Discipline

Lord, I have discovered
__that discipline isn’t the easy way;
__but it is the only way
__to learn some things.
I should have known that:
__You said,
__“Discipline yourself toward Godliness.”
__But, in my pride, I thought
__that godliness could be attained
__with looser structure
__and less strenuous effort.
Now I know that it is only
__the way of the ungodly that is easy
__(but its end is death).
__It takes little planning or energy
__to travel that road—just drift.
__Lord, I have drifted
__too often, too long;
__teach me how to travel
__the more rugged path
__of regularity, consistency, perseverance,
__as I press forward against the storm.
Give me direction and power, O God,
__wedded to constant confidence
__in the promises of Your Word.
Such hope alone
__can sustain me
__when the going gets tough.
So, help me, I pray,
__unswervingly to following the steady footsteps
__and for the sake
__of the One Who is Himself—
__the Way.
________________Amen

Disappointment

Lord, I can almost taste the bitterness
__of disappointment;
__my shattered expectations and dreams
__are like gravel in my mouth.
So help me—my strength fails.
Help me
__to realize all that has happened,
__to see, beyond the betrayal,
__Your hand and Your love.
Through the failure of man
__You move silently but surely,
__even making human wrath
__to praise you
__and to being about my good.
Teach me
__in this disappointment
__to empty my mouth of grit
__and to savor instead
__the delicacies You have prepared for me.
__________That I may honor Christ,
_________________Amen.

Decisions

“Not one more decision, Lord!”
__That’s what I said
__until I realized
__that my protest was sin.
Forgive me, Almighty God,
__for questioning Your providence,
__for doubting Your provision
__and for becoming weary
__of well doing.
In this decision, Lord,
__help me to learn
__the sufficiency of Your Word
__for analyzing
__and evaluating
__life’s options.
Show me how
__to study, interpret
__and apply
__its principles and practices
__to concrete situations.
And in doing so,
__grant me the joy
__of viewing every decision
__as a fresh opportunity
__to choose
__neither the world
__nor self
__but Christ,
__________in Whose Name I pray,
_________________Amen.

Crisis

So it happened!
__What I feared—
__or worse—
__has taken place.
All right!
__I’m Your child
__You’re my Father—
__that’s the first and last thing
__that I must remember.
That means
__It’s for better, not for worse.
__You have a purpose—
__You are up so something good.
Help me to remember the crisis of the cross.
So, I must neither fret nor fear
__but search and see
__something of Your sovereign Spirit
__at work in this crisis
__and how You expect me
__to join You in that work.
It won’t be easy—
__So—
Help me Lord,
__I pray,
___________for Christ’s sake,
_______________Amen.

Correction

Correct me, O God
__of knowledge and truth.
__I have been wrong, and wronged others;
__I have erred in thought, word, and deed.
I was self-deceived,
__led others astray,
__stubbornly insisted on my viewpoint.
Now You have shown me clearly
__the error of my ways.
Forgive me for misunderstanding
__Your truth—and Him Who is the Truth.
Help me now, Lord,
__to acknowledge my wrong
__to those I wronged,
__to prayerfully search out Your truth,
__and to teach it humbly
__wherever You direct my paths,
__________by and for Him Who is
______the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
________________Amen.

Confusion

That was the phone again!
__ Lord, doorbells, phone calls,
__ babies crying—
__ this is one of those days!
Help me to calm down,
__ get control of myself
__ and talk to You about it.
You know I have a hard time
__ handling pressure and confusion,
__ so, please calm my spirit
__ and clear my mind.
Father, now as I take pencil and paper,
__ give me wisdom
__ to write out a schedule
__ for the rest of this day
__ that will honor You
__ by bringing order
__ out of chaos.
Help me to identify true priorities,
__ set realistic goals,
__ lay aside wasteful activities,
__ abandon good, (but unessential) pursuits,
That I may joyfully
__ chart a course
__ through confusion
__ and that this day may lead me closer
__ to my Savior,
________in Whose Name I pray,
_______________Amen.

Complaint

Caught myself:
__I’ve been complaining again
__Instead of thanking You.
How often I find myself
__joining the chorus
__of those who can see
__nothing more
__than the skin
__of life’s trials.
They complain because they are blind
__and know nothing else to do.
Why should I,
__who see Your hand
__at work in every trial
__molding and making me
__what You want me to be,
__echo pagan plaints?
Certainly, at bottom
__no complaint
__is against circumstances
__or my fellow-man;
__but against You
__and what You are doing
__in Your world!
Forgive me, Lord;
__keep my heart and my lips
__free from the sin
__of murmuring.
Open my eyes to see
__beneath the sordid surface
__of sinful circumstances
__Your sovereign sway.
Help me to trust You Lord
__and to replace my rebellious spirit
__with a joyful heart
__and prayers of expectant thanksgiving.
__________For Jesus’ sake,
_____________Amen.

Balance

One of the hardest trials, Lord,
__is learning
__to strike the delicate balance
__between taking matters
__into my hands
__and putting them in Yours.
My problem is
__that I tend to do one or the other
__when I know
__You want me
__to put one hand into Yours
__as You
__encourage, strengthen and guide me
__to do with the other what You have commanded.
Forgive me, God
__when I let go
__and run ahead,
__when I drag behind
__and
__when I stand still, confused.
Balance is what I need!
__Give it to me, I ask,
__that I may pray as I should
__walk as I ought
__and think as You think,
______________for Christ’s honor,
__________________Amen

Anger

That temper of mine!
__Forgive me, Lord —
__I let it get the better of me again.
When will I ever learn to wait
__until I’ve heard the whole story,
__to respond under pressure
__as Christ would,
__to meet evil with good?
I’m growing, Lord,
__but my growth is far too slow.
Till my life —
__break up the clods of pride,
__root out weeds of selfishness,
__plow under every vestige of stubbornness.
Cultivate me and sow liberally
__more of the Spirit’s fruit-bearing seed.
Send showers
__and storms (if need be);
__shine brightly on my soul.
Then I will sprout forth
__patience and kindness and love —
__and self-control —
__in abundance,
And my tongue will learn
__to help and heal
__and praise the Name
________of the One through Whom
_______________I pray,
_______________Amen.

Age

I’m tired.
__As I grow older
__fatigue comes sooner.
__This worn and weary frame
__no longer functions
__as it once did.
That I may continue to serve You
__and live the rest of my days
__to their full
__is my prayer.
I know, Lord, that I must learn
__to recognize limitations,
__to choose among opportunities,
__to eliminate excess baggage.
But that knowledge comes hard.
__I am not wise;
__I need to understand
__much more that I now know
__of the practical application
__of your Word
__to these matters.
Forgive me Lord
__for not learning sooner,
__for wasting time
__and dissipating energy
__I now wish I had.
__I see the importance
__of these commodities
__now that I am beginning
__to run short of them.
I want to serve You
__to the end,
__not in a lackluster manner,
__nor in weariness of flesh,
__but vivaciously,
__conserving and wisely using
__all my remaining strength
__________for Your glory,
_______________Amen.

In 1979 Dr. Adams published a little book containing prayers (Prayers for Troubled Times) that he had written in response to various trials and challenges in his own life. Each weekend we will be publishing one of these prayers in the hope that you will be encouraged to pray!