THIS REALLY MATTERS…
When we look at the situations in life that often lead us to pray, they nearly always involve other people. If we’re having trouble at work, there’s often a boss, a coworker, an employee or a customer involved. If we’re having problems in a marriage, there’s always a spouse involved. If we’ve got financial troubles, then there may be any number of people who are either directly or indirectly involved. If we’ve got health problems, then there will inevitably be doctors, nurses and other medical staff involved.
The fact is, nearly every major issue in our lives is affected by people. So if we are to ever present a request to God, and we are to have any sense of confidence that He is able to do something on our behalf, then we need to know how much power God has over the hearts, minds, decisions and actions of people. So, what does the Bible actually teach? Does God have power over free-will, or is God helpless to change a situation unless a person freely and willingly does what God would like them to do?
DOES GOD HAVE POWER OVER FREE-WILL?
Christians have long debated whether God is truly sovereign over all things (including the hearts and minds of men and women) or if God chooses to hold back from exercising His authority over people and allows them to have free-will.
This discussion usually comes up in relation to how people come to place their faith in Jesus. Does God choose us, or do we choose God? Or is there some way in which a combination of both are involved? Many have set out to answer this question. And there are some very good explanations out there. But for the sake of simplification, and for the purposes of focusing on how this issue affects prayer, let’s look at three basic perspectives…
VIEW #1: PEOPLE’S WILLS ARE COMPLETELY FREE
Under this view, God has no influence whatsoever over a person’s will. He allows people to live completely free from His interference.
It doesn’t take too long to figure out the problems with this perspective. If God has no influence over a person’s will, then praying for unbelievers to place their faith in Jesus would be a complete waste of time. Not only that, but praying for anything that involves the hearts, minds, decisions or actions of people would be a complete waste of time. Added to this, there are countless passages of Scripture which clearly teach that God is active in the hearts, minds, decisions & actions of people. As a result, very few people would actually hold to this perspective.
VIEW #2: GOD IS COMPLETELY IN CONTROL
Under this view, God is completely in control of people’s hearts, minds, decisions and actions. In many ways, He is the puppet master and we are His puppets.
And again, it doesn’t take too long to figure out the problems with this perspective. If God is already in complete control of people’s hearts, minds, decisions & actions, then there is no point praying because God is already in complete control of people’s hearts, minds, decision & actions.
The Bible also seems to indicate that our decisions somehow matter. Some would argue that this doesn’t take away from God being in control of people’s wills. But most would have some reservations and would try to find a middle ground between free-will and God’s control…
VIEW #3: GOD INFLUENCES PEOPLE’S WILLS
Under this view, God has influence over the hearts, minds, decisions and actions of people, but He does not control them. In the same way that all of us can have an influence on those around us, God too can have an influence on the decisions we make, the actions we take, the emotions we feel, and the thoughts we think.
Many people would say that this middle ground makes sense in a lot of ways. It explains how God can be active in people’s lives, whilst at the same time explaining how people are free to resist God’s influence. It seems to be the most obvious solution. There is only one problem: IT DOESN’T COMPLETELY LINE UP WITH THE BIBLE…
PROBLEM: THERE SEEMS TO BE EVIDENCE FOR ALL THREE VIEWS
Perhaps one of the reasons that there are so many perspectives on this is because all three seem to be taught in the Bible. Lets take a look…
SUPPORT FOR VIEW #1: PEOPLE’S WILLS ARE COMPLETELY FREE
Consider Paul’s opening chapter in his letter to the church of Rome…
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened… Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts… Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy”.
So here we find the Bible teaching that God sometimes removes His influence from a person’s life by handing them over to their own desires. He allows their will to be completely free of His interference.
SUPPORT FOR VIEW #2: GOD IS COMPLETELY IN CONTROL
Consider the following examples from the Bible…
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases”.
Exodus 3:21-22, 12:35-36
“‘And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians’… The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians”.
“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you’”.
Jerry Bridges explains: “Daniel’s request to the chief official was a difficult one— so difficult that the chief official’s first concern was for his own life if he granted Daniel’s request. Nevertheless, he granted the request. He granted it because God had first moved in his heart to show favor and sympathy to Daniel. He granted it because his heart was indeed in God’s hand, who directed it as He pleased”.
“Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God”.
Jerry Bridges again provides clarity: “God commanded all the men to drop their normal activities three times a year to appear before Him. To appreciate the significance of this command, that would be equivalent today to our nation shutting down all its commerce, all its educational activities, and most crucial of all, furloughing all its military personnel simultaneously, and gathering all those people into one giant assembly three times a year. We can easily see how totally vulnerable and defenseless our nation would be before hostile powers on those three occasions each year. Yet that is what God commanded Israel to do. But along with the command He promised them that no one would covet their land during those times when they were utterly defenseless. Not only would no other nations attack them, they would not even desire to do so… God can restrain not only people’s actions, but even their most deeply rooted desires. No part of the human heart is impervious to God’s sovereign but mysterious control”.
So over and over again in the Bible, we discover that there are times when God takes complete control of a person’s will. He gives them the desire He wants them to have to make the decision He wants them to make in order to perform the action He wants them to perform.
SUPPORT FOR VIEW #3: GOD INFLUENCES PEOPLE’S WILLS
This is by far the most common way we see God interacting with people in the Bible. God seeks to influence but people have the freedom to resist. The most obvious example of this is what we see in the life of a Christian…
“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other”. Here we find, as we do in all throughout the Bible, that God can often be seen battling against our sinful nature for our heart, mind, and will. He wants control, but He wants it to be given freely.
SO IS IT VIEW #1, VIEW #2 OR VIEW #3?
What if there is another possible perspective? Rather than View #1, View #2, or View #3, what if it’s all three?
VIEW #4: GOD CHOOSES WHEN & HOW HE EXERTS HIS AUTHORITY OVER FREE-WILL
What if God sometimes allows people to be completely free of His interference, other times He completely takes control, and most of the time He works to influence without forcing people to do His will?
If this is correct, then our prayers can make a huge difference.
Our prayers can make a difference because there are times when God is not always influencing or controlling the people involved in a particular situation. Our job is to pray that God would begin to influence or even take control.
And our prayers can make a difference because God has the authority to influence or take complete control of the people involved in a particular situation. Free-will can’t hold Him back. His hands are not tied.
So when we pray, we pray boldly and confidently knowing that God is able to exert His authority over the hearts, minds, decisions & actions of all people. Not just those who follow Jesus. Not just those who are willing to obey. Not just those who are contemplative and reflective. But anyone. Because God created them, and He has a right to them, just as God created us and He has a right to us.
Alexander Carson said: “If we need the protection of men, let us first ask it from God. If we prevail with Him, the power of the most mighty and of the most wicked must minister to our relief.”
Hudson Taylor put it this way: “It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone”.
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A Prayer for Strength is often needed during difficult times. God is always here for us, to give us strength and lift our hearts when all seems hopeless.
“I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.”
Most of us realize that our own strength is not always enough to get through some of the situations that this life brings.
At those difficult times, it is wise to call on God for extra strength and for His strength to help sustain you when your own strength fails. (Psalms 28:8 and Isaiah 40:29)
Table of contents
- 1 7 Prayers for Strength
- 2 Prayers for Strength and Courage
- 3 Scripture For Strength and Courage
- 4 Prayer Request: Post Your Own “Prayers for Strength and Guidance”
- 5 Recent prayer requests…
- 6 A Short Prayer for Guidance
- 7 Prayer for Guidance from the Holy Spirit
- 8 A Prayer for Guidance When Life is Challenging
- 9 Prayer for Guidance in the Day Ahead
- 10 A Prayer for Discernment and Wisdom When You Need God’s Direction
- 11 Bible Verses about God’s Guidance
7 Prayers for Strength
Below we have 7 prayers for strength submitted by pastors and clergy. Contribute to this site by submitting your own prayer for strength.
Or, submit a prayer request below.
Give Me Strength, Lord
Lord, you are Holy above all others, and all of the strength that I need is in your hands.
I am not asking, Lord, that you take this trial away. Instead, I simply ask that Your will be done in my life. Whatever that means, that is what I want.
But I admit that it’s hard, Lord.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t go on. The pain and the fear are too much for me, and I know that I don’t have the strength on my own to get through this.
I know that I can come to you, Jesus, and that you will hear my prayer. I know that it is not your intent to bring me to this point just to leave me in the wilderness alone.
Please, Lord, give me the strength that I need to face today. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow.
If you just give me the strength that I need today that is all I need.
Keep me from sinning during this trial. Instead, help me to keep my eyes on you. You are the Holy Lord, and all of my hope rests in you.
Thank you for hearing my prayer.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Get strength for your relationships: Relationship Prayers.
For Strength and Wisdom
Thank you, Lord, for being there for me and allowing me to cry out to you in my times of need.
It is amazing to me that the Lord of the Universe would take time to listen to me and to care about what I say.
God, there are things happening around me right now that I do not understand. Some of these things make me feel weak, helpless and afraid.
Even in the midst of this, I know that you are the Lord.
I know that the situation is in Your hand, and I trust You.
I beseech you for strength and for wisdom that I would be able to endure this situation and be able to handle it in a way that would bring glory to Your name.
In Jesus name. Amen.
Don’t ever be ashamed at feeling weak. Remember what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 12:10:
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Check out our collection of Inspirational Prayers
Prayer for Overcoming Life’s Hardships
O Lord, we call upon You in our time of sorrow,
That You give us the strength and will to bear our heavy
burdens, until we can again feel the warmth and love of
Your divine compassion. Be mindful of us and have mercy
on us while we struggle to comprehend life’s hardships.
Keep us ever in Your watch, til we can walk again with
light hearts and renewed spirits.
Strength for a Friend
Lord, I come before you today knowing that all power is in Your hand.
I know that you are the Lord and that you care for your people.
Right now, my friend is struggling with a difficult trial.
I can see her strength is faltering, Lord, and know that you have all of the strength that she needs.
I pray that you will reach down and touch her right now wherever she is at this moment.
Let your presence fill the room where she is and let her feel an extra portion of your
strength that can help her to get through this day.
She needs you now, Lord, and I thank you in advance for meeting her where she is
and shoring up her strength during this difficult time.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayers for Strength and Courage
Say these prayers when you’re in need of strength and courage. Day to day troubles are no match for the power of the Lord.
To be Grateful
Lord God, may we be grateful for our lot,
and compassionate toward all those who are
suffering every kind of distress at this
May we hold back nothing, and
hasten to be the ministers of prayer and mercy,
like the disciples of Him who went about doing
good in times of need.
Prayer for Guidance and Help
Dear Lord, I am calling upon you today for
your divine guidance and help. I am in crisis
and need a supporting hand to keep me on the
right and just path.
My heart is troubled but I will
strive to keep it set on you, as your infinite wisdom
will show me the right way to a just and right resolution.
Thank you for hearing my prayer and for staying by my side.
For Unfailing Strength
Do not look forward to what may happen
tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares
for you today will take care of you tomorrow and
every day. Either He will shield you from suffering,
or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, then. Put aside all anxious thoughts and
imaginations, and say continually: “The Lord is my
strength and my shield. My heart has trusted in Him
and I am helped. He is not only with me but in me,
and I in Him.
Scripture For Strength and Courage
Lets go straight to the source, and read bible verses about strength in trying times.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Click here to read more bible verses for strength, and Bible verses for courage.
Prayer Request: Post Your Own “Prayers for Strength and Guidance”
If you’d like, you can post your prayer below so the PrayWithMe community can help pray with you.
Rules for Posting: All prayers are posted publicly through to this site. Don’t use full names or any other identifying information that you wouldn’t want out on the web.
Don’t post with ALL CAPS, and try to use proper spelling and grammar.
If you can, help pray for others and post comments of support.
Recent prayer requests…
Tap below to see prayers from other visitors to this site.
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- Get me home safe – I’m going on the highway and I’m scared please pray that I have a safe ride there and back.
- For Strength in Adversity – I need prayer to remain strong and optimistic although I am currently unemployed, facing a new treatment for debilitating arthritis, facing bankruptcy, and have just …
- Prayers for my boyfriend to love me more and show me more respect and trust and faith and call me soon – Prayers for my boyfriend Philemon prospered to change his mind and heart and soul and ways and thoughts and angry lord towards me and love …
- Suffering – Dear Lord, I pray that you heal me of chronic fatigue syndrome and pain and sadness and make me Have my full health back. God, …
- Help – Need prayer… I really do… I need Jesus to help me right now.
- Exam Anxiety – I am in the first semester of nursing school and I have two important finals this week. I fear that my anxiety is taking over …
- Anxiety – Dear God, I ask you to help with my debilitating bouts of anxiety. Please give me the strength and to guide me to defeat my …
- A boost – I have been trying my best to overcome the obstacles the Almighty has given me, but at times I feel as if I may commit …
- Blessed, Thankful & Forgiving – Dear Father, I Pray that you forgive me for my sins, I have disobeyed you,Hold my hand and guide me through the right pathway you …
- Please grant me strength – Please pray for me my brother was killed an im having a hard time not seeking personal justice myself I need help to overcome the …
- Prayer for self control and self love – Dear God please help me find the strength, courage, discipline, determination and will power to stop abusing my body. Please help me stop over eating …
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- Help me please – Lord I need you to give me the strength and show me the right way to go. I know I don’t want to live this …
- Make me strong – I pray that others around the world will pray for me and help me in this situation that I’m in my worrying has really been …
- Please give me guidance – Dear God, God I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me for my sins lord I’m praying that you give me strength …
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Throughout Scripture we are reminded of God’s direction over our lives. He is our good Shepherd who leads us and He desires that we follow the path that leads to joy and contentment. When we pray for God’s guidance and for discernment through the Holy Spirit, we can rest assured that God will provide wisdom! We do not have to worry about our next step or about tomorrow because we know who guides our way! Do not rush your day without going before God to seek guidance!
A Short Prayer for Guidance
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your guidance. Forgive me for getting ahead of Your plans, and help me know when to stop and listen for Your direction. Your ways are perfect, Lord. Thank You for offering gentle grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Kristine Brown
Prayer for Guidance from the Holy Spirit
Lord, I pray you would move the Spirit more boldly in my life. I know that any sin can grieve and diminish the voice of the Spirit, and I pray against the temptation to sin. Help me crave your presence more than I crave sin. Help me grow in the fruit of the Spirit and so walk closer with Yourself. I pray for guidance from your Spirit- let your will and promises always be a meditation of my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
– Kenny Luck
A Prayer for Guidance When Life is Challenging
Lord, I’m here today with open hands and an open heart, ready to depend on you to help me through the day and all it will bring my way. Help me be like Nehemiah, help me come to you for guidance, strength, provision and protection. As I face tough choices and hard situations, help me remember my belovedness, help me remember that I am Your child and Your representative to the world around me. Help me live today in a way that brings honor to Your holy name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Charles Stanley
Prayer for Guidance in the Day Ahead
Good morning, Lord! Today’s a new day, a chance for a new start. Yesterday is gone and with it any regrets, mistakes, or failures I may have experienced. It’s a good day to be glad and give thanks, and I do, Lord. Thank you for today, a new opportunity to love, give, and be all that you want me to be.
Today I want to start the day with you on my mind and in my heart. As I dress, let me wear the armor you’ve provided daily: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, and the sword of the spirit—with prayer on my tongue: praise for you and petitions for those around me and those I meet.
Feed me today with your daily bread. As the Bread of Life, your food, like manna, will sustain me throughout any trials and hungers. Help me to set my thoughts on things above and to speak only what will help and encourage others. Keep me from putting my foot in my mouth, and help me guard the affections of my heart today, Lord. Make whatever work I do be marked with excellence rather than perfectionism, as I seek not to make a name, but to make a difference. Help me to treat each person I encounter as you would, with respect and love, forgiving others and asking for forgiveness myself when needed.
As I start this day, help me remember that I belong to you, and my desire is to act accordingly. Keep my feet from stumbling and my mind from wandering into distractions that could steal precious time and energy from the most important things you have designed for me. I’m proud to be your child, Lord. And I’m so grateful that you died for me—rising again on your own new morning—so that every day could be filled with the wonder of your love, the freedom of your Spirit, and the joy of knowing you.
I know earthly life is short and fleeting, Lord. But I want to live today as if it were the first or the last day of my life, giving thanks for every good and perfect gift you choose to give. Today, and every day, I want to live my life for you, Jesus. In your precious name, Amen.
– Rebecca Barlow Jordan
A Prayer for Discernment and Wisdom When You Need God’s Direction
Lord, thank You for the people You have divinely placed in my life who speak holy truth, love and words of wisdom. Give me a heart of discernment to know when You are using someone to speak instruction into my heart and my circumstances, and give me the strength and courage to follow through with that advice, even when it’s hard. Fill me with peace in knowing that even if I take a wrong turn, Your purpose will prevail. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Tracie Miles
This Beautiful Version of Psalm 23 Had Me in Tears from biblestudytools on GodTube.
Bible Verses about God’s Guidance
Psalm 25:4-5 – “Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Psalm 16:7-8 – “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Psalm 32:8-9 – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”
John 16:13 – “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
What decisions and situations are you praying for guidance over? Join in our large praying community in the comments below and recieve encouragement!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
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