“Lord give us a humble heart. Where we are lacking, make us strong. Where we walk though the valley of the shadow, be thou with us to guide and protect us. Let Your light shine from us, illuminating truth, Lord. Let us be Jesus today.”
What is wrong with the above passage? Anything? Nothing?
It’s us. Everywhere you see “us” or “we” substitute “me” or “I.”
“Lord give me a humble heart. Where I am lacking, make me strong. Where I walk though the valley of the shadow, be thou with me to guide and protect me. Let Your light shine from me, illuminating truth, Lord. Let me be Jesus today.”
God is a personal God so we needn’t be part of a crowd; we can stand alone before God, asking for our own needs. I am not saying that praying for a group is wrong. I am saying you and I need to approach the throne boldly, confident that whatever we ask for in prayer will be fulfilled.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Look at Esther. She, in the face of possible death, approached the king on behalf of the Jews, whom the king’s advisor, Haman, was attempting to eradicate. This was not the first time, nor will it be the last, that someone powerful attempted to annihilate the Jews. But they, under God’s grace, will never be completely destroyed. They are God’s chosen people.
We can come on behalf of someone, interceding for them before God. We can pray for the nations; we can pray for our leaders. We can pray for our pastor; we can pray for the sick and the poor. We can pray for our kid’s kids. We can pray for our family and friends and even our enemies as the Bible says we should.
But what about us? There are two reasons why we do not pray for ourselves–we think our needs are small in the face of all those who are suffering: the sick, the poor, the lame and the blind. We feel as if we are selfish to pray for our own needs. God is not too busy to hear you.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom” (Isaiah 40:28).
When we withhold our prayers, we disobey God, Who says in His Word repeatedly to pray for all things at all times and that includes our needs as well as the needs of others. Jesus is depicted in the Bible praying frequently. Most of the time the Bible does not detail His prayers, with a few exceptions, one being His prayer in the garden to God the Father before the crucifixion,. It was for Himself. He is our example in all things. Do what He does. This is part of the sanctification process.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phillipians 4:6).
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
“If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking” (James 1:5).
Try this next time you pray: Instead of saying we, say I. This is spiritually intimate and personal.
“Lord, I love you. I trust you with my heart. Come draw near to me; cover me with Your wings. Talk with me and walk with me all the days of my life that I might know You better. In the mighty and precious name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen!”
How do you pray? Does praying in the first person help you to remember how personal and intimate God wants to be with you?