"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone."--1 Tim. 2:1
Prayer for a sick child
Pour out your mercy, grace, comfort, and
miraculous healing over this child
who is sick.
Death and harm are horrible thoughts and horrible possibilities.
Except for you.
Except for your power and your perfect will.
Help me to believe in your goodness and love.
Why must bad things happen to good people?
Why is the world so full of heartache and grief?
Why do you seem to withdraw when grief overwhelms us like an angry ocean?
And most of all--why must terrible things happen to the most innocent of all--
to the unborn, the children, the young, the sweet and kind ones among us?
Illness is heart-wrenching for families of children who suffer--
You can heal anyone and anything,
so why don't you always do it?
Could you do it here?
Could you please heal this child?
Would you please perform a miracle?
Show us your glory.
Change us and help us feel you close
instead of feeling the pain of your absence and the lack of your loving care for us.
Those things are not true.
You are love.
Help us not to fear.
In the powerful name of Jesus,
A Parent's prayer (for God to work in my kids)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Give me opportunities to have meaningful conversations with my children.
Help me to pray first, then listen, then encourage and support
before I correct or teach.
Help me love them how you love them,
how you love me.
You are always supporting,
You are an amazing Father.
I want to support what you are already doing in their hearts and in their lives.
Convict them of their sin.
Encourage them in their spiritual growth.
Answer their prayers.
Bless their lives.
I don't want to interfere with the Holy Spirit by trying to be another Holy Spirit.
That's not my job. It's yours.
My job is to point them to you,
no matter what age they are.
Live in me.
I surrender to your will in my life.
Live through me.
I defer to your plans for my children.
Live in my kids.
I trust that you will lead them as they follow you,
and when they don't follow you,
I trust that you will lovingly call them back.
That's the kind of Father you are.
Thank you. I love you!
A prayer for the youth group
A Prayer for souls
Oh, Lord of the harvest,
The world needs your love.
They need to know you personally.
They need to be saved from their sins.
So I'm praying for you to
send workers into the world
who will tell people about your great love
and Jesus' death to save everyone.
I am praying that you will also send me,
and that I'll actually go,
to my neighbor, to other countries,
I want to give you my time,
no matter how uncomfortable that makes me.
Harvest my soul.
Bring a harvest though me.
Change the world.
Confession, Lamentation, and Intercession over the value of human life
Dear Father Creator,
How grieved you must be over the callous attitude your creation has toward life!
I know you're not surprised because this has been reality since the beginning of time--
since Cain murdered his brother.
And parents have murdered children,
children have murdered parents,
people have waged war
and claimed to do it in your name and for your honor.
How we misrepresent you and your love for the whole world!
For each individual person,
no matter how helpless,
and how innocent.
They belong to you.
We are only custodians of your creation.
Of turtles, whales, eagles, leopards, water, earth, energy--
but especially of human life.
How can culture get this so mixed up?
I pray for your grace, patience, and conviction.
I ask for your forgiveness on behalf of those who kill innocent lives
and discount the lives of the elderly and handicapped.
I pray for your Spirit to permeate our world
and bring reason and value to every human life.
Especially our churches.
Make us a people of love, grace, and urgency.
Keep us from judgment, hate, and retribution.
Lord, I'm so embarrassed and grieved at the way Christians treat the world
because they don't believe in you or value your commands.
Of course they don't!
They are blind.
Give sight to the blind and freedom to the captive, both in mind, spirit, and body.
Use our legislature and our churches.
Change our parents and our families.
We are the light.
Help us shine brightly in a dark world!
In Jesus' name,
Praying freedom over the victims of human trafficking
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,
And especially, God, I pray for Your holy vengeance on the child-abusers,
the sex-traffickers, rapists and the pimps who own children and sell them for profit.
Either save their souls or let them feel your holy wrath.
I pray for the tortured souls enslaved all over Africa,
in Moldavia, Amsterdam, Thailand, Cambodia, Russia,
Romania, Bulgaria, and the United States.
Somehow, in Your grace and mercy,
redeem these shattered lives.
Give these broken women and girls,
these desperate men and boys.
Give them a reason to live--for You.
Save their souls and fill them with mission and calling to save others.
May I never be to satisfied with my life that I don't care about the slaves of the world--
the forced laborers, the child soldiers, the sex slaves, the child brides.
Compel and remind me to pray for them,
to advocate for them,
to join the army of people who work to free them.
We have 40 million or more people to set free on this earth.
That's a God-sized goal.
I ask You, God, because I know it's your desire--
Set them free to bring You glory.
Jesus states His purpose: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to se the oppressed free." (Luke 4:18, Isa. 61:1)
A prayer of blessing over the legislature
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 this esteemed assembly. Without your creation, your wisdom, and your lovingkindness, we are incapable of accomplishing any good in this desperate world. We ask for you to empower this great body to champion justice for the oppressed, to administer grace to the fallen, healing to the sick, and restoration to the broken. Give each of us discernment as we interact with one another and wisdom as we handle problems. I ask and pray for a spirit of unity and harmony as it relates to policies that help the Commonwealth of Virginia and respect as it relates to our differences. May this state and this city be a blessing to everyone.
In the powerful name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might win some." 1 Corinthians 9:22
Christmas Prayer for you
Prayer and FastingOften, 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):
How to change a Bible story into a prayer for your familyI'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)
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,
A Prayer about getting involved
Dear Lord Jesus 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,
Prayer over the synagogue shooting
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,
Protect their hearts from the pain of violent words,
from the cowards,
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,
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,
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.
Intercession for Costa RicaLord 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!
A prayer for your college studentOh, 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!
A prayer for the lonely parent during the school year
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
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.
A prayer for a friend
I lift up my friend to you.
She's going through a rough time,
making hard decisions,
doubting your love,
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,
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,
and protect her.
Help her to feel your protection and love today
through the love of your other children.
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.
I love you.
I trust you with my life and with hers.
A Daily prayer for your 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
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,
Prayer for the Immigrant and RefugeeDear Father of the fatherless,
I pray your compassion and mercy over the world's immigrants and refugees.
May I always welcome the lost and weary in Jesus' name.
Give me courage to defend the fatherless,
to assist the widow,
to welcome the stranger,
to offering healing to the sick,
to rescue the oppressed.
May we never see nationality, creed, or culture
because You don't see them.
You see people--
hungry, afraid, terrorized, hurting,
displaced, marginalized, misunderstood, resourceless.
These are problems created by humans against humans.
And these problems interfere with seeing You.
Convict me when that's all I see.
Use me to show Jesus' love through what I do and what I say.
Keep me from political agendas instead of prayerful purpose.
If I truly want to be like You,
this is how I will behave
and what I will believe.
"Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor."--Ezekiel 22:7
"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."--Micah 6:8
Praying for Healing and Restoration
Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals--
Please protect and heal my loved one today.
You created him,
You love him,
You have a purpose for him.
It is Your nature to heal, restore, and renew.
Please grant healing and restoration to him today so he can continue the calling You've given him.
I trust You, and I trust Your will.
I give You control (because You already have it), and
I will show that by giving You myself and my worries.
Rapha, Healer, You make all things new and beautiful.
Heal my tired spirit and my anxious heart.
Make me like You,
full of hope and joy.
Forgive me for the many times that I doubt because I don't see healing happening like I want it to.
Healing is Your call.
Your perfect will.
I love You.
Praying for Cuba
Confessing someone else's sins
Lord God, the Holy One--
You are gracious and full of awesome power and purity.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.
I come today on behalf of someone else.
I want to pray for ________'s repentance,
so first I must ask you to forgive me of my wrong-doing and selfishness.
Convict and remove all the little pet sins I shelter in my life,
the things I say aren't a big deal.
Root them out.
I'll brace myself.
I know it will hurt a little to be honest with myself and change my will and behavior.
But when I do, I will have peace.
Forgive me, please.
So now I ask you to forgive __________. I confess on his/her behalf.
Forgive him/her for rebellion, selfishness, pride, and ignorance of Your laws and Your expectations.
Moses confessed for Israel, and even though they rarely repented,
You had compassion on them,
for Moses' sake.
You showed grace and mercy and lovingkindness.
Because someone cared enough to ask You for it.
Show Your lovingkindness to __________.
Put a wall of protection around _________,
not to keep him/her from consequences--
because sin always has consequences--
but to keep __________ from total devastation.
Insert someone into his/her path,
someone to speak truth,
to represent Your love authentically,
to dislodge the lies, the myths, and the willful rejection of Your plan for his/her life.
I confess it all and beg Your mercy and grace for _________.
Draw him/her to Yourself.
You are the only thing that satisfies.
You, the Holy One.
image by Barbara Jackson
Praying Peace and Destiny over Your Spouse*(If you're a husband, switch all the him, he, and his to her, she, and her!)
Dear Lord God Almighty,
You've created my spouse with special care.
You've fashioned his mind to process and his temperament to respond
in the exact way You want it to.
You've given him the ability to lead and follow,
to be patient and impatient,
to be confident and worried,
to wait and to act.
Your wisdom tells him what to do when.
Protect him from discouraging influences,
from critics, cynics, fools, and braggarts.
Send Your angels to guard the mission You've designed for him
and guard his heart from discouragement and disappointment.
When he sees the enemy, may he give those souls over to You.
May he love his enemies with Your love.
Speak to him. Send whispers of hope shivering through his soul.
Touch his memory and imagination with creativity that can only come from You.
Make his heart feel light and happy,
even while it carries a heavy weight.
Only through You can he manage the load You've given him to carry.
And only Your Spirit will give him the courage to drop all the other loads he carries
that he doesn't need to shoulder.
Give him peace.
Give him wisdom.
Make him intuitive, thoughtful, and kind beyond his natural ability.
May he always walk in Your Spirit, Your grace, and Your strength.
I pray Your blessings on him.
May they rain down on his life like a cascade of waters,
filling up the empty places and overflowing his days with joy and contentment.
May he be content in following You alone.
Move mountains for him,
and move mountains with him.
I pray that the lives he touches and the children he raises
be exceptional followers of You.
I pray Your peace and blessing over his life and over his work.
Thank You for the privilege and responsibility of being his spouse.
In Jesus' name,
image by alex grichenko
Prayer for Charlottesville
Lord, Comforter and Redeemer,
Take these troubled times and bring good from them.
Somehow, throw your spirit of comfort like a mantle over the grieving,
over those traumatized by the Charlottesville rally,
and most of all over those injured and killed there.
Infiltrate their homes and their conversations--
let your spirit be felt.
Comfort those grieving for loved ones lost through senseless violence.
Bring justice, swift and sure.
Not revenge. That is not your way.
But justice, peace, and sanity
to a situation raging out of control.
May this tragedy in Charlottesville wake up a sleepy country
to the ravages of deep-seated prejudice and hatred.
Somehow, draw us toward your spirit of wisdom,
fill us with a desire and determination to be
loving, forgiving, compassionate, determined.
Give us the courage to stand for righteousness,
to shirk stubbornness and pride,
to abhor hatred.
And even while you work so great a miracle,
lighten the heavy hearts of those closest to the tragedy.
and protect Virginia.
Protect our country from another century of malice and bigotry.
We worship you and thank you for your
love, compassion, justice, and mercy.
We will never be worthy of your grace!
image by George Hodan
Intercession for our countryDear Lord,
A Prayer of Destiny over my Family
I ask for your blessing over my family. Not success--not wealth--not even continual happiness. I beg for your perfect will to be accomplished in their lives. I pray for their destiny--for you to have the freedom to use them like you want to use them.
You created each of them with specific skills, personalities, talents, intuitions, and inhibitions. Oh, Lord, may you have the freedom to use them to their fullest potential. Give my children and husband tender hearts to the Holy Spirit and courageous spirits in a stress-filled world. Help them look above the chaos and see your face and hear your voice.
Speak into their souls--may they may room to hear you in the quiet places of their lives--and give the the determination to respond in obedience. To step out in faith. To start objectives. To participate in mission. To stand against sin. To not blend in.
Make them bold, missional, fearless, confident in you alone. And give them friends and wives (including me) who will encourage their spirits and calm their fears. May we all be useful in your service.
I speak the name and love of Jesus over them, the One and Only, the Alpha and Omega. Be everything to them. May they never find fulfillment or satisfaction in anything but you.
In Jesus' holy and powerful name,
image by Amy Robinson
A Memorial Day prayerDear God of all comfort,
Settle over the families today who are missing their loved ones. Reach into those painful places and smooth the fear and anger; stave off the bitterness, and help them find joy today. Give them new purpose and vision--help them to envision and begin a new life without the ones they've lost.
Lord of heaven, comfort us as a nation. I don't ask that you make our lives easy, because nothing with value was ever easy. But give us passion and purpose to live for you, and in so doing, serve our fellow-man. Make us Christ-followers first and Americans second. May our patriotism grow from a love of countryman, not a hatred of foreigners.
Lead the citizens of this land to be strong, compassionate, and honest leaders. May we be a people of integrity--that is what brings honor to the dead. Leadership inspires future heroes. Make us leaders who hold human lives above personal values, ambition, and pride. May we see justice through your eyes alone.
I pray over our nation and over those hurting today to find rest, comfort, and resilience in your Spirit. May we be a nation that seeks after you.
In Jesus' holy name,
"It is for freedom that Christ as set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. . . . You, my brother, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighhor as yourself.'" (Gal. 5:1, 13-15)
A Challenge for the National Day of Prayer
It's our National Day of Prayer.
What would happen if our entire nation prayed for souls?
What if, instead of praying over health care and guns and civil rights and freedom of religion and safety against terrorism and Christians in politics (all good things to pray about)--
What if we focused, not on what they do, but why they do it--
what if we were grieved by our own sinful hearts instead of grieved over the disruptions into our personal liberties and intrusions into our excessive lives?
What if we were willing, like Paul--to be poured out as a drink offering?
To be sacrificed for a greater cause--
for a national and global reawakening?
Are we willing to pray like that?
"But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
A prayer for Earth Day
Lord, Creator of the Earth,
Lord, help us to protect and care for your earth,
because that's the job you gave mankind to do.
May our care for Earth point us toward you!
Lord, may the whole earth see you today
in your sunrise and sunset,
in the flowers and trees,
in the animal kingdom,
in the fury of storms and the radiance of daylight.
Lord, may each of us display grace, mercy, kindness, and love
because that's who you are
and we are made in your image.
May the whole earth sing your praises
and revel in your majesty.
The earth is yours, and we all belong to you.
I pray your Spirit over the earth.
Lord, bring souls to yourself today
because they see you everywhere they look.
Help me reflect your glory and goodness today.
May I not despair, worry, or panic
because the earth is filled with violence and abuse.
You are moving rulers and changing nations.
You will bring all glory to yourself.
I trust you,
and I worship you!
"All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations."
image by Dawn Hudson
image by Dawn Hudson
A Prayer for my Teenager
A raw intercessionDear Lord Jesus Christ--
You are full of mercy and love,
and you amaze me
because we are a desperate and sinful people,
and yet you don't annihilate us.
At least, not yet.
And so I pray to you.
Grant us mercy--give us time to repent.
On behalf of those who serve you,
if we have pleased you with our rare and paltry obedience,
please go with us into the earth.
Forgive the arrogance and selfishness of us, your name-bearers.
We misrepresent who you are to your world.
We are stubborn and rebellious.
We elevate our own agendas.
We hate the lost, and we compete with our brothers,
and we call it Christianity.
Please forgive our wickedness.
Our sin is grievous to you,
and it confuses your message of forgiveness to the world.
Under the canopy of spiritual election,
we have confused freedom with grace,
conservatism with purity,
and protection with compassion.
Your heart must be breaking at the sight of us.
We bear your name,
and we look nothing like you.
Make us your inheritance,
the recipients of your blessings--
not because we deserve ease and comfort (because we don't!)--
but because your name is Jesus,
the One and Only,
the Lover of our Souls,
the Hope of All Creation.
Covenant with us to use us in spite of our egotism,
to transform us in spite of our failures.
May your name be glorified on earth
forever and ever.
(taken from Ex. 34:8-9)
image by George Hodan
Pray Psalm 1 over your Husband
Dear Lord, the Husband of my soul,
You have blessed me with a husband here on earth.
I ask you to pour out your blessing on him because you are good,
not because he or I deserve your blessing.
Guide his feet down the path of righteousness,
Guard his ears from acknowledging worldly advice or accepting godless counsel.
Keep him from forming friendships with people who mock truth and stymie mission.
Give him joy in your presence.
May he delight in you and in your truth!
Help him to crave your Word,
to read and reflect on the truth you reveal to him.
Give him the wisdom to hear your voice and the courage to obey your commands.
Nourish his soul so he grows like a tree
with deep roots of solid faith
and branches heavy with spiritual fruit.
In your power, help him impact souls and change lives.
Help him to stay strong in you--not to grow weary or discouraged,
not to break under the stress of this world.
Give him prosperity in the kingdom of God
and help him remember that is the only place true success exists.
Protect him from superficiality,
from becoming ineffective or powerless in your work.
May he stand strong under fire;
may he submit to conviction;
may he shine bright in a dark world!
You are watching over him.
You are guiding him in your will and in your mission.
He will not waste his life, as the wicked do.
Thank you, Lord.
He is yours, and I worship you.
Prayer modeled after Psalm 1
image by Kevin Phillips
A Prayer for Veterans
Lord God of Mercy,
You know the pain of war and the inner workings of the human mind and emotions. I ask Your presence to fall upon the veterans of our countries today. Be Jehovah-Rapha, the God of healing to them.
Administer grace to the anguished and guilty. Lavish love on the lonely and forgotten. Help those of us to reach out to them, we who can't begin to understand the pain of participating in war or living with someone who's been traumatized by war.
Help us be a people who understands and appreciates the pain of others. Give us mercy and love for the marginalized. Let us not hate those who differ from us, but let us not also ignore and embrace sin because we are too afraid to reflect Your glory in our confused world.
We need Your wisdom, today and everyday. But I ask that today, above all days, uplift the hearts of servicemen and women, encouraging them in the power of God. Make Your Church a lighthouse to the wandering heart and the weary soul.
In Jesus' name,
image by George Hodan
Intercession for the Grieving
Lord of Heaven, the Great Comforter,
You, above all others, understand grief. You have experienced the anguish of being separated from the ones You love.
So I pray confidently to ask for peace and comfort for my friends, who are grieving the loss of their father and husband. No matter how long someone lives, it is never long enough for those who love him.
Saturate this family and friends with joy at his home-going and calm over the empty space in their hearts. Help them remember everything about his life and his love with thankfulness and happiness. Although they grieve, give them a grief that's overshadowed by praise of a life well-lived and a hope of eternal glory. Surround them with old friends and give them the blessing of hearing how he has impacted the world for Christ.
And during the quiet moments and the darkness of night, send your Spirit to sit with them, hold them, and speak truth into their aching hearts.
In Jesus' loving name, Amen.
"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope." (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
image by Pennie Gibson
How to Pray God's Word over Your KidsDo you pray Scriptures over your children? Colossians 1:3-14 is one of my favorite passages to pray over my kids. When I speak the words that Paul wrote to his spiritual children in Colossae, I feel the invocation of God's Spirit over them. What could be more powerful than praying words that God inspired himself? Here's how to do pray God's words over your kids:
1. Direct your words towards God. When you read a passage in the Bible that you want to pray to God, say the words to him. For instance, Paul says We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. You can pray this to God by saying, "Lord, you are my gracious father, and you love me as you love Jesus; thank you for giving me my children." Already, you've put yourself in a correct frame of mind to intercede. (God loves you, and He is a good father. He wants to answer your prayers!)
2. Apply the words to your children. If the Bible says something like we have not stopped praying for you, you can re-phrase that into a prayer by praying, "Help me to continually lift up my children to you in prayer, instead of trying to control circumstances myself." Then do it.
3. Intercede for your kids, using God's words. For example, if the Bible says For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness, make intercession by saying: "Rescue them from the darkness and the enslavement of this world and its temptations. Intercept their lives through individuals and through conversations that point them toward You and away from this world."
Here's an example of how I pray this passage in Colossians:
I thank you for the blessing of my children! I ask in Jesus' name for you to guide me as I point them toward you and your will. I ask that you would help them live a life worthy of you, to please you in every way, to bear spiritual fruit, and to grow in the knowledge of God. Strengthen them with all power and give them endurance, patience, joy, and thankfulness. Lead them in a lifestyle that qualifies them to share in your inheritance in glory. Guide them into kingdom-thinking, to love only things with eternal value! Thank you for forgiving their sins, inspiring them to change, and calling them to participate in your mission. Convict, encourage and strengthen them, and give them discernment and wisdom over all things--what they see, what they hear, what they do, what they believe. Speak to them and through them, with the power of the Holy Spirit. I praise you and thank you for what you're going to do in their lives and in my life, as their mother, because I've been privileged to know them and love them. I ask all these things--believing that you will accomplish and exceed my wildest dreams--in the powerful name of Jesus,
A Prayer for my Church for the New YearHe has given us a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.--from Psalm 40:3
Give us miraculous vision
and fill us with courage to implement it.
Make us radiant with your love
yet make us transparent in our weaknesses.
Enlarge our territory in this world
yet keep us humble about our own contribution.
Give us an eternal and earthly legacy
that leads only back to You.
Prayer for ParisJehovah-Rapha, the God of healing--
We ask for your power of love and hope to reign down on France, particularly the families traumatized by Friday's terrorist attack. We know you will bring good from this tragedy, although it's hard to see how. Inspire the Christians in Paris show the love of Jesus to their hurting city. I pray for the world to show support and fraternity to France, to lend aid, and to share the love of God. May this tragedy also draw all of us into closer relationship with You. We ask you to heal hearts, to convict evil-doers. and to help the suffering to search for You.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
Praying around the House
Today this devotional of mine was posted by Guideposts online.