A Prayer Over Our Own Sensitivities and Dealing With Criticism

Wounds from a friend can be trusted (Proverbs 27:6)

What does this mean to us? To me, it means that we need to learn to take criticism from friends and loved ones. God has tried to put people in our lives who can love us, love us completely, and love us as Christians, and who can help to correct us if we go off the path we are meant to be following.

If a friend comes to you and says something that feels like a wound, should we cut them out of our lives? Should we turn away in shame and fear that their criticism is correct? Or should we realize that this friend, or family member, or church member, may have our best interest at heart?

I’m not saying every criticism from someone we consider a friend, or every insult or wrong thing said, is something to be taken to heart. The best of us have some really bad moments and say things that might hurt others, for reasons other than love or their growth. But if we can remember this verse, we can maybe stay calm enough to stop and think about what has been said.

With God’s help we can take criticism well enough to use it for our own growth. We can take the time to examine not only the conversation but the friendship and hopefully be understanding if someone wounds us with good intentions.

Lord, I love that You have placed Godly friends and family in my circle here on earth to help me grow in Christ. I know that You have made it so that we can use Your Word as our guideline and instruction manual in tough situations and when we may be hurting. I am so thankful for this, and that I can trust that You will help me discern when someone is speaking from a Christian heart, and an intention of helpfulness, rather than seeking to hurt.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Prayer For Time, Priorities, and Patience.

Psalm 128:3

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.

Lord, We get so lost in the day to day grind so often, and we forget to look to you. I get frustrated, my husband gets frustrated, and we forget to be grateful. But, Lord, Your word is always there to remind us, to gently chide or loudly convict us back to remembering who You are, and what You have done in our lives.

While You are busy providing our every need, we are often busy bickering and fighting over what we don’t have, or think might make us happy.

Remind me, Lord, to seek only You. To let Your priorities be mine. Remind me to put others’ welfare in the forefront as I seek to serve, and to trust that You will see to my needs as I do so.

Give us patience, Lord, with our own failings. As You forgive so readily, and see the good and faithful things in us.

Give us time, Lord. Enough time to grow into the people You are molding us to be, and enough patience to remember that You can stretch our days, allowing all of our priorities to be taken care of, so long as we line them up with Your plans and Your prescription as written in Your word.

Thank You so much, Lord. Amen.

A Prayer In Times When The Trouble Piles On

Finally,  be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God,  so that you can take your stand against the devil’s  schemes. -Ephesians 6:10,11

Lord,  we are all having undue hardships and stresses lately,  and we call out to you to help us in our time of need.  Help us to remember not to look to the things in this world to bolster our strength or to protect us from the things we feel hurt by in this world.  Help us deal with this day’s struggles in just the way you want us to. Amen

A Prayer Over My Mothering

I am very lucky to have the good job I have. I’ve been lucky to have it for 12 years. Still, my life has changed a lot lately and the job itself has changed over the years. I find myself now wondering if I’m called to do this job as I once was.
I am blessed to be able to work and also have my daughter along, but it also creates challenges to do so. I am often wondering what would be best for my baby and my client, because my attention is always split now. It’s kind of like I get to do all the work of a Stay at Home Mom, and do it all while doing all the work of my actual job as a working Mom.
The worries are daily. Would it be better to have my daughter in daycare so she got some kind of more structured schedule and routine, so the people would be there to focus on her, instead of always distracted from helping her? I work nights often of late and it bothers me so much to have to wake her sleeping self up to take her home. I hate also having to get her back to bed there. It’s no wonder she never has gotten into a routine at night and learned to sleep well. This also often leads to missed baths and teeth brushings and that adds to the motherly guilt and worry and questioning.
Other days I dress her while she’s still sleeping, or sometimes on the days we’ll work that late, and put her in the car to eat her breakfast on the road. I could wake her up earlier instead, should I do that? Would that help?
It’s not that she has some sort of awful time, and like I said, I’m blessed to have my job, I know. I’ve worked here 12 years now and I finally make more per hour than the years I’ve worked here. I have benefits which have been hard to come by in the years after the bubble pop. I get to see my sister and my daughter gets to see her aunt. But… but… there’s always the worry and the questions. There’s always this idea that I could be doing it better, giving her a better life.
It actually doesn’t help that my husband makes enough money that if we wanted to and were careful we could exist on only his income. It makes it harder, kind of, because it gives me this idea that I should be being a stay at home mom full time, that that would be the best thing for this little growing person who is so wonderful and needs so much attention. It just makes the questions bigger.
Meanwhile, Alice loves stimulation and going places and doing things constantly, and while she needs and wants a lot of attention and I feel divided and like I’m doing neither job as well as I’d like, she misses her Aunt when we don’t come to work. She asks to go places all the time when we do stay home. Am I worrying for nothing?
And in the end, I realize, that all I need to do is pray. The answers all sit with God, and He has made this challenge particularly for me, to grow my Spirit in the direction He is leading me. And Alice. If I believe He is leading me, I have to further believe He is leading and forming her.

And so the prayer:

Lord,
I know You have given me this challenge for a reason. I know I need to give these worries up to You and allow You to work out the solution to what feels like an impossible question. I know that what to me feels like it would be reopening of old wounds to even speak about, to You it is nothing but a speck to be blown away. I pray today that You work in this situation. Give me the right words to speak about what I think I need and what I think I need to do for my baby and myself, give me the right way to handle this situation. And show me, Lord, what will be best for her in the long run. Teach me how to Mother with the love and Grace only You can supply, and show me where You are calling me now. Give me Your leading, Lord, as strong as I once felt it. Allow me to see clearly my path again, and to be able to take my daughter on that walk with me, as I carry her everywhere else.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Prayer Over My Writing

1 Corinthians 4:7

For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

1 Peter 4:10 ESV

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

Romans 12:6-8 ESV

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Lord, You know I have always, my whole waking and able life been of a mind that God made me to write and tell stories. And You know that once Alice was born I was finally able to write and self publish my first novel. But, Lord, You know as well that I am intimidated and feel futile about writing because as much as I’m finally able to get words on page and out into the world, I see no earthly returns and no recognition. Remind me, Lord, that the gifts You give are for Your Glory, not mine. I need to keep using my gifts and talents because You find pleasure in knowing I am doing what I am called to do, but also because You have a plan much more intricate than I can see. Remind me I am sewing seeds, Lord. Remind me that this novel may sit mostly unread on a virtual shelf for what feels like ages to me, but You gave me the dream to write it, the ability to do so, and the reason for it is beyond me because it is Your reason. Please, Lord, bless that work to Your purposes, guide me onto Your path for what to use this gift for. Lord, I know You can make any request a reality and I pray You will allow me to someday help support my family with this gift and be able to share my stories with the world a large in a much grander way. I Thank You, Lord, for the gift of language and the love of it I have been given and I Thank You so so much for how this gift nourishes and refreshes my Spirit!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I hesitated to add this part, but feel like I need to: If you’d like to read my first novel please click here: http://tinyurl.com/ojq5yvw

A Prayer For Those Waiting on A Child

Psalm 127:3-5 ESV

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Genesis 1:28 ESV

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Psalm 113:9 ESV

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!

Lord, I pray today remembering that You do not make idle promises or proclamations, and that You have put the dream of a woman’s heart there for her good. I know You are working to bless my friends and family who are waiting on children. I can see, Lord, that it is so hard for them to wait, and to be patient in their Faith. But we know You put the dream of parenthood in their hearts for a reason, and so tonight, we pray you’ll show them if there is anything blocking their paths to that dream, just like Balaam and the donkey. We pray, Lord, that You provide them strength and hope in their waiting time, and keep their hearts open to where You are leading them. Don’t let fear blind them from seeing if You have an alternate plan or a different way of delivering their dream, Lord. We Thank You that You are so faithful, so steadfast, that we can count on Your providence here. We Thank You that we know You can heal anything in them that is preventing this physically, and we pray specifically that You provide that tonight, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

A Prayer In Thanks For Friends And Fellowship

Psalms 55:14
We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng.

It is my friend Wendy’s birthday today and I was thinking about her and what a wonderful influence she’s been on me for my whole life. Wendy is actually the mother of a friend from school but she has always seemed like a friend to me too. I remember well always feeling peaceful and calm around her and really liking and looking up to her sweet demeanor when I was a child, and as an adult I’ve had many good chances to fellowship with her. In the surprising way that God works, I think we’ve actually become better friends since their family moved four states away and we have spoken only on Facebook, even. So, today, inspired by Wendy, my prayer is in thanks for the friends and fellows like these that God puts in our lives.

Lord, I am so grateful for the people you have put into my life to be friends to me in my good times and my hard moments. I can see looking back that You have put the right people near me to sow seeds of faith and right behavior. I am so happy to have yet another reminder that You have always watched over me and had such a loving hand in my life. I can not express in words how sweet it feels to look back over my life and see people like my friend Wendy, and the many others who you have put in my path to bless me and to allow me to serve You by blessing in return. I hope I have done an adequate job of returning their favors and I pray You give me the tools to be more like these great friends, blessing people in the example of Christ. Lord, today I pray a special blessing on Wendy and my other friends who are out in the world sowing seeds for You. I pray you be with all those in my life who have been a blessing to me, bring them all closer to You, Lord, and bless their lives in the monumental ways that only You can do. I love them all so, Lord, and I know they are Your special messengers here on Earth.
Amen.