Blog Archives

Prayer in a national tragedy

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, our hearts are broken. The images of death scar our minds. The cries of pain pierce our ears. We are numb and speechless with the horror of evil. God, have mercy on our nation. Have mercy on our world. Help us to overcome evil with good, even as You did in Your cross and resurrection. In the Name of the One who took the nails for us. Amen.

Prayer for a servant attitude

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, forgive me when I make my encounters with others all about myself.

You said that You came not to be served, but to serve and give Your life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Teach me not to tell my story before listening to the stories of others. Teach me not to pray for myself until I have prayed for others. Teach me not to grab a gift for myself until I have handed a gift to others. May I never use other people for my ends, but rather, may I give away my life for their good. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer, Revisited

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

After this manner therefore pray – Matthew 6:9, KJV. Jesus did not command us to pray the Lord’s Prayer literally, as He worded it. Rather, He said to pray “after this manner,” or “like this.” In other words, He gave it as a model prayer for us to pray in our own words. Inspired by that thought, I revisited the prayer to write my own prayer “after this manner,” seeking to express His words in my own words. Here is my attempt. May it nudge you to be fresh and sincere as you pray the Model Prayer.

God, You are our intimate Father

Yet You are the transcendent Holy One.

Since You are King in heaven,

May we submit to your Lordship on earth.

We need your physical gift of food,

We need your spiritual gift of forgiveness,

And we need your social gift of grace to forgive others.

Take us by the hand, and lead us away

Far from the devil, that we may not stray.

We crown You, we submit to You, we honor You forever.

Amen.

A prayer to experience God’s presence

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

O God of the universe, I want to experience Your presence. You spoke to Moses in a burning bush, and spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. You called Samuel from his bed during the night, and You called Paul in broad daylight on the road to Damascus. Teach me to look for You in things great and small, day and night. I want to hear from You when I read Your word, and when I hear a child share a simple truth. I want to see You in the lightning across the sky, and in the smile of a new friend. I want to feel You when I sing in the sanctuary and when I hug someone in pain. May I experience Your presence, and pass on that experience to those I meet this day. In the name of the One who walked on water, yet needed someone to wash his dirty feet, Jesus Christ my Lord.

Prayer for wisdom in suffering

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Precious Lord Jesus, I want to know the power of Your resurrection, and the fellowship of Your suffering (Philippians 3:10). When I am weak, help me draw strength from You. When people insult me, remind me that that they hurled insults at You. Give me grace not to slander, but give me courage to speak the truth. If I suffer for doing right, give me peace. If I suffer for my own sin, give me the courage to repent. In all things, give me the wisdom to know the difference.

Prayer against evil

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, my heart breaks when I see the suffering of the innocent. Wicked men break their promises and take what does not belong to them. They hide their faces at night and destroy in the darkness, thinking nobody can see their evil.

Shine Your light on their lies, so that people will know the truth.

Lord, confuse their minds  and confound their speech, so that their evil schemes fail.

Arise, Lord! Vindicate the oppressed with Your righteous right hand.

Lord, we cast our burden on You. Give us courage to stand for what is right.

God, humble the proud, and lift up those who fear You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Prayer for God’s presence

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Heavenly Father, I come before You in silence, my hands turned upward to You, my heart listening for Your voice. I take a deep breath; slowly I let it out. I want to inhale Your presence; I want to exhale distractions. I breathe in Your mercy and peace. I breathe out sin and shame. Jesus, I embrace Your grace. Drench me from head to toe with Your Spirit. As I go through this day, make me continually mindful of Your continual presence, and may I be a different man because the God-man dwells within.

The hardest prayer to pray

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(Few of us want to pray a prayer of confession. And when we do confess, we may say, “Lord, if I have sinned” (God knows we have!) or we soft-sell it with some safe sin, like, “Lord, I know I ran a red light” (He knows a lot worse things than that!) Our confession is rarely raw, vulnerable or gut-wrenching. But Biblical confesssion is brutally honest. So is this prayer, based on Psalm 38. Confession is the hardest prayer to pray, but in the end, it is the most rewarding. Copyright by Bob Rogers).

Lord, my sin is too much for me to bear! I feel the weight of my sin all the more as Your punishment presses down on me. My sin stinks like a festering wound, and my stomach turns at the smell of my foolishness. It hurts that my wrongdoing caused my loved ones and friends to stand back from me, and my enemies have used it to attack me, but it hurts even more, that I feel the pain of separation from You. I know that nothing is hidden from You. Knowing that You see my wicked heart and deceitful mind causes my skin to crawl and my heart to ache. So I confess my sin; I make no excuses; it troubles me; I am disgusted by what I have done. I trust in You, Lord, to forgive me and save me. Lord, do not leave me; hurry to help me, for You are my Savior and my only hope for forgiveness.

Prayer in dark times

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, these are dark times. At times, it is so bad that I feel like darkness is my only friend.1 Lord, why have you allowed Your light to be covered? How can I see You when I can’t even see myself in the darkness? Lord, light my lamp; God, dispel my darkness.2 Until dawn comes, remind me as I weep through the night, that joy is coming in the morning.3

Biblical references: 1 Psalm 88:18; 2 Psalm 18:28; 3 Psalm 30:5

Prayer to endure sickness

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, I know that You are the One who removes sickness.1 Jesus, You healed the sick wherever You went.2 So I trust my sickness to You, and ask for healing. Remind me, also, that there is something worse than sickness. I know that a man’s spirit can endure sickness, but who can endure a broken spirit?3 So I pray that my sickness will be for the glory of God.4 and I pray that even in my sickness, I will find peace to my soul.5

Biblical references:

1 Deuteronomy 7:15

2 Matthew 9:35

3 Proverbs 18:14; Lamentations 3:17

4 John 11:5

5 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Prayer when you don’t “feel” forgiven

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Heavenly Father, You said that if I confess my sins, that You are faithful and righteous to forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.1.  Yet I still feel dirty. You said that even if my sins were red like scarlet, You would wash them white as snow.2 Yet I still see the blood-guilt on my hands. You said that You will remove my sins as far as the east is from the west.3 Yet other people still bring them up. So teach my heart to listen to You. Remind me, God, that if my heart condemns me, that Your truth is greater than my feelings.4 Reach down to my lowest depths with Your covenant love, and lift me up.5 If You say that I am forgiven, then I am forgiven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Scriptural references and allusions:

  1. 1 John 1:9
  2. Isaiah 1:18
  3. Psalm 103:12
  4. 1 John 3:20
  5. James 4:10

Prayer when feeling spiritually dry

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, I am in a spiritual desert. My soul is dry. I thirst for You. How I need Jesus, the spring of living water. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Pour Your living word into me.  I desire to stand under Your loving presence, as a man stands under a waterfall, mouth open, drinking it in, letting it soak my heart and spirit. Then may I splash Your Spirit all around, that I may refresh those whom I meet this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer of hope in time of suffering

Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, we despair under the dark clouds of suffering. We cannot see You or feel Your presence. Yet, we believe there is a light behind those clouds, because we have seen it before. Give us faith to hold on and trust You in the dark, until the day that the clouds part and Your light shines through again. In the name of Jesus, the light of the world, I pray. Amen.

A prayer in the pandemic

Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Oh, Lord, how we need Your presence in this pandemic.

For those who are sick, we ask for Your mercy and healing.

For those who are caring for the sick, we ask for Your compassion and strength.

For those who are afraid of the sickness, we ask for Your peace and protection.

For those who make policies about the sickness, we ask for Your wisdom and courage to do the right thing.

Heavenly Father, unite all of us, as Your children, by the bonds of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Prayer to love difficult people

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Heavenly Father, You tell me to love my neighbor as myself (Leviticus 19:18). Jesus, You even tell me to love my enemies (Matthew 5:44). I must confess that this command is hard to obey. It’s hard to love people who are hateful, obnoxious, arrogant, lazy, and immoral. I simply cannot do it—on my own strength. Yet I know that You love them. Help me to love them because You love them, even when I don’t feel that way myself. Remind me that You loved me first, despite my sin. Remind me that I myself might be that difficult person that somebody else finds hard to love. So Lord, I ask that You do through me what I cannot do myself: love my neighbor through me; love even my enemies through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.