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Showing posts from 2021

A prayer for comfort

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  Oh, Lord, our Comfort and our Hope-- I'm grieving a loss. I don't have anywhere to turn but you. I don't know what to say or how to feel. I can't navigate the breadth of my emotions and fears. Only your words and your truth can help me rest in the peace that you alone are my Rock and my Fortress. You are my Stronghold ( Psalm 18:2 ).  I don't need to be afraid. But I am. So help me steer through the fear and the pain to the hope that waits on the other side of grief. When I'm ready-- and every time I'm not ready-- you are present to comfort and re-orient me. Your words are truth, and I will eat them ( Jeremiah 15:16 ). Thank you. In Jesus' name, Amen. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of

In the presence of my enemies

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"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies . You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. " (Psalm 23:5-6) Well,  Lord, It's been that kind of year. Hard . I know you understand. You know what it's like to sit surrounded by enemies, to know that people are not what they always portray themselves to be, even while they sit next to you and join your life. You know that anyone can say "Lord, Lord," even while they hurt the Church and the world. So you inspired David to sing:     "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies... my cups overflows." ( Psalm 23:5 ) You chose Israel as your special people,  even though they worshipped idols and forgot you again and again. You chose Judas Iscariot to be one of your twelve most intimate friends. You knew he'd betray you, and you picked him anyway. You

A 9/11 prayer

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Oh, Lord, Pour out your blessing and comfort today on those personally affected by 9/11 . Comfort those who long for family members lost on that terrible day. Restore our country's empathy for human life. Convict us for choosing hatred and hostility over love and forgiveness, for creating disunity when we disagree instead of unity by working together. Sustain us in the hard times to come. Heal us from the suffering we've endured  and help us see that you walk with us through every trial, you hold us through every trauma, you redeem everything we put into your hands to control. Thank you. Bless us because that's who YOU are, not because we deserve your blessing . We are already blessed to overflowing. Thank you. I praise you and love you.  In Jesus' holy name, Amen. "'Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you,' declares the Lord." ( Zechariah 2:11 )

Praying for school safety

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Lord, God, We grieve at the latest school violence! How horrible and offensive to you and to our children that two school shooters harmed and killed high school students this week , so soon after they returned to school! Protect our children , God! Oh, Lord, change our culture! Change our hearts as a people! Comfort our children  who are traumatized. Rescue those kids who feel that violence is the answer to their fear and pain. Lord, change our country : our government, public health, and school systems so that we can correct the environment and affects of violence and despair. Forgive us for our prejudices, our hatred, our insecurity, all of which come from a wrong view of you and a wrong view of God.  I confess the violence of our youth and our citizens. Lord, reign your mercy down. Hold back your vengeance and share your healing. May we accept and live out your salvation . In Jesus' name,  Amen. "Bring to an end the  violence  of the wicked and make the righteous secure—

A word and a prayer about truth and wisdom

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  A WORD: Don't ever be afraid of the truth. Not the truth about yourself, your heart, your emotions, or your spiritual strongholds. Not the truth about those you love. Not the truth about God's commands or will. Please don't walk away from truth, even when it's hard. It will literally save you. Again and again. "There is no fear in  love . But  perfect   love  drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made  perfect  in  love ." ( 1 John 4:18 ) If finding out the truth about yourself or something terrifies you, then you have a clear sign that the devil is working against you. Whenever we love, we welcome the truth. We won't re-shape it, twist it, or wield it. We will protect it and cherish it. Truthful lives point towards God, not toward ourselves or our own abilities. "A  truth ful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful." ( Proverbs 14:25 ) But what if we can't tell the difference?  What

What's next? (A question and a promise)

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Well, Lord, What's next? I don't understand what's going on. I have trouble hoping, praying , and believing when I can't predict the future. I think you might like it that way, because whenever you told the Israelites what would happen, they didn't believe you. And when you said "Follow me," they questioned everything you did. They had a trust problem. And so do I. Why don't I trust you more? You've proven your love by dying for me. You've verified your love by always meeting my needs. You've reminded me of your power by rescuing me,  even from my own messes. What's next?  What are you doing? You are setting up things for your glory and for my good. You are wooing souls, convicting hearts, forgiving sins. Your mercies never fail. You will never leave us alone . These are your promises. And I believe them, even when I can't figure anything out. This wouldn't be faith if I could. Thank you for listening to my questions and dir

My heart and mind might be wrong

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Oh, Lord,  Examine my heart and mind because they might be wrong. In fact, I know they are. I'm wrong. I confess it. My thoughts are angry, unkind, ungraceful. My words reflect my thoughts,  and I'm ashamed of them. Bring every wrong thought captive-- reveal my selfish motives for why I think and say what I do. Show me the truth. I need your perspective, not my own. Examine my heart and mind and humble me enough to admit what's lurking there. Lord, I confess it again. I'm wrong .  Fill me with grace, forgiveness, and understanding . I want to continually walk in your truth , in your way, in your timing. I praise you for your faithfulness to me, even when I'm not faithful back. Thank you, Lord. Your mercy is unfathomable. In Jesus' name,  Amen "Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth." (Psalm 26:2-3)

Intercession for Afghanistan

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" The   Lord   is a refuge   for the oppressed,  a stronghold in times of trouble." (Psalm 9:9) Lord God, You see every man, woman, and child in Afghanistan. You see Christians persecuted for their faith. You see women subjugated for their gender. You see men terrified to oppose the Taliban. You see terrorists hungry for violence . You see a people trying to stay alive. You love them, and you are calling them to yourself. God, grant protection over your Afghani children. Bring them into a knowledge and acceptance of you. Protect them and assist them in finding safety. Bring repentance and salvation to those who do evil against their fellow-man. Convict us who are free to help those oppressed by evil forces and blinded by evil philosophies. May we never ignore the misfortunes of those who haven't yet believed in you. God, give us wisdom, compassion, and motivation to assist the people of Afghanistan. We call on your great power as we intercede for these terrified peop

A prayer to soar

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Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The Lord is an everlasting God. That means you can pray with confidence and trust that God will hear you, be involved in your life, and carry you through your greatest and smallest trials. You can ask God to help you soar like an eagle. Oh Lord, You have no beginning or end-- You are uncontrollable and unfathomable. You are my Creator and sustainer. You never get tired or weary like I do-- I won't ever understand that. You give strength to me when I'm weary and increase my power. When I place my hope in you, you will renew my strength like a soaring eagle or a marathon racer. I won't pass out from exhaustion. You have me. Your arms are underneath me. You carry me when I can't walk. You support me when I crumble . You direct me when I wander, lost. You speak to me in the stillness when I listen. You promise your involvement and protection because that's who you are. I can trust you whenever my world goes dark. So Lord God

A prayer when your kids leave for school

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,   Dear Lord, You know I've got a big couple of weeks coming up.  My children are leaving the nest in a variety of ways.  Whether first time, second time, or last time--it doesn't really matter. There is a stabbing pain when my kids move away. Release, pride, gratefulness, worry, and then loss,  which tries very hard to morph into panic and desperation. (Smothering and helicopter-ing seem like options, even though I condemn it but secretly want to do it.) My emotions are going crazy, so I know that my feelings and thoughts cannot be fully trusted. I must lean into you only. Worry makes me assume the worst. Loss makes me feel rejected. Panic pushes my loved ones away. (Read a blog about losing your kids to college  here .) Control my thoughts, Lord. Speak truth to me, and help me hear you. Help me to focus on your love and grace to me, not my feelings of loss or worry. You've got this. You've got me. You always protect, always draw near, always speak to those who seek y

Lord, I need wisdom--no matter what it costs

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"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." ( Proverbs 4:6-7 ) Dear Lord God,  I need your wisdom . I'm afraid of what it will cost me to learn, but I want it anyway. It's the only way to survive this life and live it for you. I'm beginning to understand that godly wisdom is expensive  to get. The more I seek you, the more I become a target . The more I want you, the more the world tries to lure me in. It's wisdom I need and wisdom that will save and protect me. Surround me with your mighty angels. Fill me with your powerful Spirit. Anoint me with your calling . Humble me so I recognize where you're at work and when I'm interfering with your work. Help me walk in your Spirit and hear your voice. Give me your wisdom-- don't allow me to attain intelligence or cunning instead. Then I will have wisdom in all my deci

What to pray when you're sad

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  "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." ( John 12:27-28) Oh, God, I'm really sad . I feel overwhelmed . It's not any one thing-- I just feel a heavy weight of so many concerns , fears, and disappointments. I feel lost. Although you always knew your purpose on earth, and you always knew how things would end, you were sad, too. Maybe the knowing is worse than the not-knowing? You knew the enormity of your calling. But what if I'm not sure of mine? What if I've gotten off track? What if I've ruined everything? Please take my sadness away-- I'll try to give it to you. I know you can transform it into something beautiful and worthy, something life-giving. Hear me, Lord. Wipe my tears. Hold my heart . Wrap me in your comforting arms.

Teach me your faithfulness

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  Dear Lord, I praise you for your faithfulness to me. You are faithful when I falter. You are faithful when I doubt . You are faithful when I fail. You are faithful when I question . You are faithful when I run from you. You are always faithful, true, and holy. Your love is everlasting. Lord, teach me your faithfulness. I want to trust you in difficult circumstances, in grief , pain, discouragement , fear , and uncertainty . I want to be as faithful to your name as you are to me. Always. Whether I understand what you're doing or not. I ask this in Jesus' name, Amen. Your love,  Lord , reaches to the heavens, your  faithfulness  to the skies. ( Psalm 36:5 ) For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your  faithfulness . ( Psalm 23:6 ) I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your  faithfulness  and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your  faithfulness  from the great assembly. ( Psalm 40:10 ) For great is

A prayer for when you're overlooked

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Oh, my Lord, Do you see me , even when people ignore me? You value me, even when someone overlooks me. You elevate me, even when someone puts me down. You lead me , even when no one invites me to follow them. You dream for me, even when I can't dream for myself. You're pleased with me, even when I feel guilty, ashamed, and unworthy. You forgive me , even when my actions are unpardonable. You love me just the way I am and regardless of what I do. You aren't swayed by people's perception of me or even my perspective of myself. You know me because you formed me . And you have something unique for me to do that nobody else can do like I could (in your power). You look deep inside me every day. Every thought. Every fear . Every worry. Every secret. And you invite me to tell it all to you. Thank you, Lord,  for loving me and seeing me. In Jesus' name, Amen. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast  and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may fo

Thank you for my child

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Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for protecting my child today. It doesn't matter how old he is-- I'm always worried, always praying, always asking. I want your protection over him. I want your Spirit working in him. I want your blessings on his life. I know you want that even more than me. Thank you for creating him--for making him so unique and exciting. Thank you for his personality,  his heart,  and his talents. Thank you for the greatness you've placed in him-- for making him in your image  and calling him to your mission. Thank you for protecting him-- for healing, covering, and speaking to him. Help him to hear you. Most of all-- thank you for letting me be his parent. This is an unexplainable joy. I love you. Amen. Other prayers for your children: Spiritual warfare over the rebellious child Prayer for a powerful child A prayer for my child's safety Prayer for a sick child Prayer for my sponsored child A birthday prayer for my child A prayer for my child's wedding

A confession of bitterness & a decision toward grace

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  "Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of  bitterness  grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." (Hebrews 12:15) An observation: If we care for one another,  God gives us grace . If we don't care for one another, we don't get grace from anyone. Bitterness is a weed that overtakes a garden until it has choked out every plant that was once beautiful and productive until the garden becomes useless and ugly. Bitterness prevents blessing . A prayer: Oh, Lord, I confess my bitterness  and my lack of trust in you to direct me in all things. I've resented you allowing weeds into my life. My heart has not been fertile or  productive lately. It has been a garden of weeds instead of a garden of flowers. Please forgive me and help me develop the courage to rip out every weed and prune back every thought and habit that doesn't honor you . I confess holding grudges, distrusting your care, and prote

Praying to be a peacemaker

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Oh, Lord, the Prince of Peace, Instead of praying against stress -- instead of praying for a calm, peaceful life-- Lord, make me a peacemaker. I crave peace, but I don't often make peace. I find the problems, I criticize the results, I blame the victimizers. But I don't try to make peace , I don't wish blessings on those who oppose or hurt me. I don't cultivate kindness, grace, and generosity in unjust situations. I don't forgive enough. I accuse too often. I excuse my own sins. I cover up what's bad in my and expose what's bad in others. That's not peacemaking. Lord, I want to see you work in my life. I want to know you and become like you. So that means I MUST become a peacemaker. Lord, help me see people how you see them. Help me give up for the greater good. Help me to live for eternity, to sacrifice for the gospel, to protect the church, to love the world, to pray for my family . Help me to work for solutions  rather than fight over problems. I con

Blessings go both ways

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  Oh, Lord, I bless you name and your promises. You are great, and you act justly in my life. You don't withhold good things from me, and you lead me in the path that you want me to take. You bless me abundantly. I don't deserve your grace ,  but you give it freely. I will praise you to everyone. When I go to sleep praising you, I wake up praising you. May you always be on my heart and mind-- when I'm working, struggling, relaxing, worrying. When I praise you, I am aware of how much you give me! How enormous is the sum of your blessings on my life! They are more vast than the stars in the sky. I cannot count them all. Give me the perspective and grace to bless my family , my church, my government, and even my enemies . Fill me with your magnitude of your presence, and may I always sit in awe of you and the astonishing actions you perform on my behalf! In Jesus' name, Amen. "I will bless the  Lord  who guides me;  even at night my heart instructs me." ( Psalm

Will God answer your prayers?

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Will God answer your prayers? Sometimes, it doesn't feel like it. Actually, a lot of the time it doesn't feel like it, right? Because we keep asking about the same things, and it seems like nothing changes. That's a clue. Not that God isn't listening, but that I'm not listening. Usually, in those situations, I haven't been reading the Bible enough. I haven't been worshipping enough. I haven't been responsive to Jesus' calling enough. My prayers come from a narrow perspective, where I think I know what God should do. I can only see one suitable answer. I'm looking for a genie instead of God. But God knows better. He always has my best interest in mind. He takes the long look and plans for our futures. He is not motivated by fear, like we are.  To quote from my book Soulspeak: Praying Change into Unexpected Places :   "You can't ask God for too much. God wants to answer your requests." (98) Really. God's nature is to give. He ga