A 5-Word Prayer That Always Works

When your life is out of control, these words can express all your helplessness and your hope.

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Posted in , Jun 3, 2019

A 5-word prayer that works

There are times when we hardly know how to pray or what to pray. There are times when our hearts are full of prayers. And there are times when we can’t clearly identify or express our needs. But there is one five-word prayer that works, no matter what.

These days, my life is a jumble of uncertainty. My wife and I plan to relocate to a new part of the country in the near future to be closer to our children and grandchildren. But we have a house to sell (and prepare for sale). Job applications and interviews. And trips to schedule for more interviews. And shopping for a new house. And packing and moving arrangements. 

Some decisions can’t be made until other decisions are made. But those pieces can’t fall into place into other pieces are in place. And on and on it goes. It’s crazy-making, so much so that we’re not sure what to pray for. We have no reliable timeline. No specifics to pray for God to bless. 

So we turn over and over to the same prayer. A prayer for all seasons. A prayer that expresses our helplessness and our hopefulness. A prayer that contains all our needs and conveys our situation. 

It’s just five words: “We are in Your hands.” 

What more can we say? We don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know enough at this point to make detailed plans (which is always my go-to move). We have no clear concept of what, when, where  or how. We only know Who: “We are in Your hands.”

It works equally well as a corporate prayer (“we”) or individual prayer (“I”):

Are you excited about a new job possibility? “I am in Your hands.”

Facing difficult decisions about the care of a family member? “We are in Your hands.”

Stressed about making your travel connections? “I am in Your hands.”

Adjusting to an abrupt change in circumstances? “We are in Your hands.”

Waiting for a doctor’s diagnosis? “I am in Your hands.”

It may sound too simple. Too non-specific. But those five words have wonder-working power. They’re a prayer of affirmation. A prayer of faith. A prayer of surrender. A reminder that we don’t quite know everything or control much of anything—and that we don’t have to, because we are in the hands of the only One who does.

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