For the One Whose Body Feels More Like a Prison Than a Home

If there is anything that can cause us frustration and discouragement in this life, it’s our bodies.

Bodies so easily broken. Bodies riddled with sickness and disease. Bodies that groan and ache and sometimes even refuse to cooperate. Bodies we have no choice but to dwell in this side of eternity.

I find it no small coincidence that when Scripture calls these bodies “lowly” in Philippians 3 – meaning ultimately that they exist in a humble state for now, here on earth – that word translates as “depression (in rank or feeling).” Because isn’t that so true? That these bodies in their current depressed state can leave us feeling so very depressed?

And God has given us such hope. The promise that He WILL take our weak mortal bodies and transform them into glorious bodies like His own. That Jesus WILL make us glorious and gloriously whole for all eternity. (Philippians 3:20-21) That just as we have borne the image of the man of the dust, Adam, we WILL one day bear the image of the Man of heaven, Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:49)

But we have to get there, don’t we? We have to wake up and keep moving and keep hoping. And so I just want to pray for us all, wherever we may be with these bodies. Maybe you disdain the design of your body, and you need the reminder that the body He gave You for this season here on earth is good. Maybe your body is desperately broken, and you don’t know how to keep facing each new day. Grab whatever you need from this prayer, and know that I’m lifting you up today.

Father God, You offer us so much hope when it comes to these lowly bodies. The hope of bodies one day whole and fully functional and imperishably beautiful. Bodies free from pain. Free from disease. Free from anything that keeps them from moving about freely.

Lord, where my body is functioning well, help me not slip into despising it for how it looks. Help me know that the body I have right now is good for all that I need it to do. I can move. I can eat. I can breathe. I can love and serve others in so many different ways. There is no need for a glorious body here on earth. I don’t need a body that will be worshiped by others. I simply need a body that can worship You and live for You. Help me care for it, be kind to it, and honor You with it. Please forgive me for all of the ways I have been ungrateful. You have given me a good body. The right body to fulfill Your good purposes here on earth.

And for my friends who presently struggle with pain and sickness, I pray extra today, Lord. I pray blessings over those with broken bodies, injured bodies, diseased bodies, disabled bodies, and painfully aging bodies. Where their bodies currently feel anything but good, will You meet them with Your goodness? Let Your future promises give them right now hope and endurance. Where the current state of their body leaves them feeling depressed and overwhelmed, be the lifter of their heads and the light in their eyes. Show up in their lives with tenderness and wisdom, kindness and practical help.

Please meet them in their weaknesses and be their strength. Meet them in moments of despair with tangible hope. Lord, You know that we are but dust. You understand that we get tired and overwhelmed and struggle to keep going. Remind them they are loved and lift words like “burden” and “bother” out of their minds. They are worth loving, worth fighting for, worth tending to. Help them find even the smallest ways to give thanks for their bodies, and where they can’t right now, help them know that’s okay. They can instead give thanks that You, the God who holds all things together, will hold them together, too.

Where their bodies are being unsubmissive to medical science, unsubmissive to the dictates of how they are supposed to move and function, I pray for submission. I pray for surrender to Your name and Your design, Jesus. And where their bodies may not submit this side of heaven, I thank You that there will come a day when EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. And that means our bodies will have to submit to You, too. They will be transfigured and made whole. Until that day, Lord, hold us. Help us. Renew us. Strengthen us. May we live in these bodies less like it’s a prison sentence and more like it’s the home You have graciously given us to love others out of for now. You are our living hope, and we place our hope in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You are loved and lifted up in prayer, friends,

4 thoughts on “For the One Whose Body Feels More Like a Prison Than a Home

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