Pray Without Ceasing!

Pray without ceasingwMy pastor posted a disturbing article the other day and I cannot seem to get it out of my mind. It’s about young women who worked with radium to help the war effort but the chemical they worked with was toxic.They were nicknamed “Ghost Girls”.  Here is a link to the article…

The whole thing makes me sick. As these gals were sacrificing their health there were people who knew better, benefitted from it, and let them continue on. I am sure there are many other toxic things in our lives that we just don’t know about yet. Sadly, there are some people who know about it but they just keep quiet.

They see the toxicity but don’t say a word.

That behavior is common in organizations. And, while I wish it wasn’t true, it also makes frequent appearances in the church and in families. Toxic people work their way into the lives of unsuspecting people and can make life hell. The church is very vulnerable to this sort of thing. They are frequently desperate for volunteers and have limited resources so they grab anyone and put them into service without vetting them. Doing some level of background check might not prevent every unhealthy person from worming their way in but it can definitely catch some.

Sometimes we are aware of toxicity in an organization and see backstabbing, public “floggings”, and other unhealthy behavior, and we stay. Why?

Here are a few reasons why I have remained in unhealthy organizations for far too long:

  • I hate conflict.
  • I can’t walk away from the others in the trenches.
  • I want to be a part of the solution.
  • There are wonderful, healthy people in the organization.
  • I am passionate about the mission.
  • The organization has so much potential.
  • I care for the people I work with or for.

But in the process I have sacrificed:

  • Sleep
  • Healthy interactions
  • Other relationships
  • Time with our family
  • Energy
  • Perspective
  • Spiritual health
  • Money
  • Physical health
  • And more…..

Good heavens! The workplace is not supposed to be that way! More importantly, the church is not supposed to be that way!

God can change a dysfunctional system and bring it to a healthier place. He can and He does. But I need to know my own limits.

When you are aware of or involved in an unhealthy organization, pray for God to bring to light whatever is hidden in the dark. Be careful that your “helpfulness” doesn’t mask the unhealthy behaviors that need to be exposed. Pray for those who are being taken advantage of. Pray for discernment about your involvement. If you know of people who are weary trying to remain in a toxic environment, find ways to encourage them. Pray for God to either heal the situation or give them the courage to leave the situation until it is healthier. There is so much to cover in prayer so pray without ceasing!

On the Road,


Keeping the Peace

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Today’s Prayerpoint ~ Keeping the Peace

Do you have a peacemaker in your home, office, or life? Do they have a tendency to work hard to smooth things over so everyone appears “happy”? Is that what “peace” really looks like? Shouldn’t “peacemaking” be about hearing conflict and resolving conflict and not pretending conflict doesn’t exist?

Most people don’t like conflict but emotionally healthy people know how to deal with it. You can challenge me on this point but people who often work really hard to “keep the peace” don’t know how to deal with conflict and so they fear conflict. They appear to be peacemakers but their desperate need to avoid conflict creates conflict. Lots of conflict.

Stay with me here.

Conflict is inevitable. People are human and we have different goals, dreams, desires, and ways we see the world. I have never been in complete and total agreement with anyone in my life. And if you were honest, you would admit the same. Some differences do not create big problems – whether I like the blue car or the red car doesn’t usually really matter unless we are married and we are buying one car that we need share and you absolutely hate the color I absolutely love. What does the peacemaker do in that situation? They need to give in unless their passion is so strong they cannot or find an acceptable resolution that both parties can agree to.

If you have a tendency to be a “peacemaker” stop and consider how you respond in situations. In your rush to create peace are you creating more conflict? Lack of observable conflict and peace might look similar but they are very, very different. Please work to truly hear the issues of conflict because surrendering to keep the peace or always making others give in to “keep peace” doesn’t mean there is truly peace. You can say “The Emperor has new clothes!” but it doesn’t make it true! It is always better to get to the root of the conflict even though it often takes time and energy.

In Jeremiah, there is a verse that has always stuck with me and I think it fits these types of scenario well.

Jeremiah 6: 14
They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.

May you seek true Peace from the Peacemaker!