A Prayer that is Compelled

His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.  JEREMIAH 20:9

Our Father, who is in Heaven, we worship You as the living God of Daniel. You set the heavens in place and laid the foundations of the earth.1 In a world that changes and undulates like the surface of the sea, You and Your Word are unshaken. You are the Creator who spoke everything into existence through the power of Your Word.2 Your thoughts are as high above our thoughts as the heavens are higher than the earth.3 Who could know what’s on Your mind and in Your heart except as You choose to reveal Yourself to us? And You have! You are Light.4 You have made Yourself visible and knowable through the pages of our Bibles. And Your Word is our life.5 It is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.6 There is no shadow of turning with You.7 From age to age, from generation to generation, You and Your Word do not change.

Thank You for being utterly trustworthy. We find security and hope in knowing we can take You at Your Word. You are a Gentleman. You do not mock Your children. We can stand firmly on Your promises, which are like prophecy. They will come to pass because what You say is so. They resonate deep within our hearts; like sparks of life falling on our dry spirits, they ignite a holy passion for You and what You want.

When we lack fire and zeal for You, Your Word, Your will and Your wants, we have only to look at the priority we have given to our Bible reading and study. We confess we have been neglectful of Your Word. There are days when we go without reading it. And there are many days when we read it but we don’t take the time to process what we are reading. When we close our Bibles we don’t even remember what we read. No wonder we don’t know how to pray! So when we do pray we have cared more about our wants than Your wants. We often tell You what’s on our minds without ever asking what’s on Yours. We pour out our hearts to You, but quickly leave our prayer time without waiting to listen to Your heart.

We have been . . .
deaf to Your voice,
willful in our ways,
in our wants,
shallow in our thoughts,
and miserly in our love.
We are deeply ashamed.
Let us know that the work of prayer is to bring our
wills to Yours,

And that without this it is folly to pray; When we try to bring Your will to ours it is to command You, to be above You, and wiser than You; this is our sin and pride.

We can only succeed when we pray
According to Your precept and promise,
According to Your sovereign will.

And now, O God who has ears to hear and listens to Your children as we pray, we ask that You would teach us to pray according to Your Word. We want our wills to conform to Yours. Mold our lives according to Your Word. We want to ask You for what You have already purposed to give us, to do for us, and to do through us, yet will not do so until we ask. We don’t want to get to Heaven and discover all the answers to prayer for which we never bothered to ask You, because we were ignorant of Your Word.8 We don’t want to get to Heaven and hear of all the blessings You wanted to pour out on others through us, only to find that our self-focus and self-centeredness had blocked the flow.

So come down, most Holy Lord. Look on our
world . . .

On the battlefields and the mine fields,
On the corruption and the destruction,
On the greed and the need,
On the strategy sessions and the spinning deception,
On the sin that’s flaunted and the sin that’s hidden,
On the murders and the misery,

On the abuse and the arrogance,
On the victim and the vice . . .
On our foundation that is cracking,
On our nation that is crumbling,
On Your church that is sleeping,
On Your people who are crying out to You.

Teach us to pray according to Your Word with such power that Heaven is moved and our nation, and our world, are changed.

We ask all of these things in the name of the One who said, “Here I am . . . I have come to do your will, O God . . .”9 then got up from Heaven’s throne, made Himself nothing, took on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!10

We pray in the name of the One whom You have exalted to the highest place . . . the One to whom You have given the name that is above every name . . .11

We pray in the name of JESUS.

For the glory of Your Name.

1. Isaiah 51:16.
2. Genesis 1:3, John 1:1–3.
3. Isaiah 55:9.
4. 1 John 1:5.
5. Deuteronomy 32:47.
6. Psalm 119:89.
7. James 1:17.
8. Ezekiel 36:37.
9. Hebrews 10:7.
10. Philippians 2:6–8.
11. Philippians 2:9–10.

**This Prayer is adapted from The Daniel Prayer, Anne Graham Lotz, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 2016

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