Expanding the Scope of My Prayers

What would happen if we allowed Scripture to provide the outcomes we prayed toward? What if we expanded our prayers from praying solely for healing and deliverance and success to praying that God would use the suffering and disappointment and dead ends in our lives to accomplish the purposes he has set forth in Scripture?

NANCY GUTHRIE

Praying Past Our Preferred Outcomes – thegospelcoalition.org

These words have stayed in my mind this week. I’ve begun to think about how I can pray in a way that asks God to do what he has already promised. Especially in the situations of life where I’m most tempted to simply pray for my “preferred outcome” – when life is hard, or mundane, or not going according to my plans!

Another thread of my thoughts has been to make sure that I don’t waste the season that i’m in – Single, few responsibilities, seeking to grow in many ways, most of all spiritually, and sometimes scared that I will use this time unwisely. I feel ashamed to realise how little I think about what it might please God for me to ask him in prayer!

So… blending my thoughts of praying biblically and not wasting this season of life i’ve been trying to write down some good things that I can be praying for – I was torn on whether to share it or not – so forgive me if it’s over share! But I really want to encourage you to pray for some of these things too! Maybe you have other suggestions of things you pray for? Feel free to comment.

If you have time, check out Nancy’s article too, it’s really helpful. And puts things much better than I can. See it here

Father,

As I look at this season of my life, I entrust it to you. Career, relationships, plans, hopes, worries. (I know this will be a repeat process, as I often snatch it back in doubt or fear!) Use me to display your glory.

Make my life shine in such a way that Jesus would really be visible in my words and actions.

Help me grow to exhibit real faith, when I don’t know the path ahead. So that in times of loneliness, or when Satan whispers that you don’t have my best interests at heart, I will continue to trust in your unfailing love, and give my worries to you.

Give me a genuine and sacrificial love for others, fuelled by continual realisation of your love for me.

Lord, please use this time to reveal hidden sin, and sanctify my thoughts and attitudes, so that I will honour you when no one is watching.

Teach me contentment in every season, your sufficiency for every struggle. Show me the joyful reality of the gospel I share with others – a fulfilling relationship with you in Christ Jesus, unthreatened when life is hard, painful, or mundane!

Use each day to teach me discipline for my holiness and future fruitfulness. I offer you each difficult experience for your redemption, equipping me to comfort and empathise with others.

Father, when I am impatient and think that I know better, use this time to make me spiritually mature, praying that “Your will be done” not mine.

Guide me in my singleness, Satan has so many ways to make me fall! – saying that you are not faithful, or good, and that I should be looking to satisfy all my desires now, instead of waiting and watching for your guidance.

Protect me from temptation to give in to sin, or follow my own paths. Let me always submit to your righteous rule, and work to soften my heart that my obedience would not be grudging, but gladly given!

Lord, work in me so that one day when I look at my reflection I will rejoice to see what you have done in me, changing my stubbornness to submission, and my arrogance to humility. Shape me increasingly into the likeness of Christ, willing to share in his suffering, knowing that I will also share in his glory.

Amen

For your feedback: What season of life are you in, and how are you praying?


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6 responses

  1. We find ourselves in a “waiting” season. Sometimes that’s the harshest of seasons to weather, because you feel idle. It becomes important to focus on God’s will, because nothing can come of your own.

    • Thanks Joshua, yes I think its in these times that God matures us, and tests us to see whether our ‘trust’ is all talk or not!

  2. When ever i think if waiting period i think of Joshua. For two reasons not only because of waiting but because God wants us to remember all that he has done (with the stones). So i pray to submit to his plans but i also make lists of all the small things he has done. I need to take time and remember them, why those things happened and how it has brought me closer to my creator.
    I love the use in your last paragraph about wanting to look at my reflection and rejoice to see the image of Christ. Lets hope we can all encourage each other when we see Gods work happening, sometimes an outsiders eye sees God and not the human suffering.

  3. When I think of a right prayer, I always remember the Lord’s prayer…. Sometimes, we always ask, ask & ask & wanted God to answer our prayers the way we wanted, instead of praying, “Thy will be done Lord”.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts to us Nim. God bless your heart always! X

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