A Prayer of Thanks

A prayer full of thoughts and gratitude after spending some time in Timothy Keller’s Prayer.

*********************************************************************************

Father God,

Thank you for modeling and enjoying the perfect friendship for us.
Within yourself –
You, the Son, the Holy Spirit –
You reveal to us an incredible, beautiful relationship.

When you created us, you did not need us for companionship.
You had that already,
In its most perfect form.
Instead, you brought us into this world to share in the joy of relationships.
With you, first, and then, with others.

I am learning that our ability to love other people
Is simply an image of the “internal Trinitarian love” that we were created to reflect.
You intend for us to be closely connected to others.
You care for our souls and our deep need for community, yes,
But you also desire to be glorified through relationships.
What a beautiful piece of yourself-
Friendship is both for us and for you.

Thank you for relationships that have let me share in this joy.
I see richness and rarity in the friendships you’ve placed in front of me.
You’ve given me fuller glimpses of your character through people –
In their challenges and their support,
You are there.

Thank you for conversations that leave me wanting more of you –
For friends who remind me that trust is better than clarity
And that your Word is where I will find you.

Thank you for laughter and spontaneity
In the midst of the mundane.
Thank you for the friends that bring out my best qualities,
Reminding me of the ways you have created and shaped me.

And thank you for the work of relationships.
I’m thankful that the best ones have taken time, effort, and discomfort.
You have allowed conflict and disagreement to draw us to you,
And as a result, those relationships have grown to reflect your joyful friendship even more.

I’m thankful for and humbled by the gift of friendship.
Lead me to live in relationships well,
To love and connect in ways that reflect your perfect union of Father, Son, and Spirit.
Let me draw close to you and enter into your own happiness, God.

Amen.

A Prayer for My Son

Oh God,

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the thought of this child.
When he moves inside me,
When I see his little profile on the screen,
When I say his name –
I am thankful and overwhelmed by this gift.

Having a child feels exciting.
The thought of a son feels significant.
I have so many hopes and prayers for him, God.
I want so much goodness and health and joy for him.
At the same time,
I want to give him to you.

I think of Hannah and her prayer for a son,
Her promises to give him over to your service if he would come to her.
Here I am, seeing your faithfulness in my own answered prayers,
And I, too, want to trust you fully with his life.

You have done so much in my heart through this boy already.
You have redeemed pain and sadness;
You’ve drawn me close to yourself in trust.
Even in his tiny, womb-bound state,
You have used this little one to reveal more of yourself to me.

I am thankful and I am hopeful –
Thankful for the chance to be this boy’s mom,
Thankful to see Reed as his Dad.
And I’m so hopeful,
Anticipating all you will add to our family through his life,
And trusting that you will use him to bring your Kingdom to earth.

So tonight, I’m asking that you walk with my son.
As he grows, as he learns,
Let him know you.
Let him know Truth and joy and obedience.
Form him into a man that follows you and loves others.
Grow us as parents –
Train us to be people who point him to you;
Teach us to love and lead him well.

He is yours, dear Father.
I feel privileged to call him my son,
But I know you love him even more than we do.
Thank you for his life.
Thank you for your work in our little family.

Amen.

A Prayer to Acknowledge God’s Gifts

Father God,

I’m sorry that I so often forget what you have done for me.
Like an Israelite, I neglect to see your faithfulness or trust your character,
Even after you have rescued me.

I don’t stop to pay attention to what you’re doing or how you are caring for me.
I want to be mindful of your gifts, though.
I want to see all good things as your gifts.
And I want to live in gratitude, God.

Today, you are bringing my attention to your faithfulness.
You have encouraged me and sustained me;
You give me what I need,
Even when I’m not aware of what that is.

Thank you for unexpected time.
Thank you for people who remind me of your character.
Thank you for affirmation.

I see you caring for my discipline-hungry soul.
You supply the encouragement I need to keep going,
And you are faithful to keep drawing me back to your Word.
You have made me discontent with days that don’t begin with you
And you’ve been gentle, but firm in you calling me to obedience.

I am thankful, God.
I am grateful to receive your many gifts,
But I’m also thankful for new awareness of how you give.
Please continue to keep me alert and watchful for your work.
Let me trust your faithfulness and goodness,
Even when it feels less obvious.

Grow my ability to see your gifts in the mundane and ordinary.

In your name, Amen.

A Prayer for Tuckey

Today has been one of those days that I feel immeasurably thankful to be the RD of Tuckey Hall. I had the chance to eat with a few of them, talk through tough questions with some, and I ended the day in a room full of girls, yelling and shaking our heads in disgust over the Bachelor. Some days feel tiring and difficult. But most days are like this one. I get the privilege of knowing these girls and laughing with them. I get to make fun of reality shows while nail polish fumes fill the air. I get to see them wrestle with God’s character and dig into his Word. Again, I am so thankful to be here.

Tonight, I’m thinking of these 100+ girls in the dorm. I want them to know God and to know a fulfilled life in him. So I’m praying for them now – praying for God’s goodness and direction in their lives, as well as in mine as I serve as their RD.

*********************************************************************************
Father God,
I can’t thank you enough for these young women. They are passionate, relational people, and I love living with them. Thank you for their lives and their presence in this dorm. Thanks for allowing them to live in Tuckey. 
I see these girls, and I’m reminded of how you worked in my life as a college student. God, thank you for those years of constant community. You used people to challenge me and point me to your Word. You taught me how to love people who frustrated me. Those years were often hard and painful, yet you were so faithful, God. Thank you.
I pray that your faithfulness is known to these girls. Draw their attention to your character. Show them how you love them and provide for them. Give them peace and trust when both feel far away. Teach these ladies how to really love your Word. If you would use me, God, let me be one to point them to your Truth. Let me be one who abides in you so that you may be reflected in my interactions with these women. Reveal yourself to each of us so that we may know you better. 
I pray these girls grow in passion and purpose. Show them how to pursue what brings you glory while also utilizing their gifts. May they be people who love well, listen often, and exude compassion. May these girls know they are loved – not only by you, their Father, but also by others. Teach this group of young women to be a body of encouragers and welcomers. 
I pray for deeper trust here, God. I pray for challenges and doubts that bring us to you. I pray for peace when it comes to how we all view ourselves and grace when we look at others. 
I know and trust that you hold these girls closely. I am confident that you are doing good work in them, and that you’ve created them to carry out your good. Be especially present in our dorm, God. 
I pray these things in your name, Jesus, Amen. 

A Prayer for A New Week

God,
I don’t want to enter another week dreading what is ahead.
I don’t want to anticipate what could go wrong or what may be tiring.

Instead, I ask that you would redirect my thoughts.
Let me look back and be reminded of your faithfulness.
May I trust your character, God.
Because of how you reveal yourself to me,
through your Word and through your people,
let me walk into another unknown full of peace.

A week should not feel threatening.
I know I shouldn’t be so easily overwhelmed.
And yet, I feel cautious about my attitude and feelings as another Monday approaches.

Let this be a week of wise investments.
Let me make choices that honor you,
choices that communicate love for others,
choices that challenge my understanding of your Word.

Draw my eyes off of the temporary frustrations and the daily distractions.
Lift my eyes to you, fixed and focused on your goodness.
I ask to see your goodness, but to also trust what doesn’t feel as such.

A new week is coming, and nothing is new to you, God.
You have been a faithful God through the ages.
You have seen weeks of great struggle and pain –
and you’ve seen weeks pass with great celebration.
Let me embrace all that is ahead,
trusting you and drawing near to you.

I love you, Father.
I’m thankful for the unknown.
Thank you for putting me in a place of need and reliance –
may this coming week be an opportunity to know your sustaining peace.

Amen.

A Prayer for Trust and Obedience

For these last few days of January, I’m trying my hand at writing prayers. This prayer came as a response to the set of songs we’ll be singing in worship this Sunday.

*********************************************************************************

God, we come to you asking for awareness of your presence.
May we make room for your Spirit to speak and teach, to draw us closer to you.

May we spend our lives growing in knowledge of who you are –
let us see you as the one who descended down to our level,
the one who led us out of death,
the one who made a way for us and suffered so that he may know our suffering.

Jesus, let us see you as our King.
You are the matchless, sovereign King who deserves all our praise and all our trust.
When we were without a Messiah, without a Savior, you filled that need.
You became our merciful and faithful high priest, reconciling us to the Father through your death.

So as we draw close to you, let our response be gratitude.
Let us grow in obedience as we see your perfect mix of love and righteousness.
Teach us to live in awe and thankfulness for all you’ve done.
Teach us to live lives of worship, in all different aspects.
In our homes, our work, our relationships, our time, our choices –
draw our attention and our eyes upward so that we may see the fullness of life in you.

Lead us into a life of obedience, God.
We know this is what you’ve asked of us.
Please show us the way to a deeper trust and a deeper love for your Word.

We pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen.

A Prayer to Listen

Lord,

teach me to listen.

The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them.

Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, “Speak, for Thy servant heareth.”

Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice,

that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking.

Amen.

-A. W. Tozer
Of all the pieces of prayer, listening might be the hardest for me. I often ask God to speak, but my mind is impatient. God be quick. Be clear. I listen to his voice on my time and with my expectations. I want to learn to really listen, though. I want to quiet the “raucous sounds” and strengthen my ears. God, teach me to listen. Just as Tozer asked you, let me hear you. Let me grow so used to the sound of your voice that I don’t question what it is. I want to listen and obey, Father. Please teach me. 
These mornings of prayer have been interesting. I head into time with God hoping to take something inspired away. I have this idea that maybe this morning God will be clear as day and show me to hear him speak. He’ll be forward and affirming, answering that big question of “What should I do with this life you’ve given me?” I’ll leave the time with him feeling empowered, trusting him completely because I know without a doubt that he spoke to me. 
Expectancy is a great thing. We should spend time with God anticipating his closeness and his voice. At the same time, I think it turns him into a magician or entertainer of some sort if I anxiously await his “signs and wonders”. I was reading in Hebrews today, preparing for our dorm-wide Bible Study. In chapter 2, the author warns us against missing out on this grand rescue. He elaborates and states that if we’re waiting on some large, miraculous sign, we may be placing our own expectations on how God reveals himself. I don’t want to miss out on what God’s doing. I don’t want to set unreasonable standards for hearing God’s voice when he’s speaking through his Word and his people. So, again, Father. Teach me, train me, to listen. Let me discover what it means to be attentive to and familiar with your voice. 
God, I want to grow in prayer, so therefore, I want to become a better listener. I want to make room for solitude and silence, so that the noise and distraction that fills my life can be quieted. Draw me to yourself and to your voice. Let me grow familiar to your tones, Father. And may I love the sound of your voice, in my heart and in my mind. 
Amen.