When you feel unloved by God, try this

Originally published Thursday, 13 August 2015.

I am my beloved’s,

And his desire is for me.

Song of Solomon 7:10 (NASB)

It's been a long time since I've read a book that wasn't a memoir or a novel. 

Most non-fiction Christian books I read are full of lists of things to do or change about myself. 

I became tired of finishing a book and feeling like I need to pray more, read the bible a certain way, go to church or tell one stranger about Jesus every day. So I stopped reading them. 

This weekend I read a book by Brennan Manning called “The Furious Longing of God”. I only read the book because, well, it’s Brennan Manning, and since reading Ragamuffin Gospel in my teens I’ll read anything by him.  

It’s the first book I've read in a long time that made me feel loved by God.

As I read it felt like God loved me.
No, like God actually liked me.
Exactly the way I am.
No need for extra prayer, or church attendance, or reading the bible. 

In the book, Basil Hume of London England is quoted as saying: Christians find it easier to believe that God exists than that God loves them. {Tweet this}

It is so easy to forget that God loves us, isn’t it? It shouldn’t be, but it is. 

Almost daily, bad things happen, people we love ache and dreams collapse. And most times even squinting doesn’t bring God into focus, yet alone help us to see or feel how much he loves us. 

Brennan Manning tells a story of 78 year-old nun who was sexually abused by her father from the age of 5. This nun comes to Manning one night at tells him of all the hatred she has felt in her heart for a long, long time. She spoke about going through the motions of religion to keep up appearances. But her heart was so very, very broken. 

After listening to her story, and praying for healing, Manning asked her to find a quiet place and pray this prayer every day for the next 30 days:

Abba, I belong to You. {Tweet this}

He explained that this prayer is exactly 7 syllables and corresponds to the rhythm of breathing. 

Inhale-Abba. As you exhale-I belong to you.

And she did it. 

Manning says her follow-up letter told of how her heart was being healed, how she had forgiven her father and how she knew inner-peace for the first time in her life. 

As I fell asleep on Saturday night my breathing reminded me to pray. 

Inhale – Abba

Exhale – I belong to you

It was a childlike, simple prayer, but I felt as I prayed that was trusting God with my life again. 

As I prayed it felt like I was letting go of all the hurts, disappoints and fears, and telling my father God – my Abba – that I believe that he is for me, and his plans for my life will give me a hope and a future. 

Ponder: I’m going to quote Brennan Manning from the "Consider This" section of The Furious Longing of God: “Prayerfully consider taking a few moments every day for the next month, closing your eyes, upturning your palms, and praying, “Abba, I belong to You.” Don’t make it anything more than that; trust me, it’s enough.”

Prayer: Inhale – Abba, Exhale – I belong to you.

** Affiliate links used. 

{Share this post}

Please share this devotional on twitter by clicking here.
I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebookpinterest and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

{You might also like these posts}
If you feel unloved, unwanted or insecure
Does God no longer love me if I have troubles?

Get a copy of my e-book Life, Life and More Life for free. Just subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday. In the book I share some of thoughts on how to make every moment count, gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. You can subscribe here

- This was orginally published on my site in January 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com