Lament is the heartfelt expression of grief, frustration, anger, fear, or complaint through prayer. Instead of just crying when life hits you hard, try "crying out" in a lament. This kind of prayer reaches toward God during your greatest trials and trusts him (by praising His character), even though life stinks. You must believe that God will work all things for good in your life, even the crummy things.

Jn. 16:33 "In this life you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!"

Praying over the Michigan shooting tragedy

Heavenly Father,

My heart is grieved at the loss of life in this recent school shooting. 

I pray for your Spirit to comfort the families of the four high school students who needlessly lost their lives this week in Oxford, Michigan.

I ask for your power of conviction and repentance to fall on Ethan Crumbly, whose soul and mind must surely be under evil influence. I pray for him to find you. I pray for his mental health and the mental health of America's children. I pray for school authorities to make mental health a priority in dealing with students, parents, and teachers.

I pray for Ethan's parents, who have also been arrested. Lord, speak to them during this time about who you are and how they need you. I pray that the truth of their involvement will be discovered. 

While the country and the town of Oxford is grieving and angry, Lord, I pray that hatred and retaliation don't take over. Give justice to these grief-stricken families and wisdom to the authorities. I ask that you help each person affected by this tragedy find you in their mourning process. 

Lord, change the fabric of our culture that celebrates, ignores, and excuses violence. Cause leaders to take correct actions to prevent violence in our schools. Give them wisdom not to make rash or poor decisions but not to avoid making decisions, either. Make us aware of our ever-growing mental and spiritual health crisis in this country. I pray that as a people, we would seek truth and seek your face.

I pray that at the center of the grief over violence in our schools, your followers will stand in justice and grace. I pray that we model Jesus' life. Make us healthy. Help us do the work.

May I never judge or hate people for their sin. Your Son died to save all of us, and I am no less a sinner than anyone else. Teach me to love like you do. You have love and grace for those who do violence; you love me in my sins, too.

I am forgiven when I ask for it. Thank you, Lord.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Jesus' teachings upheld and added to the Old Testament laws. He actually calls us to a higher standard.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Matthew 5:21-22)

Other prayers about violence:

Praying for school safety

Lament and confession over gun violence

Lament for a homicide: when a child kills a child

Prayer over the synagogue shooting

Lament about the Oregon shooting

A confession of racism in the US & a prayer for Ahmaud Arbery's justice

image credit here

When you feel lost...

Lord Jesus,

You've never been lost, have you?

But maybe, in your human moments, 

you felt adrift, hopeless, or lost.

You're both a shepherd and a lamb.

So maybe it's possible you understand how I feel.

I feel lost.

I want your will in my life, but I feel incapable of understanding it.

I want your calling on my life, but I feel unable to practice it.

I want your blessing on my life, but I feel overlooked in receiving it.

I want your power in my life, but I feel unable to access it.

I just feel lost.

Come after me.

Search me out 

because I want to be found.

I'm yours, and I want to feel your presence.

Come find me where I hide

because I'm too weak to move towards you.

But your love is reckless and boundless.

You fight for me,

look for me,

and always find me.

Lord Jesus, find me now!

Wrap your Shepherd's arms around me and carry me home.

Reassure me that you care,

that I matter,

and that you will always accomplish your will in my life, 

if I let you.

Drown out the dark voices in my head that tell me 

I'm not worthy

and life won't get any better than this.

I cling to you.

Carry me through this difficult time in my life.

I trust you.

Oh, Lord, help me to trust you.

In your precious name,


Listen/watch this song "Reckless Love" by Cory Ashbury.

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15:31-32)

image by 

A prayer for comfort

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.

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,


"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 Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." (1 Corinthians1:3-5)

Some additional words of comfort for grieving people:

I miss you, Mom: How to handle personal grief during a time of collective grief

What grief wants from you

3 Ways to handle grief, inspired by a random stranger

Happy Birthday, Grief

Grief, desire, and hope: a lament, a request, and a promise

What to pray when you're sad

"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.

I know that sadness is fleeting--

it's a natural result of a fallen world--

but joy comes through the Spirit of God.

When you were sad, you turned to your Father.

And so, I turn to you.

In your holy name Jesus,


"Hear my prayer, O Lord, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping." (Psalm 39:12)

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them." (Psalm 145:18-19)

"When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted." (Psalm 138:3)

"God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" (Psalm 66:19-20)

"But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice....Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." (Psalm 55:16-17, 22)

Some blogs about sadness and joy:

What Grief wants from you

How to embrace change you don't really want

Grief sucks

4 Steps to becoming resilient

Lament and confession over gun violence

Oh. Lord,
There's been another mass shooting.
I can't imagine how your heart hurts to see your creation turn on itself.
End the violence in our country.
I intercede, Lord, for the victims and the victimizers that live in this country
and call themselves Americans.
I am sick of the violence,
shamed by it,
grieved by it,
astonished by the normalization of mass shootings.
We have blood on our hands.
We may not have personally committed these atrocities,
but many times we have shaken our heads,
cast judgment,
and gone about our day anyway.
Lord, show each of us how we can help change this problem.
Massage our hearts toward compassion, justice, and care.
Give us discernment about the gun-violence problem,
the sin-problem,
and the mental-health problem
that must be addressed and corrected.
We are a country--and a world--filled with desperate people 
who cannot find a way to solve their own heart and mind issues
except to lash out against one another.
We gossip,
we malign,
we injure,
we marginalize,
we kill.
Lord, forgive us for our selfishness 
and disregard for human life.
I pray for us--your children--to rise up and address the issues in love,
to model compassion and justice,
to provide comfort and understanding,
and to bring healing in the name of Jesus.
Let us not leave it to the lawmakers alone.
Let the church stand in the gap.
I pray this in Jesus' powerful name,

Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts. (Psalm 7:9)

Lament for a homicide: when a child kills a child

Dear God,

You understand heartbreak. 

You know what it is to lose a child to senseless violence.

Lord, fall on us and blanket our misery!

Bring vengeance on the perpetrators of justice.

This latest act of violence against a child sickens and saddens me.

No parent should lose a child because someone else's child is angry, confused, or traumatized.

Or just a sinner, committing a sin.

And now another child has died.

Sometimes the killed child is an unborn baby.

Sometimes it's a neglected child.

Sometimes it's a teenager, caught up in drugs or theft 

or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sometimes a child's death is caused by someone's trauma,

someone's desperation,

someone's mental illness

someone's cruelty.

It's shocking what we humans are capable of doing.

It's all so horrible,

and I know it grieves you.

You desire hope, healing, peace, love, forgiveness, restitution, belonging.

May my heart always break when your heart breaks.

I pray you covering and blessing on the family who grieves a tragic loss.

I pray your revelation, conviction, and redemption on the child who kills.

I ask for your protection of our children. Preserve them to share your gospel.

Comfort the families who grieve their lost children.

Save the souls of those who wander in darkness.

Redeem the violence, the mistakes, 

the lost days and years.

In Jesus' name,


Written in honor of Lucia Bremer, who was shot to death by another child, in my old neighborhood, on the streets where my children played safely, near the school where they safely attended. I pray peace and comfort to Lucia's parents and friends. Pray for the neighborhood, where this child who killed her lived. Click here and here for the developing story. Please pray for the Bremer family and the young man who shot her; may he seek and find forgiveness.

An American prayer: lament & confession

Oh, Lord,

King of heaven and earth,
how you must be grieved.
My heart is broken over the sins of my country
and especially the Church.
I can't imagine the heartbreak you have,
and I can't fathom the hope and patience you also have for us when we sin.

confess the sins of my country.
I confess our disunity, our rage, our insatiable desire for revenge.
I confess our idolatry of wealth, class, power, fame, and self-righteousness.
I confess our desire to condemn, hate, judge, blame, and kill one another.
We're obsessed with our own comfort and security, to the detriment of anyone else.
I confess our unflagging determination to idolize people:
celebrities, politicians, millionaires, leaders of any field,
as if they have the answers for life, 
when You are the only one with answers.
I confess our desire to win, to make teams, to align ourselves with political platforms and policies,
to elevate elections, political races, and national power over loving our brothers and sisters in Christ,
to be a light in a dark world,
to injure one another, to shame one another,
to excuse violence and prejudice--
how is any of this reflective of you?
Forgive, Lord, for these damaging sins.
Oh, how do we expunge them,
except to fall on faces in repentance
and turn away from all of it?
Lord, I pray that we seek your face and your will only.
You make kings and you destroy kings.
You grow your church under freedom and under persecution.
You make beauty from ashes.
This is who you are and what you do.
I humble myself before you
and invite the Holy Spirit's conviction in my life and into my country.
In the powerful name of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords--
the Beginning and the End--
the Prince of Peace.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron. 7:14)

More prayers to help:

A lament about violence

A lament about violence


Oh, Lord,

This is a lament about violence. 

Our hearts are grieved but not surprised at the violence and encouragement toward violence that's been occurring in this country. 

There is no limit to the senseless hatred and selfishness that transpires when we do not seek your kingdom first.

Forgive us, Lord, for our partisanship and hatred for one another.

Forgive us for our inconsistent laws and prejudiced perspectives.

Forgive us for consulting political consultants instead of you.

Forgive us for turning on one another because we disagree.

Lord, we need to repent individually and corporately. 

Restore power and order through the body of Christ. Let it spill out and influence our local and national leaders. May our churches lead the cause of compassion and restitution.

Protect our law enforcement. Protect innocent bystanders.

Bring perpetrators to justice. Vengeance belongs to you. We ask you to work through our justice system fairly.

Give our country another chance to radiate kindness, righteousness, justice, and community to a world who is all too familiar with violence and unrest. Please give us another chance to govern in unity, to worship in unity, and to live in unity. To love like you love us.

Give us a chance to make amends. To share the vaccine--to give away health, restoration, and restitution. Make us peacemakers, healers, and givers. Convict us until we want to become these people.

Thank you for your consistent character of love, mercy, and justice.

In Jesus' name, 


All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame. Psalm 6:10

Arise, Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Psalm 7:6

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me. Psalm 5:8 

Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out. The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. Psalm 10:15-16 

A prayer for anyone disillusioned with the church

Oh, Lord, the Lover of the Church,

I am part of the Bride of Christ, the Church.
And we are seriously messed up right now.

We are scared.
We are searching.
We are scattered.
We are scarred.
We are angry at one another
and divided from one another within the body of Christ.
We are fighting disillusionment about the church, about other Christians, about our world.

Lord, re-ignite my soul.
I want to cling to you
instead of hoping for people to change
or the church to get back to "normal"
or the world to get better
or life to get easier.
Surround me with your love and comfort because
it's tempting to walk away from this big mess.
It's becoming all too easy to disengage from everything we find 
uncomfortable and disconcerting.

Lord, keep me from giving up on your church because of disunity.

It's tempting to replace church with friend groups, TV church, and partisan network television.
We read books instead of the Bible.
We watch podcasts instead of meeting for prayer.
We believe politicians instead of your words.

Help me, Lord! I'm at a serious intersection of faith and experience!
Meet me in this space and spread your love and grace over me
so I do not resent Christians,
who distance themselves from church people.
Help me to forgive those who have gossiped and hurt our mission.
Help me radiate your love and grace every single day
because that's what you would do, if you were me. 
That's what you do every single minute,
no matter how we behave.

In Jesus' powerful and worthy name,

Passages to read about this topic:

Teach me to grieve (for myself and others)

 Oh, Lord, 

You are the God of comfort.

Teach me to grieve.

It makes me uncomfortable, but it's so necessary for healing and perspective.

Help me to trust your love and care enough to lean into pain and trauma and

the wild uncertainty of hard times,

of personal and collective crisis.

You are a God of compassion.

Teach me to grieve for others.

give me perspective and empathy and sincerity that other people's experiences are different

and just as traumatic and difficult than my own.

Maybe even more!

I want to be kind and willing to sit with them in their pain without passing judgment, 

assuming I have the answers,

or teaching them how to feel or act in their pain.

You are a God of forgiveness.

Teach me to be forgiving when I feel that someone has wronged me, misunderstood me, 

or hurt me.

You give us chances, over and over--

a thousand million chances to change,

to repent,

to revive,

to follow.

Help me repent of my own sin and refuse to be the judge and jury for everyone else.

I don't want to compare my grief, my pain, my discomfort, my journey 

to anyone else's

unless it's to say, "I understand" or "I can't imagine what you're going through."

Help me to be Jesus in every situation.

Give me another chance--a thousand other chances--

to do this better, 

to forgive better. 

In Jesus' holy and loving name,


"Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.

Give me relief from my distress;

be merciful to me and hear my prayer."

--Psalm 4:1

For blogs about personal and collective grief, check out these sites below:

A back-to-school-at-the-kitchen-table coversation with God (i.e. FREAK OUT to God)

Okay, God, now you've really done something to me. You've compelled me to become a teacher to my own children. Do you remember how I fought with them last year over their homework? And now you want me to do this ALL DAY LONG?

Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith in me produces perseverance. (James 1:1-2) 

But we're back to school at the kitchen table, and I'm freaking out! I can't be responsible for my kids' reading, writing, math, science, history, music, PE, drama, socializing, and personal responsibilities ALL DAY LONG! For who-knows-how-long?

I just can't. You should know this about me. You've watched my parenting.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Romans 8:28)

Okay, that's just mean, making this a spiritual decision, when obviously, I was not trained as a teacher.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-8)

Teaching is...well, if I wanted to become a teacher, I would have.

Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:11-12)

I guess I can set an example for them. I'm trying to do that all the time anyway. I can read and write. I know more than my kids do. I guess that's something.

For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. (Genesis 18:19)

Yes, okay. For some reason, you chose me to parent these kids. You chose me to be the most important influencer in their lives, to be the voice of their conscience, to be the guide and protector of their hearts. But I'm overwhelmed at that already, and now I'm adding SCHOOL to the pressures...

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame... (Psalm 127:4-5)

I am not ashamed. You will not shame me or be disappointed in me. You love me. Wow!

I can do this. I can teach them anything because the most important lessons I will teach are character: working hard, failing and trying again, having a good attitude, being honest. Teaching school is just parenting around topics of education.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:28-29)

Lord, put people in my path to help me. May I reach out to the body of Christ for support and instruction. Keep me from pride and perfectionism. I don't have to be the perfect teacher. How much better to let you perfect me in holiness and love, so I can model that for my children.

And thank you for the Internet.

Sorrow awaits us: a lament over injustice from the church

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

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

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

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

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

Lord God,

Forgive us for caring more about what people think of us than caring what we believe and how we act!
We have not given to the poor because we are too busy giving to ourselves and our friends.
What sorrow awaits us!

We have tithed to the church and ignored the injustice of systematic race and poverty all around us.
We are arrogant enough to think the poor are responsible for their own problems, rather than realize that our system of power (that we benefit from) has created this problem.
What sorrow awaits us!

We sit in seats of power and influence--we are loved and honored by our peers--
but we hide our selfish motives behind our good deeds.
Sorrow awaits us!

We demand justice through the law for the things we care about and harsh punishments for the people we don't care about.
We judge sinners while overlooking our own sins.
We expect people to come to church and be transformed, but we make church an unwelcoming place, even while we avoid transforming neighborhoods and cities.
Sorrow awaits us!

We build monuments and memorials for ancestors who committed crimes, and we excuse the murders of men and women who have challenged systemic bigotry and supremacy.
We point out their failings in order to lessen their influence, even while we cover up the failings of supremacists who have maintained power. and passed it on to others like them
We point the finger at trouble-makers and look the other way when someone kills them.
Sorrow awaits us!

We are responsible for these crimes!
The guilt of our actions and our fathers' actions are held against us if we do not rectify the evils done while we were busy singing hymns and forming small groups.
We are accountable for the spiritual knowledge we have that we have never applied in our lives.
Sorrow awaits us!

We prevent people from entering the kingdom of God because we decide who should enter and who should pay for their sins,
as if we are judge and jury, instead of the God who died for everyone.
Sorrow awaits us in this life. (And maybe the next.)
By our fruits we are known.
The judgment seat awaits.

In the powerful name of Jesus,

Luke 11:53--"As Jesus was leaving, the teacher of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him."

Revelation 2:29--"Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches."

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

Oh, Lord,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.
I love you,

Psalm 20

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

Other blogs about grief:
What grief wants from you
Happy Birthday, Grief
A surprising benefit of grief
Grief is the team member you didn't choose but are learning to work with
When grief keeps coming back
Handling joy and grief at the holidays
Grief sucks
Grief sucks less today

It's not fair

Okay, Lord,

It's not fair.

I've helped, 
given mercy,
reached out,
lovingly confronted,

and what do I receive?


It's not fair.

No, it's not.
Is this what suffering is?
Is this what you warned me about--
what you said it would happen?

I just didn't expect it from Christians.
From church people.
From friends.
From people who smile at me and shake my hand
and whisper about me when I'm not around.

Yes, it happened to Job.
It happened to Moses.
It happened to David.
It happened to you.

Okay, I see why it happens to me.

Friends and family will turn against someone 
who stands for justice, mercy, purpose, and righteousness.
Someone who gives grace will get criticism back.
Someone who listens to the venom of his critics will still need to smile and walk away.

This is serving the kingdom.
It's Matthew 5.
It's life.

It doesn't make logical sense.
When I'm living this way,
it feels like the opposite of heaven.
It's not what I pictured when I vowed that I would love God and love people.

I forgot how difficult is it to love people.

Why does it have to be this way?
Why does doing the right thing put a target on my back?
Why does stepping out of religious boxes
and into the spaces where conversation and grace need to happen
always open me up to hurt feelings, judgment, and misunderstanding?

Why I can't I get used to this?
What am I doing wrong?

I can try to better protect myself.
I can pull inward,
reduce my relationships,
manage the attacks,
listen to no one,
help no one,
forgive no one.
Influence no one.

Or I can try to be like Jesus,
(except for all the human mistakes I make
that sometime warrant correction, critique, and confession.)
And then I try to be like Jesus again,
without pulling in,
without shutting out,
without resentment,
bitterness, and
about the Christian life.

The struggle is real.
I need you, God.
Oh, I need your power
because I am plumb out of the self-restraint 
to be nice,
to forgive,
and to keep trying.

I feel done.

Lord, be my strong tower.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12)

More laments & 1 prayer of confession:
"How to pray a prayer of anguish"
"Second most popular post"
"Discouragement, abandonment, and faith"
"A prayer against betrayal"
"Confessing someone else's sins"

Discouragement, abandonment, & faith

I read Psalm 5 & Psalm 13 this morning. They are prayers of lament and praise.
David feels forgotten and assaulted, so he shares his discouragement, despair, fear, abandonment, and call for justice in his communication with God. He praises God for who He is and believes that God will make all things right in His own way.
I am convicted.
I turned these two Psalms into the following prayer:

Lord God,

How long will you forget me?
Do you remember that I'm wrestling with my emotions and thoughts
all the time
and I can't get clarity
on who you are or what you're doing in my life?

I feel abandoned and forgotten.
Misunderstood and assaulted.
I'm trying to serve you,
and always,
someone or something is coming for me--
disappointing me,
hurting me,
rejecting me,
discrediting me.
Sometimes it's my own thoughts and faithlessness.
Many times, I believe it is the enemy.

Friends become foes.
They secretly enjoy my misfortune.
They talk about me to other people.
This mistreat me.
I feel the injustice and betrayal and disappointment of being human in a fallen world.
I wonder what you're going to do about this?
Will you make this right?

I know that you do not take pleasure in evil.
You do not tolerate injustice forever.
You reject the arrogant and exalt the humble.
You hear my prayers.

So hear this:
I am yours.
trust you.
I will follow you.

I don't understand your methods.
I don't even always understand your will.
I don't see how these hardships work to glorify you or accomplish your will in my life.
I would do things so differently.

I am not God.
You are.
You are good.
You are sovereign.
You are omniscient.
You are compassionate.
So I will trust you.

Remember me.
Champion me.
Humble me.
Use me.

May I bring you glory in the hardships and the triumphs.
All are blessings from you.
All are proof of your love and direction.

In Jesus' powerful name,

I will sing to the Lord because He has been good to me. (Psalm 13:6)

Praying to trust God

Lord God,

Why do I panic about the future?
Why am I afraid
even though you are present in my life,
guiding and directing me,
loving me?

I will purpose to trust in you.
Please help me in my weakness.
You know how weak I am,
how fear is so powerful,
how self-doubt seems to prevail.
All the time.

You are enough.
You are more than enough.
You are everything.

I love you, and I trust you.
I trust you.
I trust you.
I trust you.
I trust you.

In Jesus' name,

"He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."--Psalm 18:19

(Read a blog about change that scares you here.)

How to pray when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness

A day like Memorial Day stirs emotions for military families. (Read my personal blog about Memorial Day here.)

Perhaps it even affects regular families who sit with an empty chair at every dinner table.

Grief is stirred both by remembering and by trying to forget. (Read about remembering grief here.)

What should you do when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness?

You should lament.

Just complain, vent, rage, mourn, grieve, cry, blubber. To God. Ask rhetorical questions. Make accusations. Just do it with a dependance and faith on God's love for you. Do it with the awareness that you are not and cannot see the whole picture of your life. Understand that grief and loss always blur reality.

With or without immediate answers, when you lament, you must choose to trust in the unseen. That is faith, after all.

For more about the lament, read my recent full Guideposts blog on lamentation here. A brief excerpt is below:

Here are a few things you can include in a lament:
  • How you feel—why you’re upset, worried, afraid, angry or hurt
  • What you believe about God—who He is and what He has already promised you
  • What you expected Him to do that He hasn’t done (at least, not yet)
God doesn’t necessarily provide the answers you want. He is the answer. And He will lead you through the darkness, by the hand, until you come into the light again. You will learn how to hope and believe again after you’ve spent some time in this lamentation zone.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17-18)

A Prayer following Rachel Held Evans' death

The death of a good person generally doesn't make sense. It's never the right time. Someone is always too young. No answer to your "why?" is ever sufficient, if it gets answered at all.

Grief is always unbearably hard.

Rachel Held Evan's death doesn't make sense. It wasn't a good time. She was too young. She was accomplishing so much.

When something tragic happens, all I know to do is pray (which is sometimes simply a rhetorical "why????" and that's okay.)

If you're grieving, give prayer a try.

Dear Lord,

Comfort Rachel Held Evans' family, friends, and readers at her sudden death.
Comfort those of us who grieve whenever we feel another's loss fresh with pain.
You can't make us understand,
so just help us to trust you with our loss and our grief.
Use this and every sorrow to bind us closer to you
and find solace and faith in trusting your love for us
and your continued plan to prosper us as your children.
Help us to only depend on you for everything.

In the name of The Man of Sorrows, Jesus Christ,

Matthew 11:25-26 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whosever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

How to pray a Bible verse when you're grieving

When grief rolls over you like an ocean, you often don't know what to do except cry and pray.

The problem is usually that you don't know what to pray. You have no words, but your heart longs to cry out.

In times like these, I pray Bible verses. I figure if God inspired them, then they speak the truth He wants to hear. And since the Bible is full of people who prayed prayers of grief, I have plenty to pick from.

Today I found this little gem in Isaiah 25:8-9. Look it up to see the actual words (part of a poem).

Below is Isaiah 25:8-9, made into a prayer of grief:

Oh, Lord,

I believe you came to swallow up death forever.
Could you come and wipe away my tears today?
Remove my disgrace, my shame, my heartache from
being remembered in my life and in this world.

Let people remember me for your influence on my life.
Transform my grief into purpose and blessing.
You have declared this to be your passion.

Someday, people will say,
"Look at what God did through her.
She trusted in him, and he saved her from so many trials.
She trusted in the Lord, and he made her life a blessing."

Let's all rejoice and be glad at what God has already done
and what he is about to do.
Let us never be discouraged.
He has saved us, and we belong to him!


Second-most popular prayer

What kind of prayer do you pray most often?

Requests, probably. Me, too.

Requests are my website's most-clicked on kind of prayer. It seems we're all looking for the right way to ask God to help us.

Guess what the second-most popular prayer is?


I love that. I have an audience of grievers and groaners. Praise God.

Learning to lament has been one of the most impactful aspects of my spiritual growth. Instead of crying in sorrow, lamenting teaches you to cry out to God (that's the literal meaning of lament). Lamentation is faith in action, maybe even more than when I make a request.

When I lament, I dump my heavy burdens, my grief, and my hopelessness at God's feet and say something like,

"I don't know what you're doing in my life right now, but help me trust you. I choose to believe you will work all things together for my good. But oh, God, this hurts so much. Cover me with your Spirit!"

When I make a request, I am hoping and believing that God will answer it. When I lament, I do so from a posture of hopelessness and complete despair. I don't request. I just groan.

And the Holy Spirit interprets that groan. And it is sweet music in God's ears. Our groans show our utter dependance on Him.

There is no greater act of faith that to trust in God's goodness when it doesn't feel like He's doing good for us.

Just keep crying out to Jesus. He is, after all, called "the Man of Sorrows." He gets it.


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,
how disfigured,
how evil,
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,

A prayer about a crappy day (and a crappy attitude)


Help me.
I'm going through a crappy time,
and I don't want to hear anyone saying
trite little comments to me about how thankful I should be or how things will get better.
I know that.
I just don't feel that.
I've decided I'm having a pity-party.
This feels right, at the moment.
But of course, then I feel worse.
It's all selfishness.
I know that.

God, I don't know how you're going to change my heart.
This is a big ask, and a bigger commitment to repent on my part.
I need you.
I need my faith in you to grow.
I really do need someone to knock some sense into me.
Except they really should do it from a distance
because I'm likely to take a swing back.

Maybe I just need to find a punching bag.

Punch me.
I'll go open the Bible.
I'm sure something there will reach out and knock me upside the head.
So in advance of that happening,
thank you.

I do love you.
Please bear with me a little longer.

1 Timothy 6:11-12--"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness,faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

Prayer to fill the grieving spaces

This morning I had one of those mothering moments when you ask your child to trust your "no"
because you are building character into him so he can become the man God wants him to be.

Then I say that someday, he'll realize how much it mattered to have a mom who cared about these things.

Then I think about my mom and how I never realized the extent of her wisdom and love until I became a mother.

And how much I wish I could tell her that again right now. How I wish I could tell her anything at all, and how completely devastating it is to know I won't speak to her again in my lifetime. The realization returns, almost like the first time it hit me.

And I have cried off and on all day ever since. Grief sucks like that.

How can there still be so many unseen empty spaces that hold grief?


Would you just fill them, please?
Would you just pour yourself into the holes of longing and loss
and smother the grief with joy and contentment.

Will you hear this lament, 
and will you come and hold me?
You promised to be enough for me.
You are enough. I know that.

But it doesn't feel like that today.
Today, everything seems wrong. 
Even all the things that don't belong to mothering.
But especially those things.

Today, I don't want to be me, the mother.
I want to be me, the daughter, again,
and that's not possible.
I know I'm your daughter.
Will you please help that feel real enough?
Can you make it enough for me?

I know you understand this.
I can't imagine the grief you've had--
and must still have--
every moment when your children (like me) make hurtful decisions
and when they don't talk to you
and don't listen to you.

Why you chose to present yourself as a parent,
I can only guess--
it's the one human experience that is both exhilarating and fulfilling
and yet so devastating with every wrong turn your kids make
and every fear you have that they might do so.

You're not afraid of anything.
You have perfect love, 
and that casts out fear.
Fill me with that love. 
I don't want to fear anymore.
I don't want to fear the void that grief leaves.
I'm tired of the loneliness.

Is that even possible?
To love someone and still be healed after they're gone?

As much as possible,
I am pouring out myself to you 
and giving you permission--
I'm begging you--
fill me with yourself 
and your Spirit.
Fill me with love for you.
Maybe that will take the hurt away, at least a little.

In Jesus' name,

*More blogs about grief here. You can also type "Grief" or "Mother" into the search box on my home page. There's a lot to choose from. Also check out the many sources about grief on my Pinterest.

Prayer for a miscarriage

Experts guess that between 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, for various reasons. To a
woman who knows she's pregnant--who knows there's a baby forming in her womb--it doesn't matter why the pregnancy fails. She just knows that one day she was a mother, and the next day, she was not.

She feels grief. For all those excited and anticipating the birth of a baby, a miscarriage is a death.

If this is you, here is a prayer to help you grieve and hope:

Dear Abba Father,

You have created all things.
Your work is perfect.
You created me for a purpose, and you created this little life for a purpose,
although it doesn't make sense to me now why a helpless baby's life should be cut short so quickly.

I am so terribly sad--
I feel such a sense of emptiness and loss.
To be honest, I feel robbed.

This is confusing, because I know you aren't a robber.
You have come to give life and give it more abundant.
So why did you bless me, only to remove the blessing?
This pain makes me doubt your love and your will.

I want to trust your plan for me completely.
I must look back on my history with you
and your history with mankind to find the faith I need right now.
You are only love and grace and mercy.
You give and take away from a place of love and protection.
You understand my pain because you've lived it.

Keep my baby safe and secure.
I hope to see him or her one day when I enter your presence.
Thank you for that.

And please make me a mother again, in your timing and for your glory.

I will trust you, even in loss.
You are good,
and you only do good.
I love you.


"I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul." Psalm 31:7

A prayer for the lonely parent during the school year

Dear Father,

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
life-altering consequences--
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 when you're tired


I'm tired, and it's early.
I'm not sure if it's the Holy Spirit,
common sense,
or my mother's voice inside my head,
but I'm hearing "Get more sleep."

Another voice says "Take a nap,"
but that might be my college self crying out from the past.

I'm wondering if you could sprinkle me with a little holy adrenaline?
I just drank some caffeine
and took my vitamins.
I would go for a quick walk, but I've just eaten.
I'll take my shower now.

But all of that will wear off,
and the tiredness will return.

You know how I feel?
Of course you do.
You even napped in a boat--during a storm!--
which I could never do because I have motion-sickness.

Okay, I'll try to go to bed early.
Thanks for the conversation.


Praying comfort over grief

Dear God of all comfort,

You get grief. It sucks, doesn't it?

Grief interrupts the joy of living and suffocates you. It's like dying but knowing you will eventually come up for air, and you will not pass out. You will live through it.

You get it. You felt grief in the sharpest way possible. You were betrayed and rejected by the object of your love and sacrifice. And then you were rejected by your Father. You bore the weight of the sins of the whole world--the horrific acts of violence, cruelty, and debauchery. You felt them and You wore them as You died.

And because You know what grief is, You are the only true comforter.

So comfort us. Spread Your peace like a quilt over the shoulders of those who grieve parents, children, and the lives they hoped to live. Give each of us hope and confidence that You have a plan for us--You will prosper and keep us in Your perfect will.

Grief is just a part of Your will. It's just not the part we wanted to experience. To understand that, give us faith. Give us a community of encouragers. Turn our gaze upward to You.

That's what grief does. Its shoves us to the surface, gasping for air, where we see You.

Ahh! You are what we needed all along.

Thank you, Jesus. Give me Your peace.


"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. . . Surely, he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows." (Isaiah 53:3-4)

What to pray when you're angry


Set a watch over my mouth.
Help me not to sin when I'm angry.
I mean, right now.
Clamp me down.
You can take care of this problem
if I just wait and listen
and behave like Jesus would.

(Wow, this is going to be hard.)
Once again, help me!


“'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." (Eph. 4:26)

How to pray a prayer of anguish

Have you ever felt emotionally raw and desperate? Angry, even? My first response in these situations is to rage at God, to make a pitiful plea for help (if no one else is around, that is) The question, then, is how to pray a prayer of anguish?

Grief, when directed at God, is a prayer. It's a lamentation that expects a response. Anguish can prompt the most beautiful and heart-felt prayers we ever pray.

Maybe you're not sure what to say. That's okay, too. The Holy Spirit hears the groaning of our hearts and responds to us with grace and love (Romans 8:26-27).

I go directly to Psalms when I need to groan. I start at Psalm 3, and I just keep going until I've said enough. I've underlined a lot of verses about anguish and fairness and deliverance in those pages, so I pray those verses back to God. Somehow, reading the Psalms give power to my prayer and assuage any guilt I'd have for expressing my pain and misery.

Praying God's words back to him keeps my prayer a lament instead of a complaint. Fortunately, most of David's Psalms end with the correct theology that God is good, and He will do good on my behalf. In context, these verses have power; out of context, they might seem cliché.

Here are a few of my favorite passages, turned into prayers that you can use during your dark times:

"Lord, I am in distress! Listen to me! Reach down your hand and hold me up!" (Ps. 18:6)

"Lord, have mercy on me! I'm traumatized. My body and soul are wracked with grief. I can't go on! I feel all my strength fading away. I'm not going to survive. Please rescue me!" (Ps. 31:9-10)

"Lord, I am in desperate need. My enemies surround me, wanting me to fail. Only you can help me. I wait for you to work in my life. Please hurry, before I lose everything!" (Ps. 31:15-16)

"Lord, I am watching the wicked succeed all around me. I'm holding my tongue, even though I want to scream that it's not fair. I'm trying to honor you, but my anguish is increasing. Give me perspective, God! Show me how this will end! But until then, teach me to have hope in you alone." (Ps. 39:1-7)

"Lord, I am so discouraged. All my confidence is gone. I have given up hope. Help me to remember your faithfulness. My spirit is thirsty for you. Please come and refresh me!" (Ps. 143)

So take a minute and pray a psalm of agony. Cry out. God will answer you, because that's who he is. He is acquainted with grief. He can't help but respond to the cries of his children!

image by George Hodan

A Mother's Cry

Dear Lord Jesus,

When you lived on earth, you pined for your children--
you said you longed to protect the ones you loved,
gathering them like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
So you must know how I feel about my children.

I feel desperate for them all the time,
but especially when we are separated from each other.
I've found that it doesn't matter how old they are.
Do you feel the same way?

Being separate makes me painfully aware of my insecurities as their mother.
It's not so different than when they were babies, and I held their feverish bodies in the middle of the night, realizing just how desperate love had made me.
I remember comprehending that I was just not equipped well enough for this monumental role--
I was not prepared to shape a life.

It was then that I began realizing how terribly I needed you.
I still do.
Age has not lessened my inabilities or insecurities. Or my neediness.
Age has, if anything, created a wiser understanding of all of it.

I still need more than ever.
As my children grow, I am overwhelmed with the rush of time
and the realization that I am still growing myself.
And in many areas, I have failed to grow.

Please, Lord,
make me a mother who still gathers my chicks, who makes them feel safe with me.
Make me a mother who listens instead of lectures,
who encourages instead of interrogates,
who supports instead of criticizes.
Make me a mother who's patient, understanding that a life isn't finished learning and growing until it dies--
until our eternal perfection.
Make me a mother who's respectful of my children's decisions, personalities, fears, and triumphs, who doesn't try to make them like me,
and who rejoices that they are not me.
I pray they are the people you created them to be.

Make me a mother who points my children toward you.
I cannot be a perfect representation of you.
(That's pretty obvious by now.)
But perhaps, my failings will show my children to depend on you.
That none of us will ever achieve perfection.
That the Christian life is about striving, failing, and striving again.
That it's about relationship,
just like mothering is primarily about relationship.

That's my cry, Lord,
I ask you to hear it and somehow empower me to do it.
Or at least work around me and perform something miraculous.

In Jesus' loving name,

Praying my mother into eternity

Dear Lord of heaven and Lover of our souls,

My soul is grieving, my heart is heavy.
My tears are many.
Yet you stir the truth in me.
You urge me to have perspective about life and death.
Death is not the enemy; it's the pathway into your presence.
Give me the faith to not lose heart.
while my mother's earthly body wastes away;
help me feel your renewal day by day.
Our present troubles are light and momentary compared
to the greatness of living eternity in your presence.
Your glory outweighs the heaviest of earthly pains!
Show us your glory by leading us through this valley of longing and loss.
I will fix my eyes on the unseen because it is eternal,
rather than on the things I see here:
the pain, the deterioration, the separation.
These are temporary;
they are joy-robbers and faith-robbers.
I was not made for this earth,
and neither was my mother.
Eternity calls her, and she deserves to go there.
Give her peace, joy, and eternal satisfaction.
There she will radiate your glory,
even more than she did here on earth.
Give me the courage and faith to believe this process is glorification, not destruction.
You are merely completing your master plan.
You crave her company, as I do.
But she was made for your company, not mine.
You may have her.
I will praise you in all things.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Why should I thank God when I'm grieving?

I'm grieving, but I want to thank you.

Thank you for creating the church, which functions like a family. I can't explain how people I've never met or hardly know can send me a prayer or encouragement, and I instantly feel loved and no longer alone.

Thank you for making prayer a way to express grief, joy, fear, and frustration. I don't know why it works, but it does.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve You by serving other people. I don't know why loving someone else when I need to be loved fills an emotional hole, but it does.

Thank you for growing my faith through trials. I don't completely understand how suffering can produce joy in my life, but I see it happen all the time.

Thank you for asking me to be generous. I can't explain how we can give away so much and still pay our bills, but remarkably, it's true.

Thank you for a million other blessings--for every sunset, for every flower, for every smile, for every laugh. For exquisite tastes and smells. For the bliss of cuddling a child and kissing a spouse. I am astounded by the richness of life.

You are truly remarkable. There is no other explanation for the joy of life, except to say that You are God. You are holy, righteous, just, wise, fierce, and tender. I am in awe of You.

Thank you for that, too.


What to pray after someone dies

Lord Jesus,

You personally know the pain of death.
You know how afraid and sorrowful it makes us.
You know that grief cuts deeply into the human soul,
that it feels like there will never be an end to the heartbreak.

Someone wonderful has died.
You know that, too.
The death of your children is beautiful to you,
but it is so difficult for us.

I am feeling grief for some good people
who have lost a loved one.
They are overwhelmed, shocked, traumatized, bereft.
They feel an ache they never could have imagined.

Only you can fill that gaping hole left by their loved one.
Only you can pour hope and peace, ever so gradually, into their life.
Only you can give them courage to live again--
to seek healing, to start over.
When they're ready.

I ask for your peace to fall on them right now.
Erase the terror about the future.
Block an regret about the past.
Stop the panic about the present.

I beg you, Holy Spirit, to speak words of love and comfort into the dark fearful places of loss.
Bring them support from people who speak love,
who speak seldom, yet are present.
Give them friends to fill the empty spaces left by their loved one's home-going.

Lord, God, heal their broken hearts, I beg you.
And give me the empathy to keep them always in my prayers and actions.


A Prayer to Find Answers

Dear Lord God Jehovah,
I'm having a heavy heart kind of day.
I've been remembering sad things,
things that make me feel disappointed and hopeless.
I want to crawl into a corner and shut out life.
That's where You come in.
You've showed up many times during my life when the joy of living has vanished and memories haunt.
And You feel what I feel, at the moment when I feel it.
Even though I feel alone, You are with me.
I must remember who You are and what You
what You have always done for me.
You fill me with unexplainable comfort.
You cradle my heart with warm hands and soothe the heavy space inside that hurts.
You're the reason I pray.
I don't pray because I want answers.
I pray because You are the only Answer.
Thank you for doing Your work in me,
through pain, through confusion, and through thanksgiving.
Thank You for the memories of You.

Praying the "Turnaround" Prayer

Today has been especially hard for me, for no particular reason except that I'm grieving, and today I'm grumpy and unsettled about it.

I am not a perky Christian right now. I feel dried up. Parched like a wind-swept desert, I am unable to quench the emptiness of my heart. My faith is strong enough not to rage at God or question His sovereignty; I'm just unhappy, lost even. How selfish that sounds! 
After a sad, scrolling-through of social media posts, I ran across my friend Bob Hostetler's blog on Guideposts, dated yesterday, Sept. 20, 2016. I appreciate his perspective on praying through hard times. Here is an excerpt from his blog "Pray for Blessings from Disappointments"--

"Most of us, when misfortune occurs, pray for relief or deliverance. That is natural, and it’s a good way to pray. 
After all, the psalmist David prayed, “Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me” (Psalm 70:1, NLT). And “Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me” (Psalm 40:13, NLT). . . 
I pray those kinds of prayers a lot. But sometimes I have the presence of mind—and the faith—to pray differently. 
I may start with prayers like those, but I continue in my praying to say something like, “God, turn this whole situation around. Where there is now confusion, bring understanding. Where now there is only pain and suffering, turn it into an occasion for amazement and joy and bring glory to Your name!” . . .
'Turnaround' prayers do more than ask God to fix something, they ask Him to turn a situation on its head and bring beauty from ashes, blessing from disappointment, glory from gloom. 
So try it. Don’t just ask God to heal you, ask Him to turn your affliction around and make it an occasion for rejoicing. Don’t simply request relief, ask for a 180-degree reversal of the situation, one that will bring glory to God. . . .
Pray 'turnaround prayers' and see if your faith and God’s faithfulness combine to do something special in answer to your prayers."

You can read Bob's prayer blog in its entirety (or any of his previous blogs on Guideposts) by clicking on this address:


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