What if there were magical prayers you could pray – a few mystical words you could chant in order to make your story matter. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Well there isn’t. Not really. But Moses may have provided us with something better.
Psalm 90 reveals the the cry of Moses on behalf of God’s people. Now I’m not proposing that we take his prayers out of context or treat them as some secret incantation. For example, the prayer of Jabez is a worthy passage that has been stretched almost beyond recognition to justify asking God for whatever we may want. Let’s not do that with these simple prayers from Moses.
On the one hand, I think most of us Christ followers don’t ask enough from God. As E.M. bounds put it, we make God small and then put little faith in our little god.
On the other hand, when we do ask, we tend to waste the requests on stuff that doesn’t matter, stuff that is already in the process of fading away. Jesus reminded us to take no thought of food, drink, or clothing, because the father already knows our needs even before we ask.
What if we followed the example of a FaithWalker extraordinaire – Moses — and offered 6 simple prayers every day to make our story matter?
What might happen if we dared to pray them?
6 Prayers of Moses for Living a Story Worth Telling
We find the prayers in Psalm 90:12-17, a well-known passage about the brevity of life. But at the end of the passage, Moses makes 6 specific requests that make me wonder how God might answer if we were bold enough to ask them consistently today:
- Establish the work of our hands. Moses ends his prayer with this request, but it frames the rest of the request. He even repeats it for emphasis. I begin with it because this is essentially a prayer to make our stories matter. He asks the Lord of all eternity to give what we do each day lasting significance. What if we dared to begin each day with the same request, asking God to make our story matter by giving it lasting significance?
- Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Life is short. But we don’t live like it. And we don’t pray like it, with urgency and focus. What if we prayed like there was no yesterday, but lived like there is no tomorrow? We often don’t ask for a story that matters because we think we’ve got lots of time to figure it out later. Until we don’t.
- Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love. Other translations use the word mercy here. We tend to lead dissatisfied lives because we think we deserve more. [ See my candid post Why My Book Launch Will Fail — And That’s Ok. ] It’s only when we clearly see what we truly deserve from God as a result of our sin that we can find genuine satisfaction in the mercy He shows to us each and every day. Only then can we “rejoice and be glad all our days” knowing we don’t deserve any love from Him at all — and yet he gives us so much.
- Make us glad. Once we understand how little we deserve from God, we can freely ask for grace for the journey, knowing it is a gift. Yet how many of us ask for gladness, real soul-enriching satisfaction to counter the many pains of living in a broken world. What might happen if we asked God to make us glad? What changes would He need to make in us before we could even receive it?
- Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. I love this prayer. It’s a request for God to show His glory to us and to our children. When we set out to live a story worth telling, we intentionally invited our children along for the journey. After I walked away from a safe, secure job, we all piled onto our bed and pulled out Psalm 81 and other passages and explained that we would be trusting God to provide our needs as we followed His call. And our children saw him provide. I tell more of those stories in A Story Worth Telling (releasing everywhere May 19, 2015). But suffice it to say they have seen God’s glorious power revealed through answered prayer time and again.
- Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us. God’s favor refers to His delight. But who finds favor in the eyes of God? In whom does he delight? Only those who walk by faith focused on Him. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6 ) God finds pleasure in those whose life story unfolds “from faith to faith.” (Romans 1:17) May God delight in us as we walk each day with greater faith in Him.
Question: Will you dare to ask God to make your story matter? Which prayer resonates most with you? Share your thoughts by clicking here.