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A Prayer for Courage to Pray Hard Prayers - Your Daily Prayer - May 29

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A Prayer for Courage to Pray Hard Prayers
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Not long ago, I asked my littlest to pray before bed. She hesitated for a minute, explaining she didn’t know what to say. My husband and I reassured her that praying is just talking to God, and she could tell Him whatever was on her heart. So off she went, “Dear Jesus, thank you for our good day, and our family, and our friends, and help me sleep good tonight. Amen.” And that was that. Prayer checked.

But as I went to bed later that night, I thought about that simple prayer, and it occurred to me that I may be doing my babies a disservice at times. And here’s why.

Prayer is a beautiful thing. A time for us to pour out our hearts and listen for the Lord to speak to us in the most intimate way. It is a time that doesn’t need to be filled with big highfalutin words to reach the Lord’s ears, but I feel like sometimes we water it down to the same types of prayers... and model the same for our children: general thanks, requests for healing, requests for protection, requests for personal needs, and then a general wrap-up. Check the box and move on.

But y’all, I think we have to ask ourselves a couple of questions. First, what are we really trying to accomplish through prayer? And second, who are we focusing on when we say them? Meaning, are we really trying to create a personal, real connection with the Lord so that our relationship can grow, or are we just placing an order based on the goodness and grace and mercy and love we’ve been told that exists in Him. And when we pray, are we focused on asking for His will... or our own?

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We are supposed to give thanks to God for all He has done, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking the Lord to heal those you love and cover you with protection. But if those are the only prayers we pray, I have to wonder if we are growing our relationship with Jesus...and if we truly want to grow.

I will admit that there was a time I didn’t. I was happy in my Christian life just the way it was. Go to church, read the Bible a little, sing some praise songs, and be a “good” person. I was comfortable in my religious life and didn’t need anything pushing me out of my comfort zone, like getting too close to Jesus. I might feel convicted, and have to face things about myself I didn’t want to. Like the fact that maybe, I knew about Jesus...instead of knowing Him. And that maybe, just maybe, I was really living for me...and not Him.

But y’all, through challenging circumstances, the Lord has shown me that He is trustworthy, faithful, and over and over, that this world is not all there is. Because of that, my religion has turned into relationship, and my heart, to seeking the courage to pray hard prayers.

So today, I want to challenge you to do the same. But here’s the thing, these aren’t easy prayers to pray. They can be scary, and instead of preparing your heart for what to do if the Lord doesn’t answer your prayer...you’ll be preparing for when He does.

May we all ask Him for the courage to pray these four prayers that will stretch us, grow us, and draw others to Jesus:

Search me and know me. 

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Bring me to my knees.

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;” Psalm 95:6

Break my heart for what breaks yours.

“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:17

Use me for your glory.

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for listening when I come to you in prayer. It is such a gift that you care about all of the burdens on my heart. But Lord, don’t let me settle. Search my heart and show me if there is anything in me that is not of You. Bring me to my knees with a broken and repentant heart. Put people in my path who will see You in me and wonder what is different. This world needs You so desperately. Oh Lord, give me the courage to pray hard prayers and be used for Your glory.

In Your Mighty Name,


Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.

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