A Prayer for Suicidal Women

Human suffering is a part of life. It’s crucial to remember what we know about God in the moments when we teeter on the edge of leaving it behind. Our hardship is never in vain, though we feel deserted and desperate. God loves us (John 3:16). He promises never to leave us (Hebrews 13:5). He hears us (1 John 5:14) and answers us (1John 5:15). God alone is fit to judge us (James 4:12). We are not fit to sentence ourselves to death. God’s timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 8:6). He cares for us (Matthew 10:30) and has a purpose in place for each and every life (Jeremiah 29:11). 

Repeated together in prayer, God’s Word has the power to lift us out of the deepest pit, the darkest despair, and soul swallowing sadness. Look to Him in confidence, knowing that He is especially close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). 

Father, proof abounds of the work of Your hands… but we can’t see it. We are too engulfed in depression and angst, tragedy and pain, to look up. Help us hold onto the truth proclaimed in Proverbs 3:5-6. To trust You with our whole hearts and lean not on our own understanding. 

Thank you for Jesus. Because of His death on the cross, we know that He understands our pain and suffering. Though we do not possess the ability to process our pain with His clarity, we can take solace in knowing that even Your Son struggled on this earth. You promise us that Your grace is sufficient for us, Your power made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

Father, forgive us for considering any other plan but Your own for our lives. In the middle of the pain, it’s hard to remember what we know about how good You are. That our humanity is subject to sinful nature, and all of the struggle and consequence that comes along with it. But you never leave us, never abandon us. Jesus died so that we could cry out to You. Sometimes, we can only cry, yell, or throw our fists in the air. Thank You for the comfort in knowing that the Holy Spirit translates our hearts to You. 

Psalm 27:14 tells us to wait for you… to be strong and take heart and wait for you. For “Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God’” (Luke 18:27). In these desperate moments and trying hours, we need to remember that our thoughts are not your thoughts. There is no possible way that we can understand You, or Your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). We just have to trust that You are good… You are love defined, and You will defend us. Micah 7:7 says, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” 

Father, bless and heal our hearts and our ailments. Restore our hope in the One who has the power to do something about our circumstances. In a world that is throwing us around, help us to see Your hand reaching down to pluck us out before we are trampled. Help us to believe that our lives have a meaning and a purpose greater than what we can tangibly understand on this side of heaven. Instill godly confidence in us to live by Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 

Psalm 86:7 says, “When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.” It doesn’t say, “because You might answer me…” 

Answer us, Father. Help us. Heal us. Restore our life and fill our hearts with the hope that only You can provide. For Your glory, we want Your will for our lives above our plans and escape routes. You place people purposefully in our lives, Father. People who need us… who need to witness Your miracle in our comeback. People who need our love, which we are free to give because of the way you extravagantly love us. At our best and at our worst, Your love is unchanging. 

Restore our lives, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, amen. 

This article was originally posted on crosswalk.com. Click here for the original post.

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Finding the Power of Female Friendships Where I Least Expected

It’s been two decades since my high school friend passed on to heaven, and I still can’t bring myself to go to a class reunion. Knowing she won’t be there solidifies the fact that lasting female friendships are hard to come by. God has a way of placing people to speak truth into our lives. No one could expose my terrible choices, applaud the successes I was too timid to share, or shake up a Sunday service by clapping and dancing in worship with me like my friend did. For a chronically insecure girl like me, her loss was devastating.

Through the long road of healing, God has graciously bloomed flowers of remarkable friendship. Each God-placed friend has extended the love of Jesus to me when I have needed it most, sometimes unknown even to them. When we seek God with all of our hearts, He blesses us with people to share life with. Here are three friendships that came into my life when I least expected to meet a lifelong friend. 

1. The Friend that Tracked Me Down

“Orpah kissed her mother-in law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her” (Ruth 1:14).

She had invited me to FCA, which ignited my faith and led me to officially surrender my life to Christ. Her life reflects her solid faith. Even amid the pressures of college life that all but took me out, she remained steady in her faith. When I became a ghost, she never stopped looking for me. Before social media was a thing, it was possible to disappear for a little bit. That’s exactly what I did as my life unraveled and I destroyed the shattered remnants of my first marriage. I started to pull back and disappear, ashamed and scared that God would never be able to use me, and my past friends would never forgive me. But this friend never gave up trying to find me. Jesus never gives up on us.

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A Prayer for Students During Testing Season

The stress on today’s youth to test well is palpable. The anxiety for some to achieve perfection, and for others to simply pass minimum standards, is far more than any other generation has had to endure. As students head into exam season, the hyper-focused visions for their futures can be too much for them to bare. Though they have been crafted by such unique and individual purpose by their Creator, test scores threaten to drag God’s vision for their lives out of focus.

From elementary school-aged on, children are put through a gauntlet of standardized and educational achievements, but at the end of the day there isn’t a score high enough to fill the void that a lack of Peace can leave in their hearts.

Let’s pray for students in the testing season to see past their scores, and onto the greater purpose their lives have been prepared to walk into.

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A Prayer for Success

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

God has plans for our success, far beyond the many infamous quotes about it, and definitions of it, that litter social media. In the above verse from Jeremiah, the word “plans” in the original Hebrew translates to “thought, device, plan, purpose, invention.”All of those words give us a peak much farther into the plans that God has for us in this life. He has thought about us, thinks about us—individually! He has planned, purposed, invented, on our behalf, but for His glory. His plans for us are good, despite the wrong decisions we are apt and free to make, and the process of sanctification throughout our lives.

This world would have us define success in terms of wealth and the accumulation of things, status or promotion, or by what “makes us happy,” but God defines success in our lives by a different set of standards. He blesses us with worldly things, amazing accomplishments and wonderful experiences, all which we are to enjoy! Yet, we are prone to wrongly equate our success by comparison and competition. Envy and ungratefulness steal the joy of our success. The underlying definition of success in our lives, by God’s design, is peace. We are charged to take what He has blessed us with and turn to bless another in His honor, to hone our crafts and diligently pursue the Truth of His Word. All this is rewarded in His own way, standards, and time, here and for eternity, in our relationship with Him, others, and ourselves, regardless of the surrounding circumstances. Let’s pray for success today, His way.

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A Prayer for Broken Moments

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

One soft rug finally pulled the weight out from under me. After an hour-long state of frozen emotion, a stream of hopelessness fell beside the beautiful claw-foot tub. The hand on my shoulder felt familiar and firm, present now as in other periodic breakdowns. Even honest efforts to walk in our calling can leave us vulnerable to the cling of control.

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

Overcome,“nikao” in the Greek context of this verse, means “to conquer: to carry off the victory, come off victorious.” John wrote his letter during an era in which believers faced death and persecution. The strength to conquer the impossible adversity they faced came from Christ.

When we stand with Jesus, He links arms with us in victory. The release of broken emotions allows us to relinquish control. A lack of forgiveness, extended or accepted, can strangle our efforts to walk in peace. A burden to be strong for others can suffocate our own ability to breathe. Un-illuminated disobedience can leave us feeling as if no effort is good enough.

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