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Power Praying with the Past-Present-Future Prayer

I was beginning to shake.

It was cold lying on that gurney in the bowels of the Reno hospital surgical facility. Within minutes I was headed for back surgery, and while my husband, Craig, was with me, fear of what could happen settled over me like icy winter frost.

“Would you like a warm blanket?”

I nodded as the nurse wrapped me in warmth. But inside, I was still a bundle of nerves. I closed my eyes and prayed.

And then I heard, “There you are.”

It was Pastor Ron. Our pastor from our hometown an hour away, he had found me somehow in the recesses of that huge hospital.

And he prayed what I now call The Past-Present-Future Prayer.

And here’s how you can do that, too. Recall God’s faithfulness from your past. State your present condition. And then proclaim your trust in God for your future.

This is what many of the psalms do, typically in a little different order. The writer states his frustration with his present condition. Then with what students of poetry call a “turn,” he recalls God’s faithfulness in his past . . . and that of Israelites in general. Finally, he declares his faith and trust in what the Father will do.

The Past-Present-Future Prayer will build your praying life and build your faith and trust in the God you say you love.

For what will you trust him today? And what would YOUR Past-Present-Future Prayer look like?

Janet McHenry is an award-winning speaker and the author of 24 books, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. Find out more about her books and speaking at She would love to serve your organization as your next speaker.

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