By Janet Thompson, Crosswalk.com
Do you ever feel guilty when you pray for yourself? Maybe think your prayer requests should only be for other people?
God considers you as important as anyone else. We all matter equally to God. He wants all his children to live abundant and full lives and he cares about everyone.
We can serve God better when our life is in order and we can’t do that by ourselves. We need God.
What Is An Abundant Life?
John 10:10b NKJV assures us that Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth was to offer us the opportunity for a rich and satisfying life through a relationship with him.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. – John 10:10b NKJV
Jesus wants to bless us with a joyful life spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. What an exciting thought to think that God desires the very best for us in every area of our life. Yes, he does want it for others too, but we need to remember that believers are the apple of God’s eye.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. – Psalm 17:8
If we’re not living up to our fullest potential, God tells us to surrender to him and ask for his intervention in our lives. He also adds the qualifier that when we pray, we must forgive others just as he forgives us.
I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. – Mark 11:24-25 NLT
Here are five bold prayers that will help you take hold of the abundant life promised in Jesus:
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1. A Prayer for a Life of Purpose
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Rom. 8:28
Have you ever asked yourself “What in the world am I here for?”
God made each of us with gifts and talents. As believers, he wants us to find ways to use those gifts to glorify him as well as fulfill a need we all have to be relevant in this life. Some know their purpose early in life and others don’t find their real calling until much later. I didn’t start writing and speaking for Christ until I was 50, but being a mother and businesswoman earlier in life was purposeful.
Paul, the author of the Book of Romans and much of the New Testament, originally thought his purpose in life was to stop Christianity until he had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. He describes his conversion as once I was blind but now I see. God revealed to him that his life purpose was actually to be an evangelist preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul shared his own testimony that no matter how sinful our life was in the past, God can use a changed life for his glory. (Acts 22:1-21)
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. – 2 Thess. 1:11 NLT
May He [God] give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose. – Psalm 20:4 (HCSB)
Lord, please guide me to the purpose and plans for which you created me. Help me to be receptive even when they’re not what I expected. Show me your ways, Lord. I want to live abundantly following the calling you have for my life. Amen.
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2. A Prayer for an Abundant Life
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. – 3 John 1:2-4 NKJV
Often we think abundance means having our lives overflow with wealth, possessions, good health, and everything we could ever desire. But John prays that believers will be abundantly faithful to the truth of the gospel. He compares earthly abundance to our soul prospering.
If our life is full but our soul is empty, we gain nothing.
John’s prayer for his followers to have a spiritually abundant life is the same prayer that Jesus has for us:
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. – Matt. 13:12 NLT
Regardless of material prosperity, there is no greater joy than living by the principles of a life devoted to Jesus. Many are rich in the Lord but poor in possessions, which have no eternal value.
Father, my heart’s desire is to know you better. My soul longs for a deeper understanding of how to live for you. Help me to be content with what you’ve given me and to live with a generous heart that gives to others out of my abundance. Amen.
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3. A Prayer for a Peaceful Life
Blessing others with grace and peace was so integral to the Apostle Paul that he opened all his letters to the churches with the same message of invoking God to grant them grace and peace. Paul was in prison when he wrote these letters with the uncertainty of his final fate being release or death, yet still, he wrote from a place of peace because he knew his eternal resting place.
He also penned:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. – Phil 4:6 NLT
Paul explained the perfect recipe for peace—pray about everything. Nothing is too small or too looming for God. Ask Jesus for forgiveness and grace which he freely gives. Leave your prayer requests at the feet of Jesus, thank him for all he’s already done for you, then go about your life knowing Jesus has everything under control.
Ah, how sweet we would sleep if we could just remember to do this.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
Oh Lord, I admit that I’m often not living in peace. I let the outside world invade my private world and worry about things that only you have domain over. Help me learn to take my concerns to you in prayer and rest in the knowledge that you are in charge, not me. Amen.
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4. A Prayer for Trusting God with Your Life
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. – Rom. 15:13 NLT
If we’re going to live an abundant life full of purpose and peace, we have to trust that God is who he says he is. That he loves us and really does know the plans he has for us that are for good and not harm. Even when we’re not sure what he’s up to.
Have you seen believers who always seem to be full of joy and are hopeful even in the worst situations? They have confidence in the Holy Spirit guiding and directing their life. They’re living with faith, not fear. Isn’t this how we all want to experience life?
“In God We Trust” is more than a slogan on our money; it’s how we live our life as Christians. Ask God every day for a filling of the Holy Spirit and then trust that inner voice you hear throughout the day telling you which path to take.
Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. – Ps. 37:3-4 HCSB
Father, you are holy and trustworthy yet often I put my trust in people and circumstances instead of your abundant sovereignty and love for me. Awaken my heart, mind, and spirit to be in tune with the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Amen.
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5. A Prayer for Any of Life's Problems
Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help. – Ps. 86:1 NLT
Reading the Book of Psalms, we see that many of the psalms are David crying out and pleading to God for his own safety and wellbeing and he knows that God is listening and caring about him. The psalms are helpful to pray for ourselves or for others when going through a difficult time.
As Christians, we know that we need to take our problems and concerns to God first. But how often do we remember to do that?
Don’t we often try to fix things, or try to work out our problems on our own, or ask others for help first?
Maybe we think God doesn’t care about us if we’re having a tough time. Nothing could be further from the truth. God knows that in this world, we will have problems, but he encourages us to remember that, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:32-33)
Sometimes in the midst of our pain and confusion, we’re not sure what we should pray. Like the psalmist, we just cry out “Help me, Lord.” Rest assured that God knows our hearts and our circumstances and he understands those SOS utterings.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. – Rom. 8:26 NLT
God wants us to remember that everything we have, he gave to us so we can trust him with how to manage and orchestrate all aspects of our lives.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers. – Ps. 20:5 NLT
Father, it’s not always easy for me to accept problems that come my way. I admit I would like my life to run smoothly and carefree but I know this world is not my home. I want to learn to turn to you first during troubling times, listen for your guidance, and feel your loving arms around me. To God be the glory! Amen.
Enjoying the Abundant Life in Christ
As believers, we’re so fortunate to know a God who loves us abundantly and wants the best for us even when we stray and even when our priorities are not the ones he wants for us.
Through prayer, it’s comforting to remember that he will always guide us in the direction he wants us to go. Sometimes it will be a subtle nudge, other times like Paul it can be quite dramatic. And aren’t we glad that Paul listened to the Holy Spirit and obeyed? Our lives are richer and more abundant for the guidance the Lord gave us through the writings of Paul—and the prayers he left for us to claim in our own lives.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. – Eph. 1:18-20 NLT
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