When it comes to prayer, one word can be life-changing.
Posted in , May 21, 2021
When I was a child, a single “yes” or “no” from my mom or dad could change the course of my day—sometimes seemingly my whole life. “Are we there yet?” “Can I go outside?” “Can I have a dog?”
As an adult, I’ve learned to employ that power in my daily life, through prayer. Like many people, I pray every day, and often use many words to ask God, tell God, beg God to work in my life and in the lives of those I love. But I will often adopt a single word to pray throughout my day. It might be “help.” Or “yes” or “no.” Or “mercy.” Among many, many others.
So, I was delighted when Guideposts asked me to contribute to the collection, Pray a Word a Day. It’s a non-dated, 365-day devotional that helps you to be intentional about connecting with God by focusing on a different word each day. Each day’s reading starts with an inspirational quote or Scripture based on one word, followed by a short anecdote and a prayer. Here’s one of my contributions:
Change your thoughts and you change your world. —Norman Vincent Peale
Recently, the word of the day suggested by my Bible reading was “change.” So I prayed that short word throughout the day: “Change my heart, O God. Give me strength and hope through the changes of these coming weeks.” A grocery-store transaction put change in my pocket, prompting a prayer for the wise use of our “loose change.” A sudden schedule change seemed providential. And so on.
Even Facebook somehow got into the act. I know Facebook’s algorithms detect websites I visit or purchases I make and incorporate those into ads and promotions, but I couldn’t think of any online hint I gave of my word-of-the-day prayer. But “change” nonetheless became a theme, popping onto my computer screen through the rest of the day. I even noticed the word in a television commercial or two, which sent me back to prayer when I saw and heard it.
Father, change my heart, thoughts, life,
and circumstances as You will. Amen.
Each page of this devotional also offers a few lines for you to jot down your own thought or prayer in response to the reading. And I hope that you will (as I often do) take that single word with you each day, meditating on it, praying it and letting God use it to speak to you—which He will do, often in surprising ways.
You may not think a single word can do much, even if you pray it. But I’m hopeful and faith-filled that Pray a Word a Day will show you just how powerfully life-changing a single word can be.