Wednesday is often referred to as “hump day.” Some think it is the hardest day of the Monday-through-Friday work week, and according to Urban Dictionary, “Hump Day is the middle of the workweek. Wednesday, the day in the middle of the week, implies you have to get ‘over the hump’ before you can anticipate the weekend.”
That’s why I’ve chosen to initiate Worship Wednesday on my blog—you can sign up there to receive my blogs in your email inbox. Each Wednesday I pick my favorite worship song of the week to help us get “over the hump.” So for today on my Transformed Through Truth blog, as you are worshiping God, try using any one of these 52 Prayer Starters, created by my friend Jennifer Kennedy Dean. Need more prayer? Check out Jennnifer’s website.
Have a wonderful Wednesday! Here are the 52 Prayer Starters by Jennifer Kennedy Dean—the rest will be posted next week right here on the TTT blog.
1. Prayer is the most aggressive, pro-active, offensive, invasive action one can take in any situation. Prayer reaches into the spiritual realm and accesses all the power of heaven for the circumstances of earth.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5).
2. What God wants to do on the earth, He will do through intercessors. When God wants to change the course events will take on their own, He searches out an intercessor on whose heart He can place His desires.
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none” (Ezek. 22:30).
3. Through an ongoing prayer relationship with the Father, He will reproduce His heart in me, shaping my desires to match His. He will take my self-centered heart and fasten it on Him.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).
4. Prayer is the means by which you will be freed from your earth-bound, time-bound thinking to participate in eternity.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).
5. Prayer will work as God intends for it to work when it becomes what God intends for it to be. Prayer is not an activity, but a relationship. Prayer is not a formula, but a life. Only when we have learned to live prayer, breathe prayer, be prayer—only then will the power promised in Scripture consistently be your experience.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18).
6. Don’t focus your faith on an outcome. Instead, focus your faith on God.
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up’” (Dan. 3:16-18).
7. His sovereign decree has established prayer as the bridge between the spiritual realm—where the Word of God is settled forever and all the promises are already ‘Yes’ in Christ—and the material realm. Prayer bridges the gap between heaven and earth.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
8. God initiates prayer. Scripture tells us that God is awakening desires, initiating spiritual hunger, creating in His children the inclination to seek Him. When you pray, you are opening your life to His power and provision.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).
9. True prayer is when God’s heart is expressed through your words. Prayer in its highest form occurs when the words I articulate, with my mouth or in my mind, are merely the containers for God’s thoughts and desires.
“I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand” (Isa. 51:16).
10. God’s heart is the beginning point of prayer. Powerful, earth-changing prayer starts in the heart of God and flows through the hearts of His people.
“The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them” (Ps. 25:14).
11. God wants to answer prayer in such a way that He will be glorified. He wants our lives to be billboards upon which He can advertise Himself. He wants our lives to be stages upon which He can perform. He wants our lives to be trophy cases in which He can display His mighty deeds.
“Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Ps. 50:15).
12. As you are learning to live a praying life, prayer takes on a much broader definition than “saying prayers.” Much of what prayer is accomplishing cannot be condensed to a list. Sometimes the direct answer to a specific petition is the least important aspect of what prayer accomplished. Most important is what has occurred in the heart of the praying person.
“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight” (Ps. 119:76-77).
13. Your need or your desire is simply His entry point into your life. In meeting your need and fulfilling your desire, He is drawing you to deeper dependence on Him and deeper intimacy with Him.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
14. You cannot know the desire of your heart until you know the heart of your desire. Usually, what we describe as “the desire of my heart” is really a secondary desire orbiting around the true desire. What we think we desire is really the way we have imagined the true desire will be met. We often mistake the desire of the moment for the desire of our hearts. Give Him access to your heart. He will peel back the desire of the moment and show you the desire of your heart. To the desire of your heart, there will always be a resounding “yes” from heaven.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11).
15. God has a good, loving, and productive purpose for scheduling waiting periods into the prayer process. When He has called on you to wait, it is because the wait is necessary to the outcome. He is doing something during the waiting period that He could not do without it.
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Ps. 130:5).
16. His desires poured into our hearts so that they become our desires—this is the secret of powerful and effective prayer.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34).
17. It is His pull on our hearts that causes us to desire Him. Our longing for Him is but the echo of His longing for us.
“This is love: not that we loved him, but that he loved us… We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:10, 19).
18. Through a consistent, daily intake of His Word, God will reveal His heart and direct our prayers. His Word becomes the mold in which our prayers are shaped.
19. The person who is abiding in Christ has desires that are God-shaped. Out of the life that is abandoned to God and His purposes flows the prayer that God has promised to answer.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
20. Power flows from purity. Seek purity and you will find power.
“Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:3-4).
21. The Spirit’s quiet whisper
Bids me bow before Your throne
‘Til my heart’s deepest yearnings
Are the echo of Your own.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
22. Faith is not knowing how God will bring His will into being; faith is knowing that God will bring His will into being. God’s ways are not our ways, but you can be assured of this: He is faithful and trustworthy and your heart can safely rest in Him.
“All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful to those who keep the demands of his covenant” (Ps. 25:10).
23. He does not have “one size fits all” answers. God’s agenda is always bigger than the immediate circumstances. The immediate circumstances are going to merge with an eternal agenda.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9).
24. We seek God through the spiritual disciplines. By engaging in the spiritual disciplines, we keep our lives open to God so that He can do in us and through us what He desires. He can fulfill His purpose through us when we are accessible to Him.
“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me” (Ps. 57:2).
25. The same scripture is received as “milk” by some and as “meat” by others. Some believers, it seems, have not ingested enough of the Word to develop a mature spiritual digestive system. They can only access what they can skim off the surface. Others, though, have taken in enough spiritual food that their spiritual digestive systems can metabolize meat. They can access the deeper, more substantive truths in God’s Word. How have they reached this maturity? The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: “…who, by constant use, have trained themselves…” (Heb. 5:14). Do you want to move on from milk to meat? Make constant use of the Word of God.
“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:11-14).
26. To live in intimacy with God, we must build into our lives the discipline of solitude and silence. We must respond when the Lover of our souls calls us to a place of solitude to be alone with Him.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her” (Hos. 2:14).