Category Archives: Prayer

A Prayer for Seasons When Jesus Had Better Be “Enough”

Watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. Gen. 4:7 (NLT)

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matt. 26:41 (NIV)

I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”  Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:9-11 (ESV)

Dear Lord Jesus, there are times when the emptiness feels like the Grand Canyon on steroids; when the pain feels like it had no beginning and will have no end; when loneliness is magnified to the point we’ll welcome any open door or welcoming embrace; when the conflicts of heart and life are SO intense, we’ll risk anything with anyone for a few moments of oasis and relief. Those are the days, weeks, and seasons when you better be enough, for our languishing, vulnerable, raw hearts. Otherwise, Jesus, we have no hope.

Jesus, sin isn’t just “crouching at our doors” to control us; it’s also whispering inside of our hearts to destroy us. We need, you and we need each other. We don’t need clichés, maxims, or sayings; we need a living Christ for the deadly perils in …

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A Prayer for Our Corporate Worship and Those Who Lead Us in Worship

     Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:1-3 (ESV)

     And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the Day of his return is drawing near. Heb. 10:25 (NLT)

     And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, thank you for the calling, privilege, and importance of worshiping together on the Lord’s Day. Because it’s a calling, we dare not dismiss it easily or take it lightly. It’s a privilege because it’s you we get to meet with, in a most heart-encouraging, soul-renewing, life-transforming way. And according to you, Father, our gatherings will become increasingly important, as the Day of Jesus’ return grows closer and closer. Help us to take your admonition seriously.

     Father, may we, as your beloved children, give you, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit the worship of which you are alone worthy. Feed our minds with your Word; fill our hearts with your grace; empower our worship by your Spirit. May we gather, not as selfish consumers, looking to be pleased; but as true worshipers, longing to be consumed with your glory and grace.

     We pray for those …

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A Prayer for Being with Jesus

     The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 (NLT)

Dear Lord Jesus, this simple story indicts and invites my heart this morning. Two unschooled, ordinary fishermen named Peter and John were radically liberated, all because of their vital relationship with you.

Jesus, this story reminds me that doing the right things for you is not the same thing as spending life-giving time with you. Thinking great thoughts about you is not the same thing as vital communion with you. Helping others understand the gospel is not the same thing as drinking presently and deeply from the wellspring of grace for myself.

Jesus, renew and refresh, deepen and delight, fuel and fertilize my heart-relationship with you. I don’t want to hear you say, ten minutes or ten years from now, “I have this against you, you have forsaken the love you had at first.” May your beauty be alluring, your love compelling, and your grace transforming in my life.

Because who or what do I have in heaven but you, Jesus? You make heaven heavenly. And being with you, I desire nothing on earth, because absolutely nothing else satisfies my soul like you do. My flesh and my heart may fail, but you, Jesus, are the strength of my heart and my portion, my banquet, my …

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A Prayer for a Greater, Gladder, More Spontaneous Generosity

     Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. Prov. 26:6-7 (ESV)

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7 (NIV)

Dear heavenly Father, what a contrast these Scriptures present. I wince at the first and am drawn to the second. I’ve experienced both, and have been both. My longing is to become so much freer, cheerful, and spontaneous in being generous with what you have blessed me with, Father—beginning with your mercy and grace.

How my heart needs to hear on a daily basis (even hourly)… “As you are loved, love; as you have been forgiven, forgive one another; as God has accepted, so accept others; be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” There is no more cheerful giver than you, Father. There is nothing stingy, begrudging, or miserly about you. You are lavish with your love, extravagant with your grace, and limitless with your patience.

The limits I put on being generous with your grace are too often connected to my wounds and pain. But I don’t deserve your mercy and grace any more than anyone else. Forgive and free me, Father.

The same is true when it comes to being generous with my money, time, and stuff. Biblically and theologically I …

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A Prayer for Releasing the Fragrance of Christ and the Aroma of Grace

     But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 2 Cor. 2:14-15 (NLT)

     But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Cor. 4:7 (ESV)

     Dear heavenly Father, these wonderful words tell the story of how I want to live up till the Day Jesus either returns, or the day you choose to bring me home. May the fragrance of Jesus and the aroma of grace being increasingly released through this fragile jar of clay that I am.

     Keep me in the place of humility, brokenness, and dependence that more of the sweet perfume of the gospel may waft upward before you as an offering of praise and released through me, wherever you send me. Father, thank you for making me Christ’s captive and a prisoner of hope. Thank you for rescuing me from sin and death, from my guilt and shame, from the illusion of self-sufficiency and the lie of self-righteousness.

     Father, free me to love well, wherever I am, and with whomever I’m with. As these Scriptures remind me, some will experience your grace as …

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A Prayer for New Growth in Gratitude

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess. 5:18 (ESV) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17 (NIV)

     One of them (one of the lepers), when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ”Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” Luke 17:15-15 (NLT)

     Dear Lord Jesus, I want to be more like the healed Samaritan leper that came back to you shouting, “Praise God!” Indeed, I want my whole being to yell with thanks, for all the blessings and benefits I have from knowing you. The heck with measured, polite, or mile-mannered appreciation—I want to overflow with gratitude.

     As Creator and Sustainer, Jesus, I bless you for every good thing you have given (and give) me: Food and clothing, shelter and a bed; lungs and breath, a vocation and vacations; medical care and money to spend, a family to love and friends galore; fish to catch and bread to share. And the list goes on and on.

     As Savior and Redeemer, Jesus, I adore you for living in my place and dying in my …

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A Prayer for Growing a Heart of Contentment

     I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Phil. 4:11-12 (ESV)

     Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Heb. 13:5 (NLT)

     And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, these verses are as familiar to me as sunrise and sunset; and yet, like the magnificent way you paint the morning and evening skyline, I can easily ignore the wonder of these words. First and foremost, I bless and adore you for being a Father who will never fail or abandon his children; and, secondly, for being a God who studies our needs, and who answers those needs with riches, not pittance. You are so present and loving, kind and generous.

     Accordingly, Father, like Paul, I do want to learn more about contentment. For the more content I am, the more present I’ll be in relationships—not stressing or even thinking about what I don’t have; and the more generous I’ll become—for I’ll be quicker to acknowledge that everything I have, I’ve received as a gift from you; and the more flexible and spontaneous I’ll be in serving you—not being defined …

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A Prayer for Families Impacted by Stories of Addiction

     For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer. 2 Cor. 1:8-11 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, with track shoes on, I run to the throne of grace today on behalf of families called to love and care for an addicted family member. Few stories hold more potential for exhaustion and exasperation, discouragement and despair, giving in and giving up. Even more so, fewer stories represent an opportunity, for you—the God who raises the dead, to bring the resurrection power of Jesus into play.

     Father, I pray for the caregivers of the addict. Grant them unity and perseverance in the caregiving plan; heroic grace to love beyond their emotional and physical capacity; and wisdom to withstand the overwhelming pulls and manipulative strategies of their addicted family member. Provide the resources they need to love in the messy places and for the unique challenges of addiction—outside professional help; friends and support groups to offer encouragement and perspective; and funds, Father, as caring for addicts can be so very expensive. Above all, …

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A Prayer for Remembering Our Most Glorious and Eternal Marriage

      I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion.Hos. 2:19 (NLT)

     As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isa. 62:5 (NIV)

     “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” Rev. 19:6-8 (NIV)

     Dear Lord Jesus, our oldest ache, deepest longing, greatest delight can only be understood (and satisfied) in light of these Scriptures. We crave intimacy because you wrote it into our DNA. We’re love hungry, because you’ve made us for yourself, and we will remain restless and foolish, until we rest in your love. We’re wired for hope, because you have secured a future for us that immeasurable exceeds everything we could ask or imagine.

     Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! Jesus, you are the Spouse we always wanted, the Savior we always needed, and the Sovereign who reigns forever. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we ask you to take us “further up and further in”—take us deeper and deeper into the wonders of your love, the ocean of your grace, the vastness of your delight.

     Free us from the heart-dulling limitations of our doubts and disbelief. Forgive us for ever thinking, looking, or hoping we for some human being, some horizontal relationship that could …

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A Prayer for a Fresh Work of God in Our Hearts

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jer. 17:14 (NIV)

Restore to me the joy of your salvation. Psalm 51:12 (ESV)

Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 73:25-26 (NLT)

     Dear heavenly Father, for your welcoming heart, we adore you; for your daily mercies, we worship you; for your promise of renewal, we trust you.

     Your grace finds us where we are; but, thankfully, it doesn’t leave us there. Today, we represent the many different ways it’s possible to get disconnected from a vital and robust relationship with you. But we all share in common a longing to get back on the dance floor of your delight. We long for the music of the gospel to fill the corridors of our hearts, once again. Gracious and loving Father, bring us home. Restore to us our first love relationship with Jesus.

     Some of us are just worn out, spent, and weary from life’s incessant demands. It’s not that we don’t love you, Lord; it’s just that the joy of our salvation has been replaced with sighs of just getting by. Breathe, O breath of God, and bring refreshment and renewal to our tired hearts.

     Some of us are weighted down with broken relationships, …

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