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Praying

praying

“One day Jesus told the disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.”

Luke 18:1 NLT

I debated how to start this blog or even what to call it. Prayer is so important, and I seem so bad it! So easily distracted, my most focused prayers come when I write them down—in a journal or my devotion book, as a Facebook message or a text to a friend. Inspired Elisabeth Elliot’s writing style, I thought I would share some of those prayers with you. I took out specific names, but the heart of the prayer (with all its messiness and musings from my soul) is still there. These are prayers of forgiveness and worship, prayers of intercession and pleading, prayers in times of rejoicing and in times of sorrow, prayers for myself and for others. When I reread them, it is like I am praying them again. I hope they will touch your heart. Know that today I am prayed for you!

 

Prayers of Repentance

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Dear Lord, I’m sorry for my gossiping tongue—I know it can light a fire that can spread throughout the church. Please forgive me. Heal our church. Protect us from the recent attacks of the Evil One. Love-You. Amen.

Intercessory Prayers

“I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap . . . “ (Ezekiel 22:30 KJV).

Dear Lord, I’m coming to you today on behalf of our youth. Lord, let me be one to stand in the gap for them. The Enemy wants to have them, but you are FAR greater!! Let your promises ring true in their lives. Help her to find her satisfaction and identity in you. May he become rooted and grounded in faith. Help him to have the aroma of Christ. Give him a new perspective today. Help our little girls to grow up knowing what true, real beauty is! Jesus name, I pray. Love-You! Amen.

Prayers for Comfort, Peace and Protection

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Lord, I just really want you to be near their family. Lord, I can’t possibly comprehend how hard this time of year must be for them. Lord, only you know how to comfort them. You know what they need and you know how to heal. Over the years, the grief may change, but it’s still there. Lord, even in their grief, show them how to have peace and abundant life. Be their constant. Sustain them. Be to them their only true source of joy. Lord, thank you for being our Comfort and our Friend. Thank you for being our Healer. Thank you for being our Sustainer and Our Peace. Thank you for taking on our Suffering. Thank you for your unfailing love. And thank you for being faithful and patient even when we are not. I love and praise you! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Dear Lord, my heart is heavy with concern for her. Lord, please, please put a hedge of protection around her and her family. Lord, minister to her body and touch that precious life growing inside her. Whatever your will Lord, give her your peace, comfort and your sustaining grace. Please be with him and the circumstances surrounding him right now. Satan would like nothing better than to see him defeated but we know you can redeem his life and make something wonderful with it! Help him to turn to you in these difficult times. Strengthen their family Lord. Surround their children with blessings. Be with her as she prepares for her interview tomorrow. May you give her the desires of her heart! Thank you for delighting in us!! Thank you for loving us!! May she know your love tonight! Help me to be the friend she needs and fervent in prayer. I love and praise you! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Prayers of Reflection

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

My weight today is ______. Lord, what does that say about me? Can it define me? I know what I look like on the outside, but tell me, what’s on the inside? I know I’m a child of the king, heir to the throne and clothed in His righteousness. Is my inside reflective of that? Have I disgraced (ruined) your temple, Lord? Can you use me still? I don’t want to lose the testimony I have in you. Help me to remain faithful. You know me—inside and out—make me beautiful! I love you, Lord! Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

O God, when am I going to stop feeling so dirty? My past, my consuming lust is so shameful—people don’t even know. What would they think of me? How can I explain how lost I was, the pit I was in? Would they even understand?   The pain, the hurt, the scars, they are so real, Lord. I know in my mind you’ve forgiven me—but sometimes I don’t “feel” forgiven. Lord, help me. Show me. Save me.

Prayers of Thanksgiving

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. [D]o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:4,6).

Dear Lord, Thank you for my sister! Thank you for the blessings you have bestowed on her and the new life you have given her! What a blessing to see her and her daughter baptized and walking in the truth! Thank you for bringing her to our church and making her a part of our family! Thank you for giving her days and moments where she can find enjoyment! Lord, I ask that you touch her body! Make today a good day! Minister to her needs and strengthen her as she continues to strive to be a good, godly parent! We love and praise you! In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Prayers for Direction

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Only by YOUR power can I do anything . . . anything good. What is today? Today is counseling a friend and putting the kids to bed alone. I cannot do this day without YOU. Lord, I need YOU. Today. Right now. In this moment and with my future. I want to write for YOU. I want to teach for YOU. I want to lead for YOU. I’m scared of failure—I’m afraid of choosing the wrong thing—of not being a good steward. You’ve lead me to great places in the past (here), but am I being selfish this time? Am I wrong? Lord, only by YOUR power! I cannot do this without YOU.

Lord, I want my heart to be confident in you and your promises for me. But what your promises for me in this situation? What direction do I take? Lord, I really do not know how to be a good wife. I know what your word says about wives and I’m trying to obey that. Is that enough? Of course, it must be! But, God, I don’t even know what love language he speaks or receives! Please show me what to do! Satisfy me and grow my confidence in you!

Prayers of Praise

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Psalm 103:1)!

I remember that day driving in the car alone—headed back home from the library. Facing another financial disaster, I was an emotional mess. I remember thinking (for the first time), Lord, don’t you care??? I think I felt just like the disciples did that night on the boat. Lord, don’t you see I’m in trouble? How can you be sleeping?! I don’t remember how that circumstance ended, but I know I was wrong. You were in control all along. Lord, help me to remember. When life is chaotic, help me to cling to the hope I have in you.

Dear Lord, Can I be honest? I don’t feel like praising this morning. No, that’s not quite it. I do love you and desire to sit at your feet and bask in your presence. It’s the rejoicing I’m stuck on today. It’s been a rough week and my strength has waned. I don’t’ want to be a cheerleader or a counselor today. I just want to sit quietly with you. I want to feel safe. Lord, I need a place to land today. But I know there are hurts greater than my own. So even though I don’t feel like it, I will praise you! Glory is your name!

Prayers for the Lost

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

I just wrote a devotional article this week about hope, our true hope. This hope is not wishful thinking – it is believing in a guaranteed promise—the promise of eternal life and a relationship with Christ. What hope do we have outside of Christ? None. How I wish that more would realize this! He has put his hope in “things” and ignored the truth. He has put his hope in “religion” and the words of man. This Easter may they both know the real, true, only hope!

Prayers for My Church

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

Dear Lord, I’m thinking about my church this morning . . . and it’s people. Even now, I miss them and it’s hard to be away. Lord, they need a fresh touch from Your Holy Spirit today. Please use our pastors to be your mouthpiece and all those who serve this morning to be vessels for your glory! May your will be done! I am praying that you touch hearts and change lives!! Lord, there are big changes and decisions on our horizons. Give us wisdom and make clear the path we need to take. Lord, there are some I know in our congregation this morning who are hurting–this week has been a constant battle and it has left them heart-broken and wounded. Oh, thank God that this world is not our home! What a wonderful savior we serve! So I pray that you are near to the brokenhearted and that you touch and heal those raw and bleeding places deep inside their hearts. Help them fall before you and find the strength to continue! I pray for those who are far from you or may never have truly come to know you. Lord, let TODAY be the day of salvation! Let there be rejoicing in heaven! It will be a day they never regret! Praise your Great name! Let us all be reminded of how great and mighty you are! I love and praise you! In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

Praying for My Husband

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3a).

Dear Lord, Thank you for this day! Thank you for what it means to our family, me especially! I am so glad you made him–and had me in mind when you did! Thank you for giving him another year of life! Every day with him is a gift! I pray that you will grant him good health and keep him safe while he is on the road, so that, there will be many more birthdays to come! As long as you tarry, I pray we grow old together! Be with him today as he works. Thank you for providing his job. Help us to remember that every good and perfect gift comes from you! And on those days where work is far from perfect and anything but good, help him to put his trust in you! Lord, let him do his best and be satisfied in that, knowing that you will take care of the rest! Bless him as the provider of our home! Help him to outshine all the others! Let him know that we are proud of him! I pray that he is able to enjoy his day and that he will be able to enjoy a morning off tomorrow! Love you and praise you! In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Praying for Each Other

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

Dear Lord, please be with my sister right now! Oh Lord, she needs you in a big way! Wrap your loving arms around her. Let her feel your presence and your love. Give her sustaining grace, strength and peace. Oh Lord, calm her anxious heart and give her boat loads of peace. Let her see and know the truth–the truth of the situation but also the truth of who she is. She is yours and she is wonderful! Help her to really KNOW that. Show her the right path to take and make your will clear. I don’t know what your plan is for her, but help convict and direct where necessary. Help her to look to you for significance and not a relationship. Help her to remember we all need forgiveness and give her the confidence of a woman who knows she belongs to the Lord. Jesus, help her to leave this mess in your hands tonight and give her sweet rest. I love and praise you, in Jesus name I pray, Amen!

Dear Lord, I am learning you are so many things. Thank you for teaching me more about your character. Show me how to praise you for who you are! Today, especially, I learned anew that you are LORD. You are MY lord! I praise you! Thank you for those that take the time to read the words you give me. May you bless them today. Use these words to touch their hearts and make a difference in their lives . . . for your glory. Comfort those that are hurting. Heal those that are sick. Bring success and reveal the fruits of their labor to those who are diligently working. Give wisdom to those who are lacking direction and confidence and identity to those who are lost. To those that are far from you, draw them close. May you be real to them today in a way you never have before. Soften our hearts, Lord. May we be tender to your Word and take time each day to sit (stand, walk or drive) and pray! I love and praise you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 

Looking back, I realize that sometimes my prayers didn’t sound like traditional prayers. Sometimes they sounded more like random thoughts and questions. I hope God spoke to you somewhere in the midst of these words. I’m ever thankful that He is making intercession for us (see Romans 8:26-27)!

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