This morning I enjoyed reading some verses about prayer and I thought I would share some with you. Reading these verses really make you realize again how important prayer is.
Some of the things I noticed this morning is how Rejoicing, Thankfulness, Prayer and not Worrying are all tied together in several scriptures.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing , but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God , which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7
"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of Thanksgiving." Col. 4:2
"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:16-18
In life we do have things that go wrong - life simply isn't always a bed of roses, but we have choices to make. We can worry or we can trust and pray. We can gripe and complain or we can rejoice and be thankful. And as a response to how we make the first decisions we can have a life of stress or we can enjoy the peace of God which is far greater than we can understand. I have enjoyed that peace and I want to continually make the choices that allow me to have that peace!
Prayer should not just be a once in a while thing. It should be often, with every breath, part of who we are. "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel." Ephesians 6:18 and 19 Prayer is something we should use to talk to God about ourselves and also to petition for others.
While I understand the need for prayer to be a constant part of my life (I pray while I work, before every meal, before bed, before school, sing songs of praise, tell God thank you for the beauty I see), I am still working to make it even more that way. I also recommend greatly the plan to have an established time of personal prayer. I have had a regular time of morning prayer (by myself) for around 9 years. I love it and would recommend it to everyone.
I have used different methods during my morning prayer time. At the beginning I would just get up early and find a place to sit and I would pray. I have to admit that I struggled with sleepiness. Then I tried walking and praying. This worked pretty well but after I had kids it was harder to fit this in. What I do now was introduced to me by Dean Trune of Impact Ministries. He recommends journaling and travels around teaching others how to do it and encouraging them in their prayer life. Basically what I do is this: I have a journal in which I have a page for each day. I write down a paragraph or so of praise for God. Admiring who He is, what He has done and just His awesomeness. Then I write a list of specific things that I am thankful for that day. I include big (Salvation, family Etc.) and small (Shoes, a flower, a letter) things in that list. Both of those things help me to get my heart in the right place before I start asking God for the things I want, the needs I see, the things I need to talk to Him about and share with Him.
I also spend time reading a section of the Bible (I work through a book a few verses a day finding thoughts that apply to me. Writing down specific thoughts that I get out of it and praying about them. I also have a list of different things to pray about for each day of the week that I try to go through and pray about (though if my time is short this will get skipped). I have really appreciated this method as I am a person that has a very busy mind ( I usually am thinking on about 10 different projects of plans at a time) and journaling has helped me to really focus on my time with God. If you are interested in prayer journaling I would recommend going here. It tells all about how Dean does his journal and it is a little clearer and more detailed than what I just wrote is.
I try to do this before the kids are up, but even if that doesn't happen sometimes I try to do it just as soon as I can in the morning. My days go so much better when I have taken some time to pray! I will spend sometimes as short as 15 minutes in prayer or up to an hour. Usually it is around half an hour.
Do you have a special prayer time? How do you fit prayer into your daily schedule? It is always encouraging to me to hear of others spending time in prayer!