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A prayer for my child's wedding day

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Oh, Lord of heaven,
Lover of our souls,
Bridegroom of the Church,
Savior of all who seek you--

I bring you my most earnest request,
my adoration,
my intercession,
my thanksgiving.

Today is my son's wedding day.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this life you entrusted to me.
I am so humbled to be his mother.
Thank you for this gift,
for this child I prayed for before his conception
and every day since.
Thank you for his bride,
whom I've prayed for since my son's birth.

You have loved us with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3)
You are loving and faithful,
even when we are untrue and unfaithful to you.
I cannot praise you enough.

Hover over our day with your Presence.
Infuse our wedding celebrations with your Spirit.
Fill the bride and groom with gratefulness and praise to you.
Go before them and behind them and beside them through life.
Keep them as the apple of you eye.

May be all reflect your lovingkindness today.
May we rejoice and be glad in the abundance of your blessings

A prayer for space to hear

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Speak to me, Lord.

I'm listening.

I'm preparing the sanctuary of my soul so you can enter and sit with me.

And so I can hear you.

I'm making room in my thoughts and beliefs for you to change me and direct me.

I need you.

So I will sit here and wait to hear from you.

Wait to feel you and know you.

Wait until my heart transforms from cynical to celebrating, from afraid to expectant, from bitter to grateful.

I will wait.

Only through this silent waiting will I find the sense to shut out the noise of this world.

Only in stillness can I can experience your love and wisdom.

Forgive me for my self-focus and my judgment of others.

Direct me toward the work you have for me today.

Give me strength, patience, and courage to do it.

Sustain my spirit, so I don't give up.

Speak to me, Lord.

Oh, please, don't stop speaking to me.

In Jesus' name,

Amen.


For this is what the Lord says—
he who created the heavens,
he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
he founded it;
he did no…

Broaden my path

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Lord God,

I feel hemmed in right now,
Physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually.
In a woods, looking for a clear way out.
The world is overwhelming, isn't it?

I feel exhausted from the hectic pace of running a new schedule while trying to maintain the old one.
I feel drained--completely void of compassion and empathy--when in fact, I do care about so many things.
I have worn myself out caring.
I feel the urgency to educate myself about the crises all around me.
I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to open my heart to bigger faith--to hope and dream for your will to be done in ways I can't even imagine.

But you are not worried about how I will process all this or if I will fail.
You will broaden my path, if I keep walking in your light.
You will enlarge my territories, if I push out into a dangerous world.
You will strengthen me and do the impossible through me.

I will not stumble.
I will not fall.
I will not fail, if I keep following you.

Lord, keep me on your path, …

Praise for the Lord's justice and mercy

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A prayer of praise and justice from Psalm 98

Shout to the Lord, everyone!
Break out your instruments and singing!
Your worship is a beautiful symphony to God's ears.
Everything on the earth should shout the praises of the Lord.
Even the rivers, the ocean, the hills, and the animals praise the Lord through their creation.

Why do we withhold our faith and our worship?
Because we see the unfairness of this world?
Because we harbor ambition, hate, and envy in our hearts?
We distrust the plans of the Lord.

His way is good, and He does good.
He judges the wickedness of the world in his own time.
He will bring justice and mercy according to his nature.
All the nations will know that he is the Lord, and there is none other.

Praise the Lord, the Savior of the nations!
In Jesus' name,
Amen.


Sorrow awaits us: a lament over injustice from the church

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I was reading in Luke 11 this morning. I was struck by the profound similarities between the Pharisees of Jesus' day and the evangelical church of today. More startling is Jesus' response toward them.

You might know that the Pharisees were the "bad guys" of Jesus' time--at least that's how Bible-readers like to view them, as if we are dissimilar to them in every way.

And yet, they were well-respected and revered, even feared. They were obeyed. They were the experts about what God expected from his people. In modern day vernacular, they were the pastors, the conservative right, the non-profit leaders, the worship leaders, the televangelists, the Christian authors. They were the spiritual voice for their culture.

And Jesus censured their religious rules, pointing out instead their lack of compassion and justice. Read Luke 11:37-53 to get the full effect of Jesus' words (they're harsh!).

Here is a prayer of lament crafted from Jesus' rebuke:

Lord God,

Grief, desire, & hope: a lament, a request, & a promise from Psalm 20

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Oh, Lord,

Today is a grief-day for me.
You know this.
Nothing can change that or fix this.
I can only lean into you.

I seek refuge in your arms in and the truth of your words.

Answer me in my distress.
Protect me.
Send me help from your sanctuary--
Will you give peace?
Renewed faith?
A call to action?

Surround me with your angels.
Remember my faithfulness
and forgive me of my unfaithfulness.
I confess and repent of all of it.

I know that you will give me the desires of my heart
and make all my plans succeed
because you save me when I call on you.
You reward me according to your faithfulness and goodness.

You are everlasting.
You are comfort.
You are peace.
You are enough and more than enough for me.

Thank you.
I love you,
Amen.

Psalm 20

Other prayers about grief:
Prayer to fill the grieving space
Praying comfort over grief
How to pray a Bible verse when you're grieving
How to pray when you're overwhelmed with sadness
How to pray a prayer of anguish

Other blogs about grief:
What grief …

How to love: a paraphrase and a prayer

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1 Corinthians 13 (MSG)

So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly…

Confession of disunity

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Lord, God of heaven and earth,


How your heart must grieve over the dissension and hate in the world!

You want unity here on earth, 
among your children,
so the world will know that you are a God of love.
Instead, we manifest selfishness, dissent, criticism, and hatred.

Create unity in me.

I confess my prejudice toward others who don't think like I think.
I confess my jealousy and resentment toward others who have more than me.
I confess my anger toward others who behave differently than I think they should.
I confess my excuses and my blame-shifting of my perspectives and beliefs
because I think other people are worse than me.

That creates disunity.
I want your Spirit to reign in my life,
causing love and unity toward all people,
regardless of politics, religion, race, economics, or anything else.

Create unity in our church.

I confess our selfishness because we care more about what church gives us
than we do about giving ourselves to mission.
I confess our petty bickering about politics,
because we c…

Prayer for law enforcement

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Oh, Lord,

I pray for our law enforcement.
I pray for the safety of our officers and elected officials.
I pray for the emotional and mental stamina to endure
and the spiritual awareness to do what's right in every situation,
to trust you and to trust righteousness.
I ask for the safety of their homes and families.
I pray against any more loss of life from any side.

Give our officers and leaders compassion,
mercy,
courage,
goodness,
and a godly sense of justice.

Convict those who have sinned and change their hearts toward their fellow-man.
Affirm those who have served faithfully and give them favor with everyone.

I pray for healing of their hearts and their spirits,
for the emotional damage that's been done.
May this time of unrest bring awareness rather than hostility,
a desire for fairness rather than revenge.

Lord, end the violence in this country by changing hearts.
Help us to see you,
honor you,
and uplift you in every situation and through every action.
May we stop blaming …

A prayer against hate and for love

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Oh, Lord,

You are a God of love.
I want to love you more every day.
I want to extend your love to others,
no matter who they are, what they've done, or how they feel about you and other people.

Help me to love people the way you do.

Keep me from
criticism,
judgment,
presuppositions,
assumptions,
stereotyping,
prejudice,
demonizing,
hating.

Oh, Lord, convict us of our hate.
Whether we think it,
speak it,
advocate it,
or act on it.

Lord, eradicate our hatred for one another,
on all sides,
for any reason.
Wreck us with compassion,
empathy,
understanding,
hope,
and love.

If we feel angry,
help us lean in and give.
If we feel confused,
hell us lean in and learn.
If we feel defeated,
help us lean in and persevere.
If we feel vengeful,
help us lean in and fight with righteousness.
If we feel grieved,
help us to lean in and find comfort.

You alone have the power to
change lives,
make lives matter,
give life,
renew life.

But please, Lord,
humble us so we can love others like you love us.
B…

Comfort for a crisis from Psalm 9

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Lord Jesus,

We ask your Spirit to comfort us today.
Whether we suffer with grief,
anxiety,
fear,
hurt,
anger,
betrayal,
guilt,
or hopelessness--

Come meet us.
Speak into our lives and invite us to sit in your presence.
To feel you.
To trust you.
To hear you.

We come and sit.
We wait with expectation and wonder.

We will tell of your wonders.
We will be glad and rejoice in you.
We will sing your praises
because you always uphold your righteous causes.

You will rebuke sin and arrogance.
You will blot out the names of the wicked with your vengeance
and uphold the testimony of the righteous.

You will judge the world for its sin.
You will govern us, your people, with justice.
You are refuge for the the oppressed
and a stronghold in times of trouble.
Because of your power, righteousness will not be defeated.

Those who seek you will know your name--
they will hear you call yourself by the name they most need to understand.
And that will cause them to trust in you.

Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord who provide…

"Heal Our Land" by Kari Jobe: a prayer for all of us

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Oh, Lord,

Heal our land.
I don't pray this lightly.
It will require great sacrifice,
especially from us who have never really sacrificed to protect the rights of others.

Lord, convict us of our selfishness.
May we value peace through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
May we cherish one another and love one another.
I pray for your healing to be powerful and evident to all
to bring you glory, and not to any other individual.

I bow my head and heart in worship and repentance.
Give me grace.
Change me from the inside out.
Do the painful work in me and in all those who love you--
bring about the restoration and transformation we need so desperately!

In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Below is a prayer of confession, request, and intercession through the song "Heal Our Land" by Kari Jobe. You can sing it and pray it at the same time!





Forgive us, for we have sinned: A unilateral confession of racism

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Oh Lord, the God of all peoples-

You tell us to confess our sins,
the sins of our country,
to one another
and for one another.

If we are truly righteous, we will take ownership of the sins of our land.

We have sinned for generations.
We have been arrogant, violent, heartless, and ignorant--for generations upon generations.

And now, our hatred and violence surprises us and devastates us.
Let our confession prompt your forgiveness.
Let forgiveness motivate us to make restitution to those we've sinned against.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:17)

We have worshipped our own success,
our own privilege,
our own destiny,
for generations,
to the peril of others.
We are reaping the legacy of that self-absorption and ignorance,
let alone the hatred and violence that preceded it.

"I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the paren…

Teach us to love like you

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Lord, God of love and justice,

Teach us to love like you,
and not hate in the way that comes naturally.
Not to hold grudges.
Not to act in violence.
Not to assume the worst.
Not to secretly rejoice when an enemy stumbles.
Not to have enemies.

Teach us to hate sin
and love the sinner.
We are sinners.
Each of us, is no better than another in God's eyes.
God does not love any of us more than any other,
so why should we?

Teach our leaders to love--
our governors, mayors, judges, prosecutors, and lawmakers
to govern from a place of love and righteousness,
not power, privilege, or prejudice.

By this will all men know that we are your disciples,
if we have love one for another.
We don't get to choose who to love.
That's not loving like you
because you chose all of us.
But you left the decision up to us.

Heal our land through love.
Love is justice.
Love is collective responsibility.
Love is mercy and grace and accountability.
Love is being willing to give up unjust systems
and rea…

I'm never going back: a prayer of determination

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We all struggle to follow God consistently. We all return to our nasty habits and warped way of thinking. Keep struggling--keep fighting for truth to become the loudest voice in your head.

Read the prayer below of confession and dedication. Click on the 8 prayers embedded in this one to find more encouragement to help you make the continual decision to follow God and reject your selfish nature. There is victory in Jesus! We have to stop making excuses about why we don't follow God completely or why we revise what he tells us to do (so that it fits with our lifestyle). Joy and contentment are found only in a pure relationship with God.

Lord,

It's me again.
I'm struggling.

You see me every time I go back to the things I've left behind,
when I give in to my sinful habits,
my selfish thinking,
my comfortable natural inclinations
my all-out rebellion.

I don't want to keep going back to that life,
that endless pursuit of happiness
that never feels satisfied.
I want to be…