Prayer

“The person who wants to arrive at…spirituality has to leave the crowd behind and spend some time with Jesus” -Thomas Kemp

Summer sets itself up to be a lazy, relaxful, vacation filled few weeks.  I don’t know about you, but summer also becomes the few weeks out of the year where my spiritual and physical discipline seem to fade.  There’s just something about summer that makes me want to sleep late, schedule nothing, and completely live in a spontaneous, do whatever I feel like at that moment, state.

Which I’m not entirely sure is a bad thing.  Relaxing and just enjoying God’s creation is good…as long as you continue to pursue the One who truly gives you rest.

So this week I’m pursuing Christ by focusing on prayer.   I’ve been making prayer cards, setting the timer throughout the day to remind me to pray, and ending my day with prayer…all things that can be done around a swimming pool, on the back porch, or sitting in my PJs sipping a cup of coffee.  A perfect study for lazy summer days!

I shared the study with you last week, but I’m going to post each week’s focus every Tuesday as well.  I hope you will join me as I learn to truly seek Christ’s presence every second of every day so that Christ can continue to change me to be more like Him.

Week 1: Prayer:

“Prayer-secret, fervent, believing prayer-lies at the root of all personal goodness” William Carey

What is Prayer: Prayer can be bringing requests to God, being quiet with God, listening to God, waiting on God, or even bringing questions to God.  Simply put it is “thinking in the presence of God”.  It is not difficult to pray.  Prayer does not require a lot of words or emotions or feelings.  It is simply honest and open communication with God about whatever is on your heart or occupying your mind.  Prayer is what pushes us into communion with God.

And communion with God is what we are desiring!  So as you practice this week’s activities, learn to still yourself and pray as you feel God leads you.  Don’t be intimidated, and even if it feels weird at first, keep going!  We must never wait until we feel like praying or even like we are good at praying.  Just pray!  And trust that God hears you, loves you, and is listening.

 

Activity #1:  Prayer cards

  • Get 5 note cards/sticky notes/ or small pieces of paper.

  • On the front side of each card, write an activity you do daily that does not require you to talk to someone else (shower, load/unload dishwasher, brush teeth, drive, cook, eat, etc…) You should have 5 different cards with 5 different activities (1 activity per card)

  • Now flip the cards over to the back.  On each card, write 1 prayer request.  (a different prayer request per card)

You have now just attached a prayer to 5 different daily activities you complete.  Today as you walk through your day, every time you do one of the activities, pray the prayer you attached to it.  (For Example:  Shower = marriage….As I shower, I focus my mind on God and pray for my marriage)

Activity #2: Moments of Prayer

  • Today, set an alarm on your phone, microwave, computer, etc… to go off every 4 hours.  When the alarm goes off, stop for 3-5  minutes and simply focus your heart and mind on God and talk or listen to Him.

  • The next day, set the alarm to go off every 2-3 hrs and repeat the same activity

  • The third day, set the alarm to go off every hour to remind you to pray.

Make note of how easy/hard it is to stop throughout the day to pray.  The more we practice, the more we desire to be in God’s presence, and the easier it becomes to pray throughout the day.  Don’t give up if day 1 is hard! Simply wake up and try again.

Activity #3: Prayer of Examen

  • You can do this activity online or in your journal.  The Prayer of Examen is designed to be done at night after you have finished most of your day.  It is a time to simply sit with God and allow God to show you where you lived out what He has taught you and where you need to submit to Him a bit more.  It is amazing how peaceful your sleep will be when you end your evening this way!

  • Log on to www.EXAMEN.me.  This website is free and completely confidential.  NO ONE can see what you write.  If you create an account, it will save all your journal entries for you.  If you don’t want to create an account, simply scroll to the bottom of the screen and click, “start an Examen” and then choose “Prayer of Examen”.

  • Don’t want to go online?  Then answer the following questions in your journal

    • Begin by praying and asking the Lord to draw you into His presence

    • Next, look back over your day and thank the Lord for all the blessings He gave you throughout the day

    • Next, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the eyes to see your day as God saw it and not as your emotions or feelings would like it to be

    • Think back through your day and list all the areas where you lived out what Christ has asked of you.  Also note any areas where Christ may be teaching you.

    • Now, look for any areas where you may have fallen short or pursued your own agenda instead of God’s.  Spend some time confessing and talking to God about this.

    • Finally, end your prayer with The Lord’s Prayer.

 

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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