This past Saturday, I had the whole morning to myself.
My intent was to write. I’ve had posts welling up inside of me for weeks and I couldn’t wait to sit at the computer in a quiet house and get those words on the screen. But, God had other plans.
He asked me to kneel at his altar and pray.
It wasn’t one of those rushed prayers of obligation. No, it was one of those flat on the floor, tears streaming, questions asking, heart-pounding prayers. It was exhausting, dramatic, and releasing. Have you ever had a moment like that? When it’s just you, desperately needing Jesus?
Of course, we need Jesus every day. But some days – like Saturday – we need Jesus more than anthing else.
I’ve never been great with my prayer time. It is usually sporadic or from memorization. I tried praying before bed each night with my husband but one of us would usually fall asleep before we finished. I’ve tried having prayer time at a scheduled time when I’m at work but someone always calls or an e-mail has to be answered. I’ve told people that I would pray for them and honestly forget. I’ve felt terrible about this because I’ve experienced how prayer can grow premature babies, keep a marriage strong, and build community. However, I’ve needed help being consistent with prayer.
To make prayer a priority in my life, I’ve found three useful tools:
1. A prayer spot: For our five year anniversary I gave my husband (and me!) a prayer bench. It was originally intended for our bedroom but it has found residence in our office.
2. A prayer time: Each morning, after I eat breakfast, I go to the office and pray on our bench. This seems to work well for me because my husband is getting ready for work and my kids are still asleep. If our morning is rushed, I try to pause during the day (usually when I’m eating a snack!) and open my Bible to read a passage of Scripture. I’ve found that I love reading from the book of Psalms during these breaks in my day.
3. A prayer book or guide: Praying God’s Word for Your Life by Kathi Lipp is my go-to prayer book each morning. It is filled with prayers for your relationships, work, worries, mistakes, health, and purpose. Seriously, she has a prayer for just about anything. What I love most is it’s not just a book of prayers, but it has stories, scripture, and teaches you how to prepare yourself for prayer.
To pray for my kids, I’ve been using Julie Sanders’ The ABC’s of Praying for Your Student guide. It’s a great tool to pray for your students’ attitude, character, and relationship with the Lord. Having a resource for me to follow helps me to pray more consistently.
Praying scripture helps me not feel so overwhelmed with motherhood, work, and my to-do list. It helps me experience God’s peace and believe that I am not alone. If you need to take a moment to pray today, I encourage you to read this scripture from Isaiah:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
-Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
Prayer is too important for inconsistency. When we commit to praying God’s word for our life, we are committing to a deeper relationship with him, which is pretty exhilarating. Praying God’s word for our lives isn’t selfish, it is exactly the opposite: prayer is admitting that we can’t do this life alone, that yes, we need help.
Find a prayer spot, time, and book to help you spend time with God. May His word give you peace and comfort throughout your busy day.
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