Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

“And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Romans 15:4).

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Peter 3:9).

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Not many years ago new fathers weren’t allowed in the labor and delivery rooms of hospitals, so they had to feverishly pace the floor of the “Waiting Room” until the nurse came with news of the Baby and Momma.  A lot of fidgeting was done in those waiting rooms, a good deal of sighing, a lot of cigarette smoking, a lot of nerves on edge.

Nowadays, Dad is welcome right there with Mom, encouraging her on in the process, trying to say the right thing at the right time and give support where it is most certainly needed. Dads are now given something to do while they are waiting.

Waiting has never been a strong suit for most people. Once we have an idea in our minds of how things should be, we will do anything to achieve that goal. Sitting and waiting isn’t one of them; it doesn’t feel progressive, productive, or like we are propelling the issue forward when we just sit and wait.

So we honk our horns, we get mad, we give up, we move on to something else.

But, as it often is, Scripture is counter-intuitive when it comes to waiting. When our waiting is intentional, when it signifies surrender to a better plan, a better timeline, a higher calling, then we are waiting with purpose.

“Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.” ~Mister Rogers

Scripture gives us something to do while we are at a stand-still. We can run to Him, to Jesus, and sit at His feet, express our love, and experience His. We can open up His Word and read His promises, making them our declaration day by day.

The alternative is to complain that our mountain doesn’t seem to be budging. To whine that our problem is bigger than we can handle. To grumble that God must not be hearing my prayers.

No, my friend. He hears every one. The intricacies of our miracle-in-waiting are much more delicate than we can comprehend, than we can see through our minuscule peek-hole into the universe.

So, while we wait, we remind ourselves and every living thing around us of how good God is, of how strong He is, of how powerful His promises are, that He meant every one of them, and that they are for me. For me! Not just for others!

Are you waiting around for a miracle, for help in a desperate situation, for God to move a stubborn mountain in your life? Don’t pace the floor in frustration. Pray this plain and simple prayer in the Waiting Room:

Father,

Help me to learn to wait well. It has never been my strong suit, but that’s because I foolishly thought that my agenda and my timeline was ultimately best. Now I see things differently. Now I see that in the real scheme of things, I really know very little. You know all things.

Dearest Father, teach me to wait patiently at Your feet. Just to sit with You, to enjoy Your presence, to soak in the light of Your love, to be fed at Your table, to drink at Your fountain of mercy.

As I wait I will review every promise You have given me. I will declare those promises over my situation. I will rejoice over Your promise, for it shall be fulfilled, for You cannot lie. You are incapable of exaggeration. You are unable to distort the truth, for You are the Truth.

Thank you for teaching me to quiet and still my soul like a weaned child with its mother. I lay it all down, this whole situation. I lay it down at Your feet. I leave it there. Then I simply sit and smile, soak in Your peace and comfort, and rejoice that I am held by You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

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“They shall obtain gladness and joy. And sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).

“The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here” (Romans 13:12a).

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Has the night been long for you? Have you groaned in anguish over a trial in your life – a mountain that doesn’t seem to budge? Here is your promise:  God is working even when you don’t see it.

Once when I was in utter despair over a severe challenge in my life, I was doing a face plant on my kitchen floor, crying (literally) to God over the pain in my heart. It was real; and it wasn’t over something trite like finances or a work-related issue. It was over the closest thing to my heart:  my child.

Still on the kitchen floor, I called my dear friend. I thought she would pray for me and offer me some consolation. Instead, she asked me to do the hardest thing possible at that moment. She gently challenged me: “Jill, stand up, lift your hands and declare, ‘God is working!’”

“What?! How is that possible when you are in despair?” I thought to myself.

But, I trusted my friend. I knew she loved me. I knew she was right. Feeling as though I weighed 10,000 pounds, I slowly struggled to my feet. With great effort I lifted my arms – each weighted down with grief – to Heaven. In a feeble voice I cried, “God is working.” I repeated that over and over getting slightly stronger each time. Finally I said it with some strength. Hope began to rush in again. Despair retreated, and in an hour or so I was delivered from hopelessness and was back to operating in at least a measure of faith once again.

Faith is declaring what is Truly True but not necessarily obvious to our senses. We don’t base our lives on facts. We base our lives on our faith in the Truth of the Word of Jesus Christ. His Truth trumps every fact we face.

Are you in dire circumstances today that render you hopeless? Here is your encouragement, my friend:

  1. Stand up.
  2. Lift your hands.
  3. Declare the Truth: “God is working.”
  4. Repeat this forever until you see the change His Word promises.

And, we invite you to pray this plain and simple prayer with us:

Father,

When all is dark around me, I declare You are my light.

When the night lasts too long, I declare that You are my morning Sun.

When the winter cold blasts my soul, I declare that Spring is coming soon.

When the facts around me are wretched, I declare that You are more Real than the facts.

When nothing seems to be working, I declare YOU ARE WORKING!

I magnify You over this problem, for You are bigger.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Lift your hands and declare it, dear friend. Shout it out! Raise the roof with your worship music! Give the neighbors something to talk about! He is BIGGER than the issues we face!

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“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2b).

“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)!

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If you’re not at peace with your inner-self, God is happy to tenderly and skillfully remodel and re-decorate your interior life. When you employ Jesus as your Designer, when you listen to what He has to say and do it, your life will begin to take shape and it will soon become something truly beautiful, like a well-designed home, tastefully put together, comfortable, inviting, clutter-free, and beautiful to the eye.

We recently sold our home in the country; our realtor hired a designer to come through our home and make recommendations for staging that would render our home more appealing to buyers. The interior designer whisked through our house in about an hour; I followed her around, feverishly writing down her every suggestion, room by room. We were pushing and pulling furniture around, editing out superfluous knick-knacks, and creating more feng shui.

After she left, I went to work, carefully bringing about her every suggestion. When I was finished a day or two later, I could not believe the transformation; she has an amazing gift of seeing possibilities and improving and building on what exists.

God does this with our lives! He takes what we have, edits out what is no longer necessary (things like condemnation, unforgiveness, and all things that simply clutter our lives and rob our joy), and rearranges what we have to make it more inviting for His presence.

If the foundation of the house is in ruins, He might deem it necessary to bulldoze and start over. (I’ve been there…He’s done that for me…) Sometimes that process is expedient and much better in the long haul than a simple, band-aid-like remodel. Whatever the case, God will do a thorough job of re-creating your life when you give whatever you have to Him and, in turn, follow His directives.

Want a new and improved decor of the heart? Pray this plain and simple prayer with us today:

Father,

My heart is out-dated and in dire need of updating. There is no real over-arching design to my life; it feels random, haphazard and cluttered unnecessarily. I feel as though I am a hodgepodge of what others have designed my life to be; like I have followed the stuff of this world, filled my life with yard sale junk and have not employed the designer of Heaven to make my life something worth looking at.

Lord, I want my life and existence to reflect the beauty, order, and joy of Heaven.

Lord, clarify who I am. Remind me once again of what you have created me to do in this world.

Is it:
Declaring your purposes to others?
In serving others?
In teaching?
Encouraging?
Giving generously to those in need?
Leading people and projects?
Or simply in showing kindness to everyone around me? [see Romans 12:6-8]

How have you wired me? Like a particular design – retro, modern, transitional, antique, Victorian – show me who I am at the core, and then help me to live that out consistently. Prune and plan my life’s objectives.

Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Be my Interior Designer, Father. You who made me know what’s best for me. 

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

 

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“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

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Are you facing sorrow upon sorrow? There is grace upon grace for you today, truth that trumps the wretched facts that flood your life. If you are experiencing multiple challenges, if your fiery trials are intensifying, these words of encouragement are for you. Let’s pray and declare the Truth over our circumstances and lives.

Father,

I have no idea what to do. I am overwhelmed by trouble and sorrow. These stubborn challenges in my life don’t seem to budge, though I know You’ve heard every prayer and cherished every tear.

I don’t know what to do, but, Lord, my eyes are on You. I am fixing my gaze on You, for I have studied the circumstances long enough. The more I look at the issues in my life, the bigger they appear. So I look to You. Your perspective will grant me hope again.

“I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1).

I lift my gaze to You, Lord. Surely You will come to my aid. I’ll watch You arrive over the top of my mountain, riding with all Your angels to rescue Your child. Lord, save me from this state of hopelessness. Help me to maintain my faith and hope even when everything is shaking around me. Lord, I will tremble only before You. I will neither tremble nor bow to fear any longer.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8,9).

It is true, Lord, I am under great pressure, but that pressure will not crush me. I am unaware of an earthly way out of my circumstance, but I refuse despair, for you have ways that are not of this earth. I have suffered greatly, Lord, but am not abandoned by You. I have taken a some painful falls, but I am not destroyed.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8: 35,37).

I cannot escape or avoid Your love, Lord. These challenges seek to bring me to despair, but I will remember that Your love endures, giving me grace to endure as well. There is nothing and no one that can wrestle me from Your arms of love. Your strength makes me able to withstand these storms and persevere through to the end – to the victory you have secured for me after I win this fight of faith.

“For I am convinced that neither life nor death, never angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height or 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).

Nothing in this life nor the life to come can keep me from receiving Your love for me. Death cannot keep me from experiencing your love. Angels will not and demons cannot. I am enraptured by your love today. Fears of what tomorrow holds slip away when I consider Your great love for me. There is no earthly nor immortal power that can sever me from the force of Your love. The highest mountain nor the lowest pit cannot hold it back. Nothing in the universe can keep me from experiencing Your love, God, that I have found in Jesus, my Lord.

I will look up towards Your face. All that I need for my help, sustenance, and grace to persevere comes from You and You alone.

So today I lock eyes with the One who adores me, the One Whose eye sparkles with delight because I am His. I walk on, hand in hand with You.

And when I am tempted to fear and to be overwhelmed by all that is against me, I will remember Who is for me. The Creator of the universe if on my side, for I am in Covenant with Him. All You have (which is everything!) is mine; all I have (which isn’t much!) is Yours.

I will not be shaken.

I will not be overcome, for the Overcoming One lives in me.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

 

 

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