Some Things I Find MySelf Praying For

Prayer is asking for what isn’t yet the case. Prayer is seeking the capacity to persevere through the vicissitudes of life with grace. Prayer is learning to depend on the source of my life—the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

So what are some of the things I find myself praying for?

I find myself praying that God will prepare me and my family for the next difficult season in life.

The last few years have been largely very good for us as a family. We’re in a pretty good place individually and in our relationships with one another. Not perfect, no, but our home is currently not one of conflict or stress.

But I’m aware life changes. Circumstances shift, sometimes dramatically and suddenly. Someone in my family could get seriously ill or one of us could get into a bad accident.

So I pray. For resilience. For endurance when the time comes. That a trying situation won’t send my faith into a tailspin. That a difficult season won’t pull my family apart.

Because I know there are no guarantees. I know we’re not immune from future hardship. And I know that we need a source of strength and wisdom outside of ourselves.

I find myself praying that God will enable me to trust him to provide what we need — our daily bread.

Life isn’t always secure. Bank accounts aren’t what we can depend upon. In our case, a significant but unexpected expense can affect our situation pretty significantly.

And I confess I can worry. Jesus says don’t be anxious, but I don’t always listen well. Though thankfully I’m a little better than I used to be. We always do have what we more or less need. On occasion we’re blessed to have what we want.

Inevitably, God provides. I end up realizing yet again I had no reason for worrying. So I pray.

I find myself praying for my kids because I can’t keep them from suffering or from making bad choices.

My kids are all teens. They’re making their way towards adulthood. Each has their quirks, shortcomings, and strengths. Our 18 year old daughter is finding her way back into the world after several years of depression and social anxiety. Our sons are on the cusp of manhood but very much are still boys in many ways. What kind of men will they be?

They’re also growing up in a much different world than when I was their age. And I don’t mean that in a positive way. I want them to be wise and kind, healthy and generous. I want them to be people worthy of the respect and trust of other people. I want them to be hardworking.

I pray also for their faith, for their relationship with God. Because being pastor’s kids isn’t necessarily an advantage in growing to be a mature, spiritually healthy Christian. How will they regard church and faith and the Bible and Christ and God and Christianity in 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years?

But I know that my heart might at least occasionally break because of choices they make. So I pray.

I find myself praying for my wife.

Marriage is such a gift: sometimes sublime, sometimes mundane, always something I’m thankful about.

And I love my wife. She’s my best friend. We hardly argue. We laugh. We cry. We negotiate difficult moments. I can’t imagine being with anyone else.

I pray for her job. I pray for her relationship with God. I pray that she will be well. I pray that she will experience an increasing wholeness in the centre of who she is.

And I pray that God will continue to sustain our marriage in the hard times. I pray as we grow older that our love will only deepen, that we would become one of those older couples other people admire and like being around.

I find myself praying because one day I will die and I don’t know when.

I will die. And I can’t do anything about it. I also don’t know when this will happen. Only God knows the number of days I have.

What will my life amount to? Am I serving the Lord well? Am I faithful to him?

I confess that part of me longs for a deeper sense of acceptance and love, a reality I’ve struggled with my whole life. I know that ultimately I find this in God. I know that nothing in this life can fully satisfy the longing of my heart.

Yet part of me hesitates when thinking of heaven. I can’t imagine leaving loved ones or having them leave me. Even though loss is as common as birth. Each of us will breathe our last someday.

Thinking about this makes me feel unresolved, open-ended, like life will always feel unfinished on this side of eternity. What I thirst for now will only fully be so in the new heavens and new earth. And I want to live with a surer, more confident hope in the present. So I pray.

These are some of the things I find myself praying for at this point in life. Our prayers reveal our hearts—our desires and our needs, our hopes and our fears. Our prayers reveal us. And when we bring all such things to God in prayer, we’re learning to trust him with all of it.

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