Tuesday, May 21, 2019

some ways I pray

I think I have written about prayer no less than a thousand times.  The reason I write about it so much is because God has given me a passion for prayer, and because it was a powerful tool that is way underused.  I figure if I've gone through this, so many others have gone through the same thing, and if I have even one thing to share to help someone else along in their faith walk, then I'll share and share about it until the day the good Lord calls me home. 

I have to back up a little before I start, because it's been a while since I've written specifically about the topic of prayer.  Years ago, God led me to an article I read online written by Donna Gaines on this topic of prayer.  In the article she shares about her (then) prodigal son and how she prayed for him very specific prayers.  Those prayers led her to create a prayer guide of sorts that she shared with the readers.  She shares her personal prayer notebook on this blog post, and in it are some printables that you can make for your own. 

To read that for yourself, click HERE

I don't always pray through this notebook, though, because it is time consuming and I don't always have that much time in the mornings.  That being said, it's been a couple of years since I have even used this thing.  I pulled it out last week, though and started using it again.  I need to update it, but I've used it already several times since then, mostly for my family who lives under the same roof as me.

I love how Donna lays out her own personal notebook, and the order in which she prays, and I follow that same guide.  I always start with praise, then I ask God to show me any sin that I need to confess and do that, then I go to thanksgiving, I pray for myself, then move on to my family, and everything else follows the way that Donna shares about.  There is structure in this notebook, and I've noticed that when I use this, my mind doesn't become so easily distracted. 

The part I wanted to write about this morning is praise.  I don't ever skip this, because I always want to honor God and praise Him just based upon who He is, not because of anything He has done.  I use His characteristics to praise Him: He is unchanging, He is my very present help in time of trouble, He is trustworthy, holy and awesome is His name, He is my Provider, my Deliverer, my shield and refuge.  All those words are taken straight out of scripture, I just sometimes open my bible and read it back to Him as an offering of praise. 

If that is all I pray sometimes, then that is okay.  He always deserves praise, worship, and honor, just based upon the fact that He is good and He is God.  He is holy and sovereign and I always want to give Him the reverence He deserves.  I never, ever want to skim over this step. 

For the rest of the notebook, I follow suit, but I also wanted to talk about praying for yourself.  Y'all, because we are women who don't share every little thing (the good, bad, and ugly) with just anyone, who else would pray over all those things?  If not our own selves, then no one, I assure you.  I had a sweet older lady teach me on this one time, comparing it to a scenario on an airplane in distress and giving yourself oxygen first so you could then go and help others.  It's like that, this praying for our own selves.  Have a bad attitude about something your husband said or did?  Don't gossip about it to anyone, just go to Jesus with it.  Are your kids driving you nuts?  Don't yell at them, take it to God.  Are you stuck in the comparison trap that social media often leads to?  Confess it to the Lord and ask Him to change you and consider taking a social media break.

I love what Priscilla Shirer said about prayer in her bible study on the armor of God: she said that prayer is a crucial part of that heavenly armor Ephesians six talks about.  Prayer activates all those other weapons, but it is the first thing we neglect if we don't feel well or run out of time.  I am preaching to myself here, friends, I do the same thing.  I just want to encourage you, like I was encouraged again last week, PRAY.  Pray continually.  All the time!  My people catch me "talking to myself" all the time.  I'm not, I'm talking to Jesus.  If I'm driving, I'm praying.  If I'm singing, I'm praying and praising.  Make Him a part of your everyday routine, invite Him in to come in and abide, as you abide in Him. 

There is no specific formula for praying, but one thing I do is just talk to Him like He is my best friend.  I am never at a loss for words, ask Missy Byrd or Andrea Reese, and they can confirm this for you.  I have a million things on my mind at all times, and Psalm 139 says that before a word is even on my tongue, He knows it.  In light of that, I just pour out my heart to Him.  Look up that notebook for yourself, if you're "stuck" in a prayer rut, I promise, it'll pull you right out and get your eyes focused on where they should be. 

Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all. 

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