Spiritual Growth

5 Prayers for Everyday Occasions

God cares about the details of our lives. In her book, Prayers for Every Occasion, Ellen Banks Elwell shares, “As you look through these selections, you might find phrases that describe things you’ve been thinking or praying about…Hopefully, you’ll find some that are meaningful to your life and situation…My prayer for you is that God’s answer to one of your prayers might change your life today and impact other lives in the future.” May you take courage and be inspired to pray specifically for the needs of those around you.


Bridal Shower

Father God, as friends and family of this loving couple, we’ve gathered to celebrate their upcoming marriage. Thank you for designing marriage and for blessing this radiant bride and groom with the gift of each other. We’re grateful for the heritage you’ve given them through their parents and grandparents.

We joyfully shower this couple with gifts today because we’re eager to launch them on their way. In addition to the beautifully wrapped presents, we also offer our prayers on their behalf. Please nudge us to pray for them as they come to mind. Our prayers are gifts that keep on giving.

Please satisfy this husband and wife from the fountain of your unfailing love. Remind them how much you love them, and give them love to share with each other. When they face challenges in small, moderate, and large things—as all married couples do—may they run to you, ask for wisdom and help, and find you to be their strength and peace. Please help them look for ways to cherish one another every day.

Shine your face on this couple, Lord, and bless them with a fruitful and understanding marriage. In the name of Jesus, our faithful Lover.


Dedication of a Child

Father God, this cherished child will soon be dedicated to you in front of a congregation of your people. Like Mary and Joseph, who carried the baby Jesus to be dedicated in the Temple, we ask you to bless this family and child.

Like Jesus’ family, may this family be committed to following you throughout their lives. May your mercy, goodness, and blessing be theirs every day. Please protect them from evil and give them courage and resolve to do what is good. May your Spirit bestow his gifts on this child in abundance, and may he—like the young boy Jesus—obediently bend his will to those who are authorities in his life.

Through each stage of his life, may this child deepen his walk with you, so that his fellowship with you will be intimate and strong. And at the end of his days, may it be said that he was a light for Jesus in the world, reflecting your glory and demonstrating to everyone what it means to be a person who follows you. Amen.


Job Satisfaction

Sovereign God, as I reflect on my career, I’m grateful you’ve given me fulfilling employment over the years. Not only have you provided me with meaningful work, but that work has helped provide for my family and made it possible for us to help others. How generous you are!

Of course, there have been conflicts and challenges on the job, and sometimes I’ve been guilty of complaining. Yet in retrospect, I see how you have used those situations to grow me. On days I’m tempted to grumble, help me to remember your faithfulness.

Looking back over the zigs and zags of my life, I’ve had glimpses of how you’ve led me from one point to the next. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness. For those I know who struggle in their jobs, please come alongside them and help them. You have certainly done that for me.

Each day as I begin my work, Father, may I represent you in everything I do.


Death in a Friend’s Family

God who records all our days, you know all about us, from the moment we receive the spark of life until we take our last breath. The last day came for my friend’s father, Lord. All along, you’ve known the exact time and place this man’s life would be completed. For us, though, the details surrounding a loved one’s death usually come as a surprise.

Father, please comfort my friend and each of her family members in the days ahead, as they gather together from various parts of the country. Keep them safe as they travel, and spread your wings of protection over them. Thank you that you care for each of these people as individuals, since the way we humans process our grief and loss isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Bless this extended family with your grace and love as they spend time talking, weeping, and laughing together over shared experiences and memories. Because no family is exempt from relational scrapes and wounds, I ask you to provide your liberal and tender healing wherever it’s needed.

In the days ahead, may each one of them be reminded of your goodness and unfailing love, which pursue us every day of our lives.

When We Don’t Know What to Do

Powerful God, sometimes we find ourselves in bleak situations, and we just don’t know what to do. In the Old Testament, when King Jehoshaphat heard that a vast army was marching against him, he was terrified. Immediately, he turned to you. He knew you were the powerful God of his ancestors. You alone are God in heaven, and you are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. No one can stand against you.

After reviewing some of the things you’d done in the past, this trusting king talked to you about the imminent crisis facing him. I love the way he ended his prayer, Father. “We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

Mighty Father, for times when we find ourselves in the middle of our own desperate situations, Jehoshaphat’s prayer can be our prayer. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.

Thank you that you heard and rescued Jehoshaphat. Thank you that you hear us and come to our aid today.

From Prayers for Every Occasion by Ellen Banks Elwell

This handy collection of 176 heartfelt prayers will give voice to your thoughts, hopes, and life challenges. Prayers for family issues, friendship, celebrations, illness, loss, work, and much more will remind you that God listens, cares about your heart, and is ready to help as you look to him for inspiration and encouragement.

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