Getting over feelings of rejection can be extremely hard and prayer is an effective way to help your emotions heal. Recovering from rejection and emotional healing from rejection is extremely important because scientists have found that rejection is experienced through the same pathways in our brains as physical pain. Added to this misery is the fact that you can vividly re–feel rejection when something reminds you of the painful experience.
What is rejection?
Rejection is defined as the turning down or spurning of a person’s affections, ideas or efforts. We often feel excluded by others, our sense of well being is destroyed, we feel unwanted, unappreciated, dishonored, left out and ostracized. We can feel that the work we have done is not good enough and it makes us feel personally rejected. These feelings affect our emotions, thinking, behavior and our sense of well being. Particularly in the case of a romantic rejection, we may feel that it’s all our fault and it may cause our self esteem to plunge.
Feelings of rejection can follow a romantic break up, being turned down by a college, employer or for a promotion, by feeling disrespected and unwanted in a family or social setting. Things that make us feel like outsiders include illness, disability, lack of education, physical appearance, social status, ethnic group, religious beliefs, gender, age and marital status.
Social media can add fuel to the fire of rejection by making us painfully aware of gatherings we weren’t invited to and people who seem to be accepted and admired by everyone.
Don’t try to make yourself forget about rejection – you’re wired to feel it.
The reason you can’t just “forget about” rejection is because humans are wired to be social beings. Psychologists theorize that the reflexive desire to avoid and fix rejection has been a part of being human since the beginning of time when it was extremely important to be a part of a tribe or a family in order to survive danger and outside threats. Being ostracized could lead to deprivation and death in primitive societies. Psychologists point out that we are social beings and we have an innate need and deep desire to belong.
According to the Bible, we were indeed created to belong with others. When humans were first created, God said, “It it not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.“ (Gen. 2:18) And Psalms says “God sets the lonely in families.” (Psalm 68: 5)
Although we try to logically tell ourselves that rejection doesn’t matter, our emotions are wired to be uniquely alert to it. We remain in a state of stress long after the actual act or event is over where we felt rejected. We can re–feel the trauma and become hypersensitive to early warning signs that it might be happening to us again.
Prayer is powerful because God identifies compassionately with your feelings of rejection
The reason that praying helps bring healing power for rejection is because it helps assure us that we are not alone. God cares. God identifies completely with our feelings of rejection because it has happened to God himself since time began. Rejection is the central theme of the ongoing human drama of being estranged from God by ignoring him and of God then patiently calling us back and forgiving us so we can have our relationship restored. In the Old Testament, God’s people constantly went astray and rejected God’s teachings and his prophets.
When God’s son Jesus came to earth, Jesus’ life dramatized this cycle of being rejected by humanity. Jesus was rejected by his own hometown and by the religious leaders of his day. In his moment of greatest need, Jesus’ friends even abandoned him. (See John 1:11, Mark 6:4 -6, Matthew 26: 34) Jesus was mocked, disrespected, persecuted, bullied, arrested and crucified. The Bible says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:3 )
The good news is that Jesus triumphed over both death and rejection by allowing God to show his power through the way Jesus obeyed God and believed God cared about him even when others rejected him. Jesus had the strength to be true to who God called him to be, even when others ostracized him because of it.
Use the Feeling Rejected Prayer to connect with God
Here are some thoughts and words that will help you talk over with God your need for healing from rejection .
The rejection I am feeling is terribly painful. I’ve tried to get over it by thinking logically and by trying to forget it, but it doesn’t work. Some painful reminder always brings the feelings of rejection back to me, and I feel extremely hurt all over again.
God, here is what happened to me to makes me feel so rejected_________________________________________________________________________
I am comforted knowing that you understand my feelings of rejection because it happened to Jesus when he was here on earth. I pray that the triumph and the resurrection power of Jesus Christ will become effective in my emotions, beginning at this very moment. I pray for new life for my crushed emotions. I can’t get over this on my own. I submit my heart, mind and emotions to you believing that you have the ability to create your good will and restore my sense of well being after this bad thing that has happened to me.
God, my self esteem has taken a beating. You know deep down in my heart my fears and anxieties, the ways I feel that I don’t measure up. My self confidence has been shaken. I feel turned down and I feel like a failure. I ask you to work inside of me to help rebuild my self esteem. I claim the following promises you have made in the Bible about your love and confidence in me.
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord, because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.” Jeremiah 3 0:17 NIV
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt… “ Jeremiah 31:3,4
“So do not throw away our confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” Hebrews 10:35 NIV
I pray that you will restore my sense of belonging and my sense of being appreciated, loved and welcomed. I pray that you will guide me to someone who will help me believe that I belong again somewhere in this world. I pray that you will open my eyes to the good people who accept me as I am and who are there for me. Please bring their names to my mind now as I meditate______________
Thank you for bringing these caring people to my mind and show me a specific way to reach out to them for the comfort of their presence in my life _________________________________.
Please show me any ways that I have misread situations and felt rejected when that wasn’t the intent of others. Help me not to allow my past rejections to make me hyper-sensitive to any hint of rejection, whether it be real or imagined. Instead give me the grace to give other people the benefit of the doubt. Show me the truth about this situation that I’m wondering about today______________________
God, sometimes I’ve been so hurt that I‘ve imagined doing something to get back at those who rejected me or to let them see how badly they’ve hurt me. It doesn’t seem fair that they seem to be doing fine and I feel so awful. There have been times I’ve been angry. I’ve imagined others suffering like they’ve made me suffer. I confess the specific feelings of anger and ill feelings toward those who have hurt me now__________________________
Thank you for hearing my complaint. It feels good to express it. Please show me a positive way to deal with my anger and hurt feelings _________________________.
I close my prayer believing that you have heard me and that you are there for me, even when no one else is. I am listening now to answering thoughts of comfort and acceptance you desire to personally give me _______________ .
I pray for your continued grace, favor and guidance as I go forward, leaving this rejection behind and seeking the arenas where I and my work will be accepted with open arms. Thank you for understanding. Amen.
My personal experiences that inspired this prayer
Recently I was turned down for a writing job I had done yearly for the past 20 years. Although the person informing me of the decision tried to reassure me that they would consider me for other projects in the future, I felt surprisingly intense feeling of loss and rejection. For days I grieved and mourned and my confidence was shaken.
I‘ve been a freelance writer for all of my career, and you’d think after the hundreds of rejections I’ve had that by now I‘d be immune to feelings of not measuring up when my work is rejected. But the fact is, rejection hurts. Every time. Yet I’ve discovered over the years that God cares. Every time. And he will help you get back up and go on. In fact, one time in particular I felt that God actually spoke to my thoughts when I was praying intensely to him about a horrible rejection. And those words have comforted me countless times since then.
The horrible rejection happened a number of years ago when I was trying to have my first book published. I sent my manuscript off to publisher after publisher. And one by one they rejected my book. Every time I felt devastated. I didn’t talk to others about it, it was more like my secret heartbreak. At night I lay awake feeling hopeless and like my dreams had been dashed to pieces. I would go through my day with this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that you might feel if you’d heard the news that someone was deathly ill and your world was falling apart with bad news. How could anything in my life feel right when this felt so wrong?
I prayed and tried to accept my rejections, but my confidence kept being eaten away little by little. Then one day my hopes were the highest I’d ever dared let them get because I’d heard from an editor that she liked my book. Oh the joy of hope! Then it all crashed and burned. She couldn’t convince the acquisitions team to publish my book. That night I lay awake crying quietly in devastation. I was pleading silently for my book to be resurrected, “ Please, God , please!”
And then, to my utter surprise, an answering thought formed in my mind that didn’t sound like me. The thought said, “I have always liked your writing.” This was such a startling thought that didn’t bear any resemblance to anything that had been in my mind that I had to consider the fact that it must be God speaking.
As I let the thought sink in, it astonished me. Was it possible that God liked my book even if the acquisitions team didn’t? And if God liked it, what higher form of acceptance was there?
This was a turning point for me – and my writing career. I ended up abandoning the book that had been rejected so many times and I wrote one called Ready, Set…Wait subtitled “Help for Life on Hold.” In it I shared my journey toward a life dream that kept getting rejected and how to live a good life in the meantime by receiving your affirmation and acceptance from God and not from circumstances. This devastating experienced of rejection formed the pathway to my success. Ready, Set…Wait became my first published book!
I have learned that God cares and he is there, even if it’s your first rejection or your thousandth. May you be blessed by his affirmation of his love and care for you today!
Copyright Karen Barber 2016. All rights reserved.