Pleading prayers. Praising prayers. Practical prayers. Ponderous prayers. I’ve prayed all these and more during the 40 days leading up to Resurrection Day 2018. Joining my church family in this time of focused prayer during Lent has stretched me and convicted me.
As we’re traveling this 40-day focus together, I’ve run away from God in embarrassment. I’ve gritted my teeth in anger at God. I’ve bowed before God and asked him to lift me up. I’ve prayed for my loved ones like I’ve never prayed before. I’ve pretended to be too busy to talk with God.
God knows my games. And he knows my heart. I’m so thankful he loves all of me, just as I am.
Here are some of my reflections from our 40 days of prayer.
I’m not here for my own pleasure or by accident. God has a reason for me to be here. I might interfere or get off track or refuse to cooperate. But there’s still a reason. God’s reason.
Stress and anxiety are not from God. These are tools the enemy uses to try to bring me down. God is the cure for all my anxiety. I can bring everything to him and then say thank you because I know he’s already got it. My prayer: God, keep me focused on you today so there is no room for stress and anxiety in my life. You are already handling what I think I have to handle.
I know I limit God’s work because I often put boundaries around my faith. Faith is not a noun; it’s a verb! God promises to work through us and our faith. When we trust in him, we unleash his mighty power. Faith is the key.
Lord, may I lean into your love instead of fighting the world. You are my God who loves me and goes before me.
Always and never are words I reserve for God because he is the only constant.
Lord, thank you for loving me more than I love myself. Thank you for winning the victory over my self-defeat.
God is creative and wants to give to us from his creativity.
Father, forgive me for keeping my sight so short and small. There is so much more to my life with you than what I know on this earth. Give me more of your vision.
Forgive me, Lord, for all the years I thought and lived as if my life belongs to me. My life is yours, Lord, a gift to me so I can serve you and build your kingdom.
My search for all that God is goes on for eternity. And I still won’t know all of him. My time on Earth is for me to gather others to him and with me.
Sometimes I look beyond what I have to be thankful for to what I want. And I miss the blessings. My thanks keep me plugged into receiving all that God has for me.
Fitting into God’s plans isn’t always easy or comfortable. But the relationships and rewards make it all worthwhile. Lord, help me to be a willing participant in your plan. Help me to live for you in this world. Help me to keep you first in my life.
When I submit to God, I reduce stress, increase calm, reduce fear, increase joy.
Lord, I so often leap forward into imaginary tomorrows instead of enjoying the reality of today. Forgive me and help me to do better.
I never have to doubt or fear. You are always near, Lord.
Jesus is the power of forgiveness in my life.
I try too hard to understand my work in terms of the world’s economy instead of in God’s economy. Adjust my viewpoint, Lord.
Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I’ve taken the credit and praise instead of giving you the credit, praise, and glory.
Help me to deal with my distractions, Lord, so I can give my full attention to you.
God isn’t my servant. I am his servant.
I spent too many years in haphazard faith. Now I want to, I must, I need to seek God every day.
Lord, thank you for drawing me closer to you as I draw closer to you. What a beautiful, sustaining, life-giving relationship!
God’s love is active, not passive. He loves me through his promises and commands. I love him through my praise and obedience.
Help me, Lord, to be more obedient and less rebellious. More thankful and less complaining. More loving and less self-focused.
God, your love and forgiveness are beyond amazing. Jesus, your sacrifice for me is beyond amazing. Thank you.
Thanks to Rick Warren for guiding and teaching my church family through his "40 Days of Prayer" resources. Learn more about this here.
Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2018 by Laura Warfel