Thursday, September 15, 2016

prayer

Anybody who knows me, knows that prayer is my "thing".  I seriously cannot ever get enough, and lately, it seems as if God keeps showing me more and more on the subject.  A few years ago, through reading a series of fictional books on this matter (the Yada Yada Prayer Group series by Neta Jackson), God started stirring in me a need to pray with someone regularly.  While not knowing that God was doing that in ME, He was also stirring that up within my friend Abbey.

I love praying with someone (or more than just one) regularly.  There's nothing like the friendship that comes from that closeness, because when you pray with someone and are completely real and open and vulnerable, well, they see you in a way that no one else does.  It can be humbling, but it's also really sweet.  I miss when we don't pray each week, but sometimes that just happens.

I tell you this because prayer is the key to everything.  It's this really wonderful and powerful tool that we have to access the Creator God, and it's underused in most everyone, myself included.  (But He is teaching me and growing me more and more.)  The Holy Spirit often prompts me to pray.  If you're a believer, I'm sure you know what this is, but I'll give an example.  Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, for absolutely no reason, with a person on your mind?  I have, and the only thing I knew in that circumstance was to pray for them.  The last time this happened, it was for someone I didn't know that well, and I told them about it, but most likely, it freaked her out.  I often pray as the Spirit leads.

I do use a guide of sorts to pray, meaning, I never just jump in with my list of things to throw at Him.  I always start with reverence and a bit of fear and trembling before just jumping in.  I always, always, always start with praise.  I don't do this to butter Him up, but I do this because His name is holy, and He is holy and righteous and blameless.  I praise Him for His attributes, because He is worthy of our praise.

After praising Him, I thank Him for the many ways He has been our Provider, our Healer, for the ways He has kept my family safe from harm, for the good health He has given us.

I always ask Him to examine my heart and show me my sin so that I can confess and repent of that which I've done against Him.

I pray for others only after I've done all of the above.  This is my husband, my teenage sons, extended family, friends, those I help disciple, my church and its staff, our country, and my missionary friends.

And then I end it all by surrendering my day to Him, asking Him to use my family for His honor and glory.  I ask that He would help me stay in a prayerful state all day, and that He would be with me as I go on from there to read His word.

And I do often pray throughout my day.  My environment is conducive to that, so why not?  You can ask my sons.  Often times they walk in on me talking at the stove, and it's just Jesus and me.  I share all of that because it's one of the things I'm passionate about, and because I don't know if anyone ever really taught me to pray.  I'm just passing along what someone showed me on this subject matter, and I pray it reaches the right eyes.

I think it's important to have a particular spot to do this, to help cut down on distraction.  It involves rising earlier than anyone else in your home.  I know that's hard if you have little ones, but ask the Lord to multiply your rest and to wake you early.  I always ask Him to wake me in the early hours of the morning, and He is so sweet to do just that for me almost every day.

It's also important to let your children know what you're doing.  Don't be secretive about this time you spend with the Lord.  Tell them what you prayed, where you read in the Bible, let them see your Bible laying out, and your journal, if you do that activity.  (I write in my journal of how I pray and how the Lord answers, listing prayers and praises.  It is faith building!)

If you struggle with this, take to heart these words.  Pray from Scripture, turning the Psalms into personal petitions.  Ask the Lord to teach you how to pray.  Don't just babble on and on, like Jesus warns against in Matthew six, but keep your words heartfelt and simple.  Pray in private and in public.

I've been listening to Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth on this subject, at Revive Our Hearts radio.  If you're interested in this, click here and find her radio program, Revive Our Hearts and go to past programs.  This prayer series started on August one and it's The Lord's Prayer series.

Also, my church is participating in a simulcast of a prayer event night for women called Cry Out.  It's put on by Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth, and it is free.  It's on Friday night, September 23rd, from six to nine.  You can go here to register for this event.   I will be there, and I would love to have a bunch of my friends there with me.

God is faithful, my friends, and He wants you to come and sit in His presence.  Don't neglect this ability that we have to go boldly before Him.

Love to all.


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