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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: The Weary Soldier's Prayer
By Ennis Smith
07/19/11


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This week, Satan ramped up his physical attacks on my household. The monthly bills outpace the income, the cars both need repair, the oven stopped working, and the future of my job is uncertain, after 14 years of service. Amid the methodical onslaught of the evil one, God commanded me to write.

It was the last thing I wanted to do, as I spent most of the week reeling from one problem to the next. He knew I had taken my focus off his ever watchful eye, and taken up the stance of self preservation. He knew I had retreated into my spiritual man-cave, to plot out my own retaliatory strategy. He knew my eyes needed to return toward the loving gaze of his face.

I canít handle my earthly problems on my own. I need the Lordís supernatural strength to beat the devil at his own game. Buried neck deep in fear and frustration, I forgot that the best way to fight Satan is to call on the Lord for help.
Between prayer and praise, the Lord guided my fingers to chicken peck-type my way through this psalm.

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ďFather God, I am overwhelmed by the trials of this world
My enemies are an invisible legion, attacking at will
Satan mocks my faith; he harasses my soul with never ending torture
My strength waivers under his terrible pressure
At every turn, he tempts me with his poisonous promises
My eyes behold his blatant evil every day, and my heart groans for reprieve
The fire of my spirit has all but extinguished; I am spent, O Lord
The evil oneís victory over your servant is at hand

"Yet, I will not concede, for you are everlasting
Though darkness imminently falls, this side of paradise
You bid me to hang on for just a while longer
The veil of separation between my world and heaven is within reach
Your word breathes fresh air into my dusty lungs, purifying them
Your grace washes the grime of this world from my eyes, allowing me to see
Your anointing empowers my fatigued muscles, enabling me to resist Satanís press
Your favor re-energizes my spirit, inspiring me to turn the tide against the legion of darkness

"I sing praises to the most high; I shout halleluiah toward the heavens
You have not forsaken me, O Lord; you have not abandoned your servant
I cried out to you in anguish, and you heard my pleas
I begged for your mercy, and you heard my desperation
I cowered in fear of the enemy, and you protected me from harm
O Lord, you alone are my eternal shepherd; I shall forever follow your lead
My God, you are my immovable rock; you lift me for protection against passing evil
Heavenly father, you are my closest friend; you light my path through the valley of darkness

"I thank you for the blessings not yet perceived
I thank you for the restoration of my peace, in advance
I thank you for walking me through the fires of discomfort, to reshape me
I thank you for the future call, you are preparing me for"

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Here, nowÖat the endÖI remember that all things are possible through the Lord. I remember that God doesnít give you anything you cannot overcome. I also remember that all things work toward the greater good, in Godís ultimate plan.

If this psalm reads like terrible poetry or horrible song verse, I donít mind. It helped me to refocus on our Savior. My hope is that it speaks to at least one person, who just might be facing a trial in life.

Have faith friend. From time to time, we Christian soldiers lose sight of the goal. We are bogged down by the external forces of Satanís realm. But our Lord never leaves us weary and alone, to face the challenges without him. Through faithfully enduring the struggles, we are remade: stronger, wiser, and closer to the Lord than we were before. Keep the faith.

Though we may grow tired and take our eyes away from the Lord, he helps us to find our way back to him. He revitalizes the weary soldier, so that we may continue to press forward, through him. All praise is due to Jesus. Glory be thy name. Amen.


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This article has been read 320 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Vandertogt07/23/11
Thank you for the reminder to praise God in advance for His blessings that are still on the way - you're not alone in your struggles... there's many of us out there.. your psalm is beautiful and inspiring.
James Brown07/24/11
Here you have an exquisit Psalm sandwiched between two sections of narrative. Concerning the Psalm, I felt the phrase 'this side of paradise' is out of place and detracts from the Psalm. (I know you needed to stick to the topic, but I think the narrative section would be a better place to put it.) Also you write - The fire of my spirit has all but extinguished - I believe you should replace 'has' with 'is'. I truly enjoyed the Psalm but thought the narrative was a bit wordy and repetitious. Trust that the Psalm explains itself and avoid the common desire to explain what you wrote. Great job here.
Noel Mitaxa 07/25/11
I like the transparency of this piece, though it does not feed any desire for more detail.

The last four lines are a very positive confession that lift the whole tone. Well done.
marcella franseen 07/26/11
You wrote this piece while going through a time of difficult trial and I can feel the emotion as you work through your fears and find hope again. I think the psalm is good enough to stand on its own, but appreciate the back story.
Linda Goergen07/27/11
Story and Psalm both full of emotion and struggle, but also faith and praise!
I enjoyed both in their raw honesty and was uplifted by the read!