September 17, 2014

Serving in life ministry in any way requires a broken heart for the things that break God’s heart. It requires a virtual heart transplant in so many ways—and is certainly not for the faint of heart. Each day I earnestly pray for all of those whom we at Lutherans For Life serve: our pastors, our congregations, our frontline leaders from the chapters, Life Teams and Life Ministry Coordinators, and especially for those in peril that God calls us to serve faithfully, humbly, persistently, and consistently.

Each day Satan throws fiery darts all day at me and at all those for whom I pray. The demons of despair and discouragement can be particularly persistent. Pastors reluctant to speak for fear of offending or losing members; leaders who face opposition from pro-choice constituents within the church; apathy toward following God’s commands because we are too busy with everyday life; complacency by those who have willingly or unwillingly bought into the deception of non-biblical worldview or who lack strength of conviction for and by God’s Word.

I asked God to show me how I can pray for strength and purity within my heart and He brought me to this suggestion by author Jon Bloom

I begin each prayer with the phrase “whatever it takes, Lord” because the Bible teaches us to be bold and wholehearted in our praying, not reticent. I also use the phrase because it tests my heart. How much do I want God and all He promises to be for me in Jesus? Do I really want true joy enough to ask for my Father’s loving discipline to wean me from joy-stealing sin? And how much do I trust Him? Do I really believe that He will only give me what is good when I ask in faith (Luke 11:11–13)? “Whatever it takes” prayers help me press toward and express childlike trust in the Father.

Delight: Whatever it takes, Lord, give me delight in You as the greatest treasure of my heart. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Desires: Whatever it takes, Lord, align the desires of my heart with Yours. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).

Dependence: Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my awareness of my dependence on You in everything so that I will live continually by faith. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Discernment: Whatever it takes, Lord, teach me to discern good from evil through the rigorous exercise of constant practice. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

Desperation: Whatever it takes, Lord, keep me desperate for you because I tend to wander when I stop feeling my need for You. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word” (Psalm 119:67).

Discipline: Whatever it takes, Lord, discipline me for my good that I may share Your holiness and bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness. For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:10-11).

Diligence: Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my resolve to do Your will with all diligence. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Perhaps, pray a “D” a day along with me,

  1. for delight in the Lord;

  2. that my desires would be in perfect alignment with God’s will;

  3. that I would be totally and fully dependent upon God’s strength alone;

  4. that I would consistently be equipped to discern good from evil and never tire of striving my best to do good for the glory of God;

  5. that I would be absolutely and totally desperate for God and never stray from Him, thinking myself capable of doing anything without Him;

  6. that I would be disciplined by God quickly if I start to think I can go it without His love, help, and constant mercy;

  7. that I would be faithfully diligent, remembering with great urgency the absolute precious value that God places on all human life and never grow tired or weary in speaking up for and defending life in every circumstance. In doing so, I am sure to face persecution and trials, but must never lose heart.

Lori Trinche is the Mission & Ministry Coordinator for Lutherans For Life. 630.390.3076/