Spirit of God, Overwhelm my children

Spirit of God,

Overwhelm my children with your Presence.
Cover them with your perspective.

(Read "A Daily Prayer for your Children" here.)

Infiltrate every aspect of their lives,
into their media,
their relationships,
their classrooms,
their fun time,
their family time.

When they see injustice,
remind them to turn to you for answers.
When they feel afraid,
pull them into your protective embrace.
When they feel tempted,
whisper truth into their minds and hearts.
When they feel alone,
surround them with your continual Presence.
When they feel overwhelmed,
bolster their courage in the God who has conquered everything.
When they feel lost,
guide them back to your will, your calling, and your people.
When they sin,
convict and restore them to relationship with the Father.

(Read "A Prayer for my child's safety" here.)

Lord, be an ever-present Friend and Comforter,
the first place they turn in the morning, 
and the last place they turn at night.
No matter what happens during their days,
I pray fo…

Prayer to guard my emotions because my kids are leaving

Dear Lord,

You know I've got a big couple of weeks coming up. 
My children are leaving the nest in a variety of ways. 
Whether first time, second time, or last time--it doesn't really matter.
There is a stabbing pain when my kids move away.
and then loss, 
which tries very hard to morph into panic and desperation.
(Smothering and helicopter-ing seem like options, even
though I condemn it but secretly want to do it.)

My emotions are going crazy,
so I know that my feelings and thoughts cannot be fully trusted.
I must lean into you only.
Worry makes me assume the worst.
Loss makes me feel rejected.
Panic pushes my loved ones away.
(Read a blog about losing your kids to college here.)

Control my thoughts, Lord.
Speak truth to me, and help me hear you.
Help me to focus on your love and grace to me,
not my feelings of loss or worry.
You've got this. You've got me.
You always protect, always draw near, always speak to those who seek you. 
And to those who don't…

Praying to trust God

Lord God,

Why do I panic about the future?
Why am I afraid
even though you are present in my life,
guiding and directing me,
loving me?

I will purpose to trust in you.
Please help me in my weakness.
You know how weak I am,
how fear is so powerful,
how self-doubt seems to prevail.
All the time.

You are enough.
You are more than enough.
You are everything.

I love you, and I trust you.
I trust you.
I trust you.
I trust you.
I trust you.

In Jesus' name,

"He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."--Psalm 18:19

(Read a blog about change that scares you here.)

7 Reasons God may not be answering your prayers

Below is a guest post by James Watkins, one of the first editors to publish articles by me. He happens to be a great prayer warrior, as well as successful editor and author. And he's funny. I know you'll be challenged and inspired by this article by him (the links in parentheses are mine): On the kitchen wall in my boyhood home hung a plaque that promised “God Answers Prayer.” Because of those words, reinforced in Sunday school and Bible storybooks, I got the idea that prayer was a 100-percent-guarantee, lifetime-warranty, you-must-be-completely-satisfied-or-your-money-back, over-night-delivery promise.

And so, as a first-grader, I prayed for a pony for my birthday . . . and didn’t get it. I prayed for a pony for Christmas . . . and didn’t get it.

During adolescence, I prayed that my face would clear up, and those prayers weren’t answered either.

As I grew up, so did my prayers. They were far less selfish and included more altruistic requests such an end to the Vietnam War; fo…

A prayer for my kids to serve God

Lord in Heaven,

I ask for your Holy Spirit to quicken my kids' hearts toward your mission.
I pray for them to love you from genuine thanksgiving and praise,
not from obligation, selfishness, or pride.
May they truly believe how much they need you in every facet of their lives.
Convict them when they relegate you to Sunday mornings or small group.

Fan the flame of service in my children.
Stir in them a desire to serve others,
to disciple others,
to help others.
Give them compassionate hearts and eyes to see the world.

Let every conversation, 
every relationship,
every media post,
every book,
every mission statement
be filtered through your calling on their lives
to love you
and to love others.

This is all I want--
I want kids who are completely committed to you.

In Jesus' powerful name,

"We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: …

Prayer of belonging from 1 John 3

Dear Lord,

How great is the love you have lavished on me
that I should be called your daughter! (blog here)

The world does not see me like your daughter.

The world says I'm a middle-aged wife and mom with a quasi-successful career as a teacher, with unlikely success as a writer. I live in the suburbs, I never have enough money, I work too much, I socialize too little, I say the wrong things to my children, I ignore too many needs around me.

But that is not who you say I am.
I have inherited your kingdom.
I'm a princess who never had to kiss a frog or wake from a coma or wear a glass slipper.
I'm deserving of your grace and love because you choose to make me deserving.

My unreservedness serves only to make me grateful and humble, if I choose.
Or I can choose shame, materialism, perfectionism, workaholism, self-fulfillment, popularity, anxiety, fatigue, and pursuit of health and beauty.
How foolish I am to think those things will make me fill the hole that you placed in my S…

A prayer from weakness

Dear Lord in heaven,

I feel weak today.
So, so weak.

I feel insufficient.
Not enough.

I think you call this a strength
because I'll to turn to you in my desperation just to survive.
In my frustration, I might actually listen on you.
Wait on you.
Pray to you.
Obey you.
Trust you.

This process makes me stronger
because it gives your strength a chance to work in me
and change me.
You make me enough, just as I am,
when I have you.
I can do hard things when you're the strength behind my obedience.

Thank you.
You are so gracious and merciful.
You love me, bless me, and guide me.
I am in awe of how you work
and why you decide to work in me and through me.

I praise your name, O Most High.
In Jesus' powerful name,

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on…