There are prayers that God has given me in my life and ministry that have absolutely saved me. In a ministry like mine, people will often speak against you and criticize you. In an average month, I’ll receive several letters disparaging my ministry. These letters can be savage, criticizing everything that I am. It’s no wonder that more than half of the prophetic people I started out with 30 years ago have had a nervous breakdown, left the ministry, and live in rejection or bitterness.
To deal with these letters, I have a crafted prayer. It is a few sentences that have become the first place I retreat to. “Father, I’m weary of being misunderstood,” I pray. “I’m tired of the ungracious scrutiny of others. Hide me, dear Lord, in the secret place of Your presence. Keep me from people who speak about me, but not to me. I am helpless against the riptide of their words. I cannot defend myself. Refresh my heart to look on them with love. I accept this part of Your cross. Change my heart to speak with Your love and sculpt my life through these situations. Let their hard words chisel away my roughness, forming Christ.”
I pray that and then read the letter. It saves me from getting angry, getting twisted, getting resentful, and getting bitter. We should have a joyful, but disciplined, approach to God, because it produces faithfulness in us. I have crafted prayers for my wife, my sons, my daughter, my friends, my church, and my enemies. I have a book full of crafted prayers that I’m still praying. I use a prayer until the situation changes, and then put it into a filing cabinet. It doesn’t matter how difficult a situation is, I can just sit down, open my prayer book, and start to pray. There are days when I pray with passion and faith, and days where I just pray with whatever I can muster. Usually, I reach the end of the prayer and a smile breaks out on my face.
–An excerpt from Crafted Prayer
Practical Application: What circumstances in your life could benefit from crafted prayer?
- Think of a specific circumstance in your life that you are struggling with. It could be ongoing or temporary.
- What is troubling about this circumstance?
- What does the Father want to be for you in this situation? Ask Him!
- Answer these questions and create a specific crafted prayer for the circumstance and pray it when you feel the situation is getting the best of you.
Every week this month we posted a different activation from Crafted Prayer, which was just rereleased this month at Brilliant Book House!
In case you missed it, check out the previous week’s activations!