Make the Bible’s Words Your Prayers

Sometimes when we’re so down we just don’t know what to pray or how to pray to God. It seems like our prayers are going nowhere.

These are times when you can refer to the word of God for your prayers. If we’re weak in strength (emotionally and/or physically), all we have to do is pray words that have already been spoken before.

What this means is that we can use the God’s words from the Bible as our own prayers. We can find words that His people spoke to Him long ago and make them our own.

Rather than strictly coming to God with a list of concerns and cares, we can use these words as a guide to focus our prayers. Using them can transform our words into strong petitions that accurately reflect who God is and who we are in relation to Him.

Jeremiah 33:3 says,

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

Call out to God. Tell Him of your weakness. Tell Him you want to serve Him but you feel unequipped to do so. Trust Him to speak to you. It might not be right away, as sometimes we must wait on God to hear His voice clearly. But never stop trusting Him that He loves you and wants you to hear Him.

Praise God and thank Him that you can trust Him just as Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

You might pray something like, “Thank you, Father, that I can trust you with all my heart and that as I acknowledge you in every area of my life, you are making a straight path for me.”

It might be that trouble with your job or professional life has left you physically drained. Perhaps your finances are in disarray and you’re barely able to make ends meet.

In 1 Chronicles 4:10 we find this prayer from Jabez:

“Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!”

We learn in the next verse that God granted Jabez’s request. That’s not to say that God will give you whatever you ask for or that if He does, that it will be in the timeframe you want. God works in His own time and for His own divine purposes.

However, by speaking this prayer to God, you’re letting God know that you have needs (He already knows them anyway) and you’re inviting Him to be the One who works everything out. You’re recognizing that you can’t do it on your own.

Psalm 34:4-7 is a wonderful passage if you’re just feeling generally afraid and anxious:

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”

Here we find David’s testimony that God helped him in his time of need. Just as He did for David, God will deliver you from your fears. He will save you out of your troubles.

Once again, it may not be in exactly the way you think He should. It may not be when you think it should be. But he is faithful. He’ll save you just like he did David.

Make these words your prayer. Personalize them. Thank God for His help. Praise Him for being faithful and for saving you as He did David.

Philippians 4:6-7 is another great passage for helping us through anxiety and worry. It tells us,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Pray to the Lord and thank Him that you have nothing to be anxious about. Praise Him for His peace in Jesus that is guarding your heart (emotions) and your mind (logical thought processes).

God loves us and is always there for us. Nothing we can ever do will change that.

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him” (Ps. 103:11).

Use the examples that He gave us in His word to personalize your prayers and make them powerful, God-trusting, God-praising prayers. Fortify them with God’s words and see if He doesn’t help you in your time of need.

God is in Your Nose

Do you know what nasal turbinates are? Like me, you’ve probably never heard of them unless you work in the medical field.

However, these structures in your nasal passages play big roles. According to, turbinates are “shell-shaped networks of bones, vessels, and tissue within the nasal passageways. These structures are responsible for warming, humidifying, and filtering the air we breathe.”


The turbinates’ action is actually fairly complex. Among other duties, they help us smell, drain our sinuses, determine our voice tone, and regulate the nasal cycle—which involves opening and shrinking the nasal passages every one to seven hours (for exact reasons that aren’t yet fully understood).

That covers a lot of territory. So, if it weren’t for your nasal turbinates, when you take an early morning jog on a brisk January morning, the chill air you breathe in would go straight to your lungs without being filtered or warmed at all. Your lungs wouldn’t like that and neither would you.

Thinking about all this makes me wonder…Wouldn’t it be a whole lot simpler if we didn’t have to rely on turbinates? I mean, why didn’t God—in His infinite wisdom—design our bodies without such a complex setup for air filtering and regulation? He has the capacity to do so, right?

I don’t know the answer this question, and I suspect you don’t either. However, I believe we can learn something about the nature of God from this discussion.

Yes, God can do whatever He wants. What He obviously wanted when He designed the human body with all of its intricacy was for it NOT to be a simple system. He chose for our bodies to depend on nasal turbinates, as well as a heart and an even more complex brain and nervous system.

What this means to me is that, when it comes to other aspects of our lives—our relationships, our careers, our other personal challenges—we shouldn’t expect quick and easy results.

Lasting change takes time. It almost never comes through a miracle and almost always comes through natural processes. I believe this is one of the things He was trying to teach us when he designed the human body.

That’s the way God works. He created us as complex human beings with wonderful, intricate bodies. The same is true in the rest of the natural, created world.

aaron-burden-361231-unsplashLook around at the trees of the forest, the myriad sea creatures, all the species of insects and other animals—all in rich and diverse ecosystems that maintain delicate balances.

That doesn’t mean God isn’t involved in the day-to-day. He knows all and is in charge of all:

“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted” (Matt. 10:29-30).

There is nothing that happens on this earth that he doesn’t bypass His authority. We might not always like what happens to us, but we can rest assured that God is in ultimate control of everything.

I’ve learned that I often won’t understand the reasons why my life takes a certain course. I may not like that I have to trudge through mud and snow and gunk to get to the other side because I’d rather that God just pick me up and place me where He wants me. I know He has the power to do that and it’s frustrating to think He won’t do it.

But that’s where faith comes in. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

In the end, that’s all we can do.

An Answer to The Lazy River

Wow.  There is so much hurt in that piece.  So much pain shows through.  I must have really been hurting when I wrote that.  But it was the truth – that is how I felt at that time, as well as many times before that and many times after.  It is hard to know how to formulate an answer to that diatribe.  It is all so raw and heartfelt.  If I were reading it and knew that someone else had written it (instead of me), I wouldn’t want to jump in on top of him quoting Bible verses and telling him how he’s wrong.  That wouldn’t do any good at all, but would most likely alienate him more, driving him further away from God.

I guess one of the first things I’ll say in response is that God has been gracious in allowing me to see a different way to look at life and life events over the last few months.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I’ve got everything all figured out by any means.  But I have been blessed to read books, listen to audio, and take part in exercises that are designed to give one a more proactive, healthier approach to dealing with life.  I’ve still got a very long way to go, but just learning about these methods and beginning to use them to a degree has already made a noticeable impact on my thought patterns.

Life may still seem like a lazy river full of people from all different walks of life, but I would say that now I view the scene much differently.  If asked to describe the lazy river experience now, I would say first of all that there’s much I don’t know and don’t understand about the “ride”.  I don’t fully understand why we’re all on the ride, other than that God created us and started us all at the beginning of the ride.  For many different reasons (reasons that have taken up books and books of explanation), we don’t all begin with the same equipment, and along the way our experience may change dramatically, either for better or for worse.

For example, at the beginning of the ride we may be floating merrily along on a fine inner-tube, only to have it punctured by a low-hanging limb or other unforeseen object, leaving us drifting in the water.  On the other hand, we may find an orphaned pair of sunglasses lying on the edge of the water and, stretching with all our might, manage to snag them as we pass by.  Now we have protection from the sun for our weary eyes.  Are these all happenstance events?  I believe ‘no’ is the correct answer, as God orchestrates everything in our lives according to His will.  We will never understand it all while we’re alive on this earth, and maybe we won’t even understand once those of us who have chosen Christ reach Heaven, but it is truth to say that God’s plan includes us, and in the end all works out for the best to those who have placed their trust in Him.

Yes, I know this all sounds very high and mighty, and I struggle with this truth often – very, very often.  But somewhere deep down inside I know that this IS truth and that if I hold fast to it, I will be OK.  Quite often the flesh part of my nature is not satisfied with trusting in God, and instead wants to rebel and whine about why something is the way it is when it doesn’t make sense that way.

But in the end I must simply trust God.  What other choice do I have, or anybody else for that matter?  We are here, like it or not, and I believe it is in our best interest to align ourselves with the Creator of all this that we see.  But it goes beyond merely aligning ourselves with God.  We are commanded to worship Him, giving Him the honor He deserves.  We are His created beings, designed and built to worship and serve.  Now, I will be the first to tell you that these ideas often do not sit well with me.  God knows this, so it’s no surprise to Him.   For a good part of my life I have felt that I was entitled to do my own thing.  So that’s what I have done, for the most part.  Oh, I’ve tried to include God along the way, hoping that His plans would fit in with mine.  Sometimes they have, but it seems like more often than not I am on my own, wondering what ended up happening, and wondering why God did not give me clear direction.  Obviously, this is no way to live.  Unfortunately, this has pretty much been my story since my late teen years.

This is why I say that we really have no choice but to try it God’s way.  He tells us over and over in the Bible to trust Him.  Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my life verses.  It’s the one I go back to time and time again when I finally realize that I don’t have all the answers and that maybe there is a better way.  “Ooooh yeaaaaaah – trust God.  I had forgotten all about that. Let’s give it a try.”

I can’t say that every situation has always worked out the way I wanted it to or thought that it would, but somehow everything has always worked out.  Most of the times the terrible outcomes that I’ve built up so much in my mind never come to pass.  It seems that it’s not so much that there’s increasing suspense, with a grand moment waiting to find out the outcome of a situation.  It’s more like the whole thing evolves into something different, so much that the original fear and anxiety melt away as the situation becomes something else altogether.  This is simply my casual observation, and may not hold true for others.

Back to the lazy river analogy.  As I’m floating along, I simply must trust God that He knows what He’s doing.  I believe it is to my advantage to praise Him and thank Him throughout the ride.  By acknowledging His workmanship in the beautiful clouds overhead, or the birds chirping in the trees along the bank, not only am I give Him honor and praise, I’m also helping myself by keeping my thoughts focused on the positive things in life, instead of the negative.  It is no coincidence that this action agrees with Paul’s commands in Philippians 4:8 to do just that.

No only is it disobedience to God in the form of envy, it will do me no good to look around at the other riders and compare my circumstances with theirs.  No matter if they appear better off, or worse, I will have more joy and worship God more fully by showing my gratitude for what I have, trusting God all the while.

At the end of the lazy river ride, however, is when the fun really begins – at least for those of us who have made Jesus our Lord and call ourselves Christ-followers.  We will all have to wait patiently and endure until that day..