Category Archives: Prayer

Praying a Hedge of Thorns

Praying a Hedge of Thorns

Praying a Hedge of Thorns

Growing up in a Christian family and in church, I often heard people pray a “hedge of thorns” around someone. This type of prayer could be prayed on behalf of a person that might be wandering off track or pursuing things or people that may not be good for them. For some reason, it always makes me picture the scene in Sleeping Beauty where Maleficent makes a forest of thorns appear around King Stefan’s castle to block Prince Phillip. Of course, Phillip DID make it through that hedge of thorns…but then again that hedge was made by evil forces, not God. 🙂

The Bible gives an example of a hedge of thorns built by God:

“Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’” Hosea 2:6-7 (ESV)

So when should we pray for a hedge of thorns? Here are a few examples when this prayer might be helpful…

Hedge of thorns for unfaithfulness in marriage

Continue reading

Scriptures for Troubling Times

Scriptures for Troubling Times: God gives us promises throughout scripture. We can apply these scriptures to our situations and circumstances to give us peace, to build our faith, to encourage us, and sometimes to even turn the situation around.

Scriptures for Troubling Times

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared about preparing for the storms of life and some ways to endure those storms when they come. One of the practical ways we can endure and overcome these storms is to utilize God’s word. We can use scriptures for troubling times.

God gives us promises throughout scripture. We can apply these scriptures to our situations and circumstances to give us peace, to build our faith, to encourage us, and sometimes to even turn the situation around. God also tells us to remind Him, or put Him in remembrance, of His Word. When we remind God, we remind ourselves too! (Here’s a great post on the subject by Victoria Osteen.)

“Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.” Isaiah 43:26 (ESV)

In order to remind God, we have to find and know the verses first to be able to use those scriptures for troubling times. It’s helpful to make a list of some go-to verses to access when those times arise. I’ve put together just a few of my personal favorites here. 

General scriptures for troubling times:

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 (ESV)

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NIV)

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 (NLT)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Continue reading

Prayer of the Confused

Prayer of the Confused

Prayer of the Confused

I thought I’d do something a little different this week.  Today, I thought I’d share a poem that I wrote back in April 2010.  I wrote it for a close friend of mine who was really confused, struggling and making some poor life choices.  I imagined that I was writing from their perspective and what they would pray.  Most lines are based on several different scriptures (as I often do when writing prayers).

I’m very happy to report that this friend has made some monumental life changes and is now on the right track in their relationship with God! 🙂

Prayer of the Confused

By Tracy Robbins, 4/19/10 Continue reading

What are the benefits of corporate prayer?

What are the benefits of corporate prayer? Is praying with others better than praying alone?

What are the benefits of corporate prayer? Is praying with others better than praying alone?

Not long ago a friend of mine approached me and asked about the benefits of corporate prayer (in other words, praying with one or more people). Previously, she had been having a discussion with some other friends on the topic. They were pondering the power of two or more prayers and why it would be more advantageous than praying alone if the individual praying had great faith. They brought up the point that the bible says that if one person can have faith as small as a mustard seed anything is possible for them. If one person can have faith as small as a mustard seed and get their prayers answered, then what’s the benefit of praying with someone else?

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in Heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20 (NLT)

“’You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.’” Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

It’s a GREAT question! So today I thought we could talk about that.

It’s more about us than God’s power

I pointed out what Matthew 18:19-20 says about the tremendous power available when believers pray together in agreement because God’s presence is right there among them.

Then another good, and very wise 😉 friend in my small group, Michelle, had even better insight. She pointed out that it doesn’t necessarily mean that corporate prayer is more powerful than praying alone but that we feel more empowered ourselves when we pray with others. Michelle said, “It doesn’t have to do with God’s power. It’s more about us. It helps us.” So, the benefit is more for us, not for better chances of the prayer being answered.

Corporate prayer is not a magical power enhancement button that we push. Praying with others does not necessarily mean that these prayers are more powerful than individual prayers. However, they do have their benefits! 

Benefit #1: Corporate prayer helps us to build each other up and strengthens us.

Continue reading

Prayer to Help Understand the Bible

Say this prayer to help you understand the Bible better...

Prayer to Help Understand the Bible

Sometimes it’s hard to understand the Bible, which can be very frustrating. Often this will tempt us to just stop and give up trying. This is especially true if we’re not in a habit of reading it on a regular basis. However, I will say it gets easier the more consistent we get in our reading habit. Today, I’d like to share some scriptures and a prayer based off of scripture that we can pray to before we begin reading in order to glean the most out of our reading session.

God wants us to read our Bible. He also wants us to understand the Bible. He doesn’t want it to be difficult or overwhelming for us. We should be at peace and not in a state of confusion. God is not a God of confusion. Scripture is given to us to help us, not to hinder us. It’s meant to be useful for us to help us lead a successful, happy, healthy and prosperous life. It is effective and powerful and always relevant to any and every situation we face.

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace…” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) 

There is simplicity in Christ

Beth Jones explained once that we don’t have to understand all of the complex parts of the Bible to learn about Jesus and have relationship with him. Beth compared it to driving a car. You don’t have to understand all of the inner workings of a car engine to be able to drive the car.

Similarly, you don’t have to be all deep and philosophical and intellectual when reading scripture. He’ll help you out along the way. You’ll grow in knowledge and understanding as you walk with him. In fact, Jesus liked to keep things simple. It was the other religious leaders of the day that tried to make things confusing, complex, and super formal. He’ll meet you where you are and help you to understand little by little.

“But I fear, lest somehow, he serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)

 Scriptures to use when we need to understand the Bible 

Continue reading

Stop and Take Time to Listen to God

Learn how to Stop and Take Time to Listen to God...

Stop and Take Time to Listen to God

Taking regular time to stop and listen to God is not a strong suit of mine. I do hear from God on a fairly regular basis. I know his voice and how he talks to me. Unfortunately I hate to admit that I kind of stink at being intentional about taking time to listen to God. This topic isn’t what I was going to originally write about this week. It was only because of taking time to listen to God that I decided to write about listening to God!

My notes are lost

I seem to have lost my notes for my original topic. I’m serious – I can’t find them anywhere! I searched my quiet time journal. I’ve looked through my Bible and sermon notes. I looked through my computer documents. I’ve looked through my phone notes. I even looked around for random post-it notes where I may have written some things down. Nothing. Now, I can’t even remember if I even wrote the notes down to begin with, but I could’ve sworn that I did.

After searching around frantically for my notes for well over an hour, I decided to just pray about it and ask God to help me find them. Then I remembered my quiet time about stopping and listening to God. It was about taking time to just stop and be quiet. So I decided to do that after I prayed about losing my notes.

Maybe they were “lost” on purpose

I began to think that maybe my notes were “lost” on purpose because God had other intentions of what he wanted me to write about this week. If I’m right, it’s what he’s been gently correcting me about recently. It’s about making time to stop and listen to him on purpose.

While listening, I had the thought, “Well, maybe they’re lost on purpose because I’m not supposed to write about them. Maybe I’m supposed to write about something else. I usually pray every week about what I’m going to write about, but I don’t think I did this week. I think I just decided last week what this week’s topic would be and then didn’t really spend a whole lot of time in prayer about it. Well, I guess it serves me right!” Leave it to God to conveniently cause my notes to go missing when I try to do things my way without consulting him or listening to him!

Oh, the irony

Continue reading

A Prayer For Lost Hope: Follow This Example of How to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture

A Prayer For Lost Hope: Follow This Example of How to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture

A Prayer For Lost Hope: Follow This Example of How to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture

I received a nice comment recently on a blog post for a prayer for those who make bad choices. The reader mentioned as a person who struggles with prayer, she was enjoying fill-in-the blank prayers.

It was a nice confirmation to hear that because I had actually been thinking lately that I need to start writing some more of those. I have always loved Stormie Omartian’s prayers like this (i.e. Power of a Praying Wife, Power of a Praying Husband, Power of a Praying Parent, Power of a Praying Grandparent, etc.). If you have never read or used any of her material I HIGHLY recommend it.

I thought today I would take you through the process of how I come up with and write these prayers. It’s easy! Anybody can do it. I’ll show you how by giving you an example of writing a prayer for lost hope.

Take the Same Practical Steps I Take in Order to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture with this example of A Prayer for Lost Hope:

Step 1-Decide what I need to pray for and make a list of specifics.

For example, I pray for my students in my college classes each semester. Sometimes there seems to be a theme of what I’m praying for a particular group of students. This semester the word that keeps coming to mind for this group is “hope”. I get a feeling that many of them lack a sense of hope or that they feel hopeless. Therefore, some specifics I’d like to pray for them are:

  • That God would give them a sense of hope
  • I want them to see a hope in me, something that they desire, and I’d even like them to ask me about it, giving me an opportunity to tell them why I can hope even in seemingly hopeless situations
  • That they can see a hope in their future and that they don’t give up

Step 2-Find verses and promises in the bible that correlate with the specifics that I want to pray.

To do this, Continue reading

Do you use Prayer Cues?

Do you use prayer cues?  Try some of these reminders to use throughout your day...

Do you use Prayer Cues?

The bible instructs us to pray constantly…

“Pray constantly.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (HCSB)

Previously, I wrote about when and where to pray and several posts on how to pray. Sometimes this can be difficult to remember to do throughout your day unless you have reminders. I know some people who set reminder alerts on their phones to pray at specific times of the day. I think this is a great idea. Something that I have found to be extremely helpful though is to use prayer cues.

Prayer cues are simply visual or auditory reminders to pray for something as you see or hear it. These can be specific things or topics on that you have a heart for, certain people in your life, emergency or crisis situations, or even things that frustrate or annoy you. 

A few examples of prayer cues I use

My kids and I started using sirens, emergency vehicles, and/or accident scenes as prayer cues to pray for the potential victims and emergency responders. When we hear sirens or see flashing lights or drive past an accident we say a short prayer for the safety of all involved. We pray for wisdom and guidance for the responders to act quickly and to know exactly what to do. We also pray that God’s presence is evident to those involved.

Some other prayer cues I use are Continue reading