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Showing posts from January, 2019

A prayer about a crappy day (and a crappy attitude)

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Lord,

Help me.
I'm going through a crappy time,
and I don't want to hear anyone saying
trite little comments to me about how thankful I should be or how things will get better.
I know that.
I just don't feel that.
I've decided I'm having a pity-party.
This feels right, at the moment.
But of course, then I feel worse.
It's all selfishness.
I know that.

God, I don't know how you're going to change my heart.
This is a big ask, and a bigger commitment to repent on my part.
I need you.
I need my faith in you to grow.
I really do need someone to knock some sense into me.
Except they really should do it from a distance
because I'm likely to take a swing back.

Hmm.
Maybe I just need to find a punching bag.

Punch me.
I'll go open the Bible.
I'm sure something there will reach out and knock me upside the head.
So in advance of that happening,
thank you.

I do love you.
Please bear with me a little longer.
Amen.

1 Timothy 6:11-12--"But you, man of G…

Praying Freedom for victims of human trafficking

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Dear Lord, God of Justice,

I pray for the 40 million slaves in the world today.
This must grieve your heart.
These poor people, living in fear,
believing themselves worthless and hopeless,
not knowing You died to give them freedom.

They don't realize that you considered them so valuable,
that you sent your Son--the One and Only--
to die a horrific death, just for them.
Jesus experienced beatings, betrayal, abuse, and disrespect
so that He would understand that slaves everywhere experience.

I ask for Your Spirit to fall on them and speak truth into their hearts and minds.
I pray for them to cry out to you.
I confess their sins and speak longing for You on their behalf.
Give them hope that life can be different
and the courage to make an escape if they can.
Bring someone across their path to free them.

I pray for their owners to be seized and prosecuted.
I pray for justice for these evil-doers.
God, reign down your fire on their abusers, their masters,
their violators.
And especiall…

Prayer to fill the grieving space

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This morning I had one of those mothering moments when you ask your child to trust your "no" because you are building character into him so he can become the man God wants him to be.

Then I say that someday, he'll realize how much it mattered to have a mom who cared about these things.

Then I think about my mom and how I never realized the extent of her wisdom and love until I became a mother.

And how much I wish I could tell her that again right now. How I wish I could tell her anything at all, and how completely devastating it is to know I won't speak to her again in my lifetime. The realization returns, almost like the first time it hit me.

And I have cried off and on all day ever since. Grief sucks like that.

How can there still be so many unseen empty spaces that hold grief?

God,

Would you just fill them, please?
Would you just pour yourself into the holes of longing and loss
and smother the grief with joy and contentment.

Will you hear this lament, 
and will you come…

Prayer against the enemy of discouragement

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Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ,

I ask for you to join me in war against the enemy of discouragement.
I pray against a lack of confidence and hope for my loved one.
I pray in Jesus' name that your forces will defeat all that come against
life and love and holiness.

Bring him a miraculous intervention--
a resolution, a celebration, a season of hope and renewal--
because the forces that come with you are stronger than
the forces that come against him.

The war is already won.
But it'd be nice if you could just knock this battle out for him.
I know you want to grow him by bringing him through a valley.
He knows that.
We know that.
But life is still so hard,
and people can be so cruel.
They say things that discourage, deflate, and destroy
confidence, hope, and vision.

You understand.
Sometimes, you just can't take it anymore.

Give my loved one thick skin,
a tender touch,
and a gracious heart.
May he reach out when others push.
May he stand firm when others strike…

A prayer of blessing over the legislature

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Sometimes, we have an opportunity to present God as the author and finisher of all things to a varied group of religious, non-religious, Christian, and atheist audience.

This is always a beautiful opportunity to show love and grace. We may not be alike in theology, but we are all equally pursued by God with relentless love. We all bear His image and are designed to reflect His glory.

I think our prayers and our conversations should celebrate that calling and that likeness. Through our compassion, people come to know who God really is. Judging them actually never works.

Perhaps someday, when these lost souls are in crisis, they will remember the Christians who spoke with love and blessing--perhaps they will ask questions about who we serve and how our God cares for us. That is our hope and our calling.

Here's my husband's prayer which he spoke over the Virginia State Assembly today:

Almighty God and Creator, We come before you today to praise your name and to ask your blessing on …

Prayer about grace, for grace

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Oh, Lord God,

You are full of grace for me.
Help me to full of grace for other people--
not so quick to judge and condemn.
Not find it so easy to think ill of someone's motives
and criticize why they do the things they do
or compare myself and be jealous of them.
You give me grace, and yet I am ungracious.

I want to think of myself with "sober judgment,"
in humility, honesty, and transparency.
I am flawed.
I am sinful and selfish,
and yet you call me beautiful, holy, and desired.

That's because of your grace.
I don't deserve your love and mercy.

Give me the eyes to see everyone the way you see them.
I want to see potential,
value,
worth.
I want to see someone full of promise,
who maybe just needs a chance.
Someone full of gifting,
who needs an encourager, not a competitor.

Maybe they need someone to listen,
someone to love,
someone to affirm their value.
Someone who will point out what they're doing well
instead of what they're doing poorly.

My gifts are …

Praying to follow when I can't see the way

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Lord God, the Way-maker,

Open new pathways for me.
I feel like I'm at a dead end,
like there's no way out of this problem.

I'm trying not to look around me,
not to see the forces of
criticism,
procrastination,
confusion,
fear,
misapprehension,
self-doubt,
and down-right evil
that assault me from all sides.

I'm trying to look ahead,
to follow your voice
and see your face.
To put one foot in front of the other
in terrified obedience.

Are you out there?
Where are we going?
I can't see you.
I can't even see the path.

Remind me of you promises:
You go before me.
You go behind me.
You go with me.
You live inside me.

You feel my pain.
You created me to handle this.
You made me for this purpose.
You use everything for your glory.
You are growing me.

Where you lead me, I will follow.
You make a way, where there is no way.
I believe
you can do it again.

And so I follow you.
That's what you've told me to do.

Amen.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fil…

A parent's prayer

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Dear Heavenly Father,

You must know how I feel as a parent.
You must understand my anxiety and my fear
about the choices, beliefs, and actions that my children take.
You understand my frustration at not being good enough as a parent
and my fear that my mistakes will harm, even ruin, my kids.

Take this fear away in the mighty name of Jesus.
Block this anxiety in Jesus' name.
I pray for power and a sound mind for myself and my kids.
I ask you, God, to pour out your Spirit on them,
to surround them during their daily activities,
to re-interpret the messaging they receive through your perspective.

Speak truth to them.
Encourage, challenge, and convict them.
Place mentors and friends around them who will support faith in you.
Remove harmful influences.
Give them compassion for others, and make them the influencers of others.

Change them.
Develop them into your likeness, not mine.

And oh, God, give me patience to let you work in your time and in your way.
Help me to give them grace whe…

A New Year's prayer for the discouraged

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Dear Lord,

Remember me.
Touch me.

I'm discouraged.
I don't know what to do or where to turn.
I feel like nothing I do turns out right.
I want to give up and crawl in a hole,
but that doesn't feel good, either.

Give me the faith to trust your plan for my life.
Give me the courage to keep moving forward.
Give me vision when I'm overwhelmed.
Give me grace when I'm angry and hurt.
Give me perseverance when I want to quit.

Make me like Jesus.

That's probably what you're doing, because this process is painful.

So maybe you're up to something in my life after all.

I love you, and I'm trying to trust you.

Amen.