Power

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 23, 2015

prayer to God as I understand God

Listening to My Higher Power

I used to be a people-pleaser. I would do my best to be everything or make myself into whatever people wanted or needed. I would run, do, speak, or not speak. Almost always at half my acquaintances’ beck and call. When I was a teen and in my twenties and thirties, my poor sense of self-esteem kept me going overtime. (And then some.)

I gradually learned how to navigate my way through the awkward conversations, extra-long telephone calls, home visits and play dates. (Fearful of running afoul of the modern-day Pharisees, though.)

As my reading today from Keep It Simple tells me, trying to be a people-pleaser will get me exactly nowhere. Nowhere except hurt or angry, and feeling taken advantage of.

How on earth am I to stay centered and focused? Ah, ha! My reading gives me two good ways: by listening to my internal voice (“To Thine Own Self Be True”), and listening for my Higher Power’s voice. I do have wisdom inside of me. I have dreams and aspirations. I am worthwhile. What’s more, I also have God as I understand God. My Higher Power has my back. My Higher Power will never leave me nor forsake me.

So, I thank God that I no longer am a people-pleaser. (Well, hardly ever, that is.)

Let’s pray, using the prayer for today from the reading. “I pray that I’ll listen to that gentle, loving voice inside me. Higher Power, help me make my ‘conscious contact’ with You better.” [1]


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 23 reading.

Help Me Love Myself, God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 20, 2015

someone who knows

Help Me Love Myself, God

I am sadly familiar with the kinds of lies my insides whisper to me. “You aren’t good enough. You aren’t pretty enough. You aren’t talented enough. You’re not thin enough.”

I have worked on my confidence for years, and I consider it improved. However, my low self-esteem becomes reactivated at the darnedest times. “You won’t be able to do that. Why even try?” and “What a joke! Who would want to listen to you, anyway? You can’t even talk your way out of a paper bag.”

The old-me is like to think this way. Certainly, my self-esteem is much better than it has been, years ago. But, what about my bad habits? What about the problems those habits cause? What about working the Twelve Steps? How do they impact my life?

Ah, loving myself. I need to beat this low self-esteem. But, how?

That is where friends and acquaintances come in. That is where the Twelve Step program helps me. That is when many people working together are so much stronger than one person working as hard as that individual can work.

God, help me. Heal me, inside and out. Please encourage me to continue to lean on others when I become discouraged. Help me to disregard all those lies and twisted truths. God, help me to love myself. And help me to be willing to allow others to love me, too.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

A Larger Community of Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 11, 2015

my heart saying a prayer

my heart saying a prayer

A Larger Community of Prayer

Sometimes, I feel disconnected. Not “friends with” anyone. All alone.

I know I’m not actually alone. (Don’t get worried.) I did think of Robin Williams today, on the first anniversary of his death. I feel so badly about him dying by suicide. I have only a partial idea of the thoughts that can go through a person’s mind in the depths of depression. I have no clue how difficult things were for Mr. Williams, but I feel for his family: left behind.

Mr. Williams’ life was special, just like each person’s life in the whole wide world. Each individual is someone special, one of a kind. Each life is infinitely valuable. I have that blessed fact confirmed to me from external witness and observation as well as from the writings of Scripture and holy books from around the world.

I realize many people suffer from depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and other mental, emotional and psychological afflictions. I’ve suffered, myself.

I know the Christian community is not a cure-all, but it can offer some assistance. I’ve heard a number of people swear their church or bible study group or other religious group was what made the difference in their lives. And, I realize prayer can also be a great help. Assistance. Answer in their lives.

That’s one reason why I am devoted to prayer. Each night this month, as I read through the Evening Prayer from the dailyoffice.org website, I strive to pray these prayers in the company of countless others. I know many, many individuals use the website each day. Some twice a day.

But, don’t these rote prayers get boring? Or long? Or tiresome?

I went to the Church of England website again, since I wanted to get more information about the Prayers. I found this wonderful commentary concerning prayer in the Book of Common Prayer:

“. . . they will also, through common structures, texts and patterns of Scripture reading, unite those using them into one larger community of prayer. This community extends to all of those who, through the ages and across the nations, have sought to do as Jesus taught us and pray together for the hallowing of God’s name and the coming of God’s kingdom.” [1]

So, Lord. It’s not just _me_ praying. I’m not all isolated and alone. Even when I feel alone, and get afraid (or depressed, or anxious), I know You are right by my side. I know—in both my head and my heart—that I am also a part of a community. Yes, a community of prayer. Each of us joins into this same prayer, as each of us gathers around a computer or tablet or smart phone. Or, the old-fashioned way, through picking up a book.

And, thank You for the opportunity to join together with sisters and brothers in a local assembly. I appreciate You. And Your church. And, joining together with others in prayer. Thanks so much, Lord!

[1] https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/generalintro.aspx

Note: in case anyone needs this toll-free number, here is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. 1-800-273-8255


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Praise God for the Good—in Me?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – February 10, 2015

God is good all the time

Praise God for the Good—in Me?

Ever get embarrassed? I mean, really embarrassed? That was my first, instant reflex when I read today’s prayer suggestion. And then—I considered further. Why on earth was I embarrassed, when God knows it all, anyhow?

We’ll see what you think. The prayer suggestion read: Praise and thank God for all the good qualities you find in yourself. And—the follow up question was this: How can you more fully develop these good qualities?

First of all, I still have occasional baggage from my family of origin. I’m the youngest of a bunch of siblings. I still have that nagging feeling in the back of my brain that I’m the smallest, the least consequential, the one left behind. (I can’t blame my older sibs. After all, I was six years younger than the last sib. Of course I’d be trailing behind.) Add some low self-esteem, and the fact I was a chubby kid and turned into a chunky adolescent? Plenty of baggage.

Somehow, I need to square these fleeting, negative images of myself with how God sees me. God sees the positive gifts, the beneficial attributes.

Okay, God. Intellectually I know You love me. You want the best for me. And, You are sitting back, waiting to see what I’ll do with this prayer suggestion. Or, is it a prayer challenge? Because that’s very much what it feels like, right now.

I am genuine and persistent. I have a deep concern for others. People repeatedly tell me that I really listen to them, I hear their difficulties, I feel their emotions. (I suspect they seem to sense where I used to be, and still am, weak.) I also feel a strong motivation to help people, to serve as a companion, a liaison. I am often a friendly and prayerful companion. I am by nature a caring, nurturing, helpful, encouraging person. I have a definite sense of humor, and I sometimes use it to lighten the mood. I enjoy singing and making music, and I have an artistic bent.

If this suggestion was pointed more towards my spiritual gifts, I have the gifts of helps, mercy, a bit of hospitality, discernment, and pastor/teacher.

I feel like I cheated. I didn’t just come up with these off the top of my head. Instead, these characteristics have been confirmed by mature Christian elders and others, and by doing my own personal emotional discovery work. I’ve written them down, otherwise I couldn’t possibly come up with these gifts and attributes at the drop of a hat.

God, I need to take a good look at myself. An honest one, too. Thanks for helping me to see that I am a worthy and wonderful child of Yours. Help me to remember these good gifts and generous attributes on a regular basis!

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

God Has a Purpose

matterofprayer blog post for Saturday, January 18, 2014

ocean sunset

ocean sunset

God Has A Purpose

I did a good deal of computer work and read several blogs online today, since it was my day off. Including one blog I’ve been following for a number of weeks. The narrative the author of the blog talked about was from the Book of Judges, from the Hebrew Scriptures. The contents of the blog post struck me so strongly today, I decided to meditate and pray with that passage, Judges 6, the story of Gideon. Specifically, verses 11 and 12.

I’ve known various manners of prayer for years. Moreover, I was instructed in spiritual formation and prayer practices when I went to seminary. Very helpful, and deepening to my spiritual understanding! But over the past two years, I’ve regularly been praying and meditating using a basic plan of holy reading, lectio divina. There are a number of good instructional books out there, giving some guidelines on holy reading. However, the book I’ve been using (on and off) is by Rev. Martin Smith, a skilled spiritual director and now a retired Episcopal priest. His book The Word Is Very Near You is subtitled A Guide to Praying with Scripture. He gives these guidelines for lectio divina in Chapter 8.

He suggests “1. Spend a few minutes settling down and pray that your heart may be opened and receptive to the gift God knows you need today. . . . 2. Begin reading at the place you have previously chosen, and read on very slowly indeed with an open mind. . . . 3. When a particular sentence or phrase or single word “lights up” or “rings a bell,” put the Bible down. Resist the temptation to go on. . . . 4. Gently repeat this phrase or word again and again within the heart . . . Gradually allow yourself to be absorbed in the word. . . . 5. Express to God in the simplest way the impression the words have made on you. . . . put into words the longings or needs they have brought up. . . . Your prayer may move into contemplation.”

Thus, with some variation, I have often prayed since I read these simple instructions.

Today I was particularly struck by this passage from Judges, so I practiced holy reading with chapter 6, verses 11 and 12. God communicated to me that I have been called and chosen, just as Gideon was called and chosen. Gideon had a problem with low self-esteem, certainly. I have that difficulty, too. Gideon was the youngest in his family—same, here. (I can relate to Gideon, in several significant ways. I, too, need regular fleeces, confirming the way in which I am to go.) But the words that hit me right between the eyes today were those of the Angel of the Lord: “mighty warrior.” The Angel named Gideon by what God knew he was, who he really was. This is particularly important, because it is not what Gideon thought of himself, which was a flawed and incorrect perception.

I get downhearted and depressed by life, and how things can be rocky sometimes. Even often. What I think of myself is often a flawed and incorrect perception of myself. But these words give me hope. God has named me “beloved child” and “God’s masterpiece.” Who am I to think that I am less than that? Thanks for the two thumbs up, God! It’s awfully heartening. Loving, too!

Let’s pray. Dear God, You named Gideon “mighty warrior” because You saw him as You intended him to be. Forgive us for viewing ourselves incorrectly, through a blurry window pane or dark mirror. Thank You for Your clear sight, seeing me as You made me, not in the flawed way I see myself. Help us to see ourselves in the heartening, loving way You perceive us. As Your beloved children, as Your masterpiece! Thank You, thank You, God.