James banks

Prayers to Stay Close

Did you catch Nik Walenda’s Grand Canyon crossing on a tight rope? If you didn’t, here’s a link that gives you an idea of what an amazing feat it was: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ6vHQzchV8.

Something that wasn’t commented on much in the media was Wallenda’s constant praying. Some clips edited it out—but it’s something you don’t want to miss. It’s a living illustration of what it means to walk with God and rest in His presence, no matter what we’re doing at the moment.

Doing anything for God starts with just being with Jesus (Jesus said in John 15:5 “Apart from me, you can do nothing”). Consider what the rulers of Jerusalem said about the apostles at the start of their ministry: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 NIV, italics added).

You and I can stay close to Jesus today through His Spirit, just as He promised: “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” (John 14:18). Being with Jesus means resting in His presence regardless of what occupies us in the moment. Our bodies and minds may be active, but He is the center, He is our pivot point—we keep coming back to Him through simple, dependent prayer.

The Bible provides some beautiful, simple prayers that can help us learn to keep our minds and hearts focused as we go through the day (I’ve provided a few of them below). These are prayers that are short and easy to remember, and if you make them your own you’ll find they help you stay close. You probably know many of them already, so they won’t be too hard to memorize (I encourage you to print up this blog and post them where you can see them).

Here are “a baker’s dozen” to help you stay close:

“I love you, O Lord my strength.” (Psalm 18:1, NIV)

“Create in me a pure heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10, NLT)

“My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’” (Psalm 27:8 NLT)

“Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me.” (John 11:41–42, NLT)

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (from Mark 10:47, NLT)

“I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, NIV)

“What should I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10, NLT)

“Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8, NIV)

“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day you carry us in your arms.” (Psalm 68:19, NLT, pronoun “he” changed to “you”)

“You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!” (Psalm 118:28, NLT)

“Let your unfailing love surround me, Lord, for my hope is in you alone.” (Psalm 33:22, NLT, pronoun “us” changed to “me”)

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, NIV)

“Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20, NLT)

You’ll also find these prayers (and many more) in Praying the Prayers of the Bible. God bless you as you pray!

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