Praying Strengthens Us
Kathy Koch, Ph.D., Cofounder In the video I posted on Facebook on Mother’s Day https://www.facebook.com/ignitethefamily/videos/2127861694170519/, I mentioned that we pray for you regularly. We also talk at our staff meetings about our desire to pray for you. Suzanne and I often end our phone calls in prayer. We have strategies in place to strengthen this ministry and you through prayer. Do you value prayer, too? I hope you have found that it’s an essential lifeline to keep your relationship with God healthy, intimate, and strong. As our friends, David and Jason Benham state, “The goal of prayer is not simply to get an answer from God, it’s to get to know the God of the answer.” Whether you’re new at praying or very experienced, sometimes it’s nice to have prayers to pray that you don’t have to think up. Right? That’s what we did as children at meals and bedtime. Why not now?! Maybe three prayers I regularly pray will bless you. The first is a simple old Anglican prayer: What I know not, teach me.
What I have not, give me.
What I am not, make me. This second prayer is one of my all-time favorites. I learned it when teaching for a week in Estonia in 1998. Two of my students were from Ukraine. Their thank-you gift to me was to share this national prayer with me. I have a copy in my purse, by my bed, and in a desk drawer. Especially when I’m overwhelmed or unsure how to pray, God uses this. Perhaps He will use it in your life, too: Lord, allow me with a peaceful soul,
to meet everything that tomorrow's day will bring for me.
Help me to completely entrust myself to Your holy will.
Help me to know that in every moment of this day, in everything,
You will instruct and support me.
Whatever news I receive during the next day,
let me accept it with a calm soul and strong assurance
that everything is according to Your holy will.
In all my words and deeds, guide my thoughts and feelings.
In all unexpected situations,
don't let me forget that everything is sent by You.
Help me to deal with all the people fairly and wisely
so nobody will be confused or upset.
Give me the strength to endure the weariness of the coming day
and all the events during that day.
Guide my will and teach me how to
repent, pray, believe, hope, tolerate, forgive, thank, and love.
Amen! I learned this third prayer on a different missions trip. I was in Senegal, West Africa, primarily to speak to students at a large missionary boarding school in Dakar. A friend from my church went with me and we were able to spend time with some missionaries our church supported at the time. On one of the Sundays, MaryAnn drove us out into the bush country and we visited seven different church groups. It was one of the more humbling and amazing days of my life. Meeting Ndeba was a highlight. She was a new believer. Her home/hut was next to the witch doctor and across the fire pit from the small mosque. MaryAnn translated my greeting and I explained that I’d be honored to pray for her now that we had met. We had been praying for her and her church from the other side of the ocean for years so this seemed natural. I wanted to know how to pray for her. To be honest, because it appeared to me that she had nothing and I knew they were suffering through a drought, and because I’m from the materialistic western world and she knew that, I expected her to ask me to pray that she would be blessed with money, food, and “stuff.” I can’t adequately describe my reaction when I heard MaryAnn translate Ndeba’s response so I won’t even try. Just know that conviction was quick and my tears were, too. Here’s what she asked me to pray for: Please pray that I would walk rightly with my Jesus.
Please pray that we would be protected from the evil one.
Please pray that my faith in my great God would grow. That was it. She was finished. I knew I was in the presence of a mature woman who knew what really mattered. This is how I pray for myself and those I love. It’s how I’m praying for you.