4 Prayers to Line Up with God’s Purposes
Then Job answered the LORD and said, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:1-2).
Studying Job during this difficult season has been very enlightening and convicting! Job kept saying that he trusted God, all the while whining and complaining about his circumstances…until God reminded Job that ultimately, He was the Almighty Creator of all things and the Overseer of all of our situations, good or bad. Job, with a repentant heart, confessed his lack of understanding and renewed his belief in God’s complete power and supremacy. For Job, the choice was easy after his eyes were opened – God’s purposes could not be thwarted – even if it meant physical and emotional suffering for him. He just needed to be reminded.
J. Vernon McGee has a quote I love that can help us to relate to Job’s (and our own) situations: “This is God’s universe, and He is doing things His way. You may think you have a better way, but you don’t have a universe.”
It’s amazing how little we, the people of God, trust His purposes to be accomplished in the midst of uncertain times. We try to do everything in our own strength to “fix” our circumstances. We have difficulty resting in His promises and having faith that He is in control of our situations, finances, jobs, schooling, celebrations, relationships and everything else that concerns our minds and hearts.
God is grieving with those who are grieving, just as He was very present in the midst of Job’s suffering. If we are His, we should also be grieving with and for those who have lost loved ones, friends, coworkers, classmates and neighbors, for those who have lost jobs, for kids who can’t go to school, for healthcare workers who are afraid to bring sickness home with them, for those who can’t see and hug their loved ones…and so much more. If we are only mourning for ourselves and our inconveniences, we are lost in our selfishness rather than coming alongside of the Living Jesus to be His hands, feet and heart to others. And, to lift one another up in deep, heartfelt prayer!
God is watching us…His eye is upon His Church. Are we asking Him to search us and cleanse us? Are we a repentant people, allowing the Father to make us holy as He is holy? Or, are we wishing we could go where we want to go and do what we want to do? Are we filled with anger and frustration against our leaders, our families, the grocery store who can’t deliver our orders fast enough, and the people who bought up all of the sanitizer and toilet paper?
If His eye is upon us, what is He expecting? He is looking for those who will know that God can do all things and that His purposes will not be thwarted. Perhaps this season is more about watching to see what God will do with a people who keeps their eyes focused upon Him, trusting Him to accomplish something so big and deep and powerful in His Church that the world will never be the same. He has stripped away all of the traditional patterns of our gatherings and moved us to engage in new ways and to look at people we haven’t spent much time with before…to meet needs and to think outside the box creatively about how to care for the least of these and the lost. Can we have great faith to believe that God is at work in and through us?
Jason Meyer said, “Faith doesn’t just bring your soul to heaven; it brings heaven to your soul.” So – how do we pray in such a way that we are changed by God and not by our circumstances? Prayer that brings heaven to our souls? Here are four simple prayers to help our hearts shift toward remembering that God can do all things and that His plans cannot be thwarted:
- The Prayer of Confession: Father, I confess my lack of faith in Your ability to work in the midst of everything I am facing. I confess that I haven’t trusted You for _____________. I confess that I have depended upon my own ability to _____________ rather than release it into Your care. Thank You, Father, that You are faithful and righteous to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confess those sins to You (1 John 1:9).
- The Prayer of Repentance: Lord, I have confessed to You those sins that separate my heart from Yours. I am Your child, called by Your name. Your word declares that if I humble myself in repentance and seek Your face and turn away from my sinful ways, that You will hear from heaven, forgive my sin and heal my land (2 Chronicles 7:14). Now I declare that I will turn away from these things, and turn toward You once again! Your word says that if I do this, my sins will be wiped out and that times of refreshing will come from You once again (Acts 3:19). And, Lord Jesus, please help me to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8)…fruit that will last (John 15:16), not only in this season, but throughout the rest of my days. May I emerge from these days changed in ways that will bring glory to You alone!
- The Prayer of Submission: Lord Jesus, when the outcomes of life are hidden, uncertain, or unclear, give me the humility and the strength to simply submit to Your purposes and plans. Help me to remember that You humbled Yourself before the Father and submitted Yourself to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8) for me! That humbles me and creates a deep desire in me to be obedient to Your will forever. Your word says that these troubles and sufferings of mine are small and won’t last very long, and You promise that this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessings forever and ever (2 Corinthians 4:17 TLB). Surely, I can submit myself to inconveniences and troubles without whining and complaining!
- The Prayer of Acknowledgment: Almighty God, I acknowledge that my adequacy comes not from myself or my own abilities, but only from You (2 Corinthians 3:5). I acknowledge that I can do all things through You, because You are the One who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). And, Lord, in all of my ways I will acknowledge You, for You have promised that if I will do this, You will make my paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).
May the God who is everywhere, and who created everything, be very present in your life in this season, and from this moment forward! May your faith swell to heights you never imagined as you dwell with Him in the midst of hard times, but also allow Him to lead you to a much deeper understanding of His ability to create calm in your storm, peace in your uncertainties and joy along your journey of life with a Father who, as Job acknowledged, is not only the Creator of the Universe, but the One who can do ALL things…and whose plans can never be thwarted!
©2020, Harvest Prayer Ministries
Kim’s passion is to see God’s people recognize that prayer is a creative, continual moment by moment lifestyle as we align our hearts with the plans and purposes of God for His glory and the sake of His kingdom. Her ministry involves writing, teaching and consulting. She also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! and blogs regularly on the HPM website).
Kim graduated from Whitman College with teaching credentials and a BA in Psychology. She has a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership from Spring Arbor University.