November 18, 2013

let's be real: prayer


two and a half years ago, i wrote a blog post called how to: pray more. it was a practical list of solutions on how to create more communication with GOD. but now, even though two and a half years have passed, this thought is still on my mind.

let's be real, prayer is hard! either we're so tired in the morning that we lose our train of thought. so busy during the day that we can't seem to find the time. or so tired at night that we fall asleep with no amen.

sometimes we're too upset, mad, or hurt to pray. sometimes we don't feel worthy to pray. and sometimes we're simply too happy to pray.

and while i have tried to put into practice some habits that encourage more conversation with GOD, i very much still struggle with praying as i should. casting all my cares on HIM because HE cares for me. praying without ceasing. making my requests known to GOD. praying for my enemies and those who persecute me.

and it is in thinking about this that i decided that it is time to be real about my prayer life and put something in place that will make prayer even more real to me. so i considered and discovered that out of all of the hours in my day, the only true free time that i have is when i get ready in the morning and when i get ready for bed at night.

for this reason, i decided to create the board pictured above and to intentionally place it on my bathroom counter so that i will be forced to read and consider it each day as i get ready. i am a total visual learner who needs a lot of structure, and by having a visual reminder with categories to consider, i feel i will become more successful at increasing my conversation with GOD.

so i share this with you just as a thought and a simple way to create more prayer. the following categories are the ones that i feel will make the greatest difference in my life and will help me be more real about prayer.

daily bread includes the daily necessities of life or the things that i do every day like work, eat, sleep, etc. i believe in praying about these things because JESUS did.

current struggles are naturally the specific temptations and/or situations that satan creates in order to discourage me or remove me from GOD.

future plans are my hopes and dreams that have not come about yet. they are born about out the hope that comes from delighting myself in the LORD and receiving the desires of my heart.

friends and family include the specific requests that i have regarding the loved ones in my life.

the sick includes those that i know who are dealing with a physical, emotional, or spiritual illness.

the hurt includes those who are trying to hurt me. i was raised to limit the number of my enemies, and so i don't consider this group of people my enemies. the longer that i live the more i am learning that people who are hurting on the inside enjoy hurting other people to alleviate their personal pain, and these people need my prayers for healing more than anyone else. therefore prayers of blessing are to be delivered regarding the hurt.

the sad includes those who are grieving or who are overwhelmed with the world's weight.

the happy includes those who are rejoicing over an excitement and joy in their lives.

personal goals are the specific actions that i want to take in order to reach my future plans.

thankfulness includes everything for which i am grateful.

forgiveness includes everything for which i desperately need forgiveness.

and joyfulness includes everything for which i smile.

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