“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
– Isaiah 26.:8
Over the years, I have read, memorized and written hundreds of prayers. One of these prayers has powerfully transformed my life. I usually utter it dozens of times throughout the day—most of the time out loud. It is a simple but powerful two-word prayer that has helped me understand both my weaknesses and God’s strengths. What is this two-word prayer?
Isaiah 26:8 starts out with this prayer, “Yes, Lord!” as both a commitment and a declaration. It is a posture of openness and willingness. This prayer unleashes the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts, open our eyes and place our hands on the table. It’s not just “Yes,” but saying yes to the Lord God of the Universe. Our Author and Perfector of our faith. Our Rock, Refuge and Redeemer. No other name but the name of Jesus. We are not saying yes to our own strength, but we are saying yes to Him.
When we pray “Yes, Lord!” we acknowledge God is in charge and we are not. We give up control and place all our trust in Him. The Lord is constantly moving in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. This prayer helps us respond to His leading and direction. It’s how to place Him in charge of our lives.
Every time I pray these two words, I place God first in my life. I reboot my heart and return to what is most important: God as my Savior and my source. A spiritual journey starts with these two words. When we say yes to God, we are saying no to everything else. This prayer places the Lord Jesus Christ at the center of our lives.
I first said these words when I placed my faith in Him many years ago, and I have repeated them ever since. These words bring God’s guidance, strength and protection. When we develop the rhythm of simply uttering “Yes, Lord!”, we begin to understand there are different circumstances that change when, where and how we pray this prayer. In my life, there are three different kinds of “Yes, Lord!” prayers that have molded, shaped and matured me during my 47-year walk with the Lord.
Yes, Lord! I give You everything. I need Your power and presence. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Guide me and direct me to increase my faith. Teach me to pray these two words all the time. I need Your help today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- The Hard Yes
The Hard Yes requires surrender and sacrifice. It’s when we crawl up on the alter and say, “I can’t, but You can!” Usually this prayer comes when something, or someone, we love must be given up. It’s a prayer of surrender as we let go of what’s comfortable and safe. This prayer is far outside our comfort zones. When I was asked by FCA to take a new role in 2002, it meant moving our family from Virginia to Kansas City. It was one of the hardest “Yes, Lord!” prayers I have ever prayed. Twenty years later though, I can say it was one of the best and most significant decisions I have made. When we pray this prayer, God always returns what we sacrificed in abundance. The Apostle Paul knew this prayer first-hand because as a Jew, God called him to minister to the Gentiles, the people he persecuted before following Jesus. He gave Jesus a Hard Yes and helped spread the Gospel. When have you spoken a Hard Yes in your life? How did God use it?
- The Weak Yes
God can even use the weakest “Yes, Lord!” for His purposes. The Weak Yes comes from brokenness and humility. Sometimes we are so worn out and desperate, we can barely say these two words. We lack faith, hope, strength and confidence. We don’t see how God is going to show up, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We believe we lack the gifts, skills and talents for the challenge or assignment in front of us. I prayed a Weak Yes prayer when I was asked to lead FCA’s international efforts in 2013. I had never done ministry outside the U.S., and I felt unprepared and unequipped to launch FCA International! But God used my Weak Yes. Now, FCA is in over 100 countries, and I have witnessed God’s power and provision. Moses felt the same way when God asked him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But, as Moses found and we too will find, “When I am weak, He is strong!” (2 Cor. 2:10). When have you prayed the Weak Yes prayer? How did God strengthen you?
- The Blind Yes
The Blind Yes might be the most difficult because most of us make decisions once we have all the facts and figures. We want to be strategic, calculated and full of information. The Blind Yes requires trust and obedience when we don’t have the details, we’re clueless about how things will turn out, we have no guarantee. I prayed a Blind Yes prayer when I committed to attend the University of Delaware and play lacrosse—I had never visited the school! I only knew two students out of 13,000, but I prayed a Blind Yes because it’s what God asked me to do. During my freshman year at the University of Delaware, I was introduced to FCA. This changed the entire trajectory of my life. Abraham prayed a Blind Yes when God called him to leave his people, land and cattle to become a great nation. God didn’t tell him where he was going. Have you prayed a Blind Yes prayer? How did God provide?
Pray the prayer that can change your life and the lives of others. “Yes, Lord!” It’s a breakthrough prayer that can be used in every aspect of life, no matter the circumstances. The Lord is pleased when He hears us speak these two words. It doesn’t matter if it's a Hard Yes, a Weak Yes or a Blind Yes. Just pray. When you do, you will experience His power, presence and provision.
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