By Vernon A. Williams
(EDITOR’S NOTE: As we approach the end of arguably, the most turbulent year in a century, conversations with God remain the best hope of generations striving to cope with unfathomable challenges. This column features the second half of 12 prayers for this, and every season. No better way to enter the New Year!)
Prayer 7 of 12:
Thank you for your divine presence at all times, in all ways. When people are most mobile, we stand most in need of traveling safety. Lord, be our guide and our protector. Keep us free from all harm. Let patience consume hurry, let courtesy cancel out rudeness, keep us alert amidst the threat of fatigue.
Commission angels to surround us in all of our comings and goings. Watch over our travel day and night, Lord, by land, air or sea.
Deuteronomy says the Lord will go before us; that He will be with us and never leave us or forsake us, that we should neither fear nor be dismayed. Remind even those staying closer to home that most accidents occur within five miles of where we live, so we pray covering every time we leave home. We thank You, Blessed Savior, for protection from danger seen and unseen.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Prayer 8 of 12:
We thank you for blessing us with the ability and the spirit to give. Keep our hearts humble and our minds on Kingdom priorities that compel us to witness our love for the Lord through charity. Let us give without thought of recognition, reward, even gratitude. Let us give without judgment or condemnation of beneficiaries.
Never let us forget that the Lord loves a CHEERFUL giver. Keep us ever mindful that whatever we do for the “least” of your children – so do we unto You. Remind us that “but by the grace of God,” all that we possess could belong to strangers. Remind us that to whom much is given, much is expected.
And Lord never let us attempt to measure or compare our generosity with others. Your will is not equal giving but rather equal sacrifice, that we give as we are able. Keep us mindful that nothing we could ever offer could compare to God who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for our salvation.
Finally, Lord, we give YOU all the honor and all the glory and all the praise with undying gratitude for the immeasurable things you have already done for us; for things being done in our lives right now, and for the boundless blessings yet in store for the obedient, the faithful, the prayerful, and those who give without hesitation!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Prayer 9 of 12:
Even without COVID, this is not always a magical season for youth. Thank you, Lord, for inspiring us to nurture our children. In these difficult times, the young are most vulnerable to attack from outside and within. Lord, teach us that our first priority should always be to teach children in the way that You would have them go, so they will not depart from it.
Strengthen us as a village of caring intervention. In the name of Jesus, we rebuke child abuse, violence, predatory law enforcement, uncaring schools, mean-spirited authority, judgmental labels and all forms of ungodliness. Jesus says, “suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not” and, “…whoever shall receive one such little child in my name receives me.”
Help us never to relent from our duty to eradicate child bullying, hunger, homelessness, poverty, ignorance, incarceration, mental illness, depression, suicide and hopelessness. Reassure our children that they are wonderfully made – that God loves them and so do we.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Prayer 10 of 12:
Thank you for letting us cast all our anxieties on Your boundless love. We petition You at this hour to strengthen our capacity to increase peace – in accordance with Your divine will. Reveal what each of us can do to make a difference.
Though there may always be wars and rumors of wars, count us among the peacemakers. You teach us in the Book of James that those who sow in peace will reap a harvest of righteousness. Lord, in this world of rancor and contempt for color, race, nationality, gender, religion, political belief, lifestyle, income, age, physical or mental issue, or intellect – refocus our hearts on our common bonds.
Knowing God is not the author of chaos, help us to live peacefully even among contentious friends, neighbors, colleagues and strangers. Bring peace to families in which brother is against brother, sister against sister, parent against child or rebellious children. Lord, appeal to the hearts of men and bring peace to the streets.
Finally, Lord, we pray for peace of mind. We ask that you comfort us enough to face day-to-day challenges as well as any unspoken torment buried deeply in the recesses of our being. Oh Lord, we are grateful for peace that comes through confession, repentance, forgiveness and salvation; wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. May the Lord grant us peace throughout 2021! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Prayer 11 of 12:
Remind us that prayer should never be all about us! Thank you for revealing needs of others – taking us beyond our selfish concerns. We come in supplication offering intercessory prayer for a child, a parent, a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, a colleague, a neighbor, a relative, a friend, an adversary, a parishioner, a man or woman of God, even a stranger who is standing in the need of prayer.
Lord, we ask that you meet them at their needs – spoken and unspoken. The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much. Bless somebody, Lord, change the atmosphere! Heal, comfort, save souls, revive faith, work miracles!
Have your way, Lord! We receive it as already done and thank you right now!
Prayer 12 of 12:
Thank you for giving us a mind to make righteous choices that guide our thoughts, deeds and words in a manner pleasing to You. Let the Holy Spirit be a filter that keeps us from indiscriminately blurting out that which offends, damages, maligns or bears false witness. Help us shun rumor and gossip.
Ephesians 4:29 says: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Lord, we pray discretion in every utterance that the words of our mouths and meditation of our hearts will be acceptable in thy sight.
In Jesus’ name, amen.