If you are a believer, you know the importance of being in continual communication with the Lord. I thought it might be helpful to share a few areas for prayer that can be overlooked–and are often underrated.
Protection over your mental health
During my commute one morning, it dawned on me: I was in a grumpier mood than usual. Okay, so maybe everyone is grumpy on their morning commute, so this isn’t exactly an earth-shattering revelation. But this got me thinking about when the last time was that I actually prayed over my mental health. I’ve prayed about my physical and bodily health before, but never my mental health. When you really think about it, the enemy is all around us–HELLO, ruler of this world, much? So wouldn’t it make sense that in our spiritual lives we should actively continue to put up defenses around our mental health just as much (maybe sometimes, even more than) as our physical health!
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
Protection over the lives of your friends & family
Of course we pray for those we love, but do we do it often? Do we actually–after a friend texts, saying I need some prayer today–take the time, then and there or sometime later that day to pray for them…and continue to do so? Or what about praying over your parents? Whether it’s their marriage, their own walk with the Lord or their own physical, mental, spiritual safety–do we remember to pray over that? Just because they’re your parents or loved ones doesn’t mean that they are invincible. Hate to break that bubble for you, friend–but it’s the truth. Pray for your friends and your family. They might not even tell you they need it–pray anyway. Without ceasing.
And don’t forget, your church family, too!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
To become more Christ-like
When did you last pray for that one? To be honest, a short while ago–this may or may not have been last week–I realized that I had never prayed for this. Ever! How often do we really pray to become more Christ-like? Because, isn’t that what we’re called to do? I’m so quick to pray for a want or for something that I absolutely need, but maybe it’s time to change that prayer a bit. Perhaps next time, I’ll be asking the Lord how I can please Him more–how I can be more like Him.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
For Joy Amidst Trials
This one’s a doozy, I know. But oh, how important it is for us as believers, to ask for joy amidst our suffering. I don’t know about you, but this one hits home for me…hard. It’s not often that I sit down during a time of internal turmoil with God and say, “Well, Lord. This sucks! But please help me to have joy anyway.” Nope. Instead, I mope around for about an hour and a half, complaining to him, myself and those around who will listen, about all the things that are wrong about the situation. Oh, but what if instead, I went to Him humbly and asked for his grace? Or for His peace in this trial. Or for joy in this pain. How much more do you think He’d honor and bless that? And how much more do you think you’d really see His power in that?
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
I find myself praying for this one often. Especially when I take on a role of leadership. When I do ask for it, it’s usually because I begin to feel prideful about something that, without God, I wouldn’t have at all. Humility is also important because it allows us to be teachable, corrected and helps us to turn from harmful habits and toward beneficial ones.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you; Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
For opportunities to step out in faith
A few weeks ago, in my Women’s Bible Study, we talked about bringing up the topic of faith to those yet to know Christ. We all sat with a bit of uneasiness around the subject, as it’s never easy to step out of one’s comfort zone. In our prayer time, we prayed that God would show us people in our lives that we could walk alongside and disciple. Lo and behold, He was eager to oblige us with different opportunities that next week to share the gospel and our faith in different ways. It’s easy as Christians–okay, Christian millennials–to get comfortable where we are in our walk with God. We get a nice job–that we really prayed hard for, by the way–a somewhat full social life, with plenty of opportunities to fellowship with other believers, and are able to go about our merry ways doing the will of God. Right?
Well…maybe there’s more to it than that.
As Christians, believers, followers of God…Jesus freaks (?) whatever you call yourself–we are called to live lives that are bold, courageous and uncomfortable. Not to mosey on through life taking the easy way out. Because, people don’t get saved that way. More importantly, people don’t get the chance to experience God that way. Next time you’re snuggled up with a nice, warm coffee at Peets, doing your Jesus Calling morning devotion–ask the Lord for an opportunity to step out in faith and out of your comfort zone. Ask Him to lead you to try something new for the kingdom–something that would require more than your own strength. And watch Him work.
Take a cue from Peter and John if you’re still not sure.
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
What other overlooked or underrated prayers do YOU incorporate into your daily prayer life?