Prayers Anchored In God’s Love

Discover the power of prayer in navigating life's changes

The smell of double-butter popcorn lingered as my best friends and I crawled into our sleeping bags. It was a week before our first day of high school. Although I’d never admit it to Anna or Ashley, I was nervous about switching from homeschooling to attending a large public high school.

I’d just closed my eyes when I heard Ashley whisper, “The love of God never changes.” At first, I wondered if she was teasing me. My dad said that same phrase to me every night before I went to sleep. I’d been embarrassed when Ashley had overheard it at my house. Before I could reply, she added, “Isn’t it nice to know that whatever else changes, God stays the same?”

A few months later, when I found out Ashley was moving to a different state and Anna’s parents were getting a divorce, those words made a lot more sense. My friends’ lives changed; so did mine.

Sometimes, it feels like more things in life change than stay the same: new classes, responsibilities, friends and stresses. Driver’s license tests, tryouts and auditions, deaths in the family, sudden moves, graduations . . . it’s almost more than a person can take. Sure, not all change is bad, but change takes us out of our familiar routines, out of our comfort zones. Fortunately, God is in control, and we can talk to Him about our concerns through prayer.

Turning to prayer for peace

Prayer is a conversation between you and God, who loves you and knows you better than you know yourself. God can help give you the strength to get through anything that brings you uncertainty. The Bible shows us all kinds of examples of people who weren’t sure what would happen next.

We can read about how they brought their concerns to God when:

  • God asked them to do something new and scary, just as Moses had to do in Exodus 3-4.
  • Life was hard, and they didn’t understand why, similar to what Job experienced.
  • A lifelong dream still seemed as out of reach as it was for Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:1-18.
  • Their leader was gone, and they didn’t know what would happen next, just like Peter’s friends experienced in Acts 12:1-17.

When we ask, “What do I do now?” God doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to. Sometimes, instead of giving us a full glimpse of the future that will settle all of our worries, He reminds us that He will not leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

But that’s not all. Several times, the New Testament describes our life with Jesus as a walk. He will give us what we need for each new step because He wants us to learn to depend more fully on Him.

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” It’s like we come to prayer carrying a backpack full of rocks on our shoulders, and then we pull them out, one by one, telling God about each one and leaving them behind. When you pray, God can take all of your excitement, uncertainty and fears about the future and give you peace because He already knows what the future holds (Philippians 4:5-7).

Being at peace when God seems quiet

There will be seasons in your life when you’ll ask God what to do, and it will seem like you can’t get a clear answer from Him. Here are a few of the ways God speaks His truth to us:

  • The Bible is God’s Word. Every single page of the Bible is filled with truth to help us with anything we need in our lives (Romans 15:4).
  • The Holy Spirit has a major role to guide our hearts to understand and apply what we read in the Bible (John 14:26).
  • Other believers in our life can take God’s truth from the Bible and remind us of it, helping give us direction and encouragement (Proverbs 19:20).

Embracing the unchanging goodness of God

When Anna, Ashley and I were struggling with the changes in our lives, we went to our small group leader and asked, “Why does everything have to change? Why is God letting so many hard things happen to us?”

Our mentor answered: “Do you remember the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis?” (We did—and I highly recommend it.) “At one point,” she went on, “Mr. Beaver says about the character who represents God, ‘ ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.’ That’s true. God doesn’t always give us a safe and easy life, but if you truly know and trust Him, you’ll be able to look back and see His goodness.”

Throughout my freshman year, I journaled more, read the Bible (especially the Psalms) more and prayed more, both by myself and with Anna and Ashley. All of us would agree we grew in amazing ways that year. Not because we held on and got through it, but because God held on to us. When things aren’t going as well as we’d hope, His love truly never changes.

How Can You Pray During Uncertain Times?

Explore different ways to pray. God cares about your heart, not that you follow a specific ritual (Matthew 6:5-8), so there’s no right or wrong stance for praying. Sometimes, though, changing our usual routine can help us listen more carefully or learn something new. Here are a few ideas:

Instead of folding your hands as you pray, cup them into a bowl. Picture the people and situations you’re praying for flowing like water into your open hands. Then offer them up to Jesus.

Kneel to pray as a way to show honor and respect to God.

Write out a Bible verse that relates to your requests. As you write each word, pray for the situation in your life.

Go outside, and look up at the stars. Praying under the amazing expanse of space is a reminder that the God who created those stars can take care of you.

Sing! The Psalms are both prayers and songs. Although we’ve lost the original tunes that went with them, you can take a favorite psalm and put your own music to it, or use a worship chorus or hymn instead. Take time to think about each line as you sing it, making it into a prayer.


Psalm 139:1-10 NIV

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

God includes many heartfelt prayers in the Bible, especially in the book of Psalms. We can use them as a model for how to pray. Here, David repeats his trust in God in any situation. Put your own story into the words of the psalm to remind yourself that God sees you and is with you in this time of change.

Your Prayer

_________________________________ (Your name)’s Psalm 139

You have searched me, Lord, and You know me.

You know when I _______________________________ (Something you do in the morning)

and when I __________________________________ (Something you do at night);

You perceive my thoughts about __________________________________________________ (Something you are worried or fearful about from afar).

You discern my going out to ______________________________________ (Place you can often be found) and my ________________________________________ (Activity you participate in);

You are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in now as I ____________________________ (Your current situation) and in the future when I ___________________________ (The change coming in your life), and You lay Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence?

If I go to ___________________________ (A place In your life), You are there; if I travel to ___________________________ (Another place in your life) , You are there.

If I _________________________________________ (A future goal or fear), if I _________________________________________ (A future goal or fear), even then Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.


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