Prayer Power: Embracing Change

Change is a constant—especially these days. These four prayers can help  you manage the transitions.

Posted in , May 27, 2021

A woman prays in the outdoors

More than 170 years ago, French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr penned the saying “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” That no longer seems to apply. The 2021 version might be “The more things change, the more things change.”

Change can be good or bad, fun or difficult, but it always causes stress, whether we realize it or not. And we have seen more change in recent months than many of us could ever have imagined.

Even when we face a difficult transition, our response can make all the difference. If we can somehow embrace the new state of affairs, rather than resisting it, we become agents of change rather than its victims. For most of us, that will take some doing—and more than a little prayer. With that in mind, here are four prayers for embracing change.

1. “The Lord is with you”
Long ago, the young nation of Israel was facing transformation. An angel appeared to a backcountry nobody named Gideon, who was hiding from the nation’s oppressors. The angel greeted him (perhaps without irony): “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12, NIV).

That phrase, turned slightly from greeting into prayer, reminds us that, even when we may not feel like mighty warriors, God is with us and for us during times of transition.

2. “With your help…”
David faced daunting challenges: giants, a murderous king, a rebellious son and more. In a verse perhaps written after surviving Saul, David sang, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (Psalm 18:29, NIV).

This prayer encourages and strengthens us, a reminder that, whether we survive or thrive in change, God supplies all we need.

3. “Let it be”
What did a teenage peasant named Mary say when she learned that God had chosen her to give birth to the long-awaited Messiah? Her response is a model prayer: “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, ESV).

Mary’s humble acquiescence was an act of great faith amid dramatic shifts for her—and the world. Her words suggest a powerful prayer: “Let it be to me according to your will.” By treating change as a way to enlist in God’s wise and loving purposes, we defuse apprehension and activate the miraculous.

4. “Make us bold”
When Christians faced persecution during the first century, they didn’t pray for things to stay the same. They said, “Give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word” (Acts 4:29, NLT). They prayed for courage to meet what lay ahead.

That’s the spirit we need when we face changes…a spirit that doesn’t shrink from change but instead embraces it, knowing that God can use us—and our shifting circumstances—come what may.

Change is constant. Inevitable. But with prayer, God, who never changes, can give us the grace to change and lead us into a future of his choosing.

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