Praying Through Proverbs ~ for a friend

“As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Proverbs 27:17NLT

I have held this verse close to my heart for 16 years now. It hangs proudly in the center of my dining room and is tucked securely inside my wallet.

This was the first verse my soon-to-be husband gave me while we were dating. He had written it on a piece of paper and folded it up neatly in his pocket. When he saw me between classes, he handed it to me and said, “This verse is what I will strive to do for you. I just want you to know that and I pray you will accept the challenge to do this for me, too.” And he was off to class, leaving me there to unwrap the best gift given to me: A promise.

Sixteen years later (12 of them married),
through every season traveled,
I can tell you he has held up to this promise.

This verse is the perfect definition of a true friend to me. A friend that is honest with you above all else. One who sees your potential even when you’re at your worst. One who never gives up on you and encourages you to keep striving. One who knows you’re worth the effort — the extra energy and friction required to help a friend be their best.

And I want to be a friend like that.
My friends deserve my best.

And so I pray:

Father, thank You so much for blessing me with tremendous friends, near and far. I don’t deserve any of them, but want to give them the friendship they deserve. Help me to see what they need. Show me the ways I can bless them most. Give me the words to share when they need some extra guidance. May I shower them with Your grace as I encourage them on their path to You, Lord. And may I hold Your glory above all else. For in doing so I know our friendship will bloom. And joy will be our shared reward. . . .

How about you? How do you pray for your friends? How do you sharpen them? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: You can view all of my Praying Through Proverbs Posts HERE.

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Praying Through Proverbs ~ for Me

I must admit, I have grown to enjoy praying. Praising my Savior comes easy for me. Praying for my family, friends, and others is something I look forward to doing daily.

But praying for myself? That’s where I still struggle. And I’ve spent this week trying to figure out why.

I’d like to say I’m too humble. That would be an easy answer. It’s the excuse I always used while prepping for a job interview– when you’re supposed to talk about yourself. I sweat bullets. It’s not easy for me. But, really, that’s not the reason.

For humble is one thing and vulnerable is another.
And I think I fear the latter.

Oh but I’m striving to change that.

This week, while praying through Proverbs, I intentionally prayed more for myself than I normally do. For this is one fear I need to get over. I want to be vulnerable with my Savior. To freely offer my heart open wide. For that is when molding and shaping is at its finest. It’s prime. And I want to allow the artist in my Creator to shine. In me.

So while reading through the Proverbs each day, my prayers (for me) went something like this:

A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.
Proverbs 15:1

Father, this has been a tough week for me. Please help keep this verse on my mind so I remember to breathe deep and draw out those words hidden below the flares.

Those who listen to instruction will prosper;
those who trust the Lord will be joyful.
Proverbs 16:20

Lord, I want nothing more than to have my ears tuned to the proper instruction. May I keep my gaze on You today so I can hear what You have for me. I give this day to You, Father. You lead the way. I’ll follow. Joyfully.

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
A truly wise person uses few words;
a person with understanding is even-tempered.
Proverbs 17:22, 27

You have blessed me with so much, Lord. More than I deserve or ever imagined. I have nothing to fear. Today, I will delight in You. Let praise be on my mind so my actions reflect You.

Rumors are dainty morsels
that sink deep into one’s heart.
Spouting off before listening to the facts
is both shameful and foolish.
A gossip goes around telling secrets,
so don’t hang around with chatterers.
Proverbs 18: 8 & 13; 20:19

Help me stay away from this temptation, Father. There’s no one worth talking about, only people worth talking to. About You.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
haste makes mistakes.
To acquire wisdom is to love oneself;
people who cherish understanding will prosper.
Sensible people control their temper;
they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
Proverbs 19: 2, 8, 11

I want to slow down today, Lord. Reflect on You. Learn to love me. Will you help me? Just as You are helping me keep my cool this week by reminding me of these verses (like vs 11 here). Thank You, Lord. What an answer to prayer.

The Lord directs our steps,
so why try to understand everything along the way?
Proverbs 20:24

You know this one is a challenge for me. But I’m up for the challenge. I’ve said it all week and I’ve meant every word. You lead the way, Lord. I will follow. I’ll let you take care of the details. I’ll simply trust and obey. Joyfully. For there’s no other way…

How about you? How do you pray for you? I’d love to hear and learn from you!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

I’m linking this (and the entire series) up to:


Word Filled Wednesdays and

Praying Proverbs for Your Children

I’m striving to become my family’s biggest prayer warrior this year. And I’m finding that using The Word helps my prayers become more intentional. Purposeful.

I’ve been reading a Proverbs every day — the one that matches the day of the month and it is amazing me how it is helping my prayer life. This, along with my friend Barbie’s Fresh Brewed Sundays challenge, inspired I share my process with you.

Of praying through Proverbs. Intentionally. For my family and friends.

Last week, I showed how I pray for my husband (you can view the post HERE).

This week, while reading Proverbs 8-13, I had my son in mind (among others). And wouldn’t you know, I had no trouble finding verses to pray for him as well.

Here are a few examples from the week:

“And so, my children, listen to me (Wisdom),
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it.
Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily…
For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord”
Proverbs 8:32-35 NLT

“People who despise advice are asking for trouble;
those who respect a command will succeed.
Walk with the wise and become wise;
Associate with fools and get in trouble.”
Proverbs 13: 13, 20 NLT

While I’m reading, I tend to jot down a few words to help me remember. These words made it to my prayer journal based on these verses:

  • Wisdom’s pathway leads to  joy
  • listen, watch
  • Seek the Lord
  • Heed advice
  • Respect command
  • Friends/associations

And when done reading, I turn to Him:

Father, you have blessed me with a wonderful boy. One who is growing and learning so much it often overwhelms me! I’m honored to be called his mother and want to glorify You in how we raise this child of Yours. May he grow up striving for wisdom, listening to proper instruction, respecting those in command so he will experience the gift of joy You give. May he desire to seek You at an early age and continue to learn the path You have in mind just for him. May he find fruitful friends that seek the same desire to glorify You so he will not be easily burdened. Help me, Lord, as I strive to be an effective example of Your will. For Your glory. Grant me wisdom and discernment so my instructions will reflect You and You alone. . .

How about you? How do you pray for your child or loved one? I’d love to hear and learn from you.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

I am linking up to:

Praying with Purpose Applied

My dear friend Barbie at Freshly Brewed Life has committed to sharing a Bible verse every Sunday. A verse that’s been speaking to her. And she’s challenged us to join in. I knew I wanted to take part, but hadn’t decided yet how to proceed until my prayer time this week.

Those that check in from time to time know I’m striving to become my family’s biggest prayer warrior this year. I want to pray for my children with purpose. I want to pray for my spouse, family and friends more intentionally.

One way I’ve striven to be intentional is to pray using scripture.

And I want to share that with you
 How I’m applying verses in my prayer life.
 Every weekend.

Will you join me? Let’s begin!

Have you ever read a Proverbs a day? I grew up with the mentality it was a good practice to include one in your devotional life. There are 31 of them, so there is no reason to say you don’t have anything to read every day.

I haven’t done that in years, but thought I’d start-up again this January.

And in reading Proverbs 2 and 3, I realized these were excellent verses/chapters to use when praying for my spouse. And can I just say, isn’t that the way God works? I wanted to focus on my spouse this week and look what He gives me during my devotional/prayer time:

Proverbs 2:6-11 NLT

6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to Him.

 9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.

Father, I can’t thank you enough for blessing me with a spouse who faithfully strives to reflect You in his everyday. Who’s main desire is to be a man of integrity, to provide for his family and guide us through this journey of life. And I know, Lord, that is a daily challenge. Something that needs attention every day as decisions need to be made, deadlines need to be met, others need to be served, provided for, kept safe. What a burden to bear.

Father, please be his shield when he is faced with doors that shouldn’t be opened. Protect his heart, Lord, from things that are not right, just, fair. Shower him with Your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding as he seeks You daily. So he will see the path ahead clearly and confidently and know what decisions need to be made. For in this You will be glorified and my husband will know You deeper. See You more clearly. Find contentment. Purpose. Joy…

How about you? How do you pray for your spouse? I’d love to hear. 

What is weighing heavy on your heart? Can I pray for you? Please feel free to contact me with any prayer requests you have via comments or email. I will respond and pray for you intentionally. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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