By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
Powerful prayers are often mistaken for eloquent words spoken loudly with an air of authority. However, the Bible is full of examples of ordinary people offering sincere prayers of faith that turned out to be powerful indeed.
We must always remember that it’s “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. Our prayers are powerful only because they are spoken in faith to a mighty God who lives and moves and works within us.
Here are 7 powerful prayers for any circumstance:
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1. “I am grateful”
The power of gratefulness cannot be overstated. Especially in hard times, being thankful is a powerful way to connect with God and be strengthened in the trial. This doesn’t mean you are grateful for the hardship, but you are grateful in it. As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
The power of rejoicing, praying, and being thankful resides in the perfect will of God. And though it isn’t easy to “rejoice always,” once you determine to put it into practice, you’ll develop a heart of gratitude that will sustain you through every difficult season.
As the Psalmist said in Psalm 100: 4-5, “Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Even though things are difficult right now, I lift my hands in gratefulness to You. I thank You for being with me and hearing the petitions of my heart. Please help me to maintain thoughts of gratefulness even when I’d rather complain or worry about the situation. Help me see this hardship as an opportunity to grow in my faith. Remind me to rejoice always and give thanks in all things. I know this is Your will for me, and I trust You in this. Thank You, God, for Your continued presence in my life. I am truly grateful, in the name of Your Son, Jesus, amen.
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2. “You are God”
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what to pray? Where all you had left was to speak the name of Jesus and hope for the best? Don’t discount the name of God in the face of adversity! There is power in declaring the sovereignty of God.
Run to the name of the Lord for safety and refuge. Let your prayers declare the names of God as you call upon the Creator of heaven and earth and cry out to the God who saves.
In the first chapter of John, Jesus is mentioned as The Word, God, Light, Lamb of God, the Christ, the Messiah, and the King of Israel. I don’t know about you, but just reading His names fills me with hope and strength! Powerful prayers begin with acknowledging who God is and declaring His sovereignty.
You are sovereign over every circumstance. There is nothing that escapes You. Please help me remember that when I feel out of control. You are my strong tower. You are my refuge in times of trouble. You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. And because You see the beginning from the end, I can trust You in all things. I declare Your name today—Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Light. And it is in Your name that I live and move and have my being. Amen.
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3. “Even if”
The unwavering faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a powerful reminder that we can trust God to deliver us from fiery trials. The amazing thing about these young men who refused to obey the pagan king was that “even if” God chose not to deliver them, they would not compromise their faith.
Here’s what they said to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:17-18: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
“Even if” is a powerful prayer of trust that can move mountains in your life. It is a complete surrender to the will of God—no matter what. Though it might seem impossible to have this kind of faith, all it takes is a willingness to obey even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Stay true to the Word of God. Guard yourself against the temptations of the culture to conform. Even when you don’t know what the outcome will be, stand firm in what you know to be true. Then, as the heat is turned up, simply pray, “I trust You, God…even if.”
Please give me the strength to trust You in all things. Even when I feel pressure from every side and want to give in, please help me remember the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Give me the resolve to say “even if” and move forward with the courage that You are with me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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4. “I confess”
So often, we pray for God’s help without first examining ourselves and confessing wrongdoing. This can lead to one-sided prayers that are always asking of God instead of surrendering to Him.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:8-9, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
The power of confession starts from a place of humility and surrender. Then, as God faithfully purifies you from all unrighteousness, your communion with Him enters a holy place—a deeper place of commitment and trust. And that’s where your prayers are made powerful by His mercy.
As the Psalmist said in 51:1-4, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
Thank You for your mercies that are new every morning. I come to You in humble gratitude for Your willingness to forgive. I am sorry for my disobedience. Please take my sins and cast them into the depths of the ocean. Thank You for your cleansing power that removes all unrighteousness. I surrender to You once again, and look to You for help and guidance. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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5. “Help my unbelief”
A powerful story in Mark chapter 9 tells about a father seeking healing for his demon-possessed son. The man approached Jesus and said, “If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” His uncertainty wasn’t hidden from the Lord, but rather transparent through authenticity and honesty.
The story continues with Jesus' response: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Admitting your doubt isn’t a bad thing. God knows all about it anyway. Your belief in His power to heal might be clouded with worry, but by admitting it, you’re taking the first step in releasing everything to Him. Be honest with the Lord when you’re struggling to believe. Say the words aloud, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Not only will He hear you, he will remind you that all things are possible in Him.
I come to you with heavy burdens and a heart full of doubt. Even though I know all things are possible in You, I struggle to believe. Please, Lord, according to Your will, hear my prayer and act on my behalf. Please take my unbelief and replace it with the assurance that You are able to heal, defend, change, and make well. I know that You are fully aware of this situation, and You love me with an everlasting love. Therefore, I confess my unbelief to You and ask You to work things out as only You can. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, amen.
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6. “Yet I will praise You”
Almost from the moment Job learned about the loss of his livelihood and his beloved family, he chose to worship the Lord. Even after prolonged suffering and the abandonment of his wife and friends, Job still chose to trust God and uphold His purpose. Take a look:
“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.” (Job 1:20)
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
Powerful prayers are prayers of praise in the face of adversity. With the knowledge that God has a purpose for His glory and our good, we trust that no matter how painful the circumstance, He is worthy to be praised. Make worship a priority in your life, so much so, that when trials come your first response is to say, “Yet I will praise You.”
I come before You following Job’s example of praise and worship in the face of adversity. It isn’t easy, Father, but I know that Your ways are higher than mine, and no matter what, You are worthy of praise. You are good, holy, and just, and I can trust You at all times. Thank You for the strength to endure and the faithfulness to keep worshipping You, no matter what. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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7. “Your will be done”
Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
In all of our asking, pleading, and crying out to God, there is one prayer that is always the right prayer, and it is powerful: “Thy will be done.” Not only do these words express full surrender to the will of the Father, they accept His purpose in and through us.
My friends, I know it can make us feel vulnerable to speak these words and mean them, but they are the perfect words to end every prayer. Truly, we want the Father’s will above our own, for we do not have the mind of God and cannot see the bigger picture.
Imagine if the Father would have granted Jesus his prayer that the cup be taken from Him. There would have been no sacrifice on the cross, no resurrection, and no return. Those acts, followed by that powerful prayer in Gethsemane, turned out to be for our salvation!
Let your requests be made known to God, but always surrender your will to His with the words, “Thy will be done.”
I know that I can come boldly before Your throne and present my requests to You. Thank you for that. I also know that Your will is perfect and holy. Therefore, I surrender my petitions to You and ask that Your will be done. In all things, work out Your purpose in my life. I trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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