Pray First 21 Days of Prayer
Dear River Church,
When Pastor Kathy and I began River Church, we have set our hearts to be a people of prayer. Our desire is to “Pray First.” In every situation, whether good or bad, we try to pray before we act. Many times, people act first and then want God to bail them out of that situation, but prayer should be our first response, not our last resort.
Understanding the necessity of prayer is not enough. In order for it to become a part of our life, it needs to become something we look forward to. I’m convinced most people don’t enjoy prayer because they have never been taught how to pray. That’s where this simple prayer journal can help. Using several prayer models out of the Bible and having some guides to make prayer more personal, this booklet is designed to help bring joy into your time with God. When you discover the beauty of daily conversation with Him, you’ll experience the presence of God that will change your life.
Once you learn how to pray, prayer can become a part of everyday life. And then…
Before the day begins —
Before you go to bed —
Before you go to work or school —
Before you send that text —
Before you react —
Before bad things happen —
Before you eat, drive, or travel —
In every situation — PRAY FIRST!
Prayer changes everything!
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
We don’t have to follow a specific formula to talk with God but practicing different ways to pray can help us find deeper purpose and connection to Him through our prayer time.
This guide is designed to give you several prayer models in addition to the First 15 app many of you use. You don’t have to master all of them at once; you can select a different prayer model each day in any order youwant, and even spend a few days on the same model as you become more comfortable.
To get started, choose which model you want to use today in prayer. As you pray, focus on the process the model reveals, giving yourself time to pray intentionally. If your mind wanders, use the model to restore your focus.
The goal of using this guide is not to add pressure or overwhelm you. The goal is simply to get comfortable with different biblical models of prayer and for your prayer life to become more natural, effective, and enjoyable. Tomake your prayer time even more meaningful, you can write notes and prayer requests and play worship music. The most important step is committing to regularly entering God’s presence through prayer.
The heart of this guide is to help you find a new level of purpose, effectiveness, and enjoyment in your prayerlife. While prayer does take commitment and can require discipline to develop into a daily habit, we also want toremember that it’s a “get to” not a “got to.” It’s a privilege to be able to come to God in prayer.
CREATING A LIFESTYLE OF PRAYER
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. MARK 1:35
Prayer is most effective when it isn’t something, we do every now and then, but when it’s a lifestyle we cultivate. To understand how to have a lifestyle of prayer, we can look at the example Jesus gave during His life on earth.
ü HAVE A CERTAIN TIME
Jesus got up early in the morning to spend time with His Heavenly Father. Make a daily appointment with God — whether it’s first thing in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening — and faithfully keep it.
ü HAVE A CERTAIN PLACE
Jesus had a specific place He went to pray. Having a designated place to pray helps us remove distractions and frees us to worship and pray out loud.
ü HAVE A CERTAIN PLAN
When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave them a prayer outline. We call it “The Lord’s Prayer.” Thisoutline, along with several other tools, is available in this guide. As we pray every day, our plans for our prayertime can vary, maybe including worship music, Bible reading, and quiet time to listen to God. It doesn’t always have to look the same; it just helps when we have a plan for connecting regularly with God.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
The Lord’s Prayer is often recited in churches, as I did growing up, or at religious events, but there’s so much more to this prayer. Jesus provided this model as an outline to teach us how to pray in a way that connects us to God, aligns our priorities with His, and helps us live dependently on Him. This model takes us through each part of The Lord’s Prayer, showing us how to pray the way Jesus instructed.
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”. LUKE 11:1
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” MATTHEW 6:9-13 NKJV
01. CONNECT WITH GOD RELATIONALLY
“Our Father in Heaven”
God isn’t interested in us practicing religion; instead, He desires a relationship with us. God has adopted us as His children and loves for us to call Him our Father. Starting our prayer time acknowledging our relationship with God is powerful for us and delights Him as well.
You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” ROMANS 8:15 NLT
Proclaim your intimate relationship with God, addressing Him lovingly as your Father and thanking Him that you are His child.
“Father, I come to You in prayer today thankful that I am Your child. I know I am a sinner, but You have forgiven me and adopted me as Your own, and I am so grateful to call You my Father. Thank You for loving me. I love You.”
02. WORSHIP HIS NAME
“Hallowed be Your name”
God loves when we worship Him, and there is power in His name. Here is a list of some of His names to help us worship Him specifically and personally:
ü God is Righteousness – He makes us clean
ü God is Sanctifier – He has called us and set us apart
ü God is Healer – He heals all our diseases
ü God is Banner of Victory – He defeated our enemies
ü God is Shepherd – He speaks to us and leads us
ü God is Peace – He is our peace in every storm
ü God is Provider – He supplies all of our needs
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. PROVERBS 18:10 ESV
Speak God’s names out loud. When we proclaim who He is, we not only worship Him, but we also remind ourselves how powerful and great our God is.
“God, I am in awe of You. Your name is a strong tower, a place of protection and safety for me. I praise You as my Healer, my Shepherd, and my Banner of Victory. You are my Peace, my Provider, my Righteousness, and my Sanctifier. Your name is great, and I worship You.”
03. PRAY HIS AGENDA FIRST
“Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”
Part of being a child of God is caring about what He cares about and loving who He loves. We know His will is perfect, and we acknowledge His wisdom and sovereignty when we pray His agenda first.
He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. LUKE 12:31 TLB
Spend time focusing on what God is focused on. His priorities include:
• Saving the lost
• Wisdom and guidance for those in authority— parental, spiritual, governmental, work-related
• Caring for the poor and marginalized
• Unity and love
• Life for the unborn, the living and the elderly
• Freedom for those in bondage
• Accomplishing His purpose in our lives
“God, I recognize there is no better plan on earth than Yours, and I pray for Your will to be done in our world and in my life (name the areas of your life where you need more of God’s presence today). This world is lost and needs You desperately, and I pray for every person to know You as their personal Lord and Savior. I pray for the leaders in my life (pray specifically over parents, spiritual leaders, governmental leaders, employers, and any other leaders in your life), that You would show them Your will and give them supernatural wisdom and discernment as they lead. God, I pray that Your heart for justice and unity would be seen in our world; thatthose who are in bondage will be set free; that the needs of the poor and marginalized will be met. Show me what my role is in seeing the realities of heaven come to earth. Make Your priorities my priorities. Help me love whoYou love and see value in all people. I give my life to You again today; have Your way in me. Please give mewisdom and clarity as You show me my next steps.”
04. DEPEND ON HIM FOR EVERYTHING
“Give us this day our daily bread”
God promises to supply all our needs, and He wants us to come to Him with our problems, needs, and desires and to trust Him to provide.
I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from theLord, who made heaven and earth! PSALM 121:1-2 NLT
Ask God for what you need today. It may help to write down the concerns weighing on your mind or the desiresof your heart. Bring them to God and trust Him enough to hand them over to Him fully. It may help to open your hands before God to physically show your surrender to Him. Problems can either be ours or God’s; they can’tbe both.
“Father, I acknowledge that everything I need today will come from You. You made the heavens and the earth; You are more than capable of handling any situation I’m dealing with, so I give it to You completely (specifically talk to God about what is on your mind and heart right now and give it to Him). I look to You to help me, sustain me, and give me Your peace. Remind me of Your hope and power today. Thank You in advance for taking care of my needs.”
05. FORGIVE AND BE FORGIVEN
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”
God has offered us complete forgiveness, and we can receive it at any time. When we turn away from our sins and receive His forgiveness, our hearts are more prepared to forgive others as well.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify usfrom all unrighteousness. 1 JOHN 1:9
Ask God to check your heart and life and show you areas where you might need to ask for forgiveness from Him. Then, it is your turn to forgive those who have offended you. We can even choose to forgive people inadvance. Ask God to forgive you and to help you forgive others.
“God, thank You so much for offering me the gift of forgiveness. Show me any areas in my life that I need tobring before You in order to receive forgiveness and healing. I confess that I have been struggling with sin (talkto God about any areas of sin in your life), and I know that You want me to be clean again. Please forgive me for my sin. Thank You for showing me unfailing grace. As You have so freely forgiven me, I also want to freelyforgive others. Help me let go of the things that have offended me and acknowledge when I have offended others. I release to You those who have hurt me, and I trust You to handle those situations according to Yourperfect will.”
06. ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
“And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”
Spiritual warfare can seem difficult to understand, but the Bible makes it very clear that we have an enemy who is trying to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us. As we pray, we take our stand against the enemy and fight from a place of victory through Jesus as we’re empowered by His Holy Spirit. There is power in God’s Word, and every lie the enemy has told us can be replaced with God’s truth.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. EPHESIANS 6:12
By recognizing that the enemy wants to destroy you, you can shed light on his lies and claim God’s truth over your life. Ask God to show you any lies you’re believing or areas of warfare happening in your life. Ask Him to expose the enemy and to help you understand and receive His truth. Simply speaking the name of Jesus hasgreat power in the spiritual realm. The Bible tells us in James 4:7 that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us.Through prayer, we can resist him and walk forward in freedom.
“God, I recognize that my struggles today aren’t against the people or circumstances around me, but against the enemy. Please help me to see how the enemy is lying to me. Help me to recognize his lies, take themcaptive, and make all of my thoughts obedient to the truth of Your Word (list out any specific areas God shows you where you have believed a lie that needs to be replaced with His truth). While the enemy wants to destroy me, I know that You came to give me life to the fullest. I speak the name of Jesus over my life and declare that no weapon formed against me will prosper. I don’t have to fear the enemy because the One who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world.”
07. EXPRESS FAITH IN GOD’S ABILITY
“For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
God is more than able to move in every situation, and ending our prayer time claiming His authority and power focuses our minds on the truth and hope of who He is and what He can do.
Ah, Sovereign LORD, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You. JEREMIAH 32:17
Remind yourself of God’s limitless power and then return to praising Him and declaring your faith in Him:
• “Yours is the Kingdom” – all authority belongs to You
• “Yours is the Power” – all mightiness flows from You
• “Yours is the Glory” – Your victory will be complete
“Father God, nothing is too hard for You! Through Your great power, all things are possible. All authority is Yours, all might is Yours, and I know that Your victory will be complete. You are amazing, and I worshipYou. I praise You for Your power and presence in my life. You are my God, and You are worthy of allpraise.”
In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle was the dwelling place of God, built to His specifications, where He would meet His people. As they entered the Tabernacle, they passed through seven stations,following God’s instructions, to experience His presence. Today, even though we no longer need the physical Tabernacle to meet with God, these same steps can help us connect with Him. This prayer model will take us through each station of the Tabernacle and use the purpose of each station to guideour prayers.
01. THE OUTER COURT
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
The Israelites entered the Tabernacle with thanksgiving and praise, and we start our prayer time the same way.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. PSALM 100:4
Spend some time really thinking about all the blessings in your life for which you’re thankful. You can write down a list, sing your own song of praise, or just spend quiet moments reflecting on your gratitude and praise toward God.
“Father God, You are good, and You deserve all my praise and more. Thank You for the many ways You have blessed me and for watching over me (tell Him specific things in your life that you’re grateful for. Thank Him for something new that you’ve never thanked Him for before). I want to experience Your presence and Your love in a fresh way today, Jesus. I thank You that Your mercies are new every day. I thank You for who You are andall You have done for me.”
02. THE BRAZEN ALTAR
THE CROSS OF JESUS
In the Old Testament, everyone had to regularly bring animal sacrifices as payment for their sins. Today, we don’t have to do that because Jesus paid for our sins once and for all with His blood on the cross.
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. PSALM 103:2-5
Thank God for the gift of Jesus. Thank Jesus for His sacrifice and love. Let the power of the cross and what it means for your life really settle in your spirit. In addition to expressing your gratitude, claim the power oftransformation and healing that the cross of Jesus has in your life.
The cross provides us with five major benefits:
ü Salvation - God forgives all my sins
ü Healing - God heals all my diseases
ü Redemption - God rescues me and restores me
ü Transformation - God changes me into His likeness
ü Blessing - God provides everything I need
“Thank You, God, for making a way for me through Your Son. Jesus, thank You for the sacrifice You made for me onthe cross. You saved me, and You set me free. I praise You for being my Healer. You have power over all disease andharm in my life (list specific areas where you need to experience God’s healing power). Thank You for being myRedeemer. You rescue me and give my life purpose. Thank You for transforming my life with Your love, for makingme new. I want to grow to be more like You (give Him access to every area of your life). Thank You for blessingme. I know You have good plans for me and all that I have comes from You (thank Him for specific blessings in your life).”
03. THE LAVER
CLEANSING AND PREPARING
The next step in the Tabernacle was a bowl of water where people were reminded of their sinfulness and theirneed to be cleansed and forgiven by God. Checking our hearts and motives and surrendering our lives to Godis an important part of daily prayer.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. ROMANS 12:1 ESV
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can confess our sins to Him and receive complete forgiveness and a fresh start. In prayer, humbly and sincerely turn away from your sins and allow God to cleanse and renew you. Then, surrender your life and every part of yourself to Him.
“God, I confess my sins to You and turn away from them (tell God any sin you know is in your life and confess it to Him with a sincere heart. Ask Him to show you any other areas that need His cleansing). Thank You, God, for freely forgiving me. As I turn away from my sin, I turn toward You, and I offer myself to You:
I give You my tongue, to speak good and not evil
I give You my eyes, to focus on You and the needs of others
I give You my ears, to be sensitive to Your voice
I give You my hands, to do good for others
I give You my feet, to walk in Your ways and follow Your footsteps
I give You my mind, to be transformed and used by You
I ask You, Lord, for the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23, so that I can grow closer to You and makea difference in the lives of others. I ask for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
04. THE CANDLESTICK
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The next piece of the Tabernacle was a seven-branched golden candlestick. The fire represents the Holy Spirit and how we are called to be light in the world’s darkness.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of Wisdom and of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and of Might, the Spirit of the Knowledge and fear of the LORD. ISAIAH 11:2
When Jesus left the earth, Christians were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. He calls the Holy Spirit our“Advocate.” We cannot do what God has called us to do without His supernatural power. It is through the Holy Spirit that God comforts us, guides us, and empowers us.
“Holy Spirit, I ask You to fill me up. I need Your presence in my life, guiding, directing, comforting, and counseling me. I know that You, Holy Spirit, are God, in the Trinity with God the Father and the Son, Jesus.You are the Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, and Knowledge. Give me a holy fear of the Lord,helping me to be in awe of who God is and what God does.
Work in me, Holy Spirit. Teach and transform me (pray through any areas where you feel the need fortransformation today). Empower me with Your spiritual gifts to strengthen the Church and to help bring the reality ofthe Kingdom of Heaven to earth.
05. THE TABLE OF SHEWBREAD
THE WORD OF GOD
In the Tabernacle, a table with twelve loaves of bread represented the importance of reading God’s Word for daily sustenance.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. JOSHUA 1:8
God’s Word is an incredible gift and a powerful tool, and it has great relevance and impact in our prayer life.
Here is how you can incorporate God’s Word into your prayer time:
ü Take time to read and think about the Word
ü Claim God’s many great promises for your life and the world around you
ü Ask Him for fresh revelation of His Word
ü Ask Him for a Word to help you as you go throughout your day
ü Ask Him to show you how to apply His Word in the world around you
“Thank You, God, for giving me Your Word. I commit to reading it, and I ask You to reveal Yourself to me throughit. I want to know You more. Help me to grow more in love with Your Word and to be more dependent on it. I claim the promises You have for me, and I meditate on the truth of Your Word (pray any Scriptures that are on your heart or that God has given you in your current season). Give me fresh revelation from Your Word todayand every day! Help me apply it so I can be Your ambassador for love, justice, and righteousness in the world.
06. THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
A small altar of burning incense stood at the entrance to the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelled. The people of God entered God’s presence as they worshipped His names. This altar represents worship and the pleasure it gives God when we worship Him.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. PROVERBS 18:10 NKJV
Thank God for making His presence available to you. Praise His names and worship Him personally and specifically for who He is and how He has moved in your life.
“Thank You, God, for Your presence. I know that You are here with me. I worship You and You alone. I know God, that You are:
My Righteousness - Jeremiah 23:6
My Sanctifier - Leviticus 20:7-8
My Healer - Exodus 15:26
My Provider - Genesis 22:14
My Banner of Victory - Exodus 17:15 My Peace - Judges 6:24
My Shepherd - Psalm 23:1
(As you pray through the different names of God, focus on a few aspects of who He is that have been especially meaningful in your current season of life.) I know that You are always with me, God, and Your presence is life to me. You give me breath, joy, and purpose. I love You, God.”
07. THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
The final place in the Tabernacle was the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelled. There, the priest interceded by praying on behalf of the people of God. In the same way, we intercede on behalf of those around us.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants allpeople to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4
We can make a difference when we spend time praying for others. Pray for those with whom you interact and connect, including:
ü Those in authority - leaders in church, government, family, and workplace
ü Those who are marginalized - those suffering injustice, the poor, the widowed, the weak
ü Your family - both immediate and extended family members
ü Your church - pastors, Small Group leaders, members, and missionaries
ü Your community - people in your city, nation, and world
ü Your relationships - friends, coworkers, acquaintances
ü Your adversaries - those with whom you disagree
“Thank You, God, for creating a way through Jesus for me to have Your presence wherever I go. I want to specifically ask You to watch over those in authority over me— my spiritual leaders, governmental leaders, the leaders in my family, and my employers (pray for these people by name). Give them wisdom and grace, watch over and protect them, and help them to know and love You more.
I also ask You to watch over those who are marginalized in my nation and in my community. Our world is desperate for justice and reconciliation. Please meet the needs of the poor, the widowed, the weak, and those suffering injustice (pray specifically for people you know who need help, advocacy, and intervention). Show me how I can be Your hands and feet to those who are hurting.
I ask You, God, to be present with my family. Bless them and keep them from harm (pray for any specific needs in your family right now). For those in my family who don’t know You, please meet them where they are and guide their hearts toward You.
I ask You to watch over my church, God. Give my pastor wisdom and vision, bless the Small Groups and everyone who steps foot into our buildings. I pray that You will bring the lost into our church, and that they will have a positive experience and come to know You. Keep our vision rooted in who You are and moving toward Your goals.
I ask You to watch over my city, my nation, and our world. I pray for justice and equality for all and ask You tobring peace (name areas where you feel a burden for your city, nation, and the world). I pray for anyone who comes across my path to see Your light in me. I lift up my friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I thank You for them and pray for Your blessing over them (pray for any specific needs of others). I also pray for my adversaries, as the Bible teaches. Let me be a bridge through which You can bring unity and reconciliation.
Lastly, God, I ask You to provide for my needs. I know that You sustain me, and that You care for me. I lift up my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs to You
(share the needs on your mind right now). I lay my cares at Your feet. Thank You for loving me, choosing me,and calling me Yours.
Praying the Scripture
The Word of God is one of the most valuable tools we have to build a dynamic daily prayer life. It brings power, truth, and encouragement to our prayer time. Let’s begin with King David’s Psalm 23. Take a moment to read it, and then use the prayer below as a way to use the psalm to have a conversation with God.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. PSALM 23
“God, You are my Provider, and I know You will take care of me. Thank You for guiding me to places of rest. You are my source of energy and passion. You keep me going and lead me toward a life of purpose and freedom. I know that even when I experience my darkest seasons of difficulty and challenge, I have nothing to be afraid of because You are with me. Your presence and power are a constant comfort to me. I know that You arepreparing the way for me and that my enemies cannot touch me because You are taking care of me. I know thatYou have blessed me, and I thank You for choosing me and anointing me with purpose. Your blessings are somuch more than I could ask for. I know that You are good, God, and that You are with me all the days of my life. You have chosen me, and I have chosen You, and that means I will be with You, in Your presence, forever.”
In the following section, we will use several Scriptures and claim their promises through prayer. You can make this as personal as you like. You will find the most benefit when you pray the Scriptures that God is showing you in His Word and that are connecting with you personally in your current season of life.
Come near to God and He will come near to you. JAMES 4:8
“Heavenly Father, You have promised that if I draw near to You, You will draw near to me. I need more of Your presence today, and I am drawing near to You through prayer, worship, and reading Your Word. I open my heart to You and ask You to be near to me and change me to be more like You.”
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. PSALM 139:23-24
“Father God, I ask You to search my heart. If You find anything in me that is offensive, please show me and help me remove it from my life. Teach me to love others well and live a life that points people to You. Help me live my life on earth in a way that impacts eternity.”
But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. MATTHEW 6:33
“Your Word tells me that if I seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness, You will lead me to a life of blessing, purpose, and freedom. I am Yours today, God, and I give this day to You. Help me to focus on Your priorities first—sharing Your love, making Your Name known, and advocating for justice in our world. I know that by focusing on You and Your heart for others, rather than myself, I will receive joy and peace.”
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. JAMES 4:10
“God, You have promised that if I humble myself before You, You will lift me up. I recognize today that I cannot succeed on my own, and I need You in every moment. I humble myself before You, and I ask You to work in and through me today. My time, efforts, thoughts, and words are Yours today (name specific parts of your day andgive them to God). Show me what I don’t know, and help me grow in the knowledge of You and Your heart for people. Use me for Your purposes, Lord. I trust that You will be with me and lift me up.”
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 1 TIMOTHY 1:7
“Father, I know You have not given me a spirit of fear or timidity, but one of power, love, and self-discipline. When my mind feels out of control, I pray that You will renew my spirit and let power, love, and self-discipline fill me. Help me look more like You every day. With confidence that Your power lives in me, give me boldness to confront the enemy and anything I see in the world that does not reflect Your heart. Thank You for breaking the spirit of fear off my life, and I receive the truth that You have given me a sound and healthy mind."
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. ROMANS 8:28
“God, You promise me in Your Word that in all things You work for my good. Right now, there are. circumstancesin my life that don’t feel good and that I can’t see an ounce of good in (talk to God about the specific situations that are causing you difficulty or pain). Even though this is how I feel, I choose to believe Your truth over my feelings. When You say You will work in all things for my good, I believe You. Even in situations that seem hopeless, I know You are working on my behalf and that You want more for me than I could ever want for myself. Thank You for having a purpose for me and for working all my circumstances for good.”
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. PSALM 62:8
“Father, in Your Word You invite me to pour out my heart to You. You are my refuge, and I know that anything I think, feel, or do is okay to bring to You. Knowing that You are a safe place for me, I come to You and give Youeverything on my heart (talk to God about the specific things that are on your heart today). From what is worrying me to what is delighting me, for what I hope for to what I’m afraid of, I bring it all to You because I know I cantrust You. Help me and guide me in every area, in Jesus’ name.”
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. DEUTERONOMY 28:12
“Lord, I believe You have everything I need and You want to bless me. You tell me in Your Word that You will open the heavens to bless the work I do. I know that without You, I can do nothing. I ask that You will open theheavens and pour out Your blessings and power over me. I give my work and my efforts to You and I ask You for favor and blessing in anything my hands touch (surrender specific efforts to Him). May it be for Your glory alone so that others may see Your power and goodness at work.”
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ROMANS 8:38-3
“God, I am in awe of Your love for me. You are so great, and I am so small, yet You love me fully. I remind my soul today that nothing can separate me from Your love—I am so grateful! There is nothing I can do to win orlose Your love; You love me without condition.
Because I know nothing on earth, in time or space, or anything in existence can separate me from Your love, I will live confidently and peacefully knowing I have always been and will always be fully loved by You.”
“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. ISAIAH 54:17
“Lord, I know that no weapon raised against me will succeed because I am Your child. I feel pressure in my life right now, and sometimes I feel as though life will overcome me (talk to God about the concerns weighing on you). Even though I feel this way, in faith, I claim Your promise that no weapon can overcome me and that any accusations that come against me will be silenced. This truth is verified by Your love and saving power in my life.”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
“Father, my heart feels anxious (tell God what is giving you anxiety). I don’t like this feeling, but I’m thankful I cancome to You and receive peace. You invite me to replace my anxiety with prayer, and even though my mind and heart are racing, I’m coming to You knowing that You provide healing and calm for my soul. Thank You for giving me breath and life. I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image. I lay down all worries, all my physical and mental anxiety, and any attempt at trying to control it all (tell Him the things you are laying down right now). I surrender it all to You. I need You. I need Your peace that transcends my human understanding. Even if things are unstable around me, I pray that Your peace will be evident in my heart andmy life. Guard my heart and mind, God. I trust that You are faithful, and I receive Your peace in my life today.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declaresthe Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” JEREMIAH 29:11-13
“My God, I try to make so many plans for my life, but I know Your plans for me are best. You tell me that You haveplans for me to prosper and have hope and a future. Thank You for loving me enough to have a plan for my life. Youhave promised me that when I call on You, You will listen to me. Thank You for listening when I pray.
I am confident knowing that I serve a God who cares about my life. I want to find You every day, and You say that if Iseek You with all my heart, I will find You. Thank You for showing me the way to You. I lay my plans down at Yourfeet and receive Your plans for me (mention your plans and lay them down before God).
I know that You see the big picture and You know what is better for me than I do. I trust You, and I ask You to guideme toward Your plans.”
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” HEBREWS 13:5
“Father, I am so comforted by the fact that You will never leave me. You are always with me, and I am safe with You. As I go through my life and take on each new situation, I’m comforted by knowing I’m not alone becauseYou are by my side. Help me feel Your presence. When I feel uncertain or afraid, I pray You will comfort me through Your Holy Spirit and remind me that I am never alone because You, the Almighty God, have promisedto always be with me.”
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. MATTHEW 11:28- 30
“Lord Jesus, I am so tired and worn out (tell God the areas where you’re tired and weary). I feel exhausted mentally and physically. Life feels hard, and I feel like I can’t keep up my current pace. You invite me to come to You when I am weary, and I fall at Your feet desperate for rest, peace, and perspective. Show me where I am trying to do things on my own. Show me where I need to rest instead of strive. Teach me Your ways. Show me how to walk in gentleness, humility, and rest. I know Your ways are higher than my ways, and I pray that You will transform my heart and mind to be more like You.”
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” PSALM 91:1-2
“God, I claim that I dwell in Your shelter, the Most High God, and I rest in Your shadow, the Almighty One. I claim that You alone are my refuge and fortress. You are my God and I trust You. When I face anything that brings me uncertainty or fear (confess these things to Him), I know that I can come to You as my safe place. Thank You for Your strength and protection in my life.”
The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. PSALM 145:13-14
“Almighty God, as I claim the promises in Your Word through my prayer time, I praise You for Your character.Trustworthy, faithful—that is who You are. I thank You that I can trust You to be faithful to me. I know that when I come to You with humility and a surrendered heart that You will lift me up.”
THE PRAYER OF JABEZ
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 CHRONICLES 4:10
The Prayer of Jabez is a helpful model of a prayer we can pray every day.
Jabez begins his prayer by asking God for His blessing. We need more of God’s blessing to be better equipped to make a difference for His Kingdom. We need more provision, more spiritual gifting, more wisdom, and greater understanding so that we can bless others with what God has given us. James 4:2-3 tells us, “Youdo not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” God wants to bless us, but He is often waiting for us to ask with the right heart. We have a big God, and we can be bold in asking for Hisblessing. As James points out, God sees our heart, and we get His attention when we ask for blessing with the motivation to help others.
“Oh, that You would bless me...” 1 CHRONICLES 4:10
Ask God for His blessing. Recognize your need for His provision, and set your heart toward wanting more than you need so that you can be a blessing to others.
“Father God, I pray that You would bless me with more than I need so that I can bless others. I pray for more provision, that You would equip me to give generously to others and meet their practical needs in Your name. I askYou to give me greater spiritual gifting so that I can strengthen the Church and be more effective for the Kingdom ofGod. I pray for an abundance of wisdom and discernment so that I can point others to You and make decisions thathonor You. I ask You to help me grow in understanding of Your truth and Your heart for people so I can do my part tobring Your Kingdom to earth. Help me keep Your generous blessings in perspective, so that I never become self-serving but stay focused on using what You’ve given me to serve other people.”
Next, Jabez asks for more influence. As God’s blessings increase in our lives, we ask for and experience greater opportunity to influence the world around us for Him.
God has the power to bless us greatly, and He also has the power to open doors of opportunity for us to make adifference. We want to walk through doors that only He can open, and He responds when we specifically ask Him togive us more influence for His name.
“Enlarge my territory...” 1 CHRONICLES 4:10
Pray for more influence. Knowing that God can make a way, trust in Him to open doors and lead you on thebest path for your life and for His glory. Ask Him for boldness to take the steps He lays out for you.
“God, make me effective in my sphere of influence, and open new doors for me to be able to impact and reach even more people for Your glory. Give me a heart to make a difference in the lives of people I have never reached out to before and boldness to walk in obedience to Your calling. Help me to be a good steward of the responsibility You’ve entrusted to me. I pray for greater territory to impact for Your glory.”
In order to have lasting influence, we need God’s presence in our lives. Through His power at work within us, God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). As we ask for blessing and influence, we also need to ask for His presence as Jabez did so that we are not operating out of our own strength but through the presence and the hand of our Almighty God.
“Let Your hand be with me...” 1 CHRONICLES 4:10
In humility, acknowledge your need for God’s presence. Depend on Him and ask for more of Him in your life today.
“Lord, I know that without You, I am nothing. I cannot do what You’ve called me to do on my own. I am desperate for Your presence in my life. I depend on You completely. I recognize that the same Spirit who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in me. Through the power of Your Spirit, I pray that You will help me succeed in the opportunities You’ve given me. Thank You for being with me. I would never want to face today withoutYou.”
Finally, Jabez asks the Lord to protect him. If we are influencing the world for Jesus, we must understand the enemy will try to stop us. This leads us to pray that God will not only help us if the enemy attacks, but that He will protect us from the enemy attacking us in the first place. Jesus has already won the victory, so we don’tneed to fear destruction. God promises to be with us and protect us, and because He is with us, we have nothing to fear.
“Keep me from harm...” 1 CHRONICLES 4:10
Trust God to protect you. Tell Him specific areas where you feel the need for His protection and ask Him to cover areas that you can’t yet see.
“God, as I walk out the purpose You have for my life, I pray that You will stop any and every attack of the enemyagainst me. Please protect my body, my mind, and my emotions. Don’t let the enemy get a foothold in my life. I pray,too, that You will protect my family and community from harm. I know that the One who is in me is greater than theone who is in the world, so I have nothing to fear. Thank You for watching over me. I love You and I trust You.”
Prayer is not only communion with God; it is also confrontation with the enemy. When Jesus was on the earth, He came face-to-face with the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness (see Matthew 4 and Luke 4), and every time the enemy tried to tempt Him, Jesus responded with a reference from the Bible. He used the Sword of Truth to defend Himself from the enemy’s attacks. In these exchanges, Jesus didn’t confront the devil asGod. He confronted the devil as a man with the Word of God. We should do the same thing.
These spiritual warfare prayers and verses are examples we can use and adapt to our specific situations when we or someone we know is under attack from the devil.
THE ARMOR OF GOD
Based on Ephesians 6:13-17
Knowing that we are in a spiritual battle, God provides spiritual armor and equips us to take a stand when battles come our way.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. EPHESIANS 6:11-18
Acknowledge that you’re in a spiritual battle. Then, claim the protection God has given you by praying through the different pieces of armor described in Ephesians 6.
“Thank You, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from You, and I declare that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ and the place I have in Your Kingdom. I wear Your righteousness today againstall condemnation and corruption. Cover me with Your holiness and purity—defend me from all attacks against myheart. Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Expose the lies I have believed, and show me Your truth today. I choose to live for the gospel in every moment. Show me where You are workingand lead me to it. Give me strength to walk daily with You. I believe that You are powerful against every lie and attack ofthe enemy and I receive and claim Your power in my life. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me becauseYou are with me. Holy Spirit, show me the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the traps of the enemy.Bring those Scriptures to mind today. Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with You in everything as my spiritcommunes with You in prayer throughout the day.”
THE WEAPONS OF WARFARE
Based on 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
When we are aware of spiritual warfare, we can be active in praying through it. Through the blood of Jesus, God has given us victory and power to fight.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:4-5
You can command anything that comes against the truth of God and His Word to bow to the name of Jesus. Take a bold stand, praying specifically and confidently through God’s power and His Spirit.
“Father, Your Word says that no weapon formed against me will prosper (Isaiah 54:17), and I declare it in Jesus’ name. Your Word says that trouble will not arise a second time (Nahum 1:9). I declare in Jesus’ name that satan cannot make trouble for me again, like he has in the past. I declare in the name of Jesus that all of these prayers are answered and taken care of by trusting You. I stand on Your Word. The enemy is driven out from me; from my home, workplace, church family, children, and loved ones. I declare that he is not able to stand against me. No weapon formed against me will prosper, because the Spirit of the Lord is with me,protecting me. I declare these truths in the name of Jesus. Anything that comes against me or my family that is not in line with the truth and will of God, I command to bow to thepowerful name of Jesus. Father God, I give Youall of my thanksgiving, praise, glory, honor, and worship. Thank You for loving me, making me clean, and giving me purpose.”
Based on 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, 10:3-5; Romans 12:1-2
We often worry about our safety and protection. When we feel this way, we can immediately come to God in prayer, pouring out our heart to Him, and battling in the heavenlies by asking for and claiming protection for ourselves and our families in Jesus’ name.
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 THESSALONIANS 3:3
Share your thoughts and concerns with God. Ask Him for His supernatural protection. He says He will command His angels to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). Claim this promise and lay everything down before Him trusting His good plans and His power to protect you and those you love.
“God, I bow in worship to praise You. Thank You for making a way for me through Your Son, Jesus. I surrender myself completely in every area of my life to You. I submit myself to the true and living God and refuse anyinvolvement of the enemy in my life. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I reject every thought that tries to compete against the knowledge of Christ. I pray and thank You for a sound mind, the mind of Christ.
Today and every day I ask for protection over my family, loved ones, and those around me—all immediate family members, relatives, friends, and acquaintances. I ask for protection during all of our travels. I ask You to watch over our financial security, possessions, health, and safety (be as specific here as you like). All that I have is Yours God, and I declare that satan cannot touch me or anything You have given me. I rebuke the enemy and tell him to bow to the blood of Jesus that covers me and my family. He will not take what You have given us and we are protected and provided for by You, God, and You alone.”
Based on Romans 10:10; James 5:16; 1 John 1:7-9, 3:8
Our sin separates us from God, but Jesus made a way for us to be reunited with God by covering our sin when He died on the cross. When we accept the gift of salvation we confess our sin. As Christians, confessing andrepenting of sin is something we continue to do. By coming clean and repenting before God, He is able to workin our lives and transform us to be more like Him.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify usfrom all unrighteousness. 1 JOHN 1:9
Assume a posture of humility, and without fear of condemnation or punishment, come sincerely to God confessing your sin on a regular basis. Whether your sin feels big or small to you, your sin is still sin and affects your relationship with God. You get His attention when you tell Him your sin and turn from it to follow Him.
After you confess, remind yourself and claim the power of the blood of Jesus in your life to wash you clean and make you new.
“Lord Jesus, I confess all of my sins to You. I repent and turn away from them. I’m sorry for the wrong I have done. Iconfess the times I should have stepped up to do right and did nothing instead. I lay it all down at Your feet. I submit my thoughts, words, actions, and inactions to You. Thank You, God, for forgiving and making a way for methrough Your Son, Jesus.
Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God. You died on the cross for my sins and rose to life again on the third day. I confess all my sins and repent. I receive Your forgiveness and ask You to cleanse me from allsin. Thank You for redeeming me, setting me free, making me holy, and giving my life purpose.”
Based on Matthew 6:14-15; Leviticus 19:18
Forgiveness can feel challenging, but God makes it clear in the Bible that He freely forgives us and we are expected to do the same for others.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will alsoforgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. MATTHEW 6:14-15
Come before the Lord with humility, honesty, and sincerity. Share the areas in your life where you need to forgive others. Even if you aren’t able to settle a situation with that person, you can settle it with the Lord byforgiving them. As you choose to forgive those who have hurt or offended you, you can also praise and thankGod for forgiving you when you didn’t deserve it.
“Lord, I have a confession to make. I have harbored bitterness in my heart. I haven’t loved others well. I have resented certain people and have not forgiven them in my heart. God, I know that You have forgiven me for so much, and I need Your help to follow You and forgive others. In faith, I now forgive (name them). I also forgive and accept myself because You have made me new in the name of Jesus.”
Based on Proverbs 11:2, 16:18, 26:12; 1 Timothy 3:6
The Bible tells us that pride comes before the fall. Pride can be a very real issue in our lives, but we have thepower to overcome it through Jesus.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. PROVERBS 11:2
Practicing humility requires overcoming pride in our lives. Just as you confess other sins, regularly confess your pride to God. Submit it to Him, asking Him to help you walk in humility, free of pride, closed-mindedness, and self-absorption. If you feel like pride is an issue that continues to surface in your life, confess it daily and bring it before God.
“Father God, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I know pride only keeps me from You. I put down anything that would cause me to have pride in my heart in dealing with other people. Help me recognize where I lack knowledge and understanding. Help me to prioritize others over myself. I ask You, God, to remind me daily that true humility is not thinking less of myself, it’s thinking of myself less. I humble myself before You and come to You like a child.”
Note: One of the best ways to humble ourselves is to combine prayer with fasting.
GENERATIONAL BONDAGE PRAYER
Based on Exodus 20:4-6, 34:7; Numbers 14:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1, 12:1
Generational bondage is sin that can be passed down from generation to generation. Whether it’s pride, addiction, racism, sexism, abuse, divorce, abandonment, sexual sin, or something else, through spiritual warfare, you can claim the power of Jesus to stop the sin with your generation.
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. EXODUS 20:4-6
Recognize the generational bondage that might be in your life and bring it before God. Ask for His power to defeat the sin that has affected generations of your family. Ask for it to stop right now, with you, and rebuke anysin or anything that tries to pull you away from your relationship with Christ. Pray for protection, healing, and anew path for you and your family.
“Father God, I understand that I have inherited certain consequences from my family, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I proclaim Your power to break any hold of mental or physical illness, pride, addiction, racism, other ungodly perspectives, and anything else on me and my family that are a result of sin being passed down through parents, grandparents, or other family members (if specifics come to mind, talk to God about it). I proclaim that all generational sin ends here and now, and that I will not pass these on to anyone in my family. Thank You, Lord, for setting me free and making a new way for me and my family.”
Based on 1 Peter 2:24; Psalm 103:2-5; Luke 1:37
Our God is a God of miracles. Just as we read about in the Bible, we still see Him perform miraculous healing today. He is our healer, and we can confidently approach Him asking for healing for ourselves or someone we know.
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. PSALM 103:2-5
In faith, ask God for healing. Proclaim His power and goodness, believing and trusting Him to take care of you and those you’re praying to be healed.
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I come before You asking for healing (name yourself or someone you are praying to experience healing). My hope is in You as our Healer. I believe You are able to do this. Your name is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, and I believe every knee will bow to You including the name of (name disease or disorder). Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross so that we can receive healing. You say that You forgive our sins and heal our diseases, and I praise You for this. Thank You that the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. I stand in faith believing for healing for (yourself or someone you’re praying for).Nothing is impossible for You, God! Give us peace and direction as You work in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Based on Ephesians 5:25-30
God created marriage, and His design for it is good. In marriage, just as in any human relationship, we have to work to love well. We can’t do this successfully in our own power. We need God, who is love Himself, to give usHis Holy Spirit and to guide us in our marriage. Marriage is a picture of Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church.As Christian husbands and wives, we have the high honor to represent the love and commitment Christ has for the Church through our love and commitment to each other.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. EPHESIANS 5:25-29 ESV
Thank God for your marriage. Start by asking Him to help you be the best spouse you can be. Ask Him to help you love well and to see your spouse as He sees them.
Then, pray for your marriage, asking God to use your marriage to impact the world for Him. Ask Him for protection physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Pray for unity in your marriage and wisdom from Him about how to live your lives as one. Bring to Him anything in your marriage that concerns you, and trust Him to work on your behalf.
“Thank You, God, for loving us, and for creating marriage to be an illustration of Your love for us here on earth. Help me, God, to love my spouse (call them by name) the way You love me. Help me to listen to and honor my spouse, putting them before myself. Protect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We ask You to build greater unity between us, make us stronger as a couple, more devoted to one another andto You. Use us God, build us up to be an example of what godly marriage can look like. Use us together to domore than we could ever do apart. We ask for greater influence and more impact on the people around us. We ask You to work through us in the lives of our friends, family, and even those far away. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and move through us to bring those far from You closer, so that they can have an encounter with the Living God, who seeks and saves the lost, and who sets us free and gives us purpose.
We choose as a couple to love You first, God. We put our relationship with You before anything and everything else. We confess our need for You. Thank You for bringing us together. We choose to love one another today and every day. Thank You for our marriage. We ask You to bless our marriage, build it, and be present in italways.”
RACIAL RECONCILIATION PRAYER
Based on Ephesians 4:3-6; Mark 12:28-31; Psalm 139:23-24
God created every person in His image on purpose and for a purpose. We are all unique and have value in the eyes of God. As Christians, we love who God loves and seek to serve others, so it’s important for us to see the value that each person brings to the world. We need to do our part to foster reconciliation, advocate for equality, and work to ensure that every person is treated with dignity, respect, and honor.
As followers of Jesus, we have been commanded to do everything we can to promote peace. We are all one in Christ, called to serve Him and others with a Spirit of Unity.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. EPHESIANS 4:3-6
Recognize the presence of racism in our world, and bring it before God today. Thank Him for creating every person in His image, on purpose, for a purpose. Ask Him to help you embrace your unique design and the uniqueness of others. Pray for eyes to see the ways inequality is at work in the world around you, and pray for boldness to uphold peace, love, and unity in the face of injustice. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind any ways you have not promoted equality and unity (thoughts, words, actions, etc.) or people towards whom you have not shown the love of Christ. Ask for forgiveness, and trust God to help you grow and become an advocate forreconciliation.
“Father, I recognize that You created every person in Your image and that You have great purpose for each of us. I ask You to help me see every person as You see them. Help me to love others with the unconditional love of Jesus and to make every effort to promote peace, unity, and equality for all people. Forgive me for the timesthat I have not valued others or spoken up for what is right. Give me boldness to confront inequity when I see itand to honor others in my thoughts, words, and actions. Help me to love my neighbor as myself and to be anambassador for reconciliation, as You have called me to be. I ask You to break the spirit of racism and division off of our nation, in Jesus’ name. Thank You for making us one by the blood of Jesus and the power of YourSpirit.”
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO NEED GOD
God desires everyone to know Him. He says in His Word that He would leave the ninety-nine to go after theone who doesn’t know Him. As followers of Christ, we are called to partner with Him in praying for those whodon’t know Him to come to know Him.
01. ASK THE FATHER TO DRAW THEM TO JESUS
God draws people to Him. It’s not something we can make happen out of our own efforts, so we need to be faithful in praying that the Father would draw those He’s placed on our hearts to Jesus.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them... JOHN 6:44
Think about the people you know who are far from God. Let your heart be open to God and anyone He maybring to your mind. It may help to write down their names as you focus on praying for them.
“Father, I pray for the people around me (list specific names), that You would supernaturally draw their hearts to You. Send Your Holy Spirit to them, and give them the desire to give their lives to You. Help them to recognize their longing for more in life as a spiritual thirst only You can quench. Open their ears to hear Your voice.”
02. BIND THE SPIRIT THAT BLINDS THEIR MINDS
The truth can be right in front of some people, and they still can’t see it because something is in the way blocking their view of God.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:4
We can pray against whatever is in their way so that they can see the light of God. We can pray that they would see the truth without any obstacles or distractions interfering.
“Father, bind the evil spirits that are blinding the minds of the people around me. In the name of Jesus, I pray that they would be able to see clearly, to recognize who You are, and to give their hearts to You. Remove all hindrances the enemy would use to distract them from Your truth. Open their eyes, Lord, that they might seeJesus.”
03. PRAY THAT THEY MAY HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Many people think Christianity is just another religion. They only see God through the lens of the organization and institution of the church. They may even feel frustrated, angry, or betrayed by people in churches they have encountered or by religious legalists and their hypocrisy. But God didn’t come to build an organization. He came to have a relationship with His children.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” ROMANS 8:15
God wants His beloved sons and daughters to come home. Praying for people to have personal encounters with the living God makes a huge difference.
“Father, I pray that people will understand how much You love them. Loose the Spirit of Adoption for the peoplearound me, so that they come into a meaningful relationship with You. Stir in their hearts a longing to come home, to hear Your voice, and to see You welcoming them with open arms. Let them know You are alwaysrunning to meet them and hold them close.”
04. PRAY FOR BELIEVERS TO CROSS THEIR PATHS
This is twofold: we can pray for other Christians to influence the people around them positively, and we can also look for opportunities to influence others positively ourselves. God’s plan to reach people is worked through those who already know and love Him. Jesus asked us to pray for people to go into the world to be salt and light. He came to bring the good news of the gospel to all people, and His desire is that everyone wouldknow and love Him.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.MATTHEW 9:38
As His “spiritual farmers,” we should be attuned to opportunities to plant spiritual seeds in the lives of the people we encounter each day. We may have no idea who has already been praying for them and the culminating impact our kind word, compassionate act, or loving attitude can have to draw them to Christ.
“Father, I pray for the lost around me to meet believers who will influence them in a positive way. Lord, let my life shine in such a way that people want to know the God I serve. Allow others to see my genuine love and concern for them in all that I say and do. Let me be Your hands and feet to serve them and let them know just how much You love them.”
05. RELEASE THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION
ON THEM, SO THEY MAY KNOW GOD BETTER
It’s that “eureka” moment, that “aha!” when it finally clicks. The most important moment to have this kind of revelation is when the lights come on spiritually. People need to see their own sin, see what Jesus did on the cross, and see the hope that comes from giving their life to God.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, so that you may know Him better. EPHESIANS 1:17
People need wisdom, not just knowledge, of spiritual things and insight into how spiritual realities directly impactthem. We can pray for this kind of supernatural revelation that only comes from God.
“Father, I pray for the people around me to experience the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. I pray that they would truly understand their spiritual condition and see what Jesus did for them on the cross. Help them to have theinformation and experiences needed to come to You, so they can understand all You have for them.”
PERSONAL PRAYER FOCUS
God has put us on the earth at this specific time for a reason. He says in Acts 17:26 that He determined when and where we would live. Knowing this, we can look at those around us at this specific time in history, and take personal responsibility to pray.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants allpeople to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4
Pray for those in authority and those under your authority. Pray for those in your family and your circle of influence (anyone you’re connected to). Write down the names of specific people and pray for them.