Hey y’all! Jenn here with my first post in a series that will, hopefully help me bloom in Christ! I am also hoping you will join me in this growing process.
If you missed the start of this it was a post titled Am I Blooming In Christ? Are You Blooming In Christ? And what I have realized is that I was not blooming in Christ so I have begun working on that. I made a list of the things I was doing when I felt the most growth to compare to what I am doing now…..so I can address the things on the list and correct them!
Well when I realized that I was not blooming I immediately prayed….I prayed for forgiveness and I prayed for help to grow. Then the first thing that was different hit me:
MY PRAYER LIFE
Prayer is sooooo important! Have you ever thought about what is happening when we pray? When we are praying we are talking to God! To GOD! And He, the creator of all things, is stopping to listen to us. It is sometimes hard for me to fathom that God is listening to me. He is listening to my request, He is listening to my heartaches, He is listening to my joys, He is listening to ME! I never did anything to warrant that attention, but because I am His, He freely gives His undivided attention to ME! And not only does He listen to me, but He wants and expects me to talk to Him. What an amazingly beautiful thing to know!
I have never been the best at praying on any type of schedule….actually I am not the best at doing anything on a schedule…..I dislike routine very much. But I am going to try to get in a better prayer routine. I currently pray daily, but not like I should. I tend to pray more when I am upset or asking for something and I seem to pray when it is expected (before eating)…..that is certainly not enough!
So what are my steps to improve my prayer life?
1. Return to writing in my prayer journal everyday.
2. Pray before I get out of bed every morning.
3. Pray before I go to bed every night.
4. Pray before meals (currently when it is just my daughter and I she says the prayer and I don’t)
5. Pray when I see an ambulance, police officer, fire truck, or solider.
6. Pray when ever I think about our country.
7. Pray whenever a child in my life crosses my mind.
8. Pray whenever I start to feel discouraged, angry, upset,or that I am slipping away from God.
9. Pray when I am happy.
10. Pray when I think of all my blessings.
1. I LOVE my prayer journal! A friend told me about this a few years ago and I instantly was in love. I have always been better at writing my feelings down than speaking them and this allows me to write down my innermost thoughts and feelings while talking to God about them. I just took a notebook and started writing. I always write the date of each prayer and I sometimes even use it as a journal also. I used to write in it everyday…..I would write in it after my little girl fell asleep. (I stay with her until she is asleep). I also sometimes would take it with me and write in it during my lunch break at work. It is really neat to look back and see what you prayed for and see how God answered those prayers with either yes, no, or in a little while. I can look back at what I prayed for and really see God working in my life. I can see where I prayed for patience or comfort and received it. It is so wonderful to do a prayer journal, not only to help pray more or in more detail, but also to look back at and see God working I your life. I have recommended a prayer journal to friends, our ladies class, and my middle school girls! But even with knowing how wonderful it is I have fallen off on writing in it….so I am going to pick that back up and I recommended you giving it a try!
2&3. I do not always pray as soon as I wake up or before I go to sleep at night. This is something I want to improve also! I am going to start praying as soon as I wake up, or I may try to wait until my little one wakes up and we pray together first thing….actually I think I will pray on my own once I wake and then pray with her when she wakes, because that will help her learn to pray when she wakes up. I also fail at praying every night…..I pray with my daughter when I put her to bed, but I don’t always say my own prayer. I want to improve this and the prayer journal writing also helps with this.
4. Currently when it is just my daughter and I eating she says the prayer and I usually don’t pray, hers is the only one said. I want to change this, and pray after her so that I am praying more and so that she hears her Mommy praying.
5. Pray when I see a fire truck, ambulance, or police officer. This idea is something I heard of at a ladies day. She recommended praying when you see different things to help improve your prayer life. She specifically recommended praying when you see a police officer, ambulance, fire truck, and a school. You pray for their safety, their salvation, and anyone who may be injured. I thought this was a great idea! But to be honest I have not done a good job adding it to my prayer life. I have been teaching it to my daughter and she now prays when she sees a police officer, ambulance, or fire truck…..but I have failed at applying to myself. So I am going to start using this for myself and add school buildings to the list (I forgot about her saying those until I started writing this post).
6. Pray when I think of our country. We often talk about the direction of our country, but how often do we pray about it? You may do a better job the me, but I am going to start praying whenever I think about our country and where it is going.
7. I am going to start praying when a child in my life crosses my mind. If you are like me you love kids! I love my child, my neice, my nephews, my friends kids who are like a neice and nephew, kids I have at preschool, kids I have taught in Sunday school, kids in our congregations…..I think about different kids all the time. I am going to start praying for them when they cross my mind. I intend on praying for their health, happiness, future, Christian spouses, and most importantly their salvation.
8. Praying when I am discouraged, upset, angry, or feeling like I am slipping from God. If you are like me you sometimes struggle with thinking of God when you are angry or upset or when you don’t feel especially close to God. These are times that I need to lean on Him even more. It is so easy to let negativity pull you from God. It is so easy to wallow in a sad state instead if leaning on God. I want to do better at clinging to Him when I am in a low state.
9. Praying when I am happy. You have probably heard it said that we need trials to bring us closer to God because when things are going great we tend to not lean on Him. I think this is so true. We, or at least I tend to sometimes not lean on God when things are “all good”. I fail to thank Him for those wonderful times. I want to do better at praying and thanking Him when things are going great! Thanking Him for all the happiness I have from His blessings!
10. Pray when I think of my blessings. I don’t think I thank God enough for all he has blessed me with. I take for granted my health, my way of life, my husband, my daughter, my family, my friends, the talents He gave me, the things we have because of Him, my salvation, the list goes on and on. But without Him I wouldn’t have those things, and I feel that I need to express my gratitude more often to God for all He has done for me.
There is really no end or any set list of things to pray for, these are just some points that I am going to try to improve on and I hope that if you struggle in any of these this list will help you to.
As I was writing this I thought about how many scriptures there are about prayer. Online I found an article that said the word prayer or expressions of prayer are found in 61 of the 66 books in the Bible making close to 1,100 distinctive references to and about prayer. That’s A LOT!
I wanted to share a few:
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. Psalms 91:15
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2
There are many more and you can find your favorite!
I hope that you find this helpful in your quest to bloom in Christ. This has really helped me start working on my blooming.
Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!
Until next time!