Saturday, December 29, 2018

Prayer over a miscarriage

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 makes me doubt your love and your will.

I want to trust your plan for me completely.
I must look back on my history with you
and your history with mankind to find the faith I need right now.
You are only love and grace and mercy.
You give and take away from a place of love and protection.
You understand my pain because you've lived it.

Keep my baby safe and secure.
I hope to see him or her one day when I enter your presence.
Thank you for that.

And please make me a mother again, in your timing and for your glory.

I will trust you, even in loss.
You are good,
and you only do good.
I love you.

Amen.

"I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul." Psalm 31:7

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas prayer for you

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.


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Christmas Prayer of Gratitude

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 for your overflowing kindness and blessing.
And Happy Birthday!

In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Isaiah 9:6

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Praying forgiveness on believers who who cause trouble in the church

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 your lovingkindness on them.
I pray for the Holy Spirit to speak truth and correction into their lives.

Please redeem the bitterness and anger in these families.
I ask forgiveness for them.
Send them people who will show your love and encouragement.

But most of all, lavish your love and grace on the body of Christ,
and make us resilient and long-suffering.

These are miracles only you can do.

Amen.

Friday, December 7, 2018

A prayer of hope for the holidays

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.
Hope is the essence of Christmas.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending Jesus to be the Savior of the world.
Thank you for saving me!
I am awed by your sacrifice, by your love, and by your plans for mankind.
You are my hope, my comfort, and my joy.
You are my everything.
I trust you--
and by doing that, I worship you,
my Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Amen.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Prayer

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.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What to pray after someone dies

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 them support from people who speak love,
who speak seldom, yet are present.
Give them friends to fill the empty spaces left by their loved one's home-going.

Lord, God, heal their broken hearts, I beg you.
And give me the empathy to keep them always in my prayers and actions.

Amen.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Thank you for the hard things

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.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Prayer and fasting



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 before the Lord and will each turn from their wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the Lord are great.”

Perhaps.

Perhaps something will happen. Perhaps hearts will change. This is the reason to fast--for my heart and for other people's hearts.

The Jews were in rebellion against God. Their prayer, fasting, and listening to God's words provided an intentional act of repentance, after which God was willing to hear their requests and not punish them for their sin. 

If you keep reading, you'll find that the people responded to God's words and asked their leaders to take the Lord's warning to the king. They wanted to change. The king, incidentally, said "no" and searched for Jeremiah to imprison him. The king had not prayed and fasted. Although he heard God's words, he did not respond with humility and repentance, like his people did. He said "no." and God fulfilled His promise to punish the king with exile and death. But God promised the people they would be returned to their land one day.

Their prayer and fasting--their listening hearts--would redeem future generations.

Perhaps we can affect change for future generations as well, if only we would deny ourselves and listen to the Lord.

Friday, November 9, 2018

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

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 of your forefather Jonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered." Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty the God of Israel says: "Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.' " (Jer. 35:18-19)

My Prayer:

Lord Almighty, give me the courage to obey you when it's hard.
Give me the faith to continue obeying what I know in my heart is the right thing to do, even when everyone around me is doing something different.
I pray for my family to always follow you.
I pray that they will serve you, against the tide of culture.
I pray they will emphasize and value the condition of the heart, not the sum of their belongings.
I ask for you to give all my children and grandchildren spouses who honor and obey your commands.
I pray that they will never fail to serve you, all the days of their lives.
May we live "in tents," realizing that the temporary securities of this world will not satisfy nor provide security for living.
Make me a strong example of faithfulness, servanthood, and obedience to your laws and my own conscience.
Help my family to weigh decisions against your word and hold fast the boundaries you have placed for us.
I ask for this blessing on my family for generations, believing that you will do it.
In Jesus' powerful name,
Amen.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A prayer about getting involved

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,
the need, perhaps, that I have been overlooking.

You've been calling me to mission all along.
I must involve myself in your work.
Forgive me for not seeing the needs everywhere.

I love you.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Matthew 25:35-45

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Praying for big and little needs


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


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Prayer over the synagogue shooting

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 pray for people like him, with hatred in their hearts,
to be convicted and transformed into people of compassion and understanding.

I pray for healing,
forgiveness,
and justice
for the victims and their families.

No good comes from violence
but somehow, you can make something beautiful from something tragic.
I pray for better legislation,
better justice,
more community.

I pray for more of you in this confused and godless land.
Send a wave of revival, Lord.
May those of us who know you
represent you well
as a God of love and forgiveness.
Keep us from hating for the haters.
Transform us into your image.

Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A prayer of deliverance from spiritual bondage

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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Intercession for Costa Rica

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 mighty warriors.
I ask for the Holy Spirit to fall on their homes and churches.

Inspire and provide for their pastors and pastors--
help them understand the Word and articulate it clearly.
Fill the churches with a passion to reach their communities.

I pray for the missionary structure and the language school in San Jose.
Raise up valiant leaders and visionaries.
Equip them with resources and energy to start new ministries
and reach more people.
I pray that the mission teams who travel there would be an asset,
not a drain,
on the missionary work.
Help us to give generously, advance the kingdom and re-energize the missionaries.

I pray for your work to flourish.
We wait for you and on you
to do your mighty acts on our behalf.

We love you and worship you!
Amen.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Prayer of Power for a mission trip

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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Praying success over my child

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 care for him.
Amen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bring down this enemy

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 the full weight of your punishment.

Mete out justice for your children,
affirm to them your love and grace.
You are the Mighty One,
the Holy Father,
the Righteous Judge.
Avenge the injustice against your followers
with swift and heavy punishment of those who oppose you.

May you have mercy on his soul,
and may we all live in awe of your righteousness and love.


Amen.

Psalm 18:13-15
Psalm 55:15-23

Friday, September 7, 2018

A prayer of imprisonment and freedom


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)

Monday, August 27, 2018

A prayer for your college student

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 student in his faith and abilities.

Make him missional; give him compassion for souls
and perspective on this life and the next.
Bring people who are searching for truth across his path
so he can be a testimony of your love and grace.

Keep him from loneliness and isolation.
Make his school life fun and enjoyable!
I ask for new challenges and new opportunities in learning, socialization,
exploration of his own personality and interests,
all filtered through a God worldview
so he doesn't lose himself in vain pursuits.

Expose him to new opportunities,
to broaden his mind, to develop of love of learning,
to explore new things and find the calling you've designed him to fulfill.
Bring him a mentor to encourage him in this endeavor
and open doors for relationships, internships, job opportunities.
His future is in your hands--give him the wisdom to choose correctly.

Thank you for the gift of loving and raising this young adult
whom I entrust to you as you've entrusted him to me.

I can't wait to see what you will do with this precious life!
Amen.

Friday, August 24, 2018

A prayer for the lonely parent during the school year

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 character,
to praise personality,
and to limit encouragement surrounding accomplishments.
Help me to value my child for the way you created him to be,
and not for the successes he is able to achieve by the world's standards.

He is precious to you,
and precious to me
for who he is.
And you have loaned him to me
to encourage him into becoming a godly adult
who loves you, serves you, and is a blessing to everyone around him.

Quench my loneliness and replace it with joy.
You have blessed me beyond all measure.

Amen.

Thank you for rescuing my friend

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.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Praying for a friend

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 to hope for.

You are God.
You never forget our troubles
or downplay our struggles.
In fact, you are always at work behind the scenes,
preparing for our victories.

Thank you.
I love you.
I trust you with my life and with hers.

Amen.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

You make me shake my head

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 for your love, grace, patience, and encouragement while I wrestle with my humanity, my self-centeredness, and my fear.

You make me shake my head.
Why do you love me?
Why do you even bother?
I must be so aggravating to watch.
I keep struggling with the same lessons, the same problems, the same habits.
And yet you wait, you love, you remind, you cheer.

Thank you.

Amen.

"Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep . . . How priceless is your unfailing love!" (Psalm 36:5-7)



Friday, July 27, 2018

A prayer for tired people

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.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

A daily prayer for your children

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 mind
  • to carefully obey all your commands
  • to think about you and understand you during their daily tasks and their journey through life
  • to memorize your holy Word, so it will grow in their hearts and produce godly attitudes
  • to fear (respect) you; to be in awe of your majesty
  • to keep their hearts from idolizing people and things
  • to take your authority seriously--not to test you or ridicule you or disregard you
  • to do right and good, whether they are alone or with others
  • to recognize your hand of blessing throughout their lives and to remember your interactions on their behalf
  • to discern your voice and your expectations from the world's, and to distance themselves from accepting falsehood and fallacies
If you are able to impress your heart and mind on theirs, then they will bring you glory, and you will prosper them. May they always seek the prosperity that can be measured in eternity, rather than prosperity on earth! May they live lives worthy of your sacrifice.

Thank you for my children. I give them to you, today and every day. Make me strong enough and faith-filled enough to let you keep them in your care!

Amen.




Friday, July 6, 2018

Prayer over a child's opportunity

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
and the challenge of being his compass.

I humbly ask you to guide and direct him,
to pour out your blessings on his life,
to fill him with your spirit.

In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Monday, July 2, 2018

What to pray when you're angry

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 not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." (Eph. 4:26)