Shall We Pray

Heavenly Father,

We humbly bow before you once again asking for your help as we see the evil that surrounds us. We know that your will is being accomplished in the world today. We thank you for loving us even though we have turned from following your commands. We ask for your mercy as we navigate the winding path called life. We need your guiding hand upon us.

In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth. You made the heavens with your hands. You have said that these things will perish, but you will never change.

Your throne, O God, endures forever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You will always be the same. Yesterday. Today. And forever.

You have loved us with an everlasting love, and yet we continue to run from you. As if you are someone to run from. Because even though we run, you still see us. You still know all about us. We can’t run far enough from your love.

Oh Father. Your name is holy. Your son, Jesus Christ, is God himself. He humbled himself and was born a human baby. He gave up his divine privileges to become a helpless baby and then move through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. He experienced every temptation known to man. And yet he did not sin. He died a cruel and painful death on a criminal’s cross. For my sins. For everyone’s sins. Oh. And they are many. So he is now elevated at the place of highest honor. And you’ve given him the name above all names. And at the appointed time, every knee will bow at the mention of his name.

We understand that every act on this earth is ordained by you. Your will is always accomplished. Difficulties in our lives are opportunities for us to draw closer to you. To learn to trust you and depend on your guidance. To know you better. All our days are determined by you. You know what’s coming. And you know where we’ve been. You see us even today. Our days are numbered.


Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14


We can’t run from judgment day. Because at the end, we will stand before you in judgment. You have said that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Lord, you hate the way of the wicked, but you love those who pursue godliness. Your eyes roam throughout the earth, and you examine everyone closely. You watch those who call on your name, and you watch those who reject your name. No one escapes your eye. You see our coming and our going. Our ways are fully known by you.

Help us to listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we will drift from it. For your message has always stood firm. And for those who haven’t listened and obeyed the truth, I pray that their hearts will soften to things eternal. I ask that you send a godly person to speak truth and to share the message of salvation with them. Oh. How we all need you.

I pray that you will forgive us our sins and give us the will to forgive those who have sinned against us. Help us not to give in to temptation. Please. Please. Deliver us from the evil one.

Meet us at our point of need. And at our point of praise. Make us aware of your presence. Make us aware of our faults, our flaws, our failures, our fears, our weaknesses. As we seek you, may we relax in your love and forgiveness, your grace and mercy. Remind us of your faithfulness and your sacrifice. For we know we were bought with a price. A heavy price of death on the cross for your only son, Jesus Christ. May we be eternally thankful for your sacrifice and gift of forgiveness.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen

Never Stop Praying

I think of the prayer requests that I’ve received recently. And I’m reminded of how fragile life really is. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.

There’s the one who lost his father from a tragic fall. There’s the child who’s having surgery. I think of the one who’s been unfairly accused and faces an uncertain future. Then there’s the one who has health issues that seem never ending. The one who recently started chemo. And another who’s finishing chemo and preparing for the next steps. 

I think of the one who was in a car accident. And the family whose loved one is in hospice care. I think of the sister whose faith has taken a turn toward recklessness. The son who is fighting depression. And the daughter who is still struggling with health problems months after her accident. I remember the one who received a daunting mental health diagnosis. And the one who hasn’t yet received a diagnosis. And there’s the one who is struggling with health issues and is searching far and wide for relief.

Another one feels they must lie in order to avoid combative conversations. I think of the one who apologized for possibly offending another. I recall the one who has a bad attitude about their work situation. They all need to pray, and they need others to pray for them.

Her loved one is dying. He doesn’t have long to live. His days are numbered. She isn’t sure how to talk to him. She isn’t sure what to do. I said all we can do is pray. It sounded so helpless. But wait. Prayer isn’t helpless. Prayer is the act of turning over our troubles and concerns and struggles and needs to an Almighty, All Powerful God. It isn’t an act of weakness. Prayer is one of the most powerful acts a believer can do.


Never stop praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17


I wonder why we use prayer as a last resort, instead of as our first line of defense. Or offense. God is always available. He is ready and willing to hear our prayers. Prayer is power.

Have the habit of prayer, turning your thoughts into acts by connecting them with the idea of the redeeming God.

(Coleridge, Notes on the Book of Common Prayer)

Prayer. The act of talking with God. Sharing our concerns and needs and gratitude and praise. It’s a time to bare our souls and just lay out all our fears and desires. But we can’t forget to offer thankfulness. God is so good to us. He has blessed us beyond measure. He knows everything we will do and what we won’t do. He knows everything we need and everything we want. God can do more than we ask or imagine. We must remember to thank God for everything.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6

There’s the sinner’s prayer asking for forgiveness. There’s the prayer of thanksgiving. God hears our every prayer. He answers our prayers in the way he sees fit. For that, we should be thankful. 

We should pray seeking wisdom as we make decisions. And for speaking words of truth. We must pray for discernment. And whether we like it or not, we should pray for our political leaders and for those in authority. We need to pray for those who are against us, not just for those who are for us. We must pray for others, and not just for ourselves.

We must pray. Because when we pray, we draw closer to God. We don’t pray to change God. Prayer actually changes us, even when we are praying for others. Prayer moves God to work in our lives. We can and must pray boldly, and God will hear us. We must not be afraid to pray for anything and all things.

And when those prayers aren’t answered in the way we want or expect, we must still cry out to God. We must still bring our requests to him knowing that he always hears us. God’s will is always accomplished. We must ask ourselves. Are we praying for God’s will or our own? Regardless of the answer or lack of, we must pray. Regardless of how long we wait to see heaven move. We still pray.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12

Bold Prayers

Do I dare to pray boldly? What request do I have that would seem rather bold and extraordinary to bring to God? Do I dare tell him the deep longings of my heart? Do I risk sharing heartfelt needs that only He knows? The ones He already knows.

When I think of my prayers, I think they’re bland. They’re not daring. They don’t make me uncomfortable. They don’t take my breath away with the thought that I just asked such a bold thing of God. But why not? Why don’t I pray extreme prayers? I don’t want to be complacent, but then I don’t like the thought of being uncomfortable either. I can’t have it both ways. 

I want to pray boldly. I want to see first world miracles. But what exactly is that? What is a first world miracle? What miracle could I possibly need today that would satisfy my deepest longings? Perhaps it’s not my needs I should focus on. Perhaps I should look at the bigger picture and consider the needs of others before mine.

Oh.  I get it.  People in third world countries pray for their basic needs to be met.  Sometimes on a daily basis. Missionaries in foreign countries pray for safety and protection.  They pray for God to provide immediate desperate needs. But I don’t live in a third world country. 

Oh. I trust God. I do. So why don’t I ask for things bigger than I can imagine? Why don’t I make requests that seem impossible? After all. Nothing is impossible with God.


And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him.  1 John 5:14-15


I don’t have to wonder where my next meal is coming from. I don’t worry about where I will sleep at night. I have a closet full of clothes. I don’t doubt that my family loves me. I have enough money to pay my bills. My health is good. I have everything I need.

So what should my bold prayers look like? What should I ask for in bold faith? Perhaps the boldness comes in not asking for petty things.  The need isn’t always about having stuff.

Perhaps I’m afraid to pray bold prayers. Perhaps I’ll discover that my bold prayers are answered. Or maybe they’re not. Can’t I reach out in faith and pray those prayers that might just break open heaven’s floodgates? Imagine what might happen.

The King of kings says to come boldly to his throne.  He says we have the same power that caused Jesus to rise from the dead. This offer is free for the taking, because he’s already paid the price.

We need to pray specific, continual radical prayer says Greg Pruett. He also says we should intentionally pray the kinds of prayers that tap into all of Jesus’ open-ended promises about prayer in a way that achieves maximum Kingdom impact.

Oh. I’ve prayed bold prayers. Others have prayed bold prayers. And they’ve been answered. I think of the prayer for the unborn baby who received a diagnosis in the womb. Family and friends prayed for that baby. He was born perfect and healthy.

I think of two churches. One looking for a new location. The other was looking to overcome a tough financial situation. Both churches were praying. Believing God would provide the miracle. Little did they know that God was working on a plan to combine those two churches in one overwhelmingly beautiful location.

The thing about praying bold prayers is that I need to be comfortable with the answers God gives. I must be willing to accept his miracles as he performs them. They may not always be the answers I would have chosen or dreamed of, but they are still answers and miracles. I must be willing to accept the gifts as they are given.

What if I prayed for God to work his plan in my life, instead of asking for him to work my plan. What if I asked God to do the impossible instead of asking for the probable. What if I stepped aside and allowed God to do what only he can do. What if.