2020 has brought unique challenges with it, but regardless, every single one of us has private battles we have had to face alone this year.
Some of us are pregnant and scared. Others have lost family members or are going through painful divorces. We face financial challenges and health hardships. Sometimes we just don’t know what to do, and prayer is our only option left. But how do you pray when your heart feels frozen and the words just won't come out?
Powerful emotions can bind a tongue, and we are powerless to present our messy life in words to Jesus. As a rule, praying from the heart is the most authentic and personal, but sometimes the only prayers we can pray are the ones that have been written by those who have gone before us.
Jesus said, “Whosoever comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” No one who ever came to Jesus in the Bible was cast away and sent off without Jesus answering their prayer and often, all they could say was, "Lord, I believe. Help me." It wasn't fancy or long, but it was all they could get out.
Every person who was sick, cursed, possessed by spirits, or desperate Jesus always had compassion on them! And my favorite part is, he always touched them! He always touched the ones who others avoided like the women, lepers, and children. The Bible tells us that “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” If he could touch a desperate person back then, He can and will touch you today because He never changes!
Here are 5 prayers to offer to Jesus when you don’t know what to say. Take them and break them apart. Replace your situations and your feelings with certain words and phrases. Genuinely offer them up to Him. As you do so, your heart will start to soften as you experience God’s power and His peace.
The Serenity Prayer – Reinhold Niebuhr
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Twenty-Third Psalm – Psalms 23: 1-6
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff–they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Empty Vessel – Martin Luther
Behold, Lord, An empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in faith; Strengthen thou me.
I am cold in love; Warm me and make me fervent
That my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith;
At times I doubt and am unable to trust thee altogether.
O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in thee.
In thee I have sealed the treasures of all I have. I am poor; Thou art rich and didst come to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; Thou art upright.
With me there is an abundance of sin; In thee is the fullness of righteousness. Therefore, I will remain with thee of who I can receive But to whom I may not give. Amen.
O my heavenly Father,
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
God of all comfort,
I thank you for revealing to me
your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
in whom I believe,
whom I have preached and confessed,
whom I have loved and praised.
I pray, my Lord Jesus Christ,
take my soul into your hands.
I know that
although I will live this body
and be taken from this life,
I will live with you forever,
and that no one can pluck me
out of your hands.
God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
Our God is the God of salvation,
and the Lord delivers from death.
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
You have redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.
Covenant Prayer – John Wesley
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.