By Christina Patterson, Crosswalk.com
One of the most underestimated strengths in the Christian life is prayer. Prayer is the way we communicate with the Maker of the Universe and He not only hears us, but He also responds. Through prayer, we access healing, wisdom, discernment, peace, protection, joy and so much power we could never experience on our own. It is through prayer that I have seen the transforming power of God come into my heart and life like never before.
Our prayers do not need to be in-depth or lengthy to matter to God. Simple, short prayers can be just what you need in a time of need. Jesus himself prayed simple, short prayers! Today I want to share with you three simple prayers that have had the most impact on my life.
1. A Prayer Over Negative Thinking
If you ever want a sneak peek look into the direction that your day or week is headed just look at your thoughts. What you're thinking has the power to direct the course of an entire day. Starting with positive and truthful thoughts can lead to a peaceful and fulfilling day. Negative thoughts not aligned with God's truth can lead to a confusing and frustrating day. This is why God wants us to keep our thoughts on good things. Philippians 4:8 tells us:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. - Philippians 4:8 NIV
If changing our thoughts from negative to positive can change our day from good to bad, they also have to power to direct the course of our lives. Now that is serious! Which is why the Bible also instructs us to:
Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
A constant prayer of mine is that my thoughts will align with God's truth. This is hard work, but the reward is a peaceful and fruitful life, which is well worth the work. Here is a simple prayer for winning the battlefield of the mind.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for your good thoughts about me. May my thoughts reflect your truth and nothing else. When I have a negative thought, I pray for your help to quickly recognize it and that You would empower me to focus on what is true, pure, and lovely. Thank You Lord. In Jesus Christ Name I pray, Amen.
2. A Prayer for Discernment
Now more than ever it seems we have so many options before us:
Which school to go to?
Which job to take?
Which church to attend?
Some decisions are even heavier:
Should we get married?
Should I accept this job opportunity that requires my entire family to move?
Should I elect to have this surgery?
Having options and the freedom to make our own decisions is a wonderful privilege, but it also may lead to the stress and anxiety of wondering if we are making the right decision. Good for us our Heavenly Father is ready and willing to guide and direct our steps and provide us with His wisdom and discernment to make good decisions. James 1:5 says:
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. - James 1:5 NIV
We can blindly make decisions without seeking God, but why not seek the God who knows the beginning from the end? Here is a a simple, short prayer for wise choices and discernment.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for guiding me in your wisdom. I pray for discernment today over all the decisions I will make. I trust Your guidance and leading Lord. I love You. In Jesus Christ Name I pray, Amen.
3. A Prayer for Strength to Surrender
The first prayer is for the strength to surrender to God's will and desire for my life. Jesus offers us life and life to the full (John 10:10) but we will never experience that full life if we don't allow God to have complete control of our life. The challenge here is that we have the battle between our sinful flesh and the new Spirit God has given us upon salvation. As I'm sure you know the level of power it takes to follow God, and not our flesh, can at times feel impossible. So my prayer to God is for the strength to surrender to Him and not myself. I pray for His strength to do it because my strength will fail me. But even when I'm weary and weak the Lord is willing and ready to grant me His strength to surrender to the things I think I can't do or be. This simple prayer has allowed me to see God's hand in my life, marriage, and parenting like never before.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your ways are higher than my ways. I pray for power and strength to surrender my way and follow your best way. I trust You Lord. In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen.
Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.
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