Right now I don’t really know how to pray.

In two weeks a loved one starts radiation. Around that same time another loved one will undergo surgery.

Yesterday I shared that prayer is essential for moving forward. It’s not a nice option; it’s essential. It’s powerful. It’s our truth. It’s our sword. It’s healing. When you don’t have words, you may be tempted to skip prayer — even though that’s when we usually need it most.

In Luke 11, the disciples approach Jesus. He had been praying and they watched from a distance. These guys had been taught about prayer their whole life. They prayed a certain number of times every single day. Yet they saw something in Jesus’ prayer life that they wanted.

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 

Jesus gave them words.

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’” (Luke 11:1-4)

Many of us are familiar with this prayer. We can say it word for word. We memorized it as a child. I don’t believe that Jesus was trying to give them a scripted prayer, but a way to begin to communicate with God.

Max Lucado, in his book, Before Amen, shares what this prayer might look like in our modern-day world.

Father, you are good.

I need help. Heal me and forgive me.

They need help.

Thank you.

In Jesus’ name, amen

So when I don’t have words, I use this as a prayer starter.

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Father, you are good.

You are good in this hard place. I’ve seen your goodness over and over again. You are good as you walk with us. You are good as you pour out peace that makes no sense in the natural. You delight my heart, Father, and I cannot imagine my life without your love.

I need help

This is bigger than me. It’s not what I wanted, and it’s not where we want to be, but I know that when I cry out you are there.

Heal me and forgive me

I know that you see us. I know who we serve. I thank you for grace that covers a river of doubts and mercy that sweeps over every uncertainty.

They need help.

Heal physical bodies. Bring peace. Cover all those who love them. Lord, I’ll be there, but you are there in ways that I can’t touch.

Thank you. In your amazing name, amen. 

And this, dear friends, is where this girl who has no words praises a God who is alive and who knows every hair that is numbered on my loved one’s head. This is where I feel him, and it’s not a scripted prayer at all but intimate conversation and strength between God and his daughter.

If you’ve struggled with knowing what to say,maybe these words will get you started.

Father, you are good.

I need help. Heal me and forgive me.

They need help.

Thank you.

In Jesus’ name, amen

Let that simple prayer draw you closer to God and fill you up, in spite of those things you cannot change.


Day #17 of Moving Past What You Cannot Change

Q: Why is prayer key to moving past what you cannot change?

Q: Describe one thing you are asking God to change in you, regardless of your current situation or past events.

Read Luke 11:1-13

Jesus emphasized the importance of prayer in a parable. Rather than comparing God to the sleeping neighbor, he uses it as a contrast. God is attentive. He does hear us. He is a good Father.

  • Will we keep knocking (prayer) even when we don’t have words?

Related Resource

I’ve written a devotional that will release in September, 2017. When I saw this hardcover devotional, I almost wept. It’s beautiful. It’s a gorgeous gift for anyone. Maybe even just for you.

It’s straight up walking with Jesus. Nothing less. Nothing more.

My prayer is that it will change the hearts of many as they follow Jesus for a year. I pray they’ll discover what the disciples did as they came to know Jesus as Savior and friend.

It’s available for preorder in lots of great places, but right now Target has it list for 32% off the purchase price! I’m excited to share that news with you. ~ Suzie