Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

I’m meeting a friend for lunch today. He was recently laid off. I’m not quite sure what to say when we meet. I can’t exactly hand in a new job, not exactly at least. What I can promise is that I will pray for and with him. That may sound like a platitude but I actually believe it’s probably the best and most powerful favor I could deliver.

God works; and he works through prayer. God can move heaven and earth, and he has and does and will again. Prayer is God’s chosen formula. We didn’t think it up, or invent promises like, “Ask anything in my name and I will do it…” I still squirm when I read that one, in part because it doesn’t always seem to be so simple as that, and in part because I can’t quite imagine how the Creator of the universe would dare put himself on the line with what seems to be such a blank check. Whatever! I’m deciding to live my life as if that’s God’s issue, not mine. If he invites me to pray and believe it matters, I’m going to do it. So today, I will pray for my friend who has been laid off his job. I’ll pray for his peace, his present provision, and for a new employment opportunity that fits his passions and gifts. Join me, for him and others like him.

God, we pray for all those who have suddenly lost employment. There are many. We ask you to first give them peace and a settled confidence. Their natural response is to shock and then fear, and to begin questioning their abilities, the past accomplishments and their future prospects. Give them your encouragement today, and do so through surprising ways, both directly from your Spirit and through other people who come across their path. Build them up, as this situation has torn them down. Remind them of past victories, and awaken new dreams for their future. Give them – today – divine appointments with people who may be key in opening a new future for them. Give them hope; lighten their step; lift the anxiety from their body; give them sleep and an unexpected joy. God, you intend us to have a purposeful life. You give us work assignments to accomplish because you designed us to help you create and sustain your creation. We are not made for idleness or sloth. We need meaningful work. So for all those who have lost a job, today bring them one step closer to a new direction. Show them any areas in their own character that need to change in order for their destiny to be realized. Then give them the wisdom and power to make those changes, by your Spirit. Today is a new day with new possibilities. Let nothing stand in the way of your purposes in the lives of those who, without your assistance, cannot find their next course. We pray this in Jesus…”

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