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Father, thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for a new year that we all get to live in. We want to live our best in the new year. We want to glorify you. We want to show your love and awesome power to the world by living excellent lives. We are not worthy in the flesh, but Jesus, you call us worthy. You adopted us into your family and called us sons and daughters and friends. That astounds me, Jesus. Thank you! Whatever you will, God, we are on board for it. We will lay down our fears, our pride, our selfish ambitions. We lay it all at our feet. We want your Kingdom in our lives. Your Kingdom is worth every second of our day and every ounce of energy that you give us. We want your Kingdom to dominate our thoughts and our hearts’ yearnings. We trust you to give us all that we need.

Touch the hurting people in our world. Release our hearts from entanglements of bitterness and pain. We give those to you, Jesus. Thank you for healing our sickness and guiding us when we feel lost. You are our King. We serve you above all else. Lord of Heaven and Earth, we worship you in this new year! Amen.

God of the Universe, we worship you and call all of our bodies and minds into alignment with your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is free of pain. The pain in our bodies and the emotional pain that some of us are experiencing is not of God. We take authority over this pain and command it to leave.

We speak healing into the injured bodies of our brothers and sisters across the globe. Migraines and chronic headaches, back pain, TMJ disorder, menstrual pain, neuralgia, pain after surgery, whatever it is, God, we command it to glorify you: to be healed, leaving the body and spirit free to worship you in wholeness, Jesus.

We also speak healing over the emotions of millions of hurting people in the world, especially each and every hurting person who reads this prayer. Holy Spirit, embrace them with your grace and mercy and love. Heal us with the power of your unconditional love. Help us to know what might be hindering our healing. Help us to let go of our pain and to forgive anyone who has hurt us. You are bigger than pain and bigger than offense, Jesus. Thank you for helping us to become whole again.

Philippians 3:14 KJV I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Father, we lift up these prayers to you:

Thank you for Robin and her daughter in the UK:

A butterfly in Robin's handsThank you for praying for us. Please pray for my daughter to recover from her illness. She has been admitted since last year. Only god can touch my daughter and bless her with a miracle. I plead and beg for I find myself doubting and being scared. I need the Lord to restore my family and bring us back together. My daughter is such a loving, caring and giving child, and seeing her in turmoil and in pain breaks our hearts. She does so much for charities and gives herself to others and now I find the doctors not being able to help. I need God to perform his promise and heal us all as a family. Amen. Thank you

Bless Sharon with favor in the Canadian visa department and with healing:

Please pray that I will get my ten years Canadian visa work permit, permanent residency, and a good job in Canada. I need healing for my heel and knee pain. Also need a closer walk with God. Spiritual and physical healing.

Lord, we pray for Jamie in Columbia, SC:

I very recently began my journey to build a genuine and lasting relationship with God. In the meanwhile I am uncomfortable communicating with God other than to say thanks for my blessings, as I feel asking of Him when I am not fully committed to Him is less than I feel He is worthy of and I can not bring myself to do that.

I have a 1 year old daughter who is my everything. Wednesday morning I am going to court after a lengthy battle (not custody related). I have spent hours preparing for this because of my lack of financial ability to obtain an attorney. This has by far been the most challenging, painful, and frightening experience I’ve ever been through. I have been mentally beat down, legally bullied, and have been stripped of the most important thing to me – my ability to protect my child and provide for her everything she is deserving of. Because the father of my child has a very expensive, very good lawyer he was about to have some very unjust and not in the best interest of our daughter ‘rules’ put into our original court order, limiting my ability to make decisions to protect her from unsafe situations.

I pray that God is with us Wednesday morning. I pray that he is in the heart and mind of the judge, allowing her to see what’s right here, to not be fooled by the trickery or an experienced lawyer. I pray that I am re afforded the ability to protect my daughter, to provide for her properly, to be allowed to give her the best, everything she deserves, and more. I pray that God gives me the strength, wisdom, and clarity to communicate effectively with the judge. I pray that God is with my daughters father and lawyer and puts it in their hearts to put our daughters best interest ahead of her Fathers best interest.

If I knew how to put in to words the extent of my gratitude I would. Thank you, so much.

Heal Glenda’s friend in North Carolina. We agree with her prayer for pain relief.:

My best friend is in the hospital and has been very sick for quite some time. Today she is in a lot of pain due to severe bladder spasms. She has Calciphylaxsis which can cause tissue to die. She has had surgery on both hips to remove dead tissue. Things are beginning to heal, but she is still dealing with so much pain. Please join me in my prayer that God touch her and heal her body and ease the awful pain. Thank you all and I ask that God richly bless each and every one of you in a very special way.

God, I pray that the power that you sent in healing my depression and bipolar disorder would rain down on Marian right now. Heal her mental and physical pains, Holy Spirit:

I’m Marian and I’m suffering from severe depression. I need prayerful brothers and sisters to help me. Please ask God to send guardian angels and Jesus to lift the burdens from me. Please. I also hurt from severe pain. Pray that the doctor can give me the best medication. Amen! Thank You

Heal Rick in Alabama:

In terrible pain from a collapsed disc low in my neck. Losing use of left hand. Haven’t slept more that 3 hours a night in 6 weeks.

We lift up Henry’s prayer request from Tennessee for his daughter:

This prayer is for my daughters weak spirit whom is sick from chemical imbalance and also suffers from depression and a periodic addiction. She is suffering tremendously. The state has taken one of her children and now trying to get the other. She is pregnant and has sought help and there is trouble for her there as well in fear of them taking that child as well. There is much spiritual pain. I hurt for her and my grandbabies. God’s intervention is desperately needed to save her from this agony along with the children. She does love them and tries very hard to care for their needs. Her sickness is strong and her light is dim. God please save them. Make her strong and victorious through the blood of Christ. Help her to fight off these demons. I pray my daughter be restored and her children returned. Through Christ precious name Amen

Thank you for providing for Grace and her family:

The bank wants to repossess my house though I have been paying the agreed amount. I am scared to live in the street with 4 children. I am a faithful tither.
I have tried to arrange with them but they declined my proposal. Please help.

From Johannesburg, South Africa to New York City in the USA, from Zimbabwe to New Zealand, Lord, you know the needs brought to you in private prayer requests. We trust you and your plan for our lives. We love you Jesus!

God, sometimes it seems very difficult to know the difference between judgment and discernment. Help us to know the difference…

Matthew 7:1 KJV Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Romans 12:2 KJV And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Those two ideas: not judgment, but knowing the difference between what is good and what is not, seem contrary at times. But Holy Spirit, I know they’re not. You know my heart (1 Samuel 16:7). My heart knows your truth. Your truth is inside me.

Your love has filled me to overflowing. I know what your love is like. Help me to look at every situation through the lens of your love. Then I will know my motives. If I am looking at a person and come to the conclusion that they are unworthy or undeserving of anything but the best that you have to offer, Jesus, then I will know that my motives are not pure. Please purge those impure motives from my heart and thoughts, Holy Spirit.

Instead, let me plainly see the world. Let me see what glorifies you and what doesn’t. Let me see my words and actions with sound judgment, but when it comes to others, help me to worry about myself and to only walk in discernment to protect my heart from the things that don’t glorify you.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for walking with these people and meeting their needs…

We lift up this anonymous prayer request to you, God:

Please help pray that God help my dad reflect and be kind, my mum be humble and me honour my parents and never to judge/be impatient. And for a personal miracle needed badly too. Thanks.

Thank you for Hope, Lord. Send her the husband that she desires, and in the meantime, thank you for being her comfort:

Pray that God sends me a husband and that were equally yoked and we are very fond of reach other I form a relationship very soon and he works and he is a gentleman and don’t judge me for my past and that God gives me confirmation that he will do this. It says in his word, “Ask and you shall receive.” Please keep this in prayer. I’m very lonely.

Father, thank you for the plan that you have for Marlo’s life. Bless her financially, and help her to get into a new home soon:

I’m homeless. I go up for rapid refund housing on December 4th. I have a judgment on my credit report. I need all the paper work for the interview.

Bless C, Father. Set her free from the bondage of addiction and the problems that have come with it:

Huge financial problems created by long-term addiction. Have asked everyone I know for help getting back on my feet, but have only received judgment and condemnation. Don’t want my depression and stress over the situation to lead to a relapse. Want God to restore my finances, health, wasted years, and dreams for my life.

Bless Dan, his prayer meeting, and his church:

I am leading a new church prayer meeting and really trying to fight for the land that God has given us. Please pray for continued wisdom and direction as I lead the prayer meeting. Please pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a passion to fight for victory. Please pray for me individually that God would give me wisdom and discernment and the fruit of the Holy Spirit through this challenging season.

We lift up Earl’s prayer request from Washington D.C.:

God in Jesus name by the power of the blood that was shed on the cross please protect me from all negative forces that are trying to come to destroy the in my life: emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Lord please remove all the barriers and hindrances that is preventing me from having a happy, productive, and prosperous life. Lord please bless everyone I come in contact with; peace, love, joy, happiness, grace, mercy, strength, good health, prosperity, discernment, motivation, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bless L, Jesus:

I pray I would be blessed to be completely pay off and be out of debt before the years end. I pray for my business to prosper and to do well in school. I pray for wisdom and discernment in financial matters. I pray to be financially settled so we can get married and have a family.

Bless Wanda:

God, please let me have an amazing day today. Amen

Bring companionship into this person’s life, Lord:

Dear God please hear my prayers and help me. I am tired of being alone. I am 36 and will be 37 in a few weeks. I am want T in my life God. Please intercede and help me. God Bless.

We also lift up the private prayer requests from around the globe, including India, Hungary, the Philippines, in the United States of America in California, Georgia, Long Island, Texas, and other areas. Bless these people, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.

Jesus, thank you for coming to this world to save us all…

1 Timothy 1:15 GNB This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them…

When we come together to pray for sinners, we’re really praying for the members of our body who are just like us, but who haven’t yet found the truth of their need for a Savior. We’re all sinners. We’ve sinned against you in the past, Father, and we fall short of your glory (Romans 3:23) on a daily basis. We confess that to you freely, Lord, and thank you for your mercy.

Today, God, we ask for that same mercy on our friends and family who do not know you; who don’t know Jesus as their Savior. Holy Spirit, work in their hearts. Soften them and expose the aching hole that only you can fill. Orchestrate their lives to bring them to a point of contrition at the same time that they encounter your unconditional love. Help them to see the beauty that is inherent in the love their Creator has for his creation, and how we can find fulfillment in living to be the best us that created us to be.

I lived for years trying to play the World’s game. I fought, bled, cried, and felt defeated trying to win a trophy life only to realize that my focus was completely misplaced. I know people who are living under the same deception, Lord. Help them to see the truth, Holy Spirit, that our life’s circumstances are meaningless compared to an eternity that we’re spending with you. Without you, we’re lost. We’re sinners who will be punished on the day of judgment unless we receive your righteousness, Jesus. Bring my friends into the body of Christ, Lord.

Father, thank you for these people across the world. Thank you for hearing our prayers each and every time that we come to you:

Be with Lily and her husband in Canada as you work in her husband’s heart:

Please Lord, help my husband who is addicted to sex, gambling, and drugs. Free him from these additions and save him.

Thank you for Cathy’s prayer request:

Family member without heat. Making a decision about job transfer. Thanks a day God bless!

Father, thank you for Wanda’s faith and dedication to prayer. Thank you for being her provider:

Good morning God. Once again, I thank You for another day. I am going to have an amazing day at work today. I will book 12 or more and reach my goals. I know You area with me and that You will protect me and provide. Amen

Thank you for being there for Darlene in South Africa:

I pray that the peace of God rests upon me and God gives me favour with my boss and in my work.

We lift up Carla, her brother and family in New Jersey:

I pray and it hurts to see someone go to jail. I ask please pray for my brother who had kids with a lady and now she’s making him go to court. It’s not fair on his part he got to go to court like February 17 or 18. He been working, doing his best to work it out to receive more money for child support. My brother never expect that it’s going to be child support and then go to court. We are trying to be believers. He needs prayer so he won’t go to jail. His birthday just past.

Lord, bring healing to this situation. Thank you for being her brother’s provider so he can take care of his kids and not have to go to jail.

We lift up this anonymous prayer request. Father, bring comfort to our brother. You know his heart’s desire:

Thank you for the small interaction I had with T God. Please God intercede and let me see her soon or for her to contact me soon. Please let us connect, become friends and have a relationship. Please let me have some peace and happiness in my life. Amen.

Thank you for Willis and his family in the Bahamas:

Please pray that God would cover and protect my family and I; that he would quickly send the finances that we need.

Thank you for our sister, Yvette in the United States of America, and for protecting and encouraging her son:

Son in the military – feeling very discouraged & unhappy. Pray that his relationship with the Lord is renewed & strengthened. That he receives insight into his future plans & in the meantime he enjoys the rest of his time in the service. That he acquires a positive attitude & outlook on life. That he is blessed.

Father, open the resources of Heaven to Maureen. Meet her need and then some!

Our orphanage for disabled children and Special Ed school in Chimaltenango, Guatemala needs $10,000 in the bank by Mar 1, 2015. We have been praying and $3800 came in, Hallelujah!! Please pray with us until the $6200 we still need comes in ON TIME!!

Our God is faithful to completely answer our prayers and to fully meet our needs!!!

We lift up this anonymous prayer request from India:

I am sending this prayer request for my brother Rajukumar who is unconscious because of addiction problem to alcohol & liver problem. I request you to please pray for him to come into consciousness. I beg you guys to pray for his wellness. Thank you

We lift up this prayer request from Savithree in South Africa, Lord:

Please pray for a miraculous healing for Prahalad from cancer.

Yes, Lord. We command the cancer to leave Prahalad right now!

We join our sister, Clair, in England in her prayer for Charlie:

Please pray for Charlie, for his happiness and healing. Please pray that those who hurt him will be prevented from hurting any other in like manner.

Bring healing to JW’s relationship, Holy Spirit:

I lost the woman that was one of the greatest gifts in my life. She walked out and I am not sure what all she is going through currently as she is not speaking with me. Please pray that she finds Hope, Grace, Love and Wisdom of Jesus to pull her through this time in her life. Also pray that God does what he needs to within me. I hope we some how through the Grace of Jesus are able to reconcile our relationship. In Jesus name I pray! Amen

We pray healing over K in Jamaica:

I need prayer for healing from cancer for a successful surgery and post surgery treatment with very little effects on my daily life that I won’t suffer the usual side effects. Please pray that I live for many more years cancer free and healthy and that God will be glorified by this experience and for my family and friends.

Heal this marriage, Lord. Knock this husband upside the head and make him faithful and loving:

Please pray for my husband and I. He is cheating on me again and I just can’t imagine how to handle it. He says he’s probably going to leave. I just can’t imagine how to live without him, the pain is unbearable. Please pray for us. Thank you.

Thank you for providing for Gerald’s prayer request from Qatar:

My ancestral house in India is very old and is in very bad shape. I have no money either to buy a new house or to maintain the present house. Request your sincere prayers to our Lord to give me the grace and blessings to provide a dwelling for me and my family.

We also lift up the many more private prayer request that were sent. You know who these brothers and sisters are, Lord. Thank you for being there for them. We love you, Jesus.

A while back, I met with a pastor to get some advice about how to conduct ministry on GivenLife.com. His advice was to go ahead and pray for people, but not to give people advice. I think that not giving advice was good advice…BUT: Sometimes people will email me through GivenLife.com, not asking for prayer. They are asking for advice. A case in point, I recently receive an email through the website from a woman we’ll call Jill:

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my faith. I’m confused.

Why won’t God heal me and take away the desires of porn and celebrity idols from my life?

I can’t find satisfaction in Him or in reading the Bible even though I pray for Him to open my mind and soften my heart for His teachings. I don’t have joy or peace, no matter how many times I repent. I feel like a hypocrite in church and sometimes get mad that other Christians have it together and can hear His voice or have visions or see signs from Him when I struggle just talking to Him.

Is that normal? I try not to hold anything back when I’m worshiping or repenting and I get emotional quite often, but then I wonder if it’s really the Holy Spirit evoking these emotions or just my flesh. How do I know the difference? How can I find excitement in Him? How can I fight temptations and live a hundred percent for Him? I just need help, I’m too ashamed and embarrassed to address my parents or people at church.

Here we have the added complication of a female asking for advice. I don’t want to get anywhere near a situation where I’m emailing a woman going through a difficult time about very personal issues. So, I think the best thing I can do in this situation is to blog about it. 🙂

Here’s what I almost emailed to Jill:

Dear Jill,

Thank you for your email. First, let me just admit that I don’t have all the answers. No one does. If we had all the answers, we would never have to walk in faith, right?

Try not to compare your life to other people in church. They may look like they have it all together, but trust me, they’re struggling too. God regularly reminds me to worry about myself and I think of this awesome YouTube video and laugh at how often I find myself poking my nose where it doesn’t belong:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A6Bu96ALOw

Know that due to the enemy of our souls and our own stinking flesh, we’ll always battle with unholy thoughts and impulses. What matters is what we do when we’re hit with them. We need to make these thoughts obedient to Jesus and then walk in faith that we have the righteousness of Christ because of what he did on the cross. See 1 Corinthians 10.

It’s totally normal to want more, but Satan would love to twist this desire into doubt and would like nothing more than for us to agree with the lie that God is holding back from us. Just trust that God is bringing you through this difficult time and that there is going to be growth on the other side of it (see James 1).

One last thing that I find helpful when I’m struggling is to restrict my media intake to things that I know are going to be life-giving. I love podcasts. It’s sort of like being read to as a kid. Check out podcasts by Bethel Church in Redding, Bethel Atlanta, or any other churches that you know of where there is a message being preached that resonates with you. Prune out any media that makes you feel drained or icky after you consume it, even if it’s highly entertaining. It could be quenching a fire that God is trying to build in you. You may find that you can pick those things back up later, but if you find more freedom in your spirit when you abstain from some shows/magazines/movies/etc, then it’s worth leaving them out. We can ask God for the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), but if we keep dumping garbage into it, we’re sort of making it difficult for God to keep it renewed, ya know?

I hope that helps.

God bless you!

Jonathan

Anyone else have advice for “Jill”? What do you do when you’re struggling with your faith?