Did You Remember to Pray for Yourself?

When your prayer list is filled with the needs of others, do you take time to pray for yourself? Are there things you feel aren't worth bringing to God?
Do you pray for yourself? I mean seriously–pray … for … yourself. Think about all the people you pray for and the intensity with which you pray for them. Do you pray for yourself in the same way?

In my quiet time a couple of weeks ago, I read through Psalm 90 in the New Living Translation. It’s a familiar psalm, but when I got to the last verse, I stopped in my tracks. I grew up reading and studying the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version. I love both of them. But I’m growing to to love the NLT. Its freshness is easy to read. Sometimes, however, the translation is completely different than what I expect. That was the case a few mornings ago. Below are the two translations of verse 17 that I am most used to.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17 NIV)

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17 NASB)

Establish the work of our hands.
Confirm the work of our hands.

I pray these words over my husband and his job almost every day. I asked myself, What exactly do I mean when I pray those words? My answer to that is this: I want his work to have meaning and I want it to last.

But the New Living Translation sheds new light.

“And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” (Psalm 90:17 NLT)

This struck a new chord with me. Yes, when I pray for my husband and his work, I do pray that he is successful. But what about me? I stopped and journaled all that was on my heart. I rarely pray for myself. And I certainly don’t pray that God would make my efforts successful! Why, that would be promoting myself!

Or would it?

I have this blog. My goal for this blog is to encourage women in their walk with Christ. My desire is for anything I write to bring glory to God! Of course I want it to be successful! Of course I should pray that God will grant favor on my efforts so that He is glorified (Proverbs 16:3)! Not to advance “my kingdom,” but to advance His Kingdom–so many would know Christ.

Do you pray for yourself that God would bring success to your efforts so that He is glorified in your life?

A few days later I had a harried and hectic days. When I finally get to bed, all I wanted (and desperately) needed–was good sleep. Well. Good sleep does not come easily anymore. Hot flashes and night sweats are my evening companions. As I closed my eyes, I asked God for the gift of sleep for that night. You know what? I slept all night. The first time in weeks, or months! When I woke up, I realized–I rarely pray for myself! Do you?

Do you pray for yourself to sleep well at night? The psalmists prayed for sleep (Psalm 3:5; Psalm 4:8).

I used to run. A lot. But now I have achy knees and ankles. The elliptical is my current friend. But even an extended stint on that machine leaves my joints stiff and sore afterward. You know what I realized? I rarely pray for myself and the healing of my physical body.

When you are sick or injured (especially in minor situations), do you pray for yourself to be healed or to recover quickly?  We should follow the example of the woman who squeezed through the crowd, simply to touch Jesus’ robe. She was healed immediately (Mark 5:25-29).

When your prayer list is filled with the needs of others, do you take time to pray for yourself? Are there things you feel aren't worth bringing to God?

Why am I not praying for myself?

So many people need prayer. My husband, my children, my parents, Tim’s parents, Tim’s sisters who give full-time care for his parents. My sisters, my brother. Many dear friends on Facebook who are walking through deep trenches of suffering.

The list goes on …

With so many other people who desperately need prayer, who am I to focus on myself?

Except …

If I don’t pray for myself, I’m not going to be the best deal I can be for others who need me.

If I don't pray for myself, I'm not going to be the best deal I can be for others who need me.Click To Tweet

The thing is, when I’m desperate, I cry out to God. Please let me sleep! I need it tonight! But do I bring Him everything that concerns me? He wants me to (1 Peter 5:7).

God won’t say Yes all the time. But He wants us to ask Him. He is a good Father and wants to give us good things (Matthew 7:9-11). But sometimes He says No–which is in favor of a better Yes later.

There are many things that He absolutely will say Yes to! Here are a few.

Do you want to know God deeper? I often pray Paul’s prayers for the churches, for my family and my friends. Guess what, we can pray those over ourselves (Ephesians 1:17-19; Ephesians 3:16-19; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-12)!

Do you need God to help you get through your deep trench of suffering? He may not remove your situation. He may not even make the situation easier. But He will walk with you through it. And day by day, He’ll give you what you need (2 Corinthians 12:9; Isaiah 43:2).

Do you need to understand a complicated situation and make a wise decision? God will give you all the wisdom you need to make the right decision. All you have to do is ask (James 1:5).

So I’m turning things around

I’m giving myself permission to pray for everything that concerns me. From my blog, to my physical needs, my walk with Christ … and my sleep. Even my need for the right parking place!  If it’s a Yes, then Yippee! If it’s a No, I won’t feel like shouting Yippee, but I will trust God to provide exactly what I need at that moment.

The point is, we need to be praying for ourselves, along with the myriad of others on our prayer list.

Will you join me?

Pray about EVERYTHING that concerns you! (1 Peter 5:7)Click To Tweet



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18 replies

  1. So many times we forget how desperately we need sustained in prayer. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Hi Dianne, its good to pray and i agree sometimes we are overwhelmed by situations around.

    It’s good to pray for everything including ourselves.

    Hearty Blessings to you
    Ifeoma Samuel recently posted…Hope For The Woman Who Is Tired Of WaitingMy Profile

  3. Glad to connect with you through the #DanceWithJesus Linkup. This is an important reminder. We can wear ourselves out with effort but if we keep taking our issues to God, things will certainly be better in our lives and those of others whom we affect. That first click to tweet really puts it perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Dianne, this is so true! I often find myself praying for others, but not asking God to meet my own needs. I’m not sure why we do that, especially when it comes to our blogs, etc. (not wanting to promote ourselves). But God has recently opened my eyes to the importance of what we do here. I went through His Girls Bootcamp, and Arabah shared the first night about marketing being not about making money or making a name for ourselves, but it’s about the influence we have with the Gospel and building God’s Kingdom. So now I am more intentional about praying for anointing, creativity, and favor with the blog. Not for my glory–but for His! Thank you for sharing. Great post!

    • I’m so glad you got to go to the Bootcamp! My girls were in Austin that weekend, so I couldn’t attend. But I have the replay links! Once competition season isn’t over, I want to dive in to that. I love how you are praying over your blog. For His glory!! xoxo

  5. You’re so right, Dianne, my prayers are hardly ever focused on me and my success. And the thought does cross my mind that it would be self-serving to do so but my motives are what will make the difference. If my aim is to glorify God in all I do, then that’s worth my prayers for sure!
    Thanks for this wise word, sweet friend.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine recently posted…How to Choose The Best Path to your Best LifeMy Profile

    • Motive has everything to do with it. Started reading Lisa Lloyd’s new book, “Chasing Famous.” It has the same roots as this. A timely message for all of us!

  6. Thank you Dianne. I always thought it selfish to pray for myself and own needs, but wisdom is in praying for strength for ourselves so we can be able to support others who need His Wisdom support and Love. Blessings in prayer. Cheryl

    • Oh, Cheryl. So many need us … and they need the best version of ourselves we can give. I love that others pray for me, but I need to be praying for myself, too. So glad you came by.

  7. So true! A humble commitment to God of all that befuddles me is the best beginning to my day!
    Michele Morin recently posted…Together through the Doorway of MarriageMy Profile

  8. Beautiful reminder. I easily pray for others but rarely pray for myself. It feels self-centered. God wants to know everything that is in our hearts and not just what concerns us for others. God always answers too and we can trust Him to provide what we need.

    This is a great lesson today. Thank you for pointing us to God through prayer.
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Daddy, Will You Dance With Me?My Profile

  9. Such a good post, Dianne. I think I forget to pray for myself most days unless something is truly pressing. I focus on the needs of others. Yet as we pray for ourselves, we are filled and equipped to be there for others as well. Thank you for this reminder today.
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Lent: Good For The Health of Our SoulsMy Profile

  10. Oh I needed this. I pray about everyone but me…my kids, my husband, my friends. It’s really just pride…I think I don’t need the help so it should go elsewhere. So silly when I write it out. I need ALL THE HELP I CAN GET.
    Jamie@TheMomGene recently posted…The Grandparent Effect: How to Encourage Your Kids to Hang Out with Their EldersMy Profile

  11. I always say, about prayer, that it’s like the instruction given by the flight attendant before you take off – “put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.” It is important to pray for ourselves so we can pray for others.
    Rachel Britton recently posted…Make Passionate Prayer if you want PeaceMy Profile

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