1.2.2015

The Prayer That Changed My Life

For most of my life, I’ve struggled with my weight and committing to a healthy lifestyle. My soul was rubbed raw from years of trying and failing.

I wanted something to instantly fix my issues.
I wanted to stop calling myself awful names I’d never let another person call me.
I wanted to be naturally thin like my sister.
I wanted to stop crying when I walked into my closet to get dressed in the morning.

So when I lost 25 pounds a few years ago and kept it off for the first time in my life, it was a huge victory.

That year, the year I finally got my eating issues under control, I started with a very simple New Year’s prayer. I didn’t write a long list of resolutions as I had in previous years. After all, my list from one year to the next could have simply been a photocopy from the year before.

It was the same stuff, year after year. I started out with great gusto to eat less, move more, make this a healthy lifestyle, and live in victory. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But each year around January 7, I’d get invited to a party where treats were plentiful and motivation scarce. My stomach would soon be overstuffed and my resolve worn quite thin.

Year after year.

But that year I just couldn’t bring myself to write the list again. So, I prayed this simple prayer: Unsettle me.

These are the words I wrote in my prayer journal…

Unsettle me. These are the two words rattling about in my brain today. I almost wish it were a more glamorous prayer. Surely more eloquent words could be found for what I’m feeling led to pursue during this New Year. But these are the words, this is the prayer.

The funny thing is, I’ve spent my whole existence trying to find a place to settle down, people to settle down with, and a spirit about me worthy of all this settled down-ness. All of this is good. A contented heart, thankful for its blessings, is a good way to settle.

But there are areas of my life that have also settled that mock my desires to be a godly woman — compromises, if you will. Attitudes that I’ve wrapped in the lie, “Well, that’s just how I am. And if that’s all the bad that’s in me, I’m doing pretty good.”

I dare you, dear soul of mine, to notice the stark evidence of a spirit that is tainted and a heart that must be placed under the microscope of God’s Word. Yes, indeed, unsettle me, Lord.

Unearth that remnant of justification. Shake loose that pull toward compromise. Reveal that broken shard of secrecy. Expose that tendency to give up. Unsettle me in the best kind of way. For when I allow Your touch to reach the deepest parts of me — dark and dingy and hidden away too long — suddenly, a fresh wind of life twists and twirls and dances through my soul.

I can delight in hope that this is my year to change. I can discover reasons to appreciate my body and find softer ways for my thoughts to land. I can recognize the beauty of discipline and crave the intimacy with God it unleashes. I can rest assured though the journey will be hard, I will be held.

Goodbye to my remnants, my justification, shards, and tendencies. This is not who I am — nor who I was created to be.

Goodbye to shallow efforts, self-focus, and suspicious fears that I’ll never find victory in this area of my life. I am an unsettled woman who no longer wishes to take part in distractions or destructions.

Welcome deeper love for God and the realization I am made for more than this constant battle. Welcome my unsettled heart.

Are you ready to be unsettled in a good way? Maybe you’re at the beginning of your journey and feel intimidated by the long road ahead. Or, maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum and need ongoing encouragement to stay healthy.

Whether you’re in those places or somewhere in the middle my book, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food can help. You’ll find a friend who understands, biblical teaching that is surprisingly motivational, and a victorious perspective in the pages of this book.

Get your copy here.

I’m giving away signed copies of Made to Crave today to 5 random commenters. To be entered to win, leave a comment below with your prayer for 2015.

Comments

  1. Iva says

    I have been defeated many times in my efforts to eat healthy. I have started a 21 day of prayer and fasting. Praying that I will replace my cravings for food with craving for more of Jesus

  2. says

    I’m praying for a year of abiding in the Lord and fully investing in people. I want to just taste the sweetness of the Lord and the friends He has given to me all day everyday.

  3. Lesa says

    I am constantly fighting myself in so many areas. Looking for areas and places to be content. The only thing that satisfies me is food. I want to find contentment in God.

  4. says

    This prayer has resonated in my heart on January 1st since reading it originally in 2009. I would almost say that “unsettle me” has become my life’s deepest desire. Coasting costs. I think so often of the “yuck” that breeds when things settle…imagine the murky pond that settles. Sin can settle over my heart too, until it becomes accepted, justified, excused, and even most frightening, unnoticed.

    Yes Lord, unsettle me, not only at the start of another new year, but every day, and every moment, transforming me into Your likeness.
    Blessed New Year Lysa,
    With love and prayers,
    Joy

  5. Susanna says

    Lysa,
    I bought your book yesterday after praying for the 10,000th time for God to just take away my struggle with weight, body image, and my lack of self-control. Though I am a Jesus girl, too, thoughts of food constantly occupy my brain, and I’m beyond sick of it…though once and again, I try and I fail.
    I’m about halfway through your book. It’s been a series of extremely painful self-realizations, and my throat physically aches with holding back the tears I want to cry. I desperately want to be closer to Him and be done, once and for all, with these lies that dominate my brain. Thank you for giving me this spark of hope.

  6. Nicole says

    I’m praying this year to grow closer in my relationship with God, to remember to always put him first, and to live a healthier lifestyle. God unsettle me, pull me close to you and help me overcome.

  7. Meme says

    I know that I’m supposed to be reading this as I can’t sleep with “unsettling” thoughts racing through my mind. I pray Lord that you guide me toward victory and give me the confidence to conquer the issues I’m dealing with and make me whole. Unsettle me now and forever, Amen.

  8. Melanie Gee says

    I am in the midst of trying to lose weight yet again. I have been a yo yo dieter since my twenties and I am now 51 years old. I have read many books and I go back into bad behaviors and I am very inconsistent. I have prayed so many times, but when it comes down to it, I still struggle. I think I do more negative self talk than I even realize when I should rely on God’s strength and not my own. Maybe through even more prayer and reading your book, I will finally get there in 2015. I am also doing the Proverbs bible study that starts on January 26, so I think I will gain insight from that. I thank God that I have found your website.

  9. Paula says

    I am also 56 years old and out of shape and overweight. I pray for strength, but emotional stress and physical stress get the best of me, then I snack. I want the physical image of myself 10 years ago, but not the spiritual old me. Change is good, focus is better, so I have set my sight on the Lord and His plan for me and my future. I will choose for Him and then I will follow, mind, heart, body and spirit. He created me in His perfection and I must fulfill His expectations. It is a daily devotion to stay on track spiritually and physically. I will be healthy for the Lord.

  10. JoAnn says

    I believe with my entire being that people come into our lives at the right time. It is up to us to be aware of why they are there. You are one of those people. I have been reading your blogs for many years. You have made me laugh (your inner voice sounds a lot like me), and at times I’ve cried. You have helped me to understand that I am not alone in my unsettled feelings. I have always taken care of others, and now that I have a little more time to myself, I find it very difficult to take the time to relax and take care of me. Thank you Lysa for sharing your thoughts and God’s words with us!

  11. Ashley C says

    I am praying to deepen my relationship with Christ this year. I’ve also made this the year of “kind” — kind words, kind gestures, kind actions. Towards those I know and love, and those I have yet to meet. This world is so full of unkind, I choose to act as the hands and feet of Jesus this year — loving everyone in ways unexpected, but hopefully appreciated.

  12. Kathy says

    I am purposing to be intentional this year. I have justified for too long my present spiritual and physical condition. I also want to be unsettled.

  13. Lesley says

    I woke up early this morning- we’re talking 4:30 am. Pretty early and kinda strange but I rolled with it. Thinking I’d take a sip of water, visit the washroom and then proceeded to go to lay back down…

    In our call last night( my boyfriend and I) we had talked about previous events and in the least I felt slightly queezy about it all- I guess you could say that I’m renewing myself to my faith and in knowing that we paused so I could pray, because in all seriousness I didn’t want whatever feeling of confusion that was presiding in me to stay- but I also wanted my boyfriend to understand where I was coming from. I just asked for him (and I) to understand. That was my prayer…

    And just now- decided I’d listen to Klove while falling asleep.. To come across proverbs 31. Org

    Coincidence? No, I’m letting my prayers the chance to be answered. Oddly enough it seems to have happened at the exact right moment in my life. Thank you ❤️

  14. Heather Antonio says

    How timely is this? Yesterday I started my jogging program AGAIN. I felt SO incredible and wondered why I don’t keep it up! But I never have. My prayer is to finally break free from my “hamster” lifestyle – all chubby and cute, occasionally running the wheel that never goes anywhere. And become the wolf running the hills – rarely tiring, seeing the beautiful creation of God in its fresh, clean beauty.

  15. jessica says

    How perfect is this prayer. so little but says so much. Thank you for putting into words what my heart has been searching to say to God. I have three little ones, a toddler and newborn twins. And have just gone back to work and it’s not what my heart wants at all. After praying for each child, it breaks me to leave the house every morning and I just have so much anger and a sorrowful heart that I have to leave them. Lots of worry goes with me on the commute to work and, like every mothee, I am exhausted and most days I fail to give my kids what little I have left let alone 100% of me like they deserve. It weighs so heavily on my heart. This spills over into other aspects of my life. Thank you for such a simple prayer that says so much. I’ll be saying it so often

  16. Allison says

    I’m speechless and tears are streaming down my face as I read this…..feel like I’ve been waiting to live my whole life…..waiting for things to “settle” down, to lose weight, etc…….don’t want to wait anymore…..can’t wait anymore. Unchain my heart Lord, let me know I am safe even when I’m unsettled.

  17. Jamie Sulu says

    Hi Lysa,
    I just wanted to say that it is such an breathe of fresh air to know that there is a momma out there that doesnt have it all together and is willing to be honest about it. I have read devotions and heard you speak on the radio and everytime I do I sigh and tell God thank you that it is you that has to be perfect not me. I struggled with my weight my whole life being called names by peers as young as 3rd grade. My maiden name was Gati so it made it easy for them to find a chubby names to call me. Till this day I still hear those words of the kids whispher in my ears and I see that chubby little girl in the mirror. I wanted to tell you that I truly appreciate how raw and open you are. It would be wonderful to have a signed copy of this book from you but either way I will be ordering it because I feel a tug at my heart that it will speak to me beyond what I could ever imagin. I pray blessings over you and thank you for “being you”
    Always in Him,
    Jamie S

  18. says

    Wonderful post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?

    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a
    little bit further. Kudos!

  19. Ann Marie says

    This is not a current post of yours, I know, but I found it again tonight while searching for encouragement.
    As the tears sting my cheeks yet again! Oh how I want to be pleasing in God’s sight, to complete what He has for me with strength & courage. I have such a beautiful family. Husband, four amazing children and I feel like a failure. So undisciplined in life. How I want my confidence back again so I can be a great role model for my children & others to see God in me.
    Our bodies are a temple but I keep it in such poor manner that it surely doesn’t show how I love God. Why can’t I get a hold of this? UUUUGGGHHH!!!!
    My soul aches as I cry out to God for forgiveness for failing to take care of myself.
    I pray for guidance, wisdom, the perfect plan to fix it and this is a repeated prayer unfortunately. Is He giving me the answers & am not listening? Do I not want to do what is necessary to succeed? The bad one wants to find us in our weak state & continue to tell us we are not worthy of God’s love being so full of failure & brokenness.
    But I know in my heart where all the verses I have read & learned since a child that it is not true, God loves me broken, burdened & confused. I am to take rest in His arms. The brokenness He mends. The forgiveness, not deserved or repayable, but is a gift He has given to us. I am a child of God. He loves me just as I am but He wants the best for me just like an earthly father. He encourages me through the verses. I can hide it in my heart. He can heal all of me. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, but I have to do the things so He can give me that strength needed to complete the race.
    Lord, I come to you, yet again, with hands raised up to you. Lord, unsettle me! Please bring the right information, person, encouragement that I will need to succeed daily. I want to be pleasing in your site, to repair this temple, so that others can see you more clearly through my life. May my children see You as my strength as I live for You.
    Thank you ahead of time Lord.
    I pray in your Holy name. Amen
    🙂

  20. says

    Such a great blog post! I think these prayers are so scary, but often the unsettling we need. When we sing songs like Oceans or Hosannah and say things like “Break my heart for what breaks yours” or “Take me deeper than my feet could wander” many times we just sing it…until that point when we reach the depths or brokenness and realize the hugeness (is that a word?? 🙂 ) of the ask! Thanks for your constant encouragement.

  21. says

    I struggle to matter! I know my food is where my pleasues lie, what I need Lisa is a daily devotional about the reminders you talk about in your book. Something to remind me everyday that my worth isnt found in what people think of me but my existence but who I am in Christ.