By Vernon A. Williams
(EDITOR’S NOTE: No one alive has faced a global pandemic. As we approach the end of one of the most turbulent years in history, rather than politics, predictions or empty promises, PRAYER emerges as the most prevailing need; genuine conversation with God. This is the first of two columns celebrating the power of prayer!)
First of 12: Prayerer #GRATITUDE
Before we seek anything of you, we bring gratitude to you. Thank You for what you’ve already done. In the words of the spiritual, Your Grace and Mercy brought us through. We’re living this moment because of You. We want to Thank You and Praise You too! ‘Cause Your Grace and Mercy brought us through.
As we begin the 12 days leading up to celebration of salvation, never allow the Reason for the Season to escape our spirit even for a moment. Remind us that we show our love for You in how we treat one another. And let kingdom-minded words, thoughts and deeds be our first priority.
Prayer 2 of 12: #STRENGTH
We thank You for the blessing of strength in our weakness. We thank You for allowing our souls to be anchored in the Lord through the stormiest seas.
Thank You for strength when our BODIES are weak, ravaged by illness or injury. Thank You for strength when our MINDS are weak, tormented by doubt, depression and despair. Thank You for strength when our SPIRITS are weak, plagued by dread, unfaithfulness and confusion. You are our strength, Lord!
Isaiah 40:31 says: “…they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Every Word of God is true, so we thank You right now, Lord, for the renewal of our strength in all things righteous!
Prayer 3 of 12: #TRUST
Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving us the wisdom to trust Your perfect plan and to place our fate into Your hand. Lord, grant us the discernment to know who to trust in these uncertain times. Most importantly, never let us waver in our trust in You – even when the enemy tries to plant seeds of doubt.
Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Lord, we pray for ourselves the character to remain trustworthy, whether among acquaintances or stranger, friend or foe, under any circumstance; to live with integrity that reflects our Christ walk. Finally, Lord, remove all self-doubt and empower us to trust ourselves, our instincts and our decisions whenever we pay and then act in obedience to Your will.
Prayer 4 of 12: #POSITIVITY
Thank you for not giving up on us even when we almost gave up on ourselves. Grant us peace and love that breaks chains of negativity. Help us shun those who hinder or thwart our walk with their own unfaithfulness. Surround us with angels assigned to direct our path.
Lord, never let us forget that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. No matter what we’ve gone through, or are suffering this moment, remind us that with the Lord on our side, whom shall we fear?
Romans 12:12 says: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Jesus can do anything but fail. Lord, empower our positive seeds sown to yield a bountiful harvest of blessings.
Prayer 5 of 12: #INTERCESSION
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 6 of 12: #DISCRETION
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.