Managing editor, L:B
I was talking to a good friend about how we don’t feel good about our bodies, the things we argue over with our husbands and how to get our kids to listen.
As we spoke, I realized that God had been on my heart about how unhappy I had been lately. I felt like all the joy had been sucked right out of me. My husband noticed it, too, but was nervous to even mention anything. Rightfully so! I felt like I needed to commit my life to something. I have been saved since age 8 and have a pretty strong relationship with Him, but I still felt like something was missing. I thought maybe it was because I hadn’t been working out or hadn’t had enough time to myself.
My friend asked if I had prayed about this. Why hadn’t that been my first thought? I was so quick to talk to her about my issues, but it didn’t even cross my mind to talk to God. I realized that I hadn’t been turning to Him for a lot of things in my life.
My friend suggested that I read Stormie Omartian’s book (Harvest House, 2010).The book captivated me. It has encouraged me to have a deeper, more personal relationship with God. The only way to do so is through daily prayer. I know this isn’t brain surgery, but no one has ever talked to me about having a prayer life. Stormie talks about how prayer is the way you quiet your mind and soul, and that you will only have an unshakeable relationship with God if you turn to Him.
She writes about how God is the only one who will ever make you feel whole. As women, I think we are constantly looking for other things to make us happy—new shoes, a new diet, a nicer house or car. But I’m beginning to realize that only God can fill us.
Stormie writes about three key things that really hit home with me:
As an editor of I pay close attention to other publications. There are so many things out there that make you feel like you’re not good enough. So when producing this story, I wanted to make it real. As scared as I am to admit to feeling empty when I’ve been saved for so many years, I know I needed to talk about it.
There are moments in all our lives when we feel as though God isn’t there to pick up the pieces. I now realize He can’t pick them up unless I turn to Him. This doesn’t mean every time I struggle, I plead and ask God for something. It means I need to have a deep, daily relationship with Him. A relationship that consists of thanking Him for more than the food on my table and the clothes on my back. A relationship so deep I will know He is there at all times, good and bad.
Author, Prayer Warrior Mom
I’m amazed that I once actually thought life with one baby was difficult! In the years since my kids’ births, the physical, spiritual and emotional strain of caring for two babies while also trying to maintain a godly marriage, a somewhat-clean house, a ministry and a writing career have felt like a thousand-ton millstone around my neck. I also struggled with postpartum depression.
But then I learned the power of gratitude and thanksgiving for all God has done in my life, and soon my prayer life was ignited by a burning desire to see the Lord move. My main work now is encouraging other women to start their own Prayer Warrior Moms groups, and pray. Prayer is simply talking to our Father God. Here are a few ways I’ve learned to pray.
- Pray the Scriptures. There’s no right or wrong way to pray through the Bible. Begin by choosing a verse or passage that impresses you. Then make it your own by incorporating words and phrases from the passage into your prayers. Add names of your children, spouse or other loved ones, as well as specific details about their personal needs.
- Pray in Jesus’ name. Always use the mighty name of Jesus. His holy name is one of the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare. Others include His blood, praise, thanksgiving and agreement with the Holy Spirit and other believers.
- Follow biblical guidelines. Approach God in humble submission (James 4:7). Pray with pure motives (James 4:2–3). Have faith without doubting (James 1:6). Pray for God’s will to be done (1 John 5:14). Come boldly to His throne with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Forgive others (Matthew 6:14–15).
- Pray without ceasing. Pray out loud. It will help you stay focused. Pray while you clean the house. Pray as a family at mealtimes. Offer thanks immediately when you receive a blessing or find out good news. Take your child’s hand and pray with him or her when sad or painful events occur.
Jennie Allen, Author of Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul
Like many of you, I was watchingseries on television last spring. Seeing the reality of what those times may have felt like has changed me. Watching Jesus choose 40 days and nights alone with no food or water in the wilderness to pray, all I could think was,
Right after Jesus walks out of the wilderness having resisted the devil, He prepares to begin His ministry, and His head drops and He closes His eyes. My daughter was watching with me and asked a question.
“Mom, what is He doing?”
“He’s praying, baby.”
And I cry again as I write this, because while I have read dozens of times that Jesus prayed, to see Him pray broke me down. Our Savior, fully God, depending on His Father for every breath, never acting apart from His Father’s will, never acting in His flesh, never bowing down to earthly desires, wanting so much to live out His Father’s will that He subjected himself to 40 days without food or water to pray. It was so humble and beautiful, God in the flesh ... dependent.
Jesus knew there was a war, and the war was for us. We were to be won back, and He would choose suffering again and again until He got us back.
His eyes close and Jesus, my Lord and Savior, prays.
I am reminded of the war for my soul, the quiet, subtle and alluring current pulling me toward doubtful independence. Prayer is difficult for many of us. To form words in our minds, talking to Someone invisible. I am not prone to talking to invisible beings.
And I think if we were all honest, the sin of prayerlessness is common. We have a hard time sitting still with ourselves.
Yet, we should never stop praying. “Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV.
Our entire life could and should be lived in belief and dependence on that invisible God. We live in a generation that has so run from the bounds of legalism (which I applaud), but in doing so we have left behind all of the faculties designed to help us know and love our God. I want to need prayer and run to it with every discipline and desire.
Nothing was meant to fill and satisfy our souls more than God himself. Solomon called pursuit of anything else on earth, “a chasing after the wind” in Ecclesiastes 1:14. God comes in and settles us. He is what we were made for, and nothing draws us closer to Him than bowing our head and closing our eyes and engaging with our invisible God.
Diane Moody, Author of Confessions of a Prayer Slacker
Be honest. When was the last time you had a genuine heart-to-heart chat with God? For the record, praying for a parking space doesn’t count. Trust me, I’m not here to guilt you. I’ve gone to church my whole life, but not long ago I realized how pathetic my prayer life was. So from one prayer slacker to another, I ask you—what’s it going to take for you to really get serious
Think you’re too busy or just don’t have time? Think again. If you’ve got time to watch TV, browse Facebook, shop online, tweet, go to the gym or a million other things, then you’ve got time to pray.
How do you get started? You need to know it will never happen unless you make it happen. Here’s how:
- Make a commitment. Plan when and where to have time alone with God.
- Set a specific time. Stick to it, even if it means setting your alarm earlier than usual. Allow plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed.
- Find a place. Whether it’s a back porch rocker or the corner of your sofa, claim a distraction-free prayer spot.
- Unplug! You won’t be getting any text messages from God, so leave your cell phone and laptop elsewhere.
- Get organized. Keep your Bible handy. A prayer journal can make a big difference. Keep a list of people you pray for, and note things God lays on your heart. Date each entry. It’s a great way to track those answers to prayer.