How would you answer the question that titles this post? My common response is: my children (since there are 5 of them, somedays I feel that's as far as I get:), my husband, my extended family, my church family, friends, those in the ministry, individuals I know who are hurting... I'm sure there are others, but this gives you an idea.
This week as I continue to work through the "Cultivating a Heart of Prayer" study, God is at work. He is cultivating my heart and showing me I need to pray more and He's equipping me to pray better. The past few days I've struggled with some doubt, experienced feelings of failure and listened to lies from the enemy. Last night as I thought about the current assignment - praying for a specific situation and/or individual, I asked God for direction.
His response wasn't one I expected, but still it did not surprise me. He put it on my heart that I needed to pray for myself. Not long ago I would have ignored that prick from the Holy Spirit and would have considered it a selfish thought, but last night something was different. God has been cultivating and the crop He's trying to grow (my faith) is maturing.
It's not that I haven't prayed for myself, but I don't devote the time like I should. It's not that I didn't know I need Him, but at times old feelings of unworthiness tell me others need Him more. It's not that I don't pray about all God leads me to do, but I'm learning I can pray more for my heart and my thoughts.
As I walk in faith, I'm becoming more and more dependent on my heavenly Father. I'm grateful He opened my eyes to just what I need and I'm thankful through this study He's showing me the most powerful prayers I can pray...scripture spoken back to Him. And as I did just that He reminded me His Word will not return void. The prayers I pray in faith will be answered by the One who is faithful!!
So today friend, I humble myself and share with you that I have a ways to go on this journey of life, but more importantly I humble myself before my Lord and Savior asking Him to provide all I need and acknowledging He's the only One with the power to do just that.
If the idea of praying for yourself is new, I encourage you to set aside your desire to take care of everyone else and do the most important thing you can do for the ones you love...ask God to take care of you!! Here are the words He gave me...
Dear Heavenly Father,
Lord, today I come before you to pray for myself, something I don't do enough and something You are showing me I need to do more. Father God I pray for eyes to see, ears to hear and a tender heart that longs to obey. Lord help me think on what is true, noble, pure, right and lovely. I pray that I would draw near to You and hold fast to You. Lord, help my trust You with all my heart and take away my need to understand and desire to figure things out. Father do not let any unwholesome talk come from my mouth, put a guard over my mouth so that I may speak words that build others up. Lord I ask you to do the same with my thoughts...especially the thoughts I think about myself...help me speak Truth to myself in the same way You've created me to share it with others. I ask you to keep me from throwing my confidence away; help me press on, fight the good fight and live a life worthy of the calling You've given me. Renew me Lord and transform me with Your Truth. I pray my light would shine before men so that others, especially my husband and children, would see Your good works and glorify You. Father help me cast all my cares on you and continually remind me to pray about everything so that I worry about nothing. God, I ask You for a heart that is willing to forgive in the same way You have forgiven me. Finally Lord, I pray that You would help me understand, embrace and receive the love, the love that is wide, high, long and deep, You have for me. And as I do help me be a friend and a wife and mom who loves at all times. Thank you Lord for choosing me to be Your child, for reminding me that I am a dependent daughter, creating me to be a gifted girl and for loving me as your beautiful bride. Lord you are good. And I am grateful. I pray this all in Jesus powerful and precious name, Amen