"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone."--1 Tim. 2:1
Relief for the marginalized
Bring relief to the marginalized people in this country.
Comfort the grieving families of this recent attack in Georgia.
Bring awareness, empathy, and compassion to all of us--
but particularly your children--
so that we reach out to those who wander,
suffer with those who hurt,
and offer belonging to everyone.
I pray your special blessing on Asian-Americans,
on immigrant children separated from their parents,
on single parent-families living in poverty,
on inner-city kids without the resources to reach their dreams.
Fill each with the assurance of your love and a desire to know you.
Comfort and protect them.
And God, change us into your image before them!
Stir our hearts to break down stereotypes,
partisanship, and elitism
and embrace the diverse world you created.
You love us all.
You offer salvation freely to everyone.
You call us to reach the world.
Now convict us to reach the world you've brought to us,
to think of safety for all
instead of safety for ourselves.
Help us to get righteousness right--
to love justice the way you did--
to embrace holy living like you modeled it for us.
Make us a people of love and compassion,
rather than hate and violence.
Love starts with You,
then the Church--
to the world.
May we never see this progression any other way.
In your great name,
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. (Exodus 23:9)
Surround my friend with courage and protection
Please give my friend courage and wisdom to stand in the midst of crisis.
May ________ see true North--
You are guiding _______ toward the light of your purpose.
You have a greater plan for ________ than anyone can see.
Transfer your power because you are the Rock.
Affirm your steadfastness because you are the God who is Present.
Remind of your love because you are Jesus, Savior.
Nothing is too hard for you.
Nothing surprises you.
Nothing changes your plan of love and salvation for us.
May ________ feel your presence before, beside, behind, and with him/her
because you are a God who protects us.
It's what you do!
We are safe with you.
In Jesus' Everlasting name,
2 Kings 6:13-18
An anniversary prayer
You are the lover of my soul,
my friend forever.
Thank you for inventing marriage,
for having this incredible idea that two people are better than one
if they are joined in unity with You.
Thank you for my spouse
and for all our years of marriage.
I praise You for working in us and through us and between us.
Thank you for going before us in the hard times,
for carrying us through trials and trauma,
for blessing us always.
We owe you everything.
Every parcel of maturity and wisdom.
Lord, put a guard around my spouse.
Protect his/her heart, mind, and soul.
I pray the power of the Holy Spirit over his/her life
Enlarge his/her territory--expand his/her reach and influence,
may he/she impact the world in the way you designed and imagined.
May we both be obedient and compliant to all your plans
and most of all, to staying in close relationship with you.
We want to hear You every time You speak.
Obey You every time You call.
Reach out to others every time You prompt us to.
Guard us against influences that would weaken our faith in You
or our love for each other.
You matter first and most.
And then us, because our marriage shows the world who You are
and how you relentlessly pursue us,
in good times and bad,
for better or worse.
Thank you for my marriage.
I love you.
In Jesus' name,
A Prayer for the election
You know how confused and angry we get over everything.
You understand our anxiety.
You use everything, good or bad to accomplish your will.
Whether God-fearing, hypocrites, or downright evil, you can use anybody to further awareness and receptivity to your gospel message.
I pray for our country right now and for the officials who will be elected today.
I pray that they make decisions that will honor and glorify you and make the gospel go forth with power and clarity.
I ask that you empower believers to speak truth with boldness, clarity, and kindness.
May we never pervert the gospel because we are afraid or angry. Help us to be mindful of our testimony to the world.
I pray for Americans to react to the election with grace and resoluteness.
May we promote justice, love, and mercy above party politics and self-preservation.
Convict us when we don't do that.
Forgive me, Lord, for the many times I have not done that.
I pray for you to be glorified today.
I pray against evil men and women using your name to commit evil or speak evil about another person.
I ask your forgiveness on behalf of the men and women in this country who have shamed, belittled, oppressed, harassed, attacked, and killed their fellow-Americans because of hate and fear.
I pray for the body of Christ to find renewed unity and collaboration.
May what the enemy planned for evil result in good for the kingdom of God.
Thank you for my freedom.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in an election.
God, shed your grace on us. We need it desperately.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."--Psalm 33:12
Praying about good news in us and through usOh, Lord,
There's not a lot of good news flying around these days.
Not a lot to make us joyful or optimistic.
Not a lot that is attracting the world to the church.
In fact, our news--and our handling of the news--
is probably pushing people away.
If we're going to bite and devour one another,
who wants that kind of religion?
What a terrible misrepresentation of who God is.
God, I'm asking you to change us.
Change me more every day.
I want my life, my words, and my testimony to spread good news about
God's love, Jesus' death, and the Church Jesus started.
And so I pray Colossians 1:3-6 over all of us:
Each time we pray for you, we thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all God's people,
because what you hope for [not political victory] is kept safe for you in heaven.
You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news.
The good news is spreading all over the world with great success.
It has spread the same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God's wonderful kindness...
May we all behave like we did the moment we accepted God's good news!
I pray this for all your children,
but especially for those who are confused, misguided, and discouraged.
We are at war with the devil, and we have forgotten that.
We thought we were at war with one another.
Renew the joy of our salvation!
In Jesus' name,
A Birthday prayer for my childOh, Lord,
I ask for your blessing over my child on his birthday,
on this day that you breathed life into him as he entered this broken world.
Cover him with your protection, your conviction, and your direction.
May he always feel your presence.
Speak Scripture to him when he sins.
Speak comfort to him when he is afraid.
Wrap yourself around him when he is alone.
Direct him when he is confused.
Always, bring your words of life--the Holy Word of God--
to his heart and memory,
and may he cling to your truth.
Give his discernment in this confusing world.
Stir unrest and reticence when he hears falsehood,
and help him to turn back to your Word to verify the truth.
Make him a man of spiritual power and authority.
Bring men and women in his path to guide him and model Christian living to him.
Bring friends into his circle who will support and encourage his walk with you.
Bring him a wife at the perfect time for both of them.
Help him to wait on your voice,
to listen for your voice,
and to follow your voice.
You have created him for a purpose
and brought him into the world on this exact day
to bring glory to you with his life.
I ask for you to fulfill your purpose for him.
Don't make him successful for his own glory.
I pray for him to do your will and direct people into relationship with you.
I trust you with him.
I gave him back to you when you gave him to me.
Help me to support what you're doing in his life
and not let my anxiety or insecurity interfere with the path he will take.
I love you, Lord.
I'm so grateful for this tremendous blessing of motherhood.
Thank you for this day.
May it be yet another catalyst for him knowing and following you.
In Jesus' name,
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
A prayer for my child's wedding day
Lover of our souls,
Bridegroom of the Church,
Savior of all who seek you--
I bring you my most earnest request,
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!
Protect us and send us out as your ambassadors of love.
But especially send the bride and groom
to love and serve you all their days.
To walk away from us and into your arms.
I entrust them to you,
just as you have entrusted my son to me.
In the mighty name of Jesus,
"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."--1 Corinthians 13:13
A prayer for law enforcement
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,
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,
and uplift you in every situation and through every action.
May we stop blaming one another and take responsibility for our problems.
I pray for the law's actions to turn the tide toward fairness and justice for all.
I pray for our leaders to re-write the laws in this country that are systemically pre-disposed to favor privilege and punish poverty and race.
I pray for sensible and right methods to enforce laws and make laws that protect everyone.
I pray against a military state,
against ambition and political power.
Lord, give us another chance to do right.
Help us use our freedom to give, not take,
to encourage, not suppress.
I ask these in the mighty name of Jesus who can heal all diseases,
including spiritual diseases like racism--
In his holy name,
John 13:35--"By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
A prayer against hate and for love
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
Oh, Lord, convict us of our hate.
Whether we think it,
or act on it.
Lord, eradicate our hatred for one another,
on all sides,
for any reason.
Wreck us with compassion,
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
make lives matter,
But please, Lord,
humble us so we can love others like you love us.
By this will people know that we love you,
if we love them. (John 13:35)
In Jesus' name,
"Heal Our Land" by Kari Jobe: a prayer for our countryOh, 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,
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!
Pray "The Blessing" over your kids
the Great I AM,
the One who sees all,
and loves all--
I pray your blessing over my children
to a thousand generations.
May my children and their children and their children
seek you with their whole hearts!
May they be found in you,
may you be found in them,
going behind and before them,
carving out a path of blessing and purpose!
Make them mighty men and women of God--
warriors who defend their hearts against evil,
who nurture their minds with truth,
who allow the Holy Spirit complete access and direction of their lives.
call them into your great and mighty work!
In Jesus' name and his holy words,
Click on the image above to hear "The Blessing" by Kari Jobe and Elevation Worship or here to read the lyrics. Pray this song over your kids!
Praying for my child's future spouseIn Genesis 24, Abraham sends his servant back to Ur, the country of his origin, to find a wife for his
Abraham instructed his servant:
1. Don't take my son away from here (the Promised Land--where God had called them to be)
2. Don't find a wife from here (because this is a pagan culture)
3. Go back to our people for his wife
4. God will send an angel ahead to prepare her
Pretty cool idea.
So here's a prayer for your son or daughter's future spouse--
I have already dedicated my child to you.
I trust you with him/her.
You created this child in the womb,
perfectly crafting every part of him/her, just as you wished,
because You have a special calling and mission for him/her.
You want him/her to love and serve you all his/her life.
You are protecting, providing, and disciplining him/her,
molding him/her into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus.
You love this child more than I do,
which is saying a lot.
You know what is best and who is best for him/her,
which is also saying a lot!
Please surround my child with your protection.
I ask You to send an angel to prepare a spouse for this child,
someone who will love and serve You,
who will love and honor my child,
who will choose the right path over the easy path.
Send angels to protect my child's spouse from harm,
from believing lies,
from doubting you,
and from listening to this world.
Prepare his/her heart for love and service.
I pray for his/her salvation and determination to follow you.
When he/she fails you, I pray that he/she will quickly repent.
Help him/her to establish a lifestyle of turning to You for everything
so that he/she will be wholly devoted and trusting of Your love and grace.
I pray that my child will do the same.
Overwhelm them with your Holy Spirit.
I eagerly await the spouse You're preparing--
the one my child will choose--
and therefore the child I also choose--
and I thank you in advance for the good works You will accomplish through them.
In Jesus' holy name,
P.S. I'd love some grandchildren! Thank you!
Some other great resources:
"10 Statements that will change your marriage"
"10 Point godly spouse checklist for women"
"20 Reasons marriages fail (Christian marriages, too)"
"Is it okay for a Christian to change denominations for the person you're dating?"
"3 Reasons you can't affair-proof your marriage"
"10 Scriptures every married couple should memorize"
"10 Things I want my boys to learn about living"
Your faith could change someone's life
Some things to notice about this story (and why it applies to you!):
- Jesus saw the faith of the whole group and said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven."
- Jesus told the paralytic not to be afraid. "Take heart" means: "to be of good cheer, to be of good comfort, to be of good courage."
- The whole group had faith in Jesus' power as the Son of God.
- The man's actions proved his faith in Jesus.
- Jesus sees faith and responds to it. When he sees fear, he calls us to take courage.
- Jesus helps the man even though his actions and words are offensive to the religious leaders.
- Jesus has the authority to forgive sins AND heal paralysis, so he does both. But he does them separately so the man will realize that Jesus is the Son of God
So who had the faith, the friends or the paralyzed man?
Well, the friends took the time to build a mat, take ropes with them, carry their friend to the house where Jesus was preaching, take their friend up on the roof, tear the roof apart, and lower their friend so he could get to Jesus.
Their faith took action. Whether they told their friend, "We're taking you" or whether the man asked them to take him to Jesus, they all went. They all believed and acted on it.
Then Jesus healed the paralyzed man's spirit AND body.
Your attitude and actions matter. You could save your friends and family by having the faith to take them to Jesus.
Take someone to Jesus.
If you need to "take heart," then pray this prayer:
Give me courage to believe that you have authority
to forgive sins and alleviate suffering.
You desire to make us whole.
Help me not to give up on the work you are doing in people whom I know.
Help me not to decide what I think you want to do.
Help me to believe in your true nature of love and redemption.
I want to stand in the gap for someone.
I want to help them find Jesus.
I want to intercede for them.
Fill me with compassion for others.
Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I notice the needs of others.
Fill me with humility so I will keep coming to you
and keep serving others.
Make me a blessing.
Make me a warrior who fights for others
and fights injustice.
I believe you will do mighty things through your Son
and even through me.
In Jesus' name,
How to pray for revenge (I mean vengeance and justice)
I'm asking you to make things better--a little fairer--
Not for myself,
but for some people I care about.
In my flesh, I want revenge.
In my spirit, I want your righteousness.
People I love got a bum deal,
an unlucky break.
A gross injustice.
They've been sinned against.
I guess you know what that feels like.
I know life's not fair.
I know we are called to suffer for the kingdom.
But I also know you are a God of justice
and you will produce justice and righteousness
in the world
because that's what you always do.
It's how you reveal yourself to all of us--
a God of power, authority, holiness, and love.
You make things right.
Then you bring joy and peace.
Proverbs 21:15 "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
So when someone hurts, offends, or traumatizes
people I love--
people you love who are following you--
I don't mind asking for a little vindication and vengeance.
Romans 12:19 "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord."
You said you'd take care of it.
I hope that doesn't make me terrible
that I want them to get back what they keep dishing out.
Is that my sinful nature
or how you made me?
I want justice, fairness, and equity.
But if I got justice, fairness, and equity for the things I do,
I guess I wouldn't be so incredibly blessed.
I'd have no peace, no future in your presence.
Lord, forgive me for any malice and hatred in my heart.
I want your righteous anger, not my own.
I want your blessing on the just and the unjust.
I want your will for myself and the people I care about.
Often, love travels a long, hard journey
before justice wins.
Give me patience, faith, and courage to wait on you.
Broaden my perspective, my humility, and my meekness.
Bless those who have been wronged.
I suppose all of that is a kind of justice and vengeance.
You are in the process of changing me
and changing everyone else.
You draw them to yourself,
one by one,
from wherever they are sinning.
Justice wins in the end.
You always win.
I praise you, Lord.
And I'm so grateful you aren't like me!
In Jesus' righteous name,
Fall on my city to bring peace and justice
God Jehovah, Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ,
Fall on my city and my country.
Cover our capital like a heavy blanket with your presence,
with an aura of peace and brotherhood.
Whisper into hallways and alleys
that peace, love, mercy, and diversity
reflect who you are and who you made each of us to be.
Convict the haters that they live in opposition to you, regardless of their political and religious attachments.
They do not represent you,
and they tarnish the cause of Christ
and the essence of the gospel.
Remind Christ-followers everywhere
that they are responsible to be the light--
not a political light, but a spiritual light.
You do not need politicians or policies to advance your kingdom.
You need believers full of love and mercy.
Your kingdom is not of this world.
You are about releasing people from spiritual darkness
and physical affliction and emotional enslavement.
You came to bandage the brokenhearted,
give release for prisoners,
give sight to the blind,
family for the orphan and widow,
vengeance for the persecuted,
The role of community and government is to
and make right all the wrongs that sin has made in this world.
Our mission is justice.
Justice for the spiritual, emotional, and the physical aches in the human existence.
You are the Prince of Peace, the Lion of Judah, and the Light of the World.
You carry a sword, and your eyes are fire.
You will see justice for the oppressed.
You will vindicate victims.
Yet you wait quietly and patiently at each heart's door, waiting to come inside.
Let me always be on the side of grace, mercy, and love,
while I let you do your work on this earth.
You know so much better what you intend to do
and the price you already paid.
I choose mercy.
I choose to be a representation of Jesus in my home, my city, and my world.
In the strength and love of Jesus,
(To read "17 books that might challenge your views on justice, reform, and grace," click here.)
See also: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Acceptance Speech for the Nobel Peace Price, 1964.
Other prayer blogs on justice:
Fall on my city and my country.
When your kids rebelDid you know that God had rebellious children?
In Isaiah 1:1-4, God talks about the children that didn't "turn out," even though they "knew better."
For the Lord has spoken:
"I reared children and brought them up, they have rebelled against me... Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him."
So if (and when) your kids rebel, go to God in prayer.
His kids rebel all the time,
and He's even a perfect parent.
It feels personal if our kids forsake our faith
or our wisdom or our friendship.
But God understands.
We've all done it to Him.
And He sticks.
He's always there.
Don't give up!
Here's a little prayer for rebellious children--
Lord God and Heavenly Father,
I praise you for your patience and grace toward me.
Forgive me of my sins.
Thank you for your lovingkindness and your provision.
Thank you for my children, even when they break my heart.
I pray for your presence to fall on them.
Convict them with your power and your still, small voice.
Encourage them with your grace and redemption.
Help them to see the way back to you.
Put people and situations in their path that will detour them back into your loving arms.
And, Lord, help me.
Strengthen my faith.
Help me turn to you only.
Give me your grace to deal with my child(ren) how you deal with them.
Make me into your image so when they talk to me, they see who you really are.
You are irresistible.
You are holy.
You are awesome.
Glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
In Jesus' name,
Prayer for a Friend
You are full of power and strength.
You have already defeated the devil on the cross.
Show your power in my friend's life.
Cover _________ with the protection of the Holy Spirit.
Speak truth to ________ and work in his/her spirit to hear your words.
Convict, encourage, uplift.
Bring __________ back into full relationship with you.
I confess __________'s sin on his/her behalf.
Help me to be an encourager and a voice of truth, with compassion.
May I never shrink from what the Holy Spirit is telling me to do or say.
Keep me from pride, self-righteousness, or condemnation
because that is not how you act towards any of us.
I pray your power and love over my friend.
I believe in your restorative power, in regeneration and resurrection.
You make all things new,
even the things we mess up.
Thank you for my friend,
and thank you for putting me in ________ life to represent you.
I am grateful for this friendship, where we can sharpen each other in your service.
Help me to be faithful to this calling, to this process of confession.
In Jesus' name,
A loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)
A prayer for my children's spouses
It's never too soon to pray for your kids' future spouses.
I've been praying for my kids' spouses since the day my kids were born,
hoping and longing for three girls to grow up loved and protected and conformed into the image of Christ.
It's never too late to pray for that.
All of us are growing and changing, no matter how old we are.
The majesty of Scripture is that it is always revealing new truth to the people who seek truth, no matter how many times they've read it.
Seek truth for yourself,
then encourage your kids and their spouses to seek truth.
We learn by watching others live right.
Your job as a parent of adults is to live right and model righteous decisions.
Your job as a child is to watch adults who live right and follow their example,
which means that you are also making righteous decisions.
Don't give up on people growing more like Christ.
Don't give up on your kids,
on your kids' girlfriends or boyfriends,
or on your kids' spouses.
Yes, we want the best possible spouses for our children.
We want the most loving, encouraging, helpful, stable, secure, fun, Christ-followers out there.
We love our children, and we think they are pretty incredible.
So it's easy for parents to decide that nobody is good enough for their kids.
The truth is, none of us are good enough.
That's why we need Jesus.
And following Jesus, growing and changing to his will,
is a worthy example to follow.
Try this little prayer:
Give me grace and love for my children and their significant others/future spouses. Help me listen well and speak wisely (or not at all). I give them into your care, and I ask that you help me stay out of the way of their development in Christ. I want to give grace, support, and affirmation. I place them in your hands.
I pray for my children's spouses to be filled with the Spirit of God, full of grace and truth. I pray for them to powerfully affect the kingdom of God, and I relinquish worry about how they will affect my child's happiness.
My role as a parent is not actually about my children. It's about you and what you want to accomplish in my kids, at every age, according to your perfect will. Help me see my kids and my kids' spouses like you see them and love them like you love them. Protect them and use them, I pray.
Thank you for all that you are doing in them and through them.
In Jesus' name,
Prayer for my mission trip (sort of)
You are great and mighty.
You use ordinary people to accomplish your incredible work.
I'm not sure why.
But thank you for the opportunity to go to a mission field this next week
to meet people you love and died for,
to share the gospel you created,
to live like you for a few short days--
Giving myself to something greater than me.
Thinking of other people's needs instead of mine own.
Talking about what really matters--You.
Feeling uncomfortable in order to make someone else feel like they belong.
This is your mission.
And you call us to it every day.
And Saturday, I'm going to answer it.
(Click here to read "Why I leave my heart in other countries.")
Oh, why don't I answer it every day, all day?
Why don't I ache for the people of the world who don't know you and actually disrupt my life to reach them?
I ask for your blessing and protection over my trip, yes.
But mostly, I'm thinking I just want more of you.
I want to experience you.
Fresh and powerfully.
I want you to wreck me,
because I need spiritual wrecking.
(Click here to read "How compassion wrecks me.")
Thank you. I know that's what you'll do.
That's what you always do when I step into mission.
(Click here to read "Why you should take a non-vacation vacation.")
Prayer for a Powerful Child
In 2 Timothy, Paul writes his last letter to Timothy, his spiritual son. They long for each other's company. Paul knows he is going to be soon martyred by the cruel Roman emperor, Nero. He knows he might never see Timothy again. He knows that Timothy, as a Christian pastor, is afraid. (Who wouldn't be?)
In the prayer below, I've taken Paul's final encouragements to Timothy and modeled them into a prayer that all parents can pray over their children.
Dear God, Jehovah,
You are powerful and mighty. Nothing can stand against you. You love my child even more than I do, so I am giving you my most earnest request.
Thank you for my child's sincere faith. Guard it and develop it. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me as his parent to pour into him. Help me to never be discouraged or dismayed by results. You are alive and working in his life.
I pray for my child to be drawn to your Word--to saturate himself in it. Holy Spirit, draw him to yourself. Make your words alive and understandable.
Light a spark inside him, and may he guard the flame of your calling over his life. Help him fan it into a roaring fire that pushes back the enemy and spreads to those around him.
Give him courage--help him to be bold and valiant in defending truth. Make him a man of power, love, and self-discipline.
May he focus on your sacrifice and his eternal destiny so he will not be ashamed to testify of his relationship with you or your work in his life. Affirm the magnitude of your grace to forgive his sins, even his secret sins. Make him gracious toward others because they struggle with sin, also.
Make him strong. May he endure hardship to please you only.
Help him flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Make him humble enough to avoid foolish arguments, gently instructing others in the Lord.
Help him preach the gospel with his life, being patient when confronting and encouraging others.
Mold him into your likeness. It's all I want. Give me the courage to release him to you.
Taken from the Book of 2 Timothy
In the prayer below, I've taken Paul's final encouragements to Timothy and modeled them into a prayer that all parents can pray over their children.
Prayer to guard my emotions because my kids are leaving
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.
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 you.
And to those who don't, you call to them, you woo them, you welcome them.
My children are safe in your care, regardless of their decisions.
I am safe in your care, regardless of my emotions.
You have placed destiny and calling over us,
and you will bring it to pass.
I only need to trust you and follow you.
I love you.
I entrust my children to you once again.
Because you are God, and you will always do what's right.
I will be okay.
(Read another blog about surviving this here.)
In Jesus' name,
The , and the hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)
If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your . I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the your God is giving you for all time.” (Deuteronomy 4:40)
Read "A prayer for your college student" here and "A prayer for the lonely parent during the school year" here.
Hang in there! God understands the pain of losing a child.
Prayers for your child's teacher
Teaching is a difficult, exciting, and taxing profession. It requires both emotive and logical perspectives, tenacity and patience. Firmness and empathy. Long days and long nights of uncompensated self-sacrifice. Teachers need your prayers and support to do their jobs well. Here are some ideas:
Give my child's teacher encouragement today.
Help her/him connect with all the students,
model unconditional love,
realize the importance of teaching and molding lives.
Remind him/her to take the long look,
past homework and tests,
past student squabbles,
into the future where these children--
become responsible, thoughtful, caring adults.
Help him/her be proud of that accomplishment.
Give my child's teacher discernment and wisdom in handling crises in the classroom.
Give him/her boldness to champion the outcast
and mercy in punishing the foolish.
Help him/her eliminate injustice and teach kindness.
I pray for a generous spirit, a willingness to reach out, a determination to accept each child without prejudice or presupposition.
I ask for him/her to teach truth and recognize truth.
Spark courage to handle difficult curriculum, administrators, parents, and co-workers.
Make him/her an avenue of your grace.
I pray for my child's teacher to know you and serve you.
Help us be an accurate witness of you.
Surround him/her with believers who live out their faith with integrity and love.
Use my child and our family to be a witness and an encouragement to him/her.
I ask for all the teachers whose lives touch our family
to be exposed to your love and grace through us.
Help us to temper our frustrations and anger so we can communicate effectively,
"In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us." (Titus 2:7-8)
Prayer for the first day of school
Wrap your arms around my children on their first day of school.
Turn anxiety into excitement.
Turn fear into courage.
Turn embarrassment into eagerness.
Turn shyness into hospitality.
(Read "How to Help Your Children Walk Away" here.)
Continue to transform them into the image of Jesus,
who loves everyone,
and stands for truth.
(Read "A Prayer for your College Student" here.)
I pray for the Holy Spirit to speak unimpeded into their hearts and souls,
to convict, question, confirm, and encourage.
Teach them truth, even midst untruth.
Show them inclusion, even midst exclusion.
Help them distinguish acceptance from tolerance
and innocence from ignorance.
(Read "4 Values Moms Need This School Year" here.)
Mold them into your image--
a person of grace, truth, and love.
(Read "Specific Things to Pray over your Children" here.)
Protect their hearts and minds from the enemy of their souls,
which means teaching them to guard themselves from people and situations that can hurt their spirits.
Make them shrewd as snakes but innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).
Go before them, behind them, and with them (Isaiah 52:12).
You are our everything.
I can trust you.
My children can trust you.
And so we worship and praise your holy name,
O God, our Father.
In Jesus' powerful name,
"Trust in the Lord in all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."--Proverbs 3:5-6
Spirit of God, Overwhelm my children
Spirit of God,
Overwhelm my children with your Presence.
Cover them with your perspective.
(Read "A Daily Prayer for your Children" here.)
Infiltrate every aspect of their lives,
into their media,
their fun time,
their family time.
When they see injustice,
remind them to turn to you for answers.
When they feel afraid,
pull them into your protective embrace.
When they feel tempted,
whisper truth into their minds and hearts.
When they feel alone,
surround them with your continual Presence.
When they feel overwhelmed,
bolster their courage in the God who has conquered everything.
When they feel lost,
guide them back to your will, your calling, and your people.
When they sin,
convict and restore them to relationship with the Father.
(Read "A Prayer for my child's safety" here.)
Lord, be an ever-present Friend and Comforter,
the first place they turn in the morning,
and the last place they turn at night.
No matter what happens during their days,
I pray for your Spirit to be nudging, correcting, and encouraging them
towards a life of grace, mercy, and truth.
(Read "A Parent's Prayer from Romans 12" here.)
Make them beacons of your love in a loveless world.
Influence them to become ambassadors of your grace.
May they be "little Christs" in a world that can't see you, except in them.
(Read "A Prayer for my kids to serve God" here.)
I pray this, believing that you will do all that you have promised.
In Jesus' name,
because of Jesus' blood,
Praying for children with disabilities
When you create a person,
you plan that child before conception.
Your plan is perfect.
When children are born with disabilities
or develop disabilities in childhood,
people often assume something is wrong with them.
But that's not how you see them.
You have planned every person with purpose and calling.
It's up to us to trust you how that looks
and how that person should be allowed to function and thrive in a world that stereotypes everyone.
I ask that you give patience, compassion, and energy to parents and teachers
whose children have disabilities,
children who learn differently, move with difficulty, or sit without responding.
Give families and caretakers joy in the present moment,
hope for the future,
and no regret for the past or for what might have been.
I ask that these children be filled with joy and happiness;
help them to manage their frustration, anger, and confusion.
Fill their loneliness with meaningful relationships.
Help them develop their passions into skills
and their skills into talents
and their talents into expertise.
Most of all, speak to their hearts and help them to hear You.
I pray for tenderness and compassion for others,
receptivity to the Holy Spirit,
bold and simple faith,
and avenues for impact.
These children (and adults) are poised to impact the world
in ways that no one else can.
May all of us see them as you see them--
reflections of God Himself.
Image by Jean van der Meulen from Pixabay
A Parents' Prayer (from Romans 12)
This morning I read Romans 12 and thought, "Wow! This is a masterful prayer for parents (me) to pray over my kids. It says everything I want for them."
So here it is--Romans 12, turned into a parents' prayer for their children, no matter how young or old they are. It is a prayer over their destiny. (You can also read "A prayer of destiny over your family" here.)
A prayer for kids' camp
You're having such an amazing week at camp
watching your children love your children.
The little ones, away from home for the first time,
are making friends,
listening to lessons,
playing new game,
learning more about who you are.
This week will change them forever.
The teenagers, away from friends and parents,
are taking care of children,
sacrificing themselves for little people.
This week will change them forever.
The adults, away from work and families,
are organizing events,
investing in the future.
This week will change them forever.
I pray your blessing over all of them.
Keep them safe,
You want to speak to each of them.
You want to nudge them into the next phase of their spiritual development.
You want each of them to trust you more,
love you more,
obey you better.
You want to change them forever.
And you have the power to do it.
Unleash your power.
In Jesus' name,
A prayer over the graduate
Thank you for the privilege of raising this child
who is now an adult,
graduating onto new and bigger things.
I ask your blessing and protection over my graduate.
I ask for your Spirit to hover over him and around him,
to speak truth into his mind and courage into heart.
Please give him divine appointments with professors,
and a future spouse.
Help him to meet the right people at the right time
with a heart that's right and ready to obey your will.
Give him a life of impact and purpose.
Happiness and joy.
Lord, help him to see the positive
and fight the negative
and to be an accurate reflection of your love and grace
to everyone he meets.
He will make mistakes.
He will fail.
He will grieve and have heartache.
But I pray for him to cling to you--
to always lean on you and look to you
for guidance, comfort, and direction.
Remind him to be courageous and try again.
To get back up.
To confess, forgive, believe, and give.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your plan for his life.
He is yours. I know that.
I re-commit him to you. (Thanks for the reminder!)
Overwhelm his heart, his soul, and his mind.
May he love and serve you all his life.
And Lord, quench my loneliness for him.
May I rest in the assurance of your protection and power.
Then he will be successful.
He will live a life that pleases you.
"Keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:8-9)
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.
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!
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.