By Ron Hutchcraft
Anger, injustice, violence, death, disease, fear, unemployment - so much hurt. Our hearts ache for the brokenness and bleeding of a nation and world - and those we love. But we are not powerless!
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (James 5:16 NLT)
But how should we pray in such times when hope is rare and everything seems broken? That's when we turn to God's own words to guide our conversations as we earnestly seek God.
Come boldly to the throne of grace. (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)
Here are ten outcomes we know God wants us to believe Him for. The list could be much longer - but it's a starting point for prayer that can change hearts and "hopeless" situations and an embattled nation.
1. Lord, Please help me see what You see, and feel what You feel.
"Show me Your ways, Lord" (Psalm 25:4 NIV).
"Who can know the Lord's thoughts? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT).
"When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them..." (Matthew 9:36 NIV).
2. Lord, Comfort the grieving and bring hope to the hopeless.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18 NIV).
"I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV).
3. Lord, Provide for the desperate.
"Your Father already knows your needs" (Luke 12:30 NLT).
"I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink...I was sick and you looked after Me...Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me" (Matthew 25:35-36, 40 NIV).
4. Lord, What would You have me do?
"'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked" (Acts 22:10 NIV).
5. Lord, Guide our leaders.
"I urge that...prayers be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV).
6. Lord, May Your justice prevail.
"The Lord is a God of justice" (Isaiah 30:18 NIV).
"This is what the Lord Almighty said: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor'" (Zechariah 7:9-10 NIV).
7. Lord, Please turn hearts to You.
"I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord. They will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with all their heart" (Jeremiah 24:7 NIV).
8. Lord, Please awaken Your people.
"'Why are you sleeping?' He asked them. 'Get up...'" (Luke 22:46 NIV).
"Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest" (John 4:35 NIV).
9. Lord, Unify Your people.
"...That they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them..." (John 17:23 NIV).
10. Lord, Heal our land.
"If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray...I will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).
No, we are not powerless. If we are faithful.
"I have posted watchmen on your walls...they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest..." (Isaiah 62:6-7 NIV).
"Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24 NIV).