A Prayer to Create Boundaries - Your Daily Prayer - March 7

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A Prayer to Create Boundaries
By Victoria Riollano

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” - Romans 12:18

I must admit it. Whenever I think of the word “boundary,” I feel a bit uneasy. The truth is, I have been on both sides of knowing a boundary needs to be put in place. I believe I am not alone in dealing with people who take more than they give, who bring more harm than comfort, or who lack common courtesy. I have experienced these relationships that feel so draining that they must be altered to maintain my mental health. Yet, deep inside, I struggle with how to stay Christ-like in relationships that frustrate me.

Even more so, in a culture that thrives off of cutting off relationships and “canceling” anyone who makes you frustrated, I ask myself daily how I can follow God’s will and not be led by my own carnal nature to run from things that feel tough. This battle of knowing when to step away or adjust a relationship can be overwhelming.

Yet, in Genesis 31, we see a clear example that creating boundaries is a biblical principle. In this story, Jacob and Laban, a father and son-in-law, have had years of bickering. A lot has transpired, from fights over Laban’s daughters to arguing over fair wages and even a debate dealing with their flocks. The arguing had become so intense that it culminates in Jacob packing up his things, wives, and cattle and secretly running away. When Laban hears of this, he is furious and then pursues Jacob for an answer to why Jacob would do such a thing. What is interesting, however, is what happens next. The two men have a meeting and discuss what has happened. They stack stones in a pile and have what I believe is an intentional conversation about boundaries. 

In Genesis 31:51-52, we see this conversation transpire. Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me. "

In other words, the arguing had become so toxic that they both agreed it was better to separate. This heap of stones would be a physical reminder that a boundary needed to be set in place. I am a firmer believer that there are no accidents in what is placed in the Bible. This story was not happenstance but a reminder that there will be times when boundaries are not a good idea but God's idea! Even God sets boundaries, as He removes Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden in Genesis 3. Let us not convince ourselves that we are not allowed to pray and ask God for a strategy on relationships that have become more detrimental than good.

My prayer for you today is that God will give you the wisdom needed in your relationships. Sometimes, the Lord is shifting a relationship for the good of all parties. And though it may be painful in the moment, we can trust God that He will guide us and never leave us. My prayer is that you would do all that you can to live in peace but do so in a way that you would never dishonor yourself or ignore God’s prompting. 

Let’s pray:

Lord, I pray for my relationships. There are times when I feel that I am being mistreated or drained by others. God, I need your wisdom to know when I need to step away or reestablish a boundary. Father, help me to never be guilty of removing people out of irritation or a lack of patience. Help me to live in peace and to be a peacemaker. Show me how to love people like you and respond in ways that honor you. Lord, may I never shift a relationship without your lead. I surrender my relationships to you and embrace the process. Bring those closer to me who need to be in this time of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/VitezslavVylicil

Victoria Riollano is a mother of eight, veteran spouse, Psychology professor, and doctoral student, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Victoria holds an MA in Child Psychology and is the author of two books- The Victory Walk: A 21-Day Devotional on Living a Victorious Life and  Warrior Mother: Equipping Your Heart to Fight for Your Family’s Faith. When she is not writing, you can find her serving in her local church as the pastor’s wife, worship leader, and youth pastor. Ultimately, she desires to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. You can connect with Victoria at www.victoryspeaks.org and on social media at Victory Speaks by Victoria Riollano on Facebook and @myvictoryspeaks on Instagram.

Related Resource: Remember God's Enduring Love for You in this Guided Meditation on Psalm 100!

This guided Christian meditation from Psalm 100 will help you experience and praise God for his unending love for you. Become aware of God’s presence with you, and praise God for his loyal and enduring love from the beginning of time and into the future. Listen to every episode of the So Much More Podcast on LifeAudio.com, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode!

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Originally published Thursday, 07 March 2024.