Lauren R. WRITES:
Writing in a prayer journal is a great way to pour out your heart to the Lord. You can write down your praises, what you are learning in your quiet times, and how you are seeking His grace for your needs. It’s a wonderful way to record and reflect on His faithfulness in your life!
However, my greatest encouragement to you is to seek Him with your whole heart. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” How much time each day do you spend with Him? A vibrant relationship with Jesus is found when we center our lives on the pursuit of Him, not simply squeeze in a quick devotional time or listen to Christian radio. If you need to restructure your daily routine so that you have more time to seek Jesus in prayer, Bible study, and worship, you will probably need to give up time in another area. This may mean getting up earlier, less time with friends, or cutting out social media browsing. No matter how much the sacrifice may pinch, a close walk with Jesus is worth everything. As you refocus your life on Him, you’ll find that your walk with Him is strengthened and deepened!
Grace M. WRITES:
I remember a quote I read several years ago in the book Wrestling Prayer: “If you don’t pray often, you won’t gain a love for praying. Prayer is work, and therefore it is not very appealing to our natural sensibilities. But the simple rule for prayer is this: begin praying and your taste for prayer will increase. The more you pray, the more you will acquire the desire for prayer, the energy for prayer, and the sense of purpose in prayer.” I’ve found this to be so very true. I used to think there was some secret trick to “liking” prayer, or to learning how to pray “right,” and that if someone would just give me the special formula, then I too could be a mighty prayer warrior. But it doesn’t work that way. The “secret trick” to praying is…pray. I’m not going to apologize for how simple and cliché that may sound, because we simply do have to choose to make it important. Choose to take time to talk with the Lord, just as you would if there was someone sitting next to you on the couch. While you’re walking to the mailbox to drop off a letter, share your heart and desires with the Lord. While you’re scrubbing away at a mound of dishes, talk with Him—pray that you would know Him more intimately at the end of even such a simple task than you did when you began. While you’re driving to the store, worship and praise Him. While you’re mowing the lawn, while you’re filling up your water bottle, while you’re putting clothes in the washer, while you’re changing a diaper, while you’re brushing your teeth, while you’re sitting quietly in your room, while you’re putting gas in the car…talk with your heavenly Father, who knows you intimately and desires to be known by you.
At first, prayer doesn’t always just come naturally, but the more we realize that prayer is having conversation and relationship with God—and the more we seek after Him—the more we find Him, and the more we will want to come away to the quiet place and converse with Him. Choose to use quiet moments throughout the day to share your heart with the Lord. Pray from the depths of your heart and soul, and trust the Lord—don’t live in fear of not knowing how. The Lord desires personal relationship with His children. When we pray, we are coming before Him in trust, love, humility, and worship—we are in His presence, and in His presence is fullness of joy!
Susie O. WRITES:
One of the greatest things that has recently propelled my prayer life forward is the renewing of my mind. Continually ask God to unveil your eyes through His Word to the reality of who He is—not who you perceive Him to be. This can completely alter your approach to prayer because it transforms your approach to Him. The truth will set you free to deny the many misconceptions you may carry that discourage you from praying. He desires to lovingly strip us of our “humble” ideas that hinder us coming into His presence with boldness, confidence, and joy.
Truth and love are the best motivators; not duty and the “right” feelings.
Everyone journals differently, but one thing I love to do is write out and meditate on what is true about God, regardless of circumstances or feelings. It prepares me to cast my cares upon Him in faith. These are some truths I love to meditate upon:
He loves me and desires to be with me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (Song of Solomon 2:10). Do we really believe this?!
He desires to bear my burdens (1 Peter 5:7).
I can come near by faith in Him, not in my own perfection (Ephesians 3:12).
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