RejectionA series of prayers and meditations on the theme of Rejection
Most of us will have experienced the pangs of being rejected at some point in our lives. After all, every time we reach out to somebody, or even attempt something, we risk being rebuffed – in which case it pays to be swift to handle the fallout appropriately.
When we are rejected by people we are not particularly connected with, we are usually able to brush it off quite easily; but when we find it happening at the hands of those we are close to, it can be altogether different, even to the point of seriously knocking our confidence and stifling our inner freedom and creativity.
Once I started to write on this theme I found it developing into quite a major mini-series. We hope you will be nurtured by the words and music – and encourage you to ask the Lord to help you recognise and acknowledge those times when you have hurt others.
May these tracks both spur you on and provide reassurance!
Below you will find each track with illustrated lyrics to follow as you listen.
Click the button above to listen to all the tracks on a SoundCloud playlist.
Bringing our feelings of rejection to the Lord
Remembering the Lord’s deliverances in a time of rejection
A Prayer for perseverance in a time of rejection
Does there have to be so much pain in loving? (An encouragement to press on no matter what)
Rejection – Acknowledging the hurt we have caused
Rejecton – A Prayer to Restore Vitality
These six tracks are just the first of several that will be added at a later date.
May the Lord empower you as you listen, and enable you to respond in the Spirit of Prayer.
Bringing our feelings of rejection to the Lord
There are few pangs more painful than rejection, few things that knock our confidence so hard and batter our trust, especially when these things come from the hands of believers.
Whether or not you are active in ministry, it is highly likely that you will know what it is to have a loved one turn their backs on you, perhaps walk out on you or even betray you.
If you are one who has suffered the sharp stings of rejection, this is for you. As the prophet said, ‘These are the wounds I received in the house of my friends.’ (Zech. 13:6)
Jesus, many of us have been so hard hit by the power of rejection that we feel like deeply pin-pricked dartboards. We may even have grown used to burying the hurts and doing our best just to soldier on.
But You are life and hope, and these piercing darts are as nothing in comparison to the depths of Your love and acceptance of us. Nothing is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thank You Jesus, that You too have walked this way. You are deeply acquainted with sorrow and grief, and You know the effect rejection has on people’s bodies and souls and nervous system. You long to comfort us and make us whole again.
May we not take other people’s scorn and rejection of us into our inmost being so that it dominates our whole outlook on life. Help us to distinguish between deliberately hurtful comments that really do represent outright rejection, and challenges that actually contain more than a nugget of truth, which if we receive them aright, can lead to greater wisdom and deeper repentance.
Remembering the Lord's deliverances in a time of Rejection
It’s so helpful to remember how You helped David in his many times of distress, Lord, even though at first sight it must have appeared as though You were doing nothing of the kind.
After King Saul’s hatred and jealousy had driven David from the land and forced him to take refuge in the courts of the Philistine king, David experienced one of his most grievous trials. He had set off to take part in a battle against the men of Judah, but had been sent back as a result of King Achish’s senior advisers not trusting him to fight wholeheartedly against his own kith and kin.
It would have been easy for David to have taken this as a snub, and to feel rejected, but in reality, You were supernaturally intervening, Lord, to prevent His chosen one from having to wage war against his fellow countrymen.
While David and his men had been away, raiders came and attacked their settlement at Ziklag, reducing it to ashes, and taking away their wives and children.
Absolutely everything now in David’s life looked as though it had been taken away and crumbled into nothing – and as if that were not enough of a shock, his own men promptly rounded on him and blamed him for this disastrous turn of events, as if it could possibly have been his fault. In bitterness of spirit, they even spoke of stoning him to death. Just how bad could things get? Why had You allowed this, Lord?
David could so easily have given in to despair. He was certainly greatly distressed – ‘but David found strength in the LORD.’ (1 Samuel 30:6).
I love that expression! What resilience it speaks of in the midst of such an ordeal. With the experience behind him of years of seeking You, Lord, in the face of multiple threats, he pushed beyond his pain to enquire of You.
As Matthew Henry delightfully put it, ‘when David was at his wit’s end, he was not at his faith’s end.’ Right in the eye of the storm, You met with him, and gave him a plan and the heart to rescue the captives. How magnificent are Your plans, O God our Saviour!
Father, we can never praise You enough for those crucial leadings and deliverances that You send our way. May we remember to take time out during our times of crisis to find strength in You. It is so helpful to bring to mind again the deliverances You have achieved and brought about. You can, and will, bring light out of darkness, peace out of trouble and good out of evil. You who have been so faithful to us in the past will not fail to be so again, today, tomorrow and right up until the time when You take us to be with Yourself. Amen!
A prayer for perseverance in times of rejection
Lord Jesus, every single time we reach out to someone, we risk having our words being misunderstood and our efforts rejected. It was no different for You, and You warned us that those who love darkness would hate us on account of You. You even said that we are blessed when this is so! (Mark 13:13, Luke 6:22) But it doesn’t always feel that way, Lord God, any more than it could have done for You when You first returned to Nazareth and everyone was praising You. (Luke 4:15,22)
But when You spoke the deeper truths the townsfolk needed to hear, they tried to throw You off a cliff, the very elders of the synagogue You had always attended at the front of the crowd.
You went travelling the length and breadth of the land, doing good, manifesting compelling evidence of the power of God at work in You . . . And yet so many turned their backs against You instead of their hearts toward You, fearing the disapproval of their leaders. It was easier to reject something so preposterous so threatening to their religion and the life they were familiar with.
There is a cost to pay in following You, and they were unwilling to pay it. If only they could have sought to understand You, been willing to grapple with the truth of Your words and life!
And me, Lord? Am I grappling with Your truths sufficiently? Am I truly willing to count the cost and continue to follow You when pressure and rejections come my way?
I want to walk with You in truth as well grace. Help me not to be surprised by the fiery ordeals and rejection that that will inevitably come. Grant me the courage to persevere through it all. And Lord, teach me through the rejections I suffer. Find ways to show me where my own words and attitudes have raised stumbling blocks and provoked unnecessarily strong reactions. Help me to notice the ways in which I put people off, instead of shining a light that leads to You.
An encouragement to press on no matter what
We are here because the Father asked You to press on with Your mercy mission, no matter what came against You. We are here because multitudes upon multitudes of Your spokesmen and women refused to give up in the face of the repeated threats and losses that each and every one of them faced.
Jesus, help us to press on through the darkness and indifference and opposition to bring You, Jesus Christ, to people’s hearts. No matter how bruised, battered and empty our hearts feel, nor how much in need of an uplift, we want to push on through, because You honour those who persevere.
My child, do you remember the question CS Lewis asked?
“Does there have to be so much pain in loving?”
I have heard you ask that too. Come and look at it from My view of things: If you were to refuse to love, would that make things easier or better? If I had decided that the Pharisees were not for turning, that the Romans were too fierce, and that I wanted to return home to My Father – would that have been nobler? Would the world – and you as a child of the world – would the world not then have perished?
That is not how I work with regard to you, dear one! It is not my heart toward you at all! My Father loved the world so much that He asked me to come. And I loved the world so much – and My Father so much – that I said yes.
Seek Me and I will give you the courage you need. Don’t underestimate My ability and desire to provide for you everything you need for the call I have given you. My love is sufficient for you even as the fiery darts of rejection pierce you. They can never, never pierce a hole in the fabric of My love for you or nullify the invitation I have given you to come boldly into My Father’s presence.
My strong hand is still upon you, and I will lead and guide you in and through every dark and painful situation.
Rejection - Acknowledging the hurt that we have caused
If you have been in any kind of ministry, then you will almost certainly know what it is to have felt rejected and gossiped about. Some churches ought to have a notice posted on the door: ‘Here be dragons!’
How we need to guard our heart and be careful what we say and think, Lord! You know that our thoughts control our life, and that they lead to many consequences. (Prov. 4:23) Align our hearts with Yours so that we run in the freedom of Your leading, rather than toiling and labouring under the crushing impact of stinging words and actions reinforcing our sense of rejection.
Lead us to friends and counsellors with whom we are able share honestly about the pain that these stinging criticisms have caused, people who are able to lovingly tend our wounds and draw out darts and arrows that have pierced our soul. Help them to help us readjust burdens and deep concerns that we have allowed to slip from spirit to soul – for that is what it means to carry each other’s burdens and so walk in the way of the Lord. (Gal. 6:2)
Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? (Jas. 3:11)
Oh Father, how often salty, bitter words come out of my mouth! How often I have hurt and rejected others by not even just my words and deeds, but also by the subliminal messages and subtle expectations of my attitudes. I have pushed people away, people whom You want to welcome.
Forgive me. Face me with the reality of the injury I have caused and then open up Your springs of life in me so that, where I once spread shadows and darkness, I am able to bring light and restoration.
I pray especially for those closest to me, who have so often found themselves suffering as the result of my unhealed hurts and resentments. Forgive me for offending against and even rejecting these dear ones who You have brought so carefully into my life. I bring these people to You now, Lord, and ask You to set them free from the hurt I have caused them.
Rejection - A Prayer to restore vitality
A prayer to pray in ministering to those suffering the hurt of rejection
We can easily brush off all the hurts that lie on the surface. But help us to be willing to look deeper, first to expose and then to dig out roots of rejection that have been stifling the freedom and creativity You created us for.
We pray especially for so many of Your fine servants of Yours who have been undeservedly spoken against and rebuffed by confrontational encounters with those in authority over them.
Jesus, You know all that is the heart of this dear sister. You see all her inmost wounds as plainly as we see our face in the mirror. I ask You now to come and reach down into all those places where rejection has undermined her life and ministry. In Your great tenderness and love, restore to her the joy and vitality that is hers in the Beloved.
Jesus, You know all that is the heart of my dear brother. You see all his inmost wounds as plainly as I see my face in the mirror. I ask You now to come and reach down into all those places where rejection undermined his life and ministry. In Your great tenderness and love, restore to him the joy and vitality that is in Your abundance of life.