A few months back it was pointed out that I have become cynical. Cynicism is a hard crust that forms on you from being hurt and disappointed. It’s a way that sensitive people keep from being hurt.
Jackie Pullinger once said that God wants us to have soft hearts and hard feet, but we prefer hard hearts and soft feet. Cynicism is like the callouses that form on our feet. It is thick, tough, rough, and insensitive. It helps us step on other people without feeling anything. It also makes it harder to receive love, help, inspiration, and new ideas.
I was stunned that no one had written a prayer for this issue. The core issues that make us cynical are basic sin issues, and we can be free cynicism. So here is a prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father:
You tell us in the book of proverbs that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” I have had my hopes deferred through disappointments with leaders, relationships, and institutions. Rather than accepting disappointments and offenses, and forgiving those who have not met my expectations; I have grown hard and calloused. I have become cynical.
I confess to you almighty God and to my brothers and sisters that I have embraced the sin of cynicism and looked at it as even a nobler way of life than those who have “sold out.” I have hid behind the mask of being “prophetic” or “discerning.” I have allowed cynicism to manifest and hide the deadly sin of pride. Because of this, my prayers have been hindered. My pride has prevented my desires from being fulfilled and becoming a tree of life.
I choose to renounce cynicism and the root of pride. I humble myself before you and choose to embrace people, relationships, and opportunities, even if it means I may get disappointed or hurt. I choose to put my hope and trust in you, Lord, not in any human relationship or institution to fulfill my hopes and dreams. It is only in embracing this cross that I can experience the resurrection life of Jesus.
I forgive and release those who made promises that were not kept. I forgive those who thought they could meet my needs, but were unable as human creatures. I forgive the schools, churches, employers or governments, and any other area of human society that did not live up to my expectations. I now let go of any belief that they can meet my needs. I surrender to you Father, and allow you the space to work.
I forgive myself for the sinful reaction to the disappointments of life.
I ask you Holy Spirit to heal the hurt places, and remove the hardness of my own heart toward others.
I choose to become like a child, not purposely ignorant, but trusting in your grace and mercy; knowing that hope in you does not disappoint.
I make this prayer in the name of Jesus, who was despised and rejected by those he came to seek and save. Amen.