"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone."--1 Tim. 2:1
Praying for Cuba
Dear Lord of all,
I can't stop thinking about Cuba.
I see them in their churches,
with hands raised in worship,
arms thrusting the air, feet moving,
lost in their love for you.
I see them speaking to neighbors,
telling people about Jesus,
the answer to everything.
I see them calling down the Spirit,
crying over people,
ushering in your healing power.
I see them being Jesus everywhere.
Lord, keep them safe.
Strengthen them in their love for you.
Increase their resolve to reach their country for you.
Protect them from complacency.
May your Spirit roar over them like fire.
Move through them like wind.
Alight on them like a dove.
Holy Spirit, descend on Cuba.
Oh, Lord God, give me just a taste of their passion for You!
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 FamilyDear God, Creator and Designer of all life--
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.