When I let mind my do its own thing as I navigate through a trial, I end up telling myself lies (which we addressed a bit in Step 2 last week and on Tuesday of this week). I want THIS time to be different and so I have to choose to DO something different. That is what this blog is about. This series is about practical strategies that you and I can employ to think and act differently so that we can live as victors rather than victims.
If my trials are delivered to me via a person rather than, say, a natural disaster or a physical health challenge, one of the ways I can CHOOSE (see Step 1) to respond differently is by praying FOR the very one that is wounding me or challenging me so much. Because it may be hard to come up with something to pray that doesn’t fit into the “imprecatory” prayer category (“Imprecatory” prayers are those that ask God to judge the person–for an example of this, look at Psalm 55:15 “Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave.”), I want to use verses in Scripture that will actually lead me to pray blessing for the person. I want to give an example of that here.
For my example, I will pray for my husband, Bob, using Ephesians 1:
(Starting with verse 3…) Lord, I praise you and thank you that you have blessed me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Bob belongs to you and I pray that he would know the truth that he has been given all manner of spiritual blessings today. Cause his eyes to be open afresh to the beauty and wonder of this fact!
(Now on to verse 4…) Help Bob to see that he has been CHOSEN by you and was chosen as priceless and precious from before the creation of the world. He is called and enabled and determined by you to be holy and blameless in your sight. This is SUCH grace, Lord. I pray Bob would see grace afresh as never before.
(Verse 5 is next…) In your great love, you have predestined Bob to be adopted. May he sense this truth afresh as well. That you have adopted him because it is in accordance with your pleasure and will…this is astonishing, Lord. May Bob know that it pleases you to have chosen him.
(Verse 6….) And all of this is for the praise of your glorious grace! Where would we be without grace, Lord? Open Bob’s eyes to see it and that you have freely given this grace to Him in the Son you love.
(Verse 7….) In Jesus, Bob has redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Oh! May Bob see the beauty and wonder of this manner of love! Even this is in accordance with the riches of your grace (verse 8) which you have lavished on Bob with all wisdom and understanding. Help Bob to see that you aren’t stingy with your grace, but that you LAVISH it on him, no matter what he has done, thought, said or is contemplating. No matter how far he runs, he can’t outrun the lavishness of your grace.
(verse 9…) Please make known to Bob the mystery of your will and help him to sense that even this “revealing” is according to your good pleasure–that you delight to reveal your will in your way in your time.
(Verse 10…) Cause Bob not to let go of what he knows about your sovereignty, that everything you have purposed will reach the fulfillment that you intend.
(Verse 11…) In Jesus, Bob was chosen…oh! May he be astounded by that fact! You, God, work out everything in conformity with the purpose of your will. Even the things that have wounded Bob, disappointed him and angered him, you intend to fit into your perfect will.
(12…) And this is all that Bob might be for the praise of your glory. Nothing is wasted in your marvelous hands!
(Verses 13…) Bob was included and believed. He has been marked with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Lord, I pray that your Spirit in Bob would be so evident to Bob right now, today, that he can’t deny His Presence is REAL. And even if Bob doesn’t “feel” your Spirit, I pray that he would know that your Word says that your Spirit IS in Him, period. It IS a fact.
(Verse 14) Help Bob to remember that your Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing his inheritance and that Bob is one of your possessions…for the praise of your glory. Life has wonderful meaning! Thank you!
(Skipping now to 17, where Paul prays for the Ephesians)…Lord, I want to ask that you, Glorious Father, may give Bob the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that he might know you better.
(Verse 18…) I pray that the eyes of Bob’s heart would be enlightened in order that he might know the hope to which you have called him and that he might see the incredible riches of Your glorious inheritance! May his searching heart find home in these wonderful truths!
(Verse 19-following…) May Bob experience Your incomparably great power…that power is like the working of Your mighty strength…that which you used to blast Christ out of death and the grave and that you used to seat him next to you in the heavenly realms… May Bob know that power personally, intimately, and may he find all of these things immeasurably more satisfying than anything this planet offers him.
In Christ’s Name I pray, Amen.
Praying this way for someone can be so hard when they seem bent on wounding us. But what I find as I do this (and I have found this to be true even as I type this prayer for my husband here), something changes in me. Trials will continue to come my way. People will continue to wound me, reject me. Circumstances will continue to disappoint, but as I choose to pray for the people through whom the trials come, I will experience a softened heart. A heart that wants what God wants in this situation–I will begin to think God’s thoughts after him, which is my goal.
Level 1: Open your bible to Ephesians 1:15-21 and use this passage to pray for someone who is a vehicle for trials in your life. Share with us here in the comments how it affects you to pray for someone this way.
Level 2: Select one or all of these passages to pray for another through: Colossians 1:9-12; Philippians 1:3-11; Ephesians 2:1-10. Please share with us in the comments how it affects you to pray for someone this way.
Level 3: Search out verses on your own that relate to the trial you are experiencing. Pray for yourself or others, using the verses you discover to guide you. Blueletterbible.org is a great website with many resources that can help you as you do this kind of digging! Please share with us how God uses this experience for you.
Will you help me by posting your comments here? That would be a great encouragement. Thanks!