Powerful Prayers When You’re on the Run
Do you ever feel frustrated about having time to pray and spend time with the Lord because it seems like you’re always on the run?
But how much of that time is actually spent waiting? Waiting in line at the grocery store or the drive-through bank? Waiting for a friend or client at lunch? Waiting in traffic or for soccer practice to end? And what about the hours you spend doing mindless chores? Why not fill those otherwise lost moments with “little” prayers?
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph. 5)
It may sound like a good idea, but how do you train yourself to redeem those small chunks of time? Could it be that the prompts are all around us?
I once heard Bible teacher Cynthia Heald speak at a conference. She was talking about how to incorporate time for Bible reading and study into your life. During the question and answer period, a lady raised her hand and asked, “But what about your prayer time … when do you pray?”
That conference took place many years ago, but I never forgot her answer. I wish I could quote exactly what she said, but the gist of it was this … I just see God as my Father and I’m walking with Him all day long. I talk to Him all the time.
That’s what I want. I want to be aware of His presence every moment. I want to talk to Him about everything. I’m still a work in progress in this area. Sometimes I do better than other times. But here are some of the prompts I use. Maybe they can help you be more alert to opportunities to talk to Him and be a part of His work all around us.
Prayer Prompts for Powerful “Little Prayers”
When you hear the sound of an emergency vehicle … you can pray for the victims, for their salvation, their protection, and wisdom for the medical personal. You can ask God to use the situation for good in their lives and to help them see their need for Him.
When the kids are out the door for school … stop and pray for them. Pray that they have the strength to resist peer pressure (Prov. 29.25) and the courage to be lights in a dark world (Phil. 2.14-15).
When your husband heads off for work … pray that he would excel at his work (Prov. 22.29), but always have integrity and a desire to please God (2 Cor. 5.9; Matt. 16.26). Pray that God would guard his heart, his mind and his eyes from immorality (Prov. 4.23; Rom. 13.13-14; 1 Cor. 6.13). Pray that he’ll be more and more the man, the husband, the father that God wants him to be everyday.
When waiting in line at the drive-through … pray for those who are serving you. Pray for God’s help to treat them with courtesy and that they would see Christ in you, no matter how they treat you. Remember there may be no one in the world praying for them, if you don’t.
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[s] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5)
When someone cuts in front of you on the highway or is rude in some way … pray for their protection and the protection of those around them. Ask God for the grace to give you a forgiving heart and to deal with any anger (Eph. 4.31-32).
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matt. 6)
When heading out or a car trip or an hour of carpooling … turn off the radio and pray. Pray for your protection. Pray for any children or co-workers who’ll be traveling with you. Pray for opportunities to build relationships and share biblical truth.
When putting your kids to bed … don’t give in to the fatigue of another day and the desire for it to be over. Stop and pray for them. Ask them if there’s something they would like you to pray about. You might be surprised what you learn. Don’t let it be a meaningless ritual (Matt. 6.7). Let them hear you pray for real needs with sincerely and give them a chance to do the same (Deut. 6.6-9).
When you go shopping … pray for wisdom to spend wisely and to be a good steward of God’s blessings.
When you pass a school, hospital, or homeless shelter … pray for those inside.
¹ I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Tim. 2)
When waiting for someone who is late … pray for the people in your life who are difficult to love. And pray that you would not be the difficult friend or family member.
When having trouble falling asleep … thank God for the day that just ended and ask for His wisdom for tomorrow.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4)
When someone asks you to pray for them … instead of promising and forgetting, pray right then and there.
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118.24).
When going to bed … take a few minutes and pray. If you’re married, ask your spouse if you can pray together.
Let you precious Heavenly Father be the last One you think of each night and the first One you think of each morning.
Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17).
What reminds you to pray? How do you practice walking and talking with God throughout the day?
*This post was taken from my upcoming eBook, Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jump-Start Your Prayer Life.
Getting ready for 2017
The holidays are just around the corner and the new year will be on us before we know it. What will you do to make Bible reading an ongoing habit in the coming year? I’d like to encourage you to set a goal to read through the Bible.
And I hope you’ll sign up for my daily email. It can serve as a gentle reminder to stay on track. I try to make comments that are relevant to the daily struggles and questions that I hear in my counseling and discipleship ministries.
Start today so you can begin the habit and it will be a regular part of your day come January.
You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+. Just click on the social media icons. But nothing replaces having the daily devotion pop up in your inbox each day. It, usually (once in a while life gets in the way), goes out at 3 a.m. MST, so it’s there for early risers no matter what time zone you’re in.
So will you join me and, possibly, encourage someone else to do the same. (Why not email or call them right now?) Let’s get ready and grow in our relationship with Him together.
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