Sometimes when I feel that I’m trying to be something I’m not, or pretending that I’m not something that I am, or when I’m losing a sense of clarity regarding what my identity and calling in Christ actually is, I will revisit questions like these. Not all of them will resonate with me at one time or another. But the ones that do provide a strong clue regarding what to pray about.
1. Creation and Re-creation (first and second birth)
- With what temperament and natural talent did God create me?
- What temperament and natural talents did God not give to me so that I must depend upon others?
- What spiritual gifts has God given me?
- What spiritual gifts do I wish I had but don’t and because of which I must let others minister to me?
What stories have I been given to tell?
What stories do I have that I do not want and do not want to share?
What stories do I readily want to tell?
- What stories do I wish I could tell but can’t?
- What stories has God not given to me so that I must learn about Him in these kinds of circumstances from others?
- In what places have I been put?
- What places have I been but did not want?
- What places have I wished for but have not received?
- Where have I been that I relish?
- What kind of season in my life is this? How does it compare to my previous season and contrast with the season that I wish I could have?
- Which people living and dead have shaped my life positively? Negatively? What are their names? In God’s providence, what have they taught me or wanted me to believe?
- What Biblical stories and persons seem most to mentor me in light of my own stories? Which Biblical characters do I wish I could resemble but don’t get to? What is it about the ones that resonate with my story that gives me thanks or makes me sad? (the life I want compared with the life I’ve been given or chosen)
3. Redemption (the story of His grace saving and training body and soul)
- With what limits, weaknesses and sins do I particularly struggle?
- What savior am I most tempted to trust instead of Jesus?
- What provisions for my wholeness has God put into my life in Jesus?
- Are their provisions of grace that I resist leaning upon?
- Are there people whom God has put into my life to show his grace to me? Am I able to receive His grace through them? Are there people that I avoid? People for which praying is easy? difficult?
- What about my body do I want to ignore or flatter these days?
- Is there something about redemption in Jesus that I’ve been equipped to talk about but won’t? Something of his grace that I want to be able to talk about but can’t and must hear from others?
- What beauty is in this place that I’m not noticing? What ugliness is in this place that I can’t stand?
- What interruptions frustrate me right now? Is there something here that God wants to show me?
4. Consummation (our future in this life and the next)
- What about my future am I impatiently trying to rush?
- What about my future do I want to put off?
- What about my future scares me? Gives me hope? What thoughts, imaginations or memories kill my hope?