I’m catching up with the weekly prayer guides that we’re using with our weekly sermon series and small group studies at West Side during Lent. In the last two days, I’ve posted the first and second Lenten Prayer Guides (from now on, each new guide will be posted on Sundays for the remainder of Lent).
Lenten Prayer Guide
Many times we go through difficult times or struggle with unanswered prayer. We feel forsaken. And we like the psalmist cry out to God:
How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? Look on me and answer, LORD my God. (Psalm 13)
A friend of Bill Hybels says aptly: If the request is wrong, God says, “No.” If the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow.” If you are wrong, God says, “Grow.” But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, “Go!”
Pray: God help me to recognize and accept your answers of “No,” “Slow,” or “Grow.” Bring understanding, if possible. Or help me to just blindly trust that you know all and you have my best interests in mind. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Recall a time in the past when God said, “No” or “Slow” and it was hard for you, but in hindsight you know it was the right answer.
Pray: Lord, help me grow.
What have a substituted for prayer in my life?
Where do I have unconfessed sin? (Isaiah 59:2)
What relationship conflict is hindering my relationship with you? (Matthew 5:23-24)
Where are my requests selfish/self-centered and uncaring toward others? (James 4:3; Proverbs 21:13)
In the midst of lacking faith, I recall your faithfulness in the past. (James 1:5-8)
Let us again pray with confidence with the psalmist:
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13)