Note: The phrase “pray strong” may give the wrong impression, as of course it is GOD’s strength that matters. The point is that we can ask the God of the universe for His help in specific ways that can make a huge difference.
When we are in a difficult situation with a narcissist we are sometimes given the prescription to “pray about it”. This might be given with good intentions, but often without real understanding of what’s going on. It’s always appropriate to bring God right into the middle of our problems. But how we pray makes all the difference.
There are a few ways we can pray through our N challenge. One is how we pray for ourselves. Another is how we pray about specific ways of navigating our interface with them, or dealing with the fallout of the turmoil they create. And yet another is how we pray for them. This Part 2 gives an introduction of how to pray through the situation.
God designed “need” to motivate us to seek Him, and walk with Him in a moment by moment manner. “Need” started even in the Garden of Eden, before sin entered the world. Adam and Eve were dependent on God. Man has always sought to escape need. For example, we want to have a bank account big enough (although it’s never big enough) that we don’t need to worry. I have a phrase I am praying for myself and my family that we would turn every need into prayer.
This part 2 of “praying strong” is about praying for practical solutions in our situation with our narcissist. The theme scripture for this post is:
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
There are times when we can “avoid” a narcissist, but other times when we cannot. What do we do then? I will illustrate my point with a situation from one of my sons (early 20’s) which has happened over this past year.
“J” took a new job last September working for someone who he considers to be a great (i.e. – easy to work for) boss in a tiny company. However, that boss needed a second worker, and one month into J’s job the boss hired what proved to be a classic, big-time narcissist, “R”. I will not go into the attitudes, traits, and actions that demonstrate the extent of “R’s” narcissism, but let’s just say that “R” would rank high on anyone’s scale. “J” is aware of the traits of narcissists, but even with that it took a couple of months for “R’s” full colors to reveal themselves. What was “J” to do? Quit his job to get away? Complain to the boss?
In a large company you might be able to change departments to get away from a toxic co-worker, but in a tiny company that is not possible. The path chosen was to ask God for for day-to-day practical solutions, while at the same time praying about a longer term fix.
We tend to be lazy in our praying, and also tend to NOT want to seek God. That results in us praying feebly for a monolithic, magic-bullet, single solution that solves EVERYTHING with the least amount prayer and work on our part. (And many times we do not pray at all, and simply think about how we can take things into our own hands to save ourselves from a situation).
We pray something like “God, deliver me from this situation”. There is nothing wrong with that kind of prayer. But God may also want us to walk hand-in-hand with Him THROUGH the situation, praying specific prayers for God’s specific help in situations created by our toxic narcissist.
The list of what this might be is endless. Every difficulty – even the most minor – in our lives is an opportunity for God to show His goodness and power, further revealing facets of His glory. Each is similar to the common trouble we all face…..
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13
9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.2 Chronicles 16:9
We may say, “why do I have to go through this, and go to all this work?” Or, we may say, “I tried that, and it did not work”. Yes, our nature is to NOT persevere – we do not want the hassle. The alternative is to leave God out of it, take things into our hands, and find our own solutions – but that path will include consequences. God is constantly working for us to seek Him, to know Him, and to trust Him. HE is not going to give up on that. It is up to us how we respond. We can seek His help or not – it’s up to us. But we should remember that we are ignoring the help of the One who knows everything, who is all-wise, who has our good in mind – and has the power to create the universe.
This practice of praying specific “tactical” prayers in dealing with evil has application beyond individual situations with a narc. It sure appears that evil is on the increase in our society. We cannot avoid it. The lessons we can learn in praying practically through situations with a narcissist can be very useful as we navigate this present evil world.