A Prayer for Understanding

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Jeremiah 33:3

Oh, Lord, I call out to You for understanding so often. I pray that You help me to understand myself, but lately, Lord, I pray unceasingly for help understanding others. There are so many people, and so many different ways of thinking in this world that I cannot comprehend, even with effort.
Even people I love, people in my family, friends I’ve had for many years, at times baffle me. I know that You have said there is more in this world than we will ever know, and I only recently comprehended that there is a whole universe in each of us which only You fully comprehend.  Lend me, Lord, the sympathy born of the Holy Spirit when I deal with people beyond my own understanding, so that I may stand in love and treat them as You would have me do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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A Prayer To Know How To Love

Photo By Jean Fan (Jphotography) at http://orig14.deviantart.net/c89b/f/2009/088/9/8/98113a941f69d409ed3093fa1310787a.jpg

Lord,
I do not know how to love as I ought. I know that none of us here really do. Please, Lord, remind us to look to Your word, to listen for Your voice so that we may love better. Remind us to seek the greater good for the other person, even when it is hard, but to also seek their greatest autonomy. Help us not to hold others down with our own unbending ideals, or to think everyone is on our same path. Help us to do and say nothing that hinders people from loving You, Lord, or from learning to love others in ways more akin to Yours.
We are so lost here, Lord, and only You are the light in this dark world.

Amen

Verses to learn Love from:

  • Luke 6:31

    31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

  • Luke 6:35

    35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

  • John 8:13

    13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

  • Romans 12:9

    9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

  • Mark 12:31

    31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

  • Romans 13:10

    10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:13

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

  • Ephesians 4:2

    2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

  • 1 Peter 4:8

    8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

  • 1 John 4:7

    7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

  • 1 John 4:18-19

    18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

  • John 15:13

    13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

  • Ephesians 5:25

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

  • Ephesians 5:33

    33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

  • Colossians 3:14

    14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

  • Proverbs 10:12

    12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

  • Proverbs 17:17

    17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

  • 1 John 3:16-18

    16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

  • 1 John 4:8

    8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

  • John 3:16

    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  • Psalm 18:1

    1 I love you, LORD, my strength.

  • Matthew 22:27-29

    27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

  • Deuteronomy 10:12-19

    12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? 14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15Yet the LORD set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today.16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

  • Deuteronomy 11:13-22

    13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you.18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. 22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him—

  • Song of Songs 8:4-8

    4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. 5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved? Under the apple tree I roused you; there your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth. 6Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. 7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned. 8 We have a little sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for?

  • Matthew 6:24

    24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

  • Matthew 22:37-39

    37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

  • Matthew 23:6-8

    6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. 8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.

A Prayer Amidst The Vitriol

Lord,

This has been so hard. And not in any huge political way as so many people are saying it will later be. Today has been hard person to person. Today, we have been hard on one another. I feel like I’m full to my throat of sadness and pity and the detritus of other’s vitriol. I give it all to you tonight, Lord.
Make in me a clean heart. Help me to stop feeding into the drama, reading human opinions and created problems. Remind me to turn to You. Remind me to look to the Peace I know I can find in You.
Help me to be less worldly in this moment, and help me to find ways to communicate love instead of opinions, or even fact. Just love.
For He has given us a Spirit not of fear, but of Power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Amen.

A Prayer To Set My Intentions For the Day

Proverbs 16:7 

When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

 

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Lord,
Thank You for another morning and another chance to serve You today. Thank You for Your providence, and Your guidance in my life. I come to You to set my intentions for this day. Thank You that You will help me to show others the grace I’d like to be shown. Thank You for letting me live in Your Peace. I am so grateful I can look to You when I need to be patient with others, with my family. Remind me today that I can ask for Your help with forgiveness, with remembering to be grateful and joyous.Help me, Lord, to be humble in my interactions and thoughts, and to honor you with my actions. Please, Lord, help me set my mind on You, and allow me to see others through Your eyes. Remind me, finally, Lord, that You have given me the power of a sound mind, and that Your voice reassures.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Prayer For Times When Waves Are Rising

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Lord,

I know You are always there, but sometimes I get distracted. It can seem so easy to look away, from You, and Your Glory. It can seem to happen invisibly, that I stop looking at the positive and focusing on what I know You value. And whenever this does happen, it’s like I see waves rising, and I’m lost as to how they began to shift in the first place. But as with everything, I know that You know. I pray, Lord, that whatever confusion might be stepping into my life, whatever changes are on their way, You help me remember to look to You. I want to be patient, kind, and long suffering, remembering what You sacrificed to give me new life. I want to laugh, never fearing, because You are watching over me.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Prayer To Be Still In Times of Frustration

Sometimes we find ourselves in the mire of life, fed up with struggles and anger and strife. We find ourselves aching for a guiding hand, a note from God on where to go next. We rail and we whine because He only says not yet. Or, sometimes when we feel we need to make a choice, and He remains quiet, or only says “I’ll be here either way”, it can be so frustrating. That’s when we need to remember, not our will, but His alone.

 

The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still. Exodus 14:14

Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage, Wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Lord,

I’m sorry for those times I’ve yelled at you in frustration. I’m sorry my anger over rides my peaceful spirit. When I am waiting on Your timing, it can be so hard. And then You step in and remind me with this verse and others, that come my way when I least expect them from many varied sources. And I remember. You are watching me. You are here with me. When I pray and I demand answers, when I throw questions at You and hope You reply, who am I to be questioning and fired up by anger when You reply “I’ll be there”. When I want a specific direction from You, who am I to be frustrated when You tell me to stand still? Lord, take my heart and make it Yours.
Please please, Lord, help me to be patient until You remove these scales from my eyes, and allow me to see the truth. Please, Lord, remind me to give up the struggle and rest in Your Will, until Your time proves out. I am Yours to lead, wherever You send me, I will go.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Prayer About Lies We Tell Ourselves

“Jesus Loves Me, This I know, For the Bible Tells Me So.”

“I Stand Alone on the Word of God, The Bible!”

 

These are words from Christian children’s songs I learned as a child. I was glad to remember them lately because I’m working through some things in counseling and one of the exercises I’m doing is to journal my daily thoughts on lies I tell myself and to replace them with truths (often from the Bible).
Sometimes, I don’t have the proper verse to input as a biblical truth, or I am too stressed to find one that works well. And so I find these comforting, very simple truths, and I hold them in my mind in place of any negative untruths I was living with before.

Whether we lie to ourselves, or believe a lie of the Devil, there is a resource of truth and light we can always turn to, The Bible.

Lord,
Thank You for showing me patience as I fool even myself into believing untruths. Thank You for giving me clarity as I work through these negative thoughts and as I replace them. Remind me that my value comes from Your estimation of me, from the fact that You created me, not from any earthly thing. Help me, please, to continue to live in Your light, and distance myself from the darkness.

Amen.