“Learning to pray when there’s an emergency or when something is frightening us requires a lot of discipline. Instead of praying, we tend to torture ourselves with anxiety and worry. All we can think of is trying to get rid of the problem,” by Martin Luther, taken from the book, “By Faith Alone” by Martin Luther. The selection in this devotional was originally written by Martin Luther between 1513 and 1546.
After I had lost my job in August 2009, I accepted a job at a lower compensation. I had applied for many jobs, but it was the only company that asked me to interview. After two interviews, I was given an offer with a promise of a management position in approximately six months. I felt lucky at 48 years old to be given the opportunity when so many others with advanced degrees at that time in U.S. history were having difficulty finding a job – any job. My new position was in a different industry than the one I staked the majority of my career, however, I believed my sales and management skills would successfully transfer to this new company. I may have had an easier time making the transition into a new industry if the circumstance to which brought me here had been different, but I was struggling – paralyzed by shock, depression, and fear of failing.
After six months and no promotion in sight, I willingly left the company to strike it out on my own. I was figuratively drinking a Molotov cocktail of depression, shame, sadness, and fear every night. Night time was my friend and bitter enemy. It was then I wrestled my demons with God. Praying desperate cries of bitterness and loneliness, I just wanted answers that would bring peace to my soul. Not only what was happening to me during this time in my life, but what had remained buried since childhood.
“Reach boldly for the miracle. God knows your gifts, your hindrances, and the condition you’re in at every moment.” Bruce Wilkerson
When friends and family would post on Facebook, “asking for prayers” or, “please pray for,” I would respond in a post, “praying!” Yet, I could not ask others to pray for me. Too ashamed and embarrassed about my predicament, I allowed the barrier of pride to keep me from the fullness of God’s mercy until I learned from God’s Word that all worlds are touched and influenced by prayer when we pray for each other.
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:13-16
Prayer makes all the difference
“Have faith that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
Teach me to pray Lord; to intercede with fervency for the needs of others. Amen
If you do not already belong to a church, Bible study or support group, please find one where you can share with each other God’s Word and where you can pray for one another.
Praying for others is a privilege and a Christian duty. Call it ‘old age’ or just the ‘rush of life,’ but I cannot always remember who I need to pray for even though my heart is in the right place. So I devised a sure method to remember others. In my prayer journal on the very back page, working down the page and then going forward in the back of my journal, I list the person’s name and prayer need, or, i.e. people of Paris and Brussels, and the date. (This is another reason why I carry my journal with me in my purse. If I don’t write it down right away, I may not remember to do it later.)
I offer a daily prayer for all of them at once.
“Lord, Father in heaven, you know their names. You know their situation. May they know Your mercy. May they feel Your peace. May they accept Your answer. Lord, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen”
I don’t always hear how God has answered their prayers, but I know, as a person of faith that He answers. If the person shares with me how God has answered their prayer, I pray a prayer of thanksgiving and note it next to their name. Why? Because when the next adversity comes along, I can remind myself how God faithfully answers prayer.
Sometimes prayers are ongoing and so the names and the prayer needs may follow onto the back page of the next prayer journal.
Praying the Scripture:
Psalm 23 (NASB)
The LORD, the Psalmist’s Shepherd
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I 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 have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Prayer Writing Prompt:
What is keeping me from praying to God?
What is keeping me from asking for help?
How is God’s love shared?
I hope you will continue to follow The Prayers Journal Blog. I have much more to share with you on the purpose and blessings of keeping a daily personal prayer journal. (Click the pop-up button “Follow” in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.)
May I pray for you?
Email me at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com