I know our days are jam packed, whether a student, an employee, a wife, a mother, whatever it may be, somehow, we look at our schedules and think “how are we going to do this?” But this world we live in is much more spiritual than it is physical. There is so much going on that we cannot see BUT God can, and honestly, I’m thankful for that.
I’ve always been a go-getter, a dreamer; well… at least since I had my daughter. Once she was born and God really turned my life around, I hit the ground running. It’s been a busy, crazy, fun life. But I could never and can never continue to chase dreams and point to Him, unless I am intentionally and purposefully spending time with Him, my Creator. I wanted to give you a glimpse of my prayer life, some changes I had to make to continue to pursue this life God has called me to. I hope 1, 2, or all 5 tips or challenges bless you and your prayer life as you continue to chase dreams and chase Jesus.
1: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
His mercies are new every morning! That’s such an incredible thought; despite the day prior, the sins and failures of yesterday… His mercies are new every single morning. I encourage you to accept them. Open your eyes, fight your alarm, but then roll to your knees and pray. Graciously accept and thank him for His mercy, His grace, and His providence over this particular, new day. “Heavenly Father, it’s a new day, thank you for letting me take in your breath and see the sunshine again. You are so gracious to me. Today, I dedicate my life to you, you are in control of this day, not me, and I pray that the life you have planned for me today brings you glory.” This simple and powerful prayer will change your days, every day!
2: “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
I know life can get hard and challenging, it’s exhausting, it’s busy… but I’m going to be straight with you, because I had to be straight with myself…. We can’t continue this “I’m too busy for a quiet time” type of life. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had to retreat to solitary, lonely, quiet places to pray; why do we believe we as mere humans can face our days and spiritual warfare without such time with our Creator? Put the phone down, cut something out of your day and specifically schedule in your Jesus time. Years ago, I began this notion: I’d rather be late than not spend time with my Creator. It changed my life. Since I began that thought in the mornings, I’ve never been late for work, I’ve never missed a graduate school paper deadline, nothing. God honors our time with Him and when you put Him first, you’ll find you have more time in your day than you thought. Trust me.
3: ”… he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” Daniel 6:10
Daniel’s prayer life sets an amazing example for us. Not only was it constant, but the position of his prayer time made all the difference. It reminds me of the movie “War Room.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must! Changed my prayer life. In the movie they encourage a prayer room, such as a closet or corner of a room that is free from distraction and can be filled with your personal prayers. It’s a great idea! I don’t have much space in my home but what I have done is created a prayer board. I hit up my local Dollar General and grabbed a display board (the ones used for reading or science fairs). My daughter and I painted our boards and then began writing scriptures that we felt were important at our season of life. For example, scripture for temptations, for protection, about faith, about our futures. I also printed pictures of people that I want to pray for daily. I write specific prayers and tape them on the board often and EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I’m on my knees in front of my prayer board, talking to Jesus, reading, and praying scripture. Your position during prayer time will change your life.
4: “Then the Lord said, ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets…” Habakkuk 2:2
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.” Revelation 1:19
These are just a few verses out of many in scripture where God’s people are commanded to “write this down”. And although we may not hear God tell us to record something specifically, it is so important and meaningful to write. Prayer journals are a great way to record your prayers and then see God work through your prayer’s day by day. Write “thank yous” for your blessings, plead with God for your requests, be specific about things that are happening in your life now. I have a sweet friend who gave me a tip once: you don’t have to continue to write the same prayer every day. If you pray for something daily, say family or friends, you can devote a special page or two to them, write your prayer and scriptures, and just pray over those prayers daily instead of rewriting them. Or, I once heard, to circle that prayer on paper each time you pray for it until God answers it. Remember, these words are just our hearts reaching out to our Creator and Savior, say whatever you want! Even if you’re mad, sad, stressed… write it. Jesus is the best listener, or reader… of our hearts and journals.
5: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Confusion and questions in life about future decisions can absolutely cause stress and anxiety. This verse from Philippians is a two-part verse. We first see that the best way to clear up confusion or anxiety is to talk to God about it and ASK! “Prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” “ACTS” is a great way to pray. Adore our Savior, Confess our sins, Thank Him for ALL of our many, many blessings, and ask Him to Supply for our needs. Years ago, I decided to create a nighttime routine that included my “date with Jesus”. I could not get into my bed without getting on my knees first. I devoted myself to intentional prayer – 60 days of it to be exact, but it has lasted much, much longer now. I talked to Jesus and used “ACTS”. The second part of this verse began to blossom, peace began to fill my life instead of confusion and chaos, my heart was guarded as well as my mind, just as He promises.
I encourage you to change your prayer life with any of these tips. To change your prayer life is to change your entire life. This life we live is not our own, it’s in God’s hands, it’s His life and we are blessed and honored He chose us to live it for Him. He wants us to be His vessels! So, give Him the reins and talk to Him all the time! Be in sync with Christ and your life will be filled.
Now, go talk to Jesus!