Powerful Things to Pray For
What are the most powerful things to pray for? I am not a power-hungry person. Honestly, power-hungry people mystify me. I have never really understood that desire. And you know the folks, the ones that are driven to dominate and control? This is not a struggle of mine. Go ahead, you be in charge.
But as of late, I want my prayers to be powerful.
No, this is not the darkest season of my life. I have loved well and lost better. Things that are completely out of my control are scarcely manipulated. I am a “go with the flow” kind of gal 99% of the time. Honestly, I am all for surrendering to the God I adore, simply because I am not qualified to be in charge.
However, there are things I would like to be different. There are ways I want my life and my passions to bless my family and others. I don’t really need to be rich, but I do love raspberries. I would like money for more raspberries.
And while this may seem trivial, I am convinced, were I to pray for more raspberries, that would be a powerful prayer.
Stay with me.
The power lies in the belief, a faith that my prayers are heard.
And the belief that my conversations with God, matter.
Powerful things to pray for are the things that truly matter to you.
I would like to propose that the greatest barrier in my prayer life has been in a lack of faith. A lack of faith in God to care about the struggles of my heart, what I want, what I care about, and the belief that those things don’t matter to the God who loved me unto His brutal death.
A friend recently said to me, “I hate to bother God with something so trivial when there are starving people in the world. Real suffering around the world trumps my struggles.”
And this I understand. I have said it myself. You probably have too. Praying for things we want, such as the line at Starbucks to move faster, a better job, a nicer home, better grades, seem to pale in comparison to health, life, world peace, or a saved marriage.
But I am reminded of something my mom used to say. “If one of my children had cancer, I would still help my other children with their homework.”
In my heart, I believe this to be true of God too. Yes, there is horrible suffering all around us. Still, He remains. People will meet with all kinds of suffering. Most of the time, the world seems cruel and unfair, but God knows us. He knows our strength and He knows our folly.
Christians are often force-fed a heaping spoonful of soured doctrine that lends to shame in praying for something that is smaller than what we believe God sees as important. Furthermore, there is the Christian theological nightmare of good gets good and bad gets bad and this is the most confusing persona of God.
If good gets good and bad gets bad, then God is just a crazed madman, dishing out brain tumors and infertility to good and decent human beings, all the while giving lottery wins and abundant blessings to pedophiles and ax murderers.
I have come to know, bad things happen, good things happen, and Christ remains.
Jesus’ love overcame the world. This act, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ was the thing that separated us from the Law and the tree of good and evil and opened the door to a friendship with God.
This work, the completed work of the cross, is only undermined when my ways are fixed in the work of catching up to the cross and expecting more than what was promised in the Word. My ways are always going to fall short of Jesus.
I stand firmly in my faith, powerful things to pray for are laced with honesty.
As I prepared this post I set my bible next to me on the bed, along with my journal.
I love my bible, and I love looking through my prayer journal just as much. It is the most honest account of what I need and want, between me and my God. When I pray, I almost always write out my prayers and petitions. And yes, I do ask for health, safety, refuge, and restoration, and I have faith, these are powerful things to pray for.I stand firmly in my faith, powerful things to pray for are laced with honesty. #prayer Click To Tweet
But more, in the pages of my prayer journal, I see a relationship with my God.
What God chooses to give me is most relevant to my faith walk when I choose to see God as Father.
Tonight our youngest son, Charlie, didn’t want to eat what we were having for our family dinner. We have a busy family and we plan our meals. They are carefully orchestrated around schedules, budget, and the ways of our unique family. It is not new for Charlie to balk at dinner. I love Charlie, I want him to grow into a healthy and productive young man, someone eager to serve Christ and the world.
And in this life, Charlie will face new people and interesting dinners, but as for me and my house… what you get is what is in front of you.
I am not doing this to give him trial or break his heart. I heard what he wanted and I know what food he would love to have instead. However, there are 5 people in this house, there is only so much I can give in the work of feeding them. This life is full of disappointments.
And as far as things to pray for?
Yes, I fully believe in prayer that conveys that which frustrates, scares, or would give us peace. And I also have faith in those prayers not being answered exactly as I had hoped, and this is where I grow in my communication with God.
Much like Charlie, the tow-headed boy sitting at the family dining room table, irritated with my ways and the small, unfair world that is everything he understands, I believe I am heard. In my Christian walk, there have been times I have cried out with frustration. I have stomped my feet and begged for something new, better, or different. I have said a word or fifteen that were doused in disgust, rage or hurt. Still, I am never separated from the love of Jesus Christ.
This word, “and I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love,” (Romans 8:38)is exponentially important in knowing things to pray for. Prayer that is from the depths of our humanity, full exposure of what life is throwing at us, a manifesto, words that are raw and desperate, when we fall into the arms of Jesus Christ, from whom we cannot be separated, are the most powerful things we pray.
It is an understatement to say this world is a mess in desperate need of prayer.
People are troublesome, and their ways are not always the ways we may like or understand. But the Word of God remains.
And He, in His infinite mercy invites us to pray. The veil was torn so that we can come to God in word and deed, just as we are.
Perhaps this title was misleading, again, I am not in charge. But as it unraveled I began to pray for all the people that might read it.
People who might believe that they can only talk to God with their Bible open and every word in line with some relevant and perfected word. And this is what I want to say, the most powerful things to pray for are the things most important to you.
Your Bible is very important.
My Bible is where I seek when I am lost. And the Word tells us… seek and you will find. I believe that the Word can give you more insight into this God and the love He has for you.
At the same time, when we add the Law into the message of Grace we are no longer in the arms of freedom. And this weighs heavy on me.
As far as things to pray for, this is written on my heart.
A faith in the word of God, the truth of who Jesus is and why He died is everything in a prayer life steeped in freedom.
And that freedom allows you a private space where you can ask God “why?” God is not offended and He will not turn from you, just like I didn’t stop being Charlie’s mommy because He didn’t want grilled chicken for dinner.
Jesus told us how to pray but He also showed us the humanity of spontaneous prayer when He was faced with the terrors of the world. He didn’t shy from asking God to change the plan. He cried out, desperate for an answer to why this road? Why this horrible thing? And then, He surrendered to His Father, and bought for us… everything.
So when you wonder what things to pray for, let Jesus be the model for how near this God is.
Jesus talked to God. He gave thanks for His daily bread.
We witnessed Him forgiving others who had not just trespassed against Him but tortured and destroyed Him.
Jesus cried out to God in temptation and He was delivered from evil.
We can look to our Bible for ways to pray when we don’t know what things to pray for. But I believe the greatest prayer is from the depths of our heart. It is confession and praise, worship and sorrow, thankfulness and questioning.
The most monumental prayer is one where we commune with the God who sacrificed Himself so that we could come to Him in all of our nonsense and humanness and sit at His feet… adored.
Things to pray for are varied. I have prayed for my jeans to zip and I have prayed for the strength to breathe when a foster-love was removed from our home. But in between the vain and dire, the greatest things I have prayed for where the simple conversations with this God who knows and loves me, unto the brutal death of His only son Jesus.
I believe He hears me.
And I know He likes me.
I cannot be separated from God’s love… and my thank you is a simple, Amen.
Jesus be all over you… Love, Jami
And I, (Paul) am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38
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