Another blog on prayer, you say? Truth is, it is an area that I continue to grow in. While I crave the written word, and have learned to converse easily with God, there are times when, if I’m honest, I struggle to know what to say.
I know that prayer is a responsibility and a privilege. Because the God of the universe knows my name, and is able to discern what is in my heart, I see that the only real prayer is honest prayer.
Speaking to Him in reverence and awe, I know that He not only hears–He answers. Because of my faith, and because I believe what the Bible teaches, I am confident that God knew me, and each of our children and grandchildren before they were even born. (Read Psalm 139!) I also believe that He has created them for a purpose and I am praying that each of them will choose to follow God’s plan for their life.
“It’s my goal in life to be your hero!”
I might be joking when I say this endearing phrase, but there is something in my heart that makes it partially true. While I will never be the perfect example, I know that if my only goal were to be a fun grandma, I would be missing one of the greatest opportunities of my life: praying for my children and grandchildren.
Just as my children grew and began to depend on me less and less, these precious littles will soon be catapulted into the world where they will pursue an education and/or a career, and hopefully start their own little family.
While it is hard to imagine now, the reality sets in as our oldest grandson is approaching double digits. Turning ten this year means that we only have eight more years until we see him step into adulthood. While in my daily prayers, I am praying for the decisions that will affect his future, nothing is more important than praying for him to grow spiritually.
One of my favorite ways types of prayer is to take a scripture passage and pray it for them specifically. If you have never considered it, I highly recommend it. While it might sound repetitive or clinical to some, taking God’s Word and using it to guide me in prayer helps me to focus on God and His will, and not just my own desires or wants.
So the question you might have is, how do you do that? How do you know what to pray? This verse in Proverbs is a great example–I just pray a short prayer for these sweet cousins that they will “stay closer than a brother.” That they will be life-long friends and that they will help each other to grow spiritually.
“One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
Let me give you a few other verses that I have used recently in my prayers.
I always start my day reading the Bible, and right now I am in Philippians. With a journal by my side, I keep a list of blessings. Writing down things that I am thankful for, often it is something that God revealed to me in the reading of His Word. Sometimes it is the circumstances of life or even the opportunities that I’ve had to see God at work around me.
In the book of Philippians, Paul is talking about this very important privilege we have in praying for others:
“And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
In this case, I see a great example of what I can pray for my children and grandchildren:
- That they would keep growing in knowledge and discernment.
- That they would recognize what is best and remain pure and blameless.
- That they would be filled with “the fruits of righteousness”. (Spiritual fruit; ie., love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.) [Galatians 5]
Taking that one verse, you can break it down and pray a similar prayer for yourself or for others. Don’t over-complicate it. At its core, prayer is just opening your heart and mind up to God and asking Him to fill you with His truth.
If you read on in Philippians, you will see more great passages that you can pray for yourself or as you are petitioning for others:
“Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
“Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-8
Do you see it? Scripture is packed with truth and practical wisdom for living. Doesn’t it make sense to take what we know is true, and pray it back to God as we are seeking to know Him better? Trusting His Word for my life means that
I can always go to the Bible for answers–and for the words to pray when I’m not sure how to verbalize it myself.
Or maybe it’s just that you read something that reminds you of someone else. Maybe a friend that is grieving or a mom that is struggling. Stop and pray scripture for them.
God knows our heart. He gave us His Word so we would see His heart, and prayer is what connects the two.
Won’t you take time to connect with God through His Word?
Trust that He will speak to you–and that He will use you when you are willing to intercede for others.
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