Over the past few months, I have been reading through the Bible and picking out prayers that people were praying, and have been using them in my own quite times to pray for myself, my family, or those around me. An example is Ephesians 2:
Father, I ask you to strengthen me with a glorious inner strength by your Spirit within me, deep in my inmost being. So that Jesus may fill my heart and be at home in me. That my roots would go down deep into your love; that I would be rooted and grounded in your love. I pray for power to know, really know your love for me in all its vastness, so that I might be filled to all the fullness of life and power that comes from you, God. Fill me with all the fullness of life and power that comes from you.
I pray this for my family, the leaders of our church and its members – strengthen each of them with a glorious inner strength by your Spirit within them, deep in their inmost being. So that Jesus may fill their hearts and be at home in them. That their roots would go down deep into your love; that they would be rooted and grounded in your love. I pray for power for them to know, really know your love for them in all its vastness, so that they too might be filled to all the fullness of life and power that comes from you. Restore and renew them by your life deep within them.
I have found these prayers to be not just powerful, but to meet needs that I didn’t even know existed in my family and fellowship! I would like to encourage you to do the same, and see the results! One that I am currently working through is praying through the book of Colossians. Let me know what you think:
I am on a special assignment by God as part of his master plan. I believe that the gospel is true—today, just as when I first heard it, that the message of the Kingdom does not diminish or weaken over time. It’s the same all over the world. The message of the Kingdom is bearing fruit. It is getting larger and stronger, just as it has in me and my family. Today, God, I am asking you to give me a wise mind and spirit that is attuned to your will, so that I might acquire a thorough understanding of the way in which you work.
I pray that I would live well for you today, making you proud of me as I work hard in your field. As I learn more and more how you work, I will learn how to do your work. I pray that I would have the strength to stick it out over the long haul, not the grim strength of gritting my teeth, but glory-strength that only comes from you, God. It’s a strength that endures the unendurable, a strength that spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes me strong enough today to take part in everything bright and beautiful that you have for me and my family.
I choose to believe that everything got started in you, everything finds its purpose in you; that you, God, were there before any of this came into existence; that you hold it together, right up until this very moment. I ask, God, that you would mature me today—and to mature is to become basic and simple. Jesus, no more or no less—that’s what I choose. To work so hard at it, day-after-day and year-after-year; to do my best with the energy that you have so generously given to me.
I have received Jesus, I have received the Father, I have received the Holy Spirit; and now I ask that I would be deeply rooted in him, that we would live in him, that we would become well acquainted with him today, that I would do what I have been taught through your word. I choose not to tolerate people who try to run my life, who are full of hot air, who are out of touch with you, the Source of Life, out of touch with Jesus, who put me together into one piece. I choose instead to believe that the very breath of God and the very blood of God flow through me. I choose to be serious about living this resurrection life, to receive this life.
I choose not to shuffle along with my eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of me. But I choose to look up, to be alert to what is going on around me, God. That’s where the action is. I choose to see from your perspective. I say that you are my life, God. That you are true and good and beautiful. I choose to be content with obscurity, as you, Jesus, were content with obscurity. I choose to put on Love in all things as my basic, all-purpose garment, to never be without it. I choose to receive the peace of God, through Jesus Christ, that keeps me in tune with my brothers and sisters, in step with them—none of this going off and doing my own thing. Instead, I cultivate thankfulness through God and his words.
I say that you have the run of the house. You have the run of your kingdom here; I entrust my life to you. I choose to serve my earthly masters, to not just do the minimum that will get me by, but to do my best, to work from the heart—for the real Master. For I know that the work I do for my earthly masters is work from the heart for my real Master. And I am confident that I will be paid in full, with the coming of my inheritance in you. So I claim it and I receive it: the full measure of my inheritance in the Kingdom of God through my service to you.
I choose to pray diligently, to stay alert; I choose to have my heart and eyes wide open to you. I choose to live in gratitude. God, you have my yes; I choose to respond to your way in my life.
In Jesus’ name, AMEN!