Have I mentioned before that sometimes I tend to worry my prayers? Here’s what that looks like: I worry about something, so I pray the worry, usually in negative terms: “Lord, please don’t let such-and-such happen.” This seems to be especially true when I pray for people who, from my perspective anyway, might be tempted to make bad choices. By “bad choices,” I mean, of course, “choices-that-I-would-never-make.” I realize that God may actually view this very differently from me!
Anyhow, I sometimes worry my prayers. I was discussing this recently with a spiritual friend. She told me that she used to do the same thing. But the more she prayed the worry, the more discouraged and fearful she became. Then God showed her a different way. He gave her a specific Scripture passage—Psalm 112—to pray for the person she was concerned about. Instead of praying her fears, she prayed the positive, godly qualities mentioned in that psalm. Not only did she worry less, but over time, she saw God doing those very things in the person she interceded for.
So I’m trying it. I pray for a lot of young adults. God has led me to pray for them from 1 Timothy, Paul’s letter to his young adult friend and son in the Lord. This short book has provided me with some wonderful things to pray for the young adults on my prayer list. It has taught me to pray that God would inspire them to
- hope in Jesus (1:1)
- discern between truth and lies (1:3)
- hold onto faith and keep a good conscience (1:19)
- become intercessors (2:1)
- earn others’ respect (3:2,8,11)
- train themselves to become godly (4:7)
- set an example for other believers—even older ones—in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (4:12)
- use and develop their spiritual gifts (4:14)
- be pure in their relationships (5:2)
- learn to be content (6:6)
- pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (6:11)
I’m finding that as I pray these things for the young people I care about, I pretty much cover all the topics I addressed with my old worry-prayers. All my concerns about their choices about relationships, employment and education, lifestyle, and ministry all fall into place. And my heart feels a whole lot more peaceful.
What about you? Has God give you specific Scriptures to pray that help you to worry less and hope more for the people you care about? Would you post a comment so others can be encouraged, too?