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Showing posts from 2018

Prayer over a miscarriage

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Experts guess that between 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, for various reasons. To a woman who knows she's pregnant--who knows there's a baby forming in her womb--it doesn't matter why the pregnancy fails. She just knows that one day she was a mother, and the next day, she was not.

She feels grief. For all those excited and anticipating the birth of a baby, a miscarriage is a death.

If this is you, here is a prayer to help you grieve and hope:

Dear Abba Father,

You have created all things.
Your work is perfect.
You created me for a purpose, and you created this little life for a purpose,
although it doesn't make sense to me now why a helpless baby's life should be cut short so quickly.

I am so terribly sad--
I feel such a sense of emptiness and loss.
To be honest, I feel robbed.

This is confusing, because I know you aren't a robber.
You have come to give life and give it more abundant.
So why did you bless me, only to remove the blessing?
This pain m…

Christmas prayer for you

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Merry Christmas, everyone—I pray that your day will be filled with delight, joy, and thanksgiving.

The Hallmark movie kind of moments would be great, for sure, but I hope you have more substantial moments filled with real love, acceptance, and security.
I hope you are humbled by the meaning and spirit of Christmas. Christ with us, the hope of glory.God took on human flesh—and a helpless baby from a poor, unwed mother, at that—and He called Himself “Emmanuel,” God with us.
I pray for God to be with you today and every day, to give your life purpose and meaning. Not just on Christmas so you have warm fuzzy feelings of happiness, but every day when the warm fuzzies are gone and you have to work and pay bills and be kind to difficult people.
God with you, and give you hope, peace, and eternal glory. Amen.

A Christmas Prayer of Gratitude

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Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for the opportunity and ability to Christmas-shop.
I love this season, and I love choosing gifts for people I love.
This is a luxury not enjoyed by most people in the world.
Keep me mindful of my blessings and thankful for the wealth you've given me.
Help me to share generously and remember that everything I have is yours!

Most of all, I want to be always cognizant that you are the perfect GIFT. You're all I need. May you be all I want.

I recognize that I celebrate this amazing holiday because of your humility--
your decision to enter the world as a helpless baby,
to live your life for other people,
and then to die a cruel, unjust death so that I could enjoy your presence forever.

How shocking and horrific that we often make the Christmas holiday
about what we get and what we do.
How blasphemous that we make it about snow, winter, and baking cookies.
If we're not remembering you, sharing you, and honoring you, then what's the point?

Thank you…

Praying forgiveness on believers who who cause trouble in the church

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Lord Jesus,

I'm asking your forgiveness and grace on some fellow-believers.
They're mean and nasty,
and they don't love the body Christ.
They're always stirring up trouble,
berating believers, gossiping about fellow- Christians,
and spewing venom against the church
and what it doesn't do for them.

They are incredibly selfish, immature, and divisive.

I know you'll judge these people.
You hate this kind of behavior, more than you hate anything.
I know they will feel the effects of their attitudes in their own families.
Perhaps their children will reject You and the church because of their example.
Perhaps they will lose friends and lose community.

I don't wish these natural consequences on them,
although I know the course of rebellion can't be stopped
apart from repentance and your incredible grace.

Give me the grace to forgive them,
(even when their hate isn't directly against me)--
help me to not hold grudges and made assumptions about them.
Lavish …

A prayer of hope for the holidays

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Christmas is hard for people who grieve.
They remember other Christmases filled with memories and laughter, and grief becomes overwhelming.
Or perhaps Christmas is their loneliest time, without any cherished memories, which makes it that much harder to be festive.

Is Christmas hard for you?
Does it make you feel hopeless?

Just since December began, I've attended one funeral, watched one on television, and revised my family, whom I haven't seen since my mom died. Collectively, grief is strong and real.

But I do not grieve as one without hope (1 Cor. 15:18-20). Perhaps that is why we sing the "Messiah" at Christmas. Hope began with the birth of a baby, but hope continues through Jesus' resurrection and  his predicted triumphant return. Hope culminates with the "Hallelujah Chorus." (Turn up the volume--it's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!)

This Christmas, pray this prayer of hope.
Hope dispels grief.
Hope gives suffering a context and a reason for being.

Thanksgiving Prayer

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Dear Lord, Provider and Protector,

Thank you, Lord, for everything.
Absolutely everything.
All the good is from you.
All the bad is something good waiting to happen.
Everything in your hands is a blessing.

Thank you.
I love you, Lord.

Amen.

What to pray after someone dies

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Lord Jesus,

You personally know the pain of death.
You know how afraid and sorrowful it makes us.
You know that grief cuts deeply into the human soul,
that it feels like there will never be an end to the heartbreak.

Someone wonderful has died.
You know that, too.
The death of your children is beautiful to you,
but it is so difficult for us.

I am feeling grief for some good people
who have lost a loved one.
They are overwhelmed, shocked, traumatized, bereft.
They feel an ache they never could have imagined.

Only you can fill that gaping hole left by their loved one.
Only you can pour hope and peace, ever so gradually, into their life.
Only you can give them courage to live again--
to seek healing, to start over.
When they're ready.

I ask for your peace to fall on them right now.
Erase the terror about the future.
Block an regret about the past.
Stop the panic about the present.

I beg you, Holy Spirit, to speak words of love and comfort into the dark fearful places of loss.
Bring the…

Thank you for the hard things

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It's Thanksgiving week!

Dear Lord Provider,

Remind me of something each day with week to thank you for,
and not just the normal things, like family, friends, food, and health.
Thank you for the hard things.

I want to be thankful for my failures because you are doing something even greater in me than I can anticipate.
I want to be thankful for my time--may I use it to worship you rather than worship the things I want or the attention I crave. And may I not stress about the time I don't have.
I want to be thankful for the waiting--this state I keep finding myself in, when I believe you are working but I can't see what you're doing.
I even want to be thankful for times of pain because you use my pain to showcase your love; you heal my pain because you love me.

Thankfulness reminds me of who I am and what you do for me.
It reminds me to praise you for you who are.

You are grace, mercy, love, hope.
You are my past, my present, and my future,
my All-in-All.

Thank you!
Amen.

Prayer and fasting

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Often, people talk about fasting because they want God to answer a request or give them some direction. This is only partly correct. Yes, prayer and fasting facilitates the ability to hear God clearly. But fasting is not a trigger for hearing God. When you need something, the solution is not to skip a meal and ask God to show up. That would make God our servant rather than our Lord.

Fasting does, however, begin to prepare your heart, which is a trigger for changed motives and behavior. When accompanied by prayer and Bible-reading, fasting prepares you for dramatic change. It clears your mind and heart to receive wisdom from God and hear His voice.

Notice the passage below (it's not one of the typical fasting passages):

Jeremiah 36:6-7
So you go to the house of the Lord on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns.Perhaps they will bring their petition …

How to change a Bible story into a prayer for your family

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I'm reading my way through Jeremiah. There's a lot of prophecies and punishments pronounced against the Jews, particularly Judah. They are invaded by the Babylonians and hauled off as slaves. The famous verse Jer. 29:11 appears, promising a hope and a future, but the promise occurs in the context of abduction and 70 years enslavement in Babylon.

The Jews--and us, if we make application--are blessed when they obey and punished when they don't. My reading today was Jeremiah 34-35. A family called the Recabites have kept a promise to live for generations without drinking alcohol, sowing crops, or building houses for generations, This came out of obeying a forefather's command. The theme of obedience--not the command itself--is praised by the Lord.

Here's the principle that struck me and the prayer I took away from it:

"Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Recites, 'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God is Israel says,: "You have obeyed the command o…

A prayer about getting involved

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Dear Lord Jesus, the God who saves us--

I'm so thrilled to be a part of your mission on earth.
I sit in awe at how you love every single person,
how you desire hope and purpose for them,
how you call each person to yourself.

Some don't hear you calling.
They have too much pain
or too many sorrows.
Many are fighting to survive,
and some are just fighting.

I can help with that,
if I care enough to get involved.

I can sponsor a child,
I can feed the hungry,
I can welcome the stranger,
I can befriend the lonely,
I can visit a prisoner,
I can provide for the needy,
I can advocate for the weak,
I can comfort the brokenhearted,
I can provide healing for the sick,
I can rescue the enslaved.

But only if I'm willing.

I can't pray and ask you if I should get involved
because you've already told me to do it.
Now it's strictly a matter of obedience.

I must get involved.
Give me courage and selflessness.
I will take the next step.
I will answer the need right in front of me,

Praying for big and little needs

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This morning I read a friend Lori Hatcher's blog called "Is it wrong pray for little needs?"
I was just praying intermittently for my children to love God,
for the poor in Africa,
for our Compassion Sunday this week,
and for my social media/publicity needs,
and I was feeling guilty about how and why I pray.

I know that God doesn't judge me for making prayer requests.
He wants to hear them, and He wants to answer them.

The crux of the issue is my heart.
Do I want what He wants?
Do I desire His kingdom?
Or am I focused on building mine,
making my little family kingdom more comfortable
and less stressful?
Do I pray because I want to spare myself pain and hardship
or because I want God to use my hardships to advance His kingdom?

God,
I lay my anxieties and concerns at your feet.
I trust you completely with them.
Help me to not take these worries back from you today.
Amen.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.--1 Peter 5:7


Prayer over the synagogue shooting

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Lord Jehovah--Yahweh--

I lift up the hearts and minds of devout Jews everywhere,
especially in Pittsburgh.
Comfort them and give them the peace only you can provide.
Protect them from evildoers, from violent people,
from the shooting down of hope,
freedom,
and faith.

Protect their hearts from the pain of violent words,
from the cowards,
the bigots,
and the self-righteous
in our land.

Heal these dear people.

May they never renounce faith in you because of persecution.
May they seek the Lord while He may be found.
May they implore the God of heaven to rescue and comfort them.
May they recognize the Messiah.

Thank you for the outpouring of love from people of many faiths--
this is God at work in hearts and lives.
Comfort the Jewish doctors and staff that suffered their own trauma
while attending to the shooter in the hospital.

You are a God of justice, and I pray for justice on Robert Bowers.
I pray that he repents and turns to you.
I pray that he asks forgiveness from his victims.
I pra…

A prayer of deliverance from spiritual bondage

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Lord, the powerful God,

Deliver my friend from spiritual bondage--
from fear, bitterness, anger, victimization, danger.
I pray against the spirits of fear and confusion,
of bitterness and hate.
I pray for hope, healing, and restoration to the daughter
you created her to be.

You replace ashes with beauty.
You place the orphans in families.
You are a husband to the widow.
You are judge to the lawless.
You bring hope to the hopeless,
sight to the unseeing,
healing to the broken,
justice to the oppressed,
friendship to the friendless,
love to the unloved.

Delivering my friend from her spiritual struggles is no problem for you.
Just another day's work for the God of the universe.

I am in awe of you.
In Jesus' holy and mighty name,
Amen.

Intercession for Costa Rica

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Lord God of the Universe,

Thank you for loving us and dying for us.
Thank you for using us to spread the gospel throughout the whole world.

I pray right now for the missionaries in Costa Rica
and the dear people they minister to.
I pray for the girls and boys in the Child of Hope Schools,
for them to come to believe and trust in Jesus.
I pray for the after-school programs for the Chicas and Chicos,
for these kids to find spiritual mentors and friends.
I pray they would see a difference in their Christian leaders
and learn to hope for a better, brighter future.
I pray for you to protect these children from abuse,
from drug and alcohol addiction.
I pray they would finish school and find careers
and most of all, answer your calling on their lives.

I pray for the women we met there,
that you would fill them with hope and courage.
Provide for their physical and emotional needs.
Protect them from abuse--may they be bold enough to stop it.
Encourage them in their spiritual walk and make them…

A Prayer of Power for a mission trip

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Lord,

You know I'm leaving on a mission trip in a few days.
I'm a bit of a lunatic right now--
so much to do,
and so many concerns.

I know you'll give me enough time and energy to do it.
I know I need to focus on prayer and preparation of my heart.
I know it's about you, not me.

Help me.

And go before me.
I pray your Spirit to hover over our destination,
to stir hearts and longings to know you.
I ask that your angels wage war in the spirit realm,
binding the enemy
who enslaves and robs and lies to these dear people.

In Jesus' name, open up the heavens and pour out your Spirit on this country
and on my team.
Fill us and use us and change us, O God,
according to your will and your purpose.
May our insecurity, pride, and fear not stand in the way of your work.

Overwhelm us with your love and power.
Transform us.
Transform these people.
May they bind the devil in Jesus' name.

I pray all these things in the mighty name of Jesus,
Amen.

Praying success over my child

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Lord God,

You create everything beautiful in its time.
You mark out our days for us.
You are with us wherever we go.
It's important to remember that about you on days like this.

I pray your encouragement and sustaining power over my child
as he begins a new venture.
He is attempting something difficult and daunting today,
and he needs your touch.

Cover him with your hands of mercy.
Bolster his confidence in himself
and his reliance on you.
Give him courage to trust your will for his life.
Help him see the world through your eyes,
full of wonder,
full of possibility,
full of promise,
full of need.

Prepare his heart and mind for the next step in your plan.
Give him success in all he does.
Prosper him for the glory of your name.
Keep him humble, hungry, and content.
Groom him to be diligent in carrying out your cause.

Use him, Lord.
It's why you created him
and why I wanted him.
I give him to you, and I trust you with his life.

Give me courage to not waver from my faith in your c…

Bring down this enemy

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Dear God,

I'm going to access a little David here and ask you to bring down an enemy,
an enemy of someone who follows you.
Someone I care about.

When someone opposes truth and justice,
inflicts pain on one of your children,
and brings shame to the gospel--
how do you decide when enough time is enough?

After he has had opportunity to repent
and he still refuses,
what will you do?
Sometimes you choose to take that person out.
Perhaps this is one of those times.
(I feel a little guilty hoping for this.)
I'm not asking for this person's actual death,
just for a reckoning,
a humbling.

On behalf of everyone harmed by evil people,
I pray for your Spirit to humble, chastise,
and even destroy the enemies of Christ.

I've prayed for people's repentance--
and I know it's never too late for anyone to turn from wrong
and turn back to you--
but when it seems repentance will never happen,
I wonder if you could just remove this enemy from any influence and power
so he can feel …

A prayer of imprisonment and freedom

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Oh, Jesus,

Your humility surprises me.

You understand loneliness and rejection.
You were a refugee.
You were misunderstood, misrepresented, hated, and tortured.
You were wrongly accused in a court of law.
You were a prisoner.
You were executed without having a fair trial.
You died.

Oh, the depths that you undertook
to feel the depths of human pain
and human separation from your love and forgiveness.

What kind of love makes God willingly become
its creation--
especially a creation condemned and shamed,
who will lose his human rights and experience human death?

You were willing to die
for everyone who has ever done an evil thing.
You cover sins so numerous and so hideous,
so inexcusable
yet somehow, forgivable.

A willing prisoner,
a willing death,
to free me from the prison of myself.

Amen.


"God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land." (Psalm 68:6)

A prayer for your college student

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Oh, Lord,

My heart is heavy, and my anxiety is heightened, so my soul looks to you. Only you can help me to rest in your plans and your protection for my college student as he returns to school.

I lift up my college student to you
and place him into your care.

Guard his mind from harmful influences,
from secular reasoning and humanistic values,
from fundamentalist and judgmental attitudes
that create pride and harden hearts.

Holy Spirit, speak daily into his heart and mind,
reminding him of truth and life.
When he is bombarded with secular philosophies and agendas,
give him intuition and question truth to seek answers from your Word.
Strengthen his courage to stand for justice and righteousness in a world gone crazy with hate and violence.

Surround him with a Christian community and friend group (even one person, Lord!).
Help him to make deep friendships quickly with students and teachers who will edify and encourage him,
who will not degrade or deride him, but will strengthen my stud…

A prayer for the lonely parent during the school year

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Dear Father,

You know how much it aches to be away from your children
because you long for us.
You want to talk to us all day
and walk with us and eat with us.

So you get how this feels to be separated from your child--
regardless of how big he (or she) is--
for an entire school year,
especially for a college school year.

Wow, this hurts.
Such a deep, fearful ache.

Help me to bear it by trusting my child with you--
he is in your care,
and you can do a better job than I can.

Give me a new focus here at home,
another calling to help someone else
and the courage to operate in a new role with my student.

Give me wisdom about how much to text
when to call,
and how much to help.
And when to stop myself.
Give me the courage to give him space
and let him  fail.
Give me grace to help him fail without
life-altering consequences--
if that's possible--
and even more grace to forgive and love
when he's make a wreck of everything.

Help me to celebrate successes of the soul,
to encourage cha…

Thank you for rescuing my friend

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Dear Father in Heaven,

Thank you for working powerfully in my friend's life.
You have rescued yet one more person from self-destruction and certain derailment.
You showed yourself powerful, just, and loving.

I never doubted you would,
but I wasn't sure how you would do it.

I am always amazed by your love and grace.
Your timing is marvelous.
You remind me that you are sovereign--
your will is perfect--
and you are not rushed by human anxiety or human deadlines.

And why would you be?
You are God Almighty.

Thank you for that, also.
Amen.


Psalm 44:6--Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.

Praying for a friend

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Dear Lord,

I lift up my friend to you.
She's going through a rough time,
making hard decisions,
doubting your love,
doubting herself.
Angry, discouraged, and hurt by this complicated thing called life,
hating the feeling of being a victim,
doubting she'll ever be a champion,
not feeling much like she's your daughter
and your her Abba Father.

Please, Holy Spirit,
remind her today
of who you are and what you will do.
Flood over her with unexplainable peace,
hope,
and love.
Surround, envelop, and calm her.
Take her little hand in yours and give it a reassuring squeeze.

You are God Almighty.
You love her
with an everlasting love
and an eternal plan to prosper her,
grow her,
and protect her.

Help her to feel your protection and love today
through the love of your other children.
Through me.
Give her wisdom to cling to
through the words in your Word.
Open her heart and mind to trust you once again.

Use me and use other people
to remind her how much you care
and how much she has …

You make me shake my head

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Oh, Lord,

You astound me and make me feel grateful.

When I look around my world--my house and work and family--or when I behold your natural creation of mountains and oceans and fields, I just shake my head with wonder.

Wow.

Thank you.

Thank you for my family, my home, my church, all which sometimes frustrate me.
Thank you for my freedom, which I take for granted.
Thank you for life and health, which I really take for granted.
Thank you for my mind, which isn't as quick as it used to be, but it's a blessing nevertheless.
Thank you for the beauty of the world, for all its variety:
for the marvelous expanse of nature
and also for the cities and countries filled with people, who I misunderstand or don't think about at all.
Thank you for your living Word, which I don't read as much as I should, although it inspires and changes me.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you through the church, which I often make about fulfilling me instead of about honoring you.

Thank you f…

A prayer for tired people

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Lord,

I'm tired, and it's early.
I'm not sure if it's the Holy Spirit,
common sense,
or my mother's voice inside my head,
but I'm hearing "Get more sleep."

Another voice says "Take a nap,"
but that might be my college self crying out from the past.

I'm wondering if you could sprinkle me with a little holy adrenaline?
I just drank some caffeine
and took my vitamins.
I would go for a quick walk, but I've just eaten.
I'll take my shower now.

But all of that will wear off,
and the tiredness will return.

You know how I feel?
Of course you do.
You even napped in a boat--during a storm!--
which I could never do because I have motion-sickness.

Okay, I'll try to go to bed early.
Thanks for the conversation.

Amen.

A daily prayer for your children

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Dear Heavenly Father,

I give you my children into your hands to protect, guide, convict, and grow. I pray over my children the words you gave the Israelites when you instructed them to impress your commands on their children's hearts. I need your help to do this well.

Help me to impress on my children: to love you with all their heart, soul, and mindto carefully obey all your commandsto think about you and understand you during their daily tasks and their journey through lifeto memorize your holy Word, so it will grow in their hearts and produce godly attitudesto fear (respect) you; to be in awe of your majestyto keep their hearts from idolizing people and thingsto take your authority seriously--not to test you or ridicule you or disregard youto do right and good, whether they are alone or with othersto recognize your hand of blessing throughout their lives and to remember your interactions on their behalfto discern your voice and your expectations from the world's, and to dist…

Prayer over a child's opportunity

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Dear Lord God and Holy Spirit,

My child has an opportunity today--
one of those many milestones we parents feel are so important.
And they are, for succeeding in this world's system
and for maturing into an adult.

I give him once again into your hands.
You have his future in mind.
You created him for this moment
and for the million moments
before and after today.
You know how each part fits together.

Thank you for the thousand times you protected him,
the thousand times you comforted, encouraged, convicted.
May he feel your presence around him and before him today.

Give him courage to be honest about himself.
Give him confidence to see what you're already doing in him and for him.
Give him wisdom beyond his years.
Give him optimism and boldness--
enough to propel him toward your will
and enough to steer him through the trials that will come.

You crafted him.
You called him
You saved him.
And you gave him to me for a little while.

Thank you for the blessing of being his mother

What to pray when you're angry

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Lord,

Set a watch over my mouth.
Help me not to sin when I'm angry.
I mean, right now.
Clamp me down.
You can take care of this problem
if I just wait and listen
and behave like Jesus would.

(Wow, this is going to be hard.)
Once again, help me!

Amen.

“'In your anger do notsin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." (Eph. 4:26)