There are scores and scores of books, devotionals, studies and sermons on prayer. Variations of the word prayer/pray is listed over 500 times in the KJV.
I realized in the last six months that God has been redirecting my prayer life. Here are some of the ways He’s been leading me.
Pray without ceasing. I Thess 5:17. This follows the words “Rejoice always”. And obviously, one of the ways to continually rejoice is to be in prayer. For me, this is simply shifting my inner monologue to a conversation with God instead of a conversation with myself. Amazing what happens in my heart & head when I’m talking to Jesus all day. I also have realized lately that even when I try very hard not to ramble on to my friends or family that I am a verbal processor. So, talking to God all day is very important to me.
Scope of my prayers. The other day I was listening to John Piper online. As he was opening his message, the gut level humility of his prayer was astounding to me. He closes by asking his congregation to pray for his faith. He went on to ask that they would pray that his faith would be strong and not waver. In my life, I spend a lot of time asking friends for specific prayers for healing or details of life with my kids. I have not thought to ask that God would keep me faithful because I was thinking that part was my job. My job to be faithful. My job to trust God more. So, I’m just catching a hold of this; but God is showing me to pray for my own faith, my own trust, my own strength to seek him & to multiply that prayer for my friends and family, too. This also leads into the nudge from the Holy Spirit that I’ve been feeling to continually ask for wisdom to “see” things that are going on. I feel that God has been granting this to me in amazing ways; but by continually asking him to see the needs of my children or the heart of family members or friends when they are struggling thatI have been able to move forward with much more confidence in my action.
Pray in the moment with others. A few of my friends will start praying with me on the phone immediately during hard discussions. A few years ago, this would throw me. I felt like sometimes when we say “let’s pray about it” that we can’t talk about it anymore or was a secret way to end our conversation. Well, there is probably some truth in there to that for me (as a professional talker); but the truth was that we always need to redirect our conversation. I want my conversation to be taken to the Lord immediately.
Pray like Austin. I never realized how much I would learn about God and Jesus by having children. I love that Austin truly believes that when we pray that our petitions are taken care of. He prays for his “boo-boos” and for mine. He will lay his hand on my back or neck if he knows I’m in pain that day and pray. He will then ask me later if Jesus healed the pain. He also has started to spontaneously pray during our day which reinforces my first point.. The other night, he liked the sunset as we pulled out of the church parking lot. “Oh, wow. That is beautiful. Dear God, thank you for the beautiful sunset that you made. I like it. Amen!”
Just some things that the Lord is growing in my heart. Thougth I’d share. How does God challenge your prayer life?