My intent was to sleep in a little and 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 anything 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 to. 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: Prayer is part of the Hello Mornings challenge that I've been taking since January. 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 girls are still asleep.
3. A prayer book: 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.
In my moment of desperately needing Jesus, I turned to the chapter about praying when you feel inadequate. One of the verses was a favorite of mine when the girls were in the NICU:
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)
As I said that verse out loud and prayed to God to not feel those things, he did indeed give me strength and I felt him pulling me back up. The Lord revived my soul.
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.
Do you want to be more consistent with your prayer life? Try to find a spot, time, and a book like Praying God's Word for Your Life. May God revive your soul, fellow truth-seeker.
Till next time, let your light shine!
**pss: If you are looking for a great book to pray for your husband, I also recommend Praying God's Word for Your Husband by Kathy Lipp. It is structured similarly and I use it as a companion to Praying God's Word for Your Life. You're welcome. :)