Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Devotional Prayer

Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Devotional Prayer

by Kurt Bjorklund

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A collection of classic and contemporary prayers, some derived from Scripture and others from the writings of Christian leaders throughout the centuries, this beautiful volume invites readers into a daily experience of closer intimacy with God. Each day's entry focuses on one of ten traditional types of prayer:

* Prayers of Thanksgiving
* Prayers of Confession
* Prayers of Affirmation
* Prayers of Petition
* Prayers of Renewal
* Prayers of Praise and Adoration
* Prayers to Have Christ-like Character
* Prayers for Wisdom and Guidance
* Prayers of Intercession
* Prayers of Surrender

With 260 entries — enough for every weekday of an entire year — Prayers for Today guides readers through a unique kind of spiritual pilgrimage, a pilgrimage toward the very throne room of God.

For any reader who's ever wanted more out of prayer or who's ever hungered for a greater sense of God's presence, Prayers for Today promises deepened communion with the One who treasures the words and longings of His people.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802463500
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

KURT BJORKLUND was educated at Wheaton College, Trinity International University, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. After serving two churches in the Chicago area, Kurt served as a Senior Pastor in a church in southeastern Michigan for a decade. He is currently the senior pastor of Orchard Hill Church, a large non-denominational church outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Faith live with their four sons in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Read an Excerpt

Prayers for Today

A Yearlong Journey Of Contemplative Prayer

By Kurt Bjorklund, Jim Vincent

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2011 Kurt Bjorklund
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57567-956-3


Day 1


* Hear my cry, O God: Give heed to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I will call to Thee, when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:1–2

* By trusting in You, I will be empowered to do greater things than have been done. Whatever I request along the lines of who You are and what You are doing, You will do. John 14:12–14

* Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of Thee ... let my first action be to kneel before Thee in prayer.

For Thy perfect wisdom and perfect goodness: For the love wherewith Thou lovest humanity: For the love wherewith Thou lovest me: ... For the many wonderful gifts of Thy Spirit: I praise and worship Thee, O Lord.

john baillie, Scottish theologian (1886–1960) [DPP, 9]

* Lord of all creation, You made us for Yourself, and You always take pleasure in granting us every good and perfect gift. Your Word is trustworthy and Your promises are sure. In spite of this, ... I often succumb to my own devices and desires, foolishly hoping that I can successfully order my life without conscious dependence on You.... Give me the grace to believe that You really do know what is best for me and that I do not. May I cling to Your character and rejoice in Your pursuit of me.

kenneth boa, john alan turner, American authors (twenty-first century)[GSB, 31]

* Merciful Father, thank You for being a prayer-hearing God.... It is an overwhelming thought that You the Creator and Sustainer of all things gives heed to our prayers and meets our needs.... Increase our faith in the truth that by prayer we have an influence in the world all out of proportion with how small we are. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

John Piper, American pastor (1946–present day) [PBW, 53]


Thank You that I am not alone in this world and for hearing my prayers. Thank You that You promise to not only hear my prayers, but to work in response to my prayer. You will not simply give me what I want, but You will give me what is best and most needed. Today I bring the following prayers to You ...

I am confident that You will hear and act.

Pause to add your own prayers of thankfulness for who God is and what He has done ...

Day 2

Prayers of Confession

* From within, out of my heart proceed evil, sexual immorality, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.

All these evil things come from within my heart and defile me.

Mark 7:21–23

* Father—the truth about me is that often I choose sin:

Sometimes I choose hatred. Sometimes I choose slander. Sometimes I choose envy. Sometimes I choose greed. Sometimes I choose pettiness. Sometimes I choose lust. Sometimes I choose gossip. Sometimes I choose pride. Sometimes I choose self-reliance. Sometimes I choose self-righteousness. Sometimes I choose self-aggrandizement. Sometimes I choose dishonesty. Sometimes I choose unkind words. Sometimes I choose to ignore the obvious needs around me. Sometimes I choose to hoard my resources. Sometimes I choose to neglect Your command to share the gospel.

The list of things I wrongly choose could go on and on. And sometimes I act on these things in ways that are darker than I even care to state. Each time I make such a choice, I choose death (Romans 6:23).

Today, I ask that You would breathe life into my soul afresh And enable me to choose life—to choose You and Your ways.

Kurt Bjorklund, American minister (1968–present day)

* For You, my Lord God, have proclaimed:

"I, even I, am the one who blots out your transgressions—for my own sake. And I will remember your sins no more." Isaiah 43:25


Father I confess these sins to You ... Today I identify the following areas that I have not surrendered to You ... And I confess them—and turn from them. I accept Your blotting out of my transgressions. I thank You that You will remember them no more. Amen You may want to write down some of these things and then symbolically burn, shred, or throw away the paper to represent those sins being blotted out.

Day 3

Prayers of Affirmation

* What then shall I say? If You, O God, are for me, who can be against me? You who did not spare Your own Son, but gave Him up for us all— how will You not also graciously give us all things? Who will bring a charge against those whom You, O God, have chosen? You alone declare us justified. Who can condemn? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at Your right hand, O God, and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate me from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:31–35, 37

* O God, I believe that You are, and that You are the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, Your only Son, my Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried, ... And bore the punishment for sin. The third day he rose again from the dead, Ascended into heaven, And now sits at Your right hand, You the Almighty Father. And from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit. The holy catholic (universal) church, The communion of saints, The forgiveness of sins, The resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

The Apostles' Creed(first appeared around 390) [PD]


Consider the time-honored words of the Apostles' Creed, carefully affirming the truth of every line....

Then reread Romans 8:31–37, pausing for any words or phrases that affirm God's love for you....

Sit in silence and let the facts of the Christian faith and the affirmation of God's love settle into the depths of your soul. If your mind wanders, say aloud the words, "Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ."

Day 4

Prayers of Petition

* Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my helper. (Heb.=azar: to help, support, give military assistance) You turn my mourning into dancing; You remove my sackcloth and clothe me with gladness, That my heart may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:10–12

* O God, early in the morning do I cry unto Thee. Help me to pray, and to think only of Thee. I cannot pray alone. In me there is darkness. But with Thee there is light. I am lonely, but Thou leavest me not. I am feeble in heart, but Thou leavest me not. I am restless, but with Thee there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with Thee there is patience. Thy ways are past understanding, but Thou knowest the way for me. Lord Jesus, Thou was poor and in misery, a captive and forsaken as I am. Thou knowest all man's distress; Thou abidest with me when all others have deserted me.

I would remember before Thee all my loved ones, my fellow prisoners, And all who in this house perform their hard service. Lord, have mercy. Restore my liberty and enable me so to live that I may answer before Thee and before the World.

Lord, whatsoever this day may bring, Thy name be praised. Be gracious unto me and help me. Grant me strength to bear whatsoever Thou dost send, And let not fear overrule me. I trust Thy grace, and commit my life wholly into Thy Hands. Whether I live or whether I die, I am with Thee and Thou are with me.... Lord, I wait for Thy salvation, and for the coming of Thy Kingdom. Amen.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor (1906–1945) [BHE, 253–54]

Written on Christmas Day 1943 while in a Nazi concentration camp


Lord, here are my concerns for this week ... I ask that You would work in all of the activities that I am engaged in by... I ask that You would grant me the perspective that desires character over comfort. Amen.

Day 5

Prayers for Renewal

* When I rest, dwell in Your shelter, Most High God, then I will rest in Your shadow, Almighty God. (Hebrew for dwell is seter: a hidden safe place, a place of refuge)Psalm 91:1

* Your name, Lord, is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe. PROVERBS 18:10

* O God, I will put on Your full armor so that I am able to withstand the evil schemes of the devil. EPHESIANS 6:11

* Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art; Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;

Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight; Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower: Raise Thou me heavenward, O power of my power....

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart; High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

"Be Thou My Vision,"Traditional Irish hymn [PD]


Father, may I see Your vision for my life. (What unique leading is God stirring in me today?) ...

May I see where evil is intended and run to Your shelter. (Where is evil showing itself in my circumstances?) ...

May I see where I have been seduced by riches. (Am I looking for fulfillment through the acquisition of things?) ...

May I see where I have sought people's approval. (From where have I longed for approval other than from God?) ...

Lord, seeing the places that I need renewal, become my vision once again. Amen.

Day 6

Prayers of Praise/Adoration

* You are great, Lord, and most worthy of my praise; You are to be revered above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are but idols, but You made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before You; Strength and beauty are in Your sanctuary. I will ascribe to You, O Lord, glory and strength. I will ascribe to You the glory due Your name and worship You in the beauty of Your holiness. Psalm 96:4–9

* We give praise to you, O God of holiness, and truth, wisdom and goodness, justice and mercy, purity and lovingkindness, for with goodness and wisdom unmatched you revealed yourself to us, sending your Son into the world, destined to assume human nature and to become a sacrifice for us.

Philip Melanchthon, German reformer (1497–1560) [EPP, 57 PD]

* Lord, I know Who You are and I am so grateful that Your majesty is displayed in heaven and in the entire universe. I know that You see from Your vantage point all of the issues in my life and all of the matters of this world. You have a view that no one here has. You see the beginning of the parade and the end of it all at the same time. Lord, You are in heaven and I am on earth. I worship Your majesty this day. And yet at the same time, God, You are my Father. I cannot completely understand all of that, and I know that I never will. But to know that You are my Father is such a comfort to me.... You are gracious and kind. You remember that we are dust. You forgive and You encourage, and I want that to be true of me as well. Dear God, thank You for being my Father.

David Jeremiah, American pastor (1946–present day) [PGA, 89]


Lord, sometimes I see things more from my perspective than Yours. Help me today to see beyond my natural perspective and adopt Your perspective. I praise You for Your greatness and power seen in these ways ... I praise You for Your nearness and tenderness seen in these ways ... I pause to meditate on the following quality noted above ... and how that quality of Yours encourages me.... I give You all my worship and praise today. Amen.

Day 7

Prayers of Christlike Character

* May I live as an obedient child, not conforming myself to the former desires that drove me when I lived in ignorance, but as You who called me are holy, may I also be holy in all my conduct, because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14–16

* Lord, help me to do great things as though they were little since I do them with your power; and little things as though they were great since I do them in your name.

Blaise Pascal, French philosopher (1623–1662) [PD]

* Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace, That where there is hatred, may I bring love; That where there is wrong, may I bring a spirit of forgiveness; That where there is discord, may I bring harmony; That where there is error, may I bring truth; That where there is doubt, may I bring faith; That where there is despair, may I bring hope; That where there are shadows, may I bring light; That where there is sadness, may I bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek to comfort, rather than to be comforted; To understand rather than to be understood; To love rather than to be loved; For it is in giving that we are received; It is by forgiving that we are forgiven, And it is by dying that we awaken to eternal life. Attributed to Francis of Assisi, Italian monk (1181–1226), and others [PD]


Consider the things that seem too difficult in your life today—ask God for power....

Consider the things that seem menial in your life today—ask God for perspective....

Consider the opportunities to bring restoration in your sphere of influence—ask God for courage....

Consider the alternatives to serving God—affirm your desire to serve Him above all other gods....

Reread the prayer by Francis of Assisi thinking about each situation in your life where you can live out the reality of the prayer.

Lord, please develop in me the kind of character that You order. Amen.

Day 8

Prayers for Wisdom/Guidance

* Whoever drinks of the water that You give will never thirst again. Your water will become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:14

* You are the bread of life. Whoever comes to You will never hunger again.

John 6:35

* Most merciful God, order my day so that I may know what you want me to do, and then help me to do it. Let me not be elated by success or depressed by failure. I want only to take pleasure in what pleases you, and only to grieve at what displeases you.

For the sake of your love I would willingly forgo all temporal comforts.

May all the joys in which you have no part weary me.

May all the work which you do not prompt be tedious to me.

Let my thoughts frequently turn to you, that I may be obedient to you without complaint, patient without grumbling, cheerful without self-indulgence, contrite without dejections, and serious without solemnity.

Let me hold you in awe without feeling terrified of you, and let me be an example to others without any trace of pride.

Thomas Aquinas,Italian theologian (1225–1274) [BHE, 72 PD]

* Lord, help me now to unclutter my life, to organize myself in the direction of simplicity. Lord, teach me to ... welcome change, instead of fearing it.

Lord, I give You these stirrings inside me, I give You my discontent, I give You my restlessness, I give You my doubt, I give You my despair, I give You all the longings I hold inside.

Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth; To listen seriously and follow where they lead.

Anonymous[CDP, 220 –21]


Father, I give You the places of my life where I am not satisfied....

I ask to be fully satisfied in You and the direction You are leading my life.

Show me what changes I could make in my life that would be most pleasing to You.... Amen.

Day 9

Prayers of Intercession

* I am blessed when I consider (Heb.=sakal: regard, careful thought, not a perfunctory glance) the weak; for then You will deliver me in times of trouble.

Psalm 41:1

* O Lord, baptize our hearts into a sense of the needs and conditions of all.

George Fox, founder of the Quakers (1624–1691) [OBP, 134 PD]

* O God, our Father,

We ask you to bless those for whom there will be no sleep tonight; those who must work throughout the night to maintain the public services, doctors who must wake to usher new life into the world, to close the eyes of those for whom this life is passing away, to ease the sufferer's pain; nurses and all who watch by the bedside of those who are ill; those who this night will not sleep because of the pain of their body or the distress of their mind; those in misfortune, who will lie down in hunger and in cold; those who are far from home and far from friends, and who are lonely as the shadows fall. Grant that in our own happiness and comfort we may never forget the sorrow and the pain, the loneliness and the need of others in the slow, dark hours. This we ask for your love's sake.

William Barclay, Scottish Bible professor (1907–1978) [CPB, 162]

* Lord Jesus Christ, in everything I do, I want to be like Paul, who showed by his hard work a calling to help the weak, remembering Your words, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Acts 20:35


Excerpted from Prayers for Today by Kurt Bjorklund, Jim Vincent. Copyright © 2011 Kurt Bjorklund. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS: 25 Entries in Each of 10 Categories

* Prayers of Thanksgiving

* Prayers of Confession

* Prayers of Affirmation

* Prayers of Petition

* Prayers of Renewal

* Prayers of Praise and Adoration

* Prayers to Have Christ-like Character

* Prayers for Wisdom and Guidance

* Prayers of Intercession

* Prayers of Surrender

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