Prayers That Changed My Life

post date: June 24, 2010


I have no idea how many prayers I’ve prayed in my life. Probably the most meaningful prayers have come in moments of great personal need. There are prayers of worship, praise, confession, thanksgiving and intercession. Here are a few prayers that have changed my life in various ways. 

Jesus, if you are real, come into my life.

I prayed this prayer on June 1969 when as a 16-year-old church member, I realized my true condition, cried out to the Lord, and he saved me.

If you want me to, Lord, I’ll be a preacher.

This prayer came almost exactly a year after the first prayer. It happened one night when after wrestling with the Lord for many days, I realized he was calling me into the ministry. 

Let the truth come out and let your will be done.

In times of trouble, especially in times of controversy, I have prayed this prayer and found it always brings peace to my soul. 

Let your will be done even if it means my will is not done.

The most basic prayer in the universe is “Your will be done.” This version reminds me that when the Lord’s will and my will conflict, I’m asking the Lord to let his will prevail over mine. 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The “Jesus Prayer” is one of the oldest Christian prayers. I like it because I desperately need mercy and the Lord Jesus is full of mercy and grace.

Yours is the kingdom, yours is the power, yours is the glory.

My friend Jerry Rose shared this with me many years ago. This final phrase of the Lord’s Prayer orients my heart around the only kingdom that endures, the only power that prevails, and the only glory that matters.

Lord, do things I’m not used to.

This prayer invites the Lord to come into my life and shake things up. I always tell people, If you decide to pray this prayer, buckle up because this is a prayer God delights to answer in surprising ways. 

Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord.

This speaks to my deep need for spiritual illumination. Until God opens my eyes, I will continue to stumble through life, making the same mistakes over and over. 

Help me to preach the sermon I need to hear. 

I pray this before almost every sermon I preach. It puts me in the position of not only giving out the Word but also listening to the Word as I preach it to myself.

Lord, have mercy. 

When I don’t know what else to pray, these three words cover every situation. This is a good prayer because our Lord knows how to fill in the details.  

As I look over this list, I realize that my most meaningful prayers have been very brief. The longer I journey with the Lord, the more I see that what he wants most is not many words but rather a heart that is truly open to him. 

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