These four biblical prayers are seldom easy, but are always worth it.
Some prayers are harder than others. But often the hard prayers are the most necessary—even the best—to pray.
These four “hard prayers” are not only biblical; they will also deepen and broaden your praying while enriching your life:
1. “I have sinned”
Long ago, in a kingdom far away, the king desired the wife of another man. So he took her to his bed, and after a few failed attempts to hide his deed, arranged for her husband to die in battle. That king was David, and when a prophet of God and member of David’s court confronted him with his sin, David responded with the gut-wrenching but soul-cleansing prayer, “I have sinned” (2 Samuel 12:13, niv). It is a prayer of confession and repentance. It is seldom easy but it is such a good prayer that many people do so morning and evening, every day.
2. “Let it be”
This prayer did not originate with the songwriting duo of Lennon and McCartney but with Mary, a Galilean peasant. When an angel appeared to her to announce that she had been chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus, the Messiah, she answered, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, esv). It is a prayer of surrender and submission that often begins a soul’s journey with God and always strengthens it.
3. “Not my will”
Sometimes a person gets to a point in life when he or she begins to truly believe that God’s love and wisdom is far greater than his or her own. When that happens, it becomes possible to believe that, as much as a specific answer or outcome is desired, the best possibility is for God’s will to be done in that instance—even when the situation is dire. That, of course, is what Jesus faced prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion. But he prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42, niv). It is a prayer of faith (that God knows better than we do) and trust (that He can and will do what is best for us and for all concerned in good times and bad).
4. “Send me”
Though Isaiah the prophet lived in difficult times, his circumstances were better than most. Nonetheless, when he heard the voice of God saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” he answered, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8, niv). It is a prayer of readiness and resolve, to be used by God, wherever and for however long He may choose.
They may be the hardest prayers a person can utter. “I have sinned” takes humility and honesty. “Let it be” requires acceptance and assent. “Not my will” calls for strong and abiding faith. And “Send me” comes only from a heart of deep devotion. But as hard as they may be, these four prayers may do more for your life than all your other prayers combined.
Are you praying any of these prayers now? Are there any you may be able to pray soon?