Today is the final day of the series A Glimpse into my Prayer Journal. You can find the previous posts of the series here. Thank you so much for joining me this week! I hope you have been blessed, encouraged, and inspired! Today, I leave you with a Conclusion & a Challenge.
So these are the words from an email that hit my email inbox this week from Arabah Joy. I’m just going to share them with you because it’s a fabulous conclusion to this series, and then I’m going to share with you some wonderful resources you can use to make this work for you too, or find what does work for you. It’s totally okay if you don’t do exactly what I do. Put your own spin on it, or do something completely different. Whatever lights you up and excites you about praying is good with me!
So here’s what Arabah Joy writes…she sure challenged me a little bit and inspired me all at the same time. There is always room for growth.
Do you love prayer or just the idea of prayer?
I ask this because so many of us in the church today want a powerful prayer life…we’ve watched movies like War Room and read biographies like George Mueller and desire that kind of prayer life… but the fact is, few of us ever actually have one. Do you know what the only difference between the wanters and the havers is?
Yup. That’s it. James tells us that Elijah was a man just like us- imperfect. He wasn’t a super Christian but simply did something each one of us can do: he prayed. He asked God for something, and God listened. We can either live our days being a prayer wanter or being a prayer doer and the only difference is taking action.
James also wrote, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) We like to think wanting and wishing for a great prayer life is as good as doing it, listening and taking in the Word are as good as acting on it, and knowing truth is as good as obeying it, but that’s where we’re wrong. James actually called this self-deception.
“When it’s all said and done, God isn’t going to say, ‘Well said. Well thought. Well planned.’ There’s ONE measuring stick, “Well DONE, good and faithful servant.”
-Mark Batterson, Chase the Lion
Okay, so let’s decide right now to be prayer DOERS. Are you with me?
Now that you’ve decided to be a Prayer DOER, the first step is for you to have a plan. A goal without a plan is really just a wish. Figure out what works for you.
I’ll share this because I think it can kind of relate… when I started my journey to fitness & health, I had a whole list of excuses. A whole list, yall! (Not necessarily a written list, but one in my head). My husband is a personal trainer and CrossFit coach, as you know, so he would encourage me and give me ideas of where to start, but I had an excuse for every single thing and a reason not to try. I’m so glad he didn’t give up on me but that he just waited until I was really ready. And one by one, I began to cross those things off that mental list. One by one, the bricks in that wall I had built up began to fall. Yes, there are still things that come up, and some days it’s hard to make it work, but for the most part – I’ve realized that it’s something important to me, and I need to take care of myself.
The same can be with prayer & quiet time with God. I was this way too. I had all the excuses in the world for why it wouldn’t work. So I didn’t even try. And then I felt the conviction and really desperately wanted more from God. He was always there. He just patiently waited for me to show up too. He didn’t give up on me either. I needed to seek Him first with my whole being. So that’s what I began to do. I began to cross the things off that list, one by one. It’s imporant to me now. It’s one of my non-negotiables in life.
Make a list of your struggles and any excuses you might have for not spending time in the Word and in Prayer, and then find a solution for them one at a time. Think of it like a barrier wall, in which you are destroying and taking it apart brick by brick. Jump over all the hurdles that stand in the way of you meeting with your God. Make a plan for success!
I want my time with the Lord to be efficient, effective, and transformative. So, creating a Daily Bible Reading and Prayer Routine has helped me so much in this area! -Leigh Ann Dutton
Tips for Creating a Daily Bible Reading & Prayer Routine
How to Make a Prayer Notebook (Binder-Style Notebook with Dividers)
How I Set Up My New Prayer Journal (Bullet-journal Style)
I have been blessed this week by everyone who has shared their “Prayer Life” story. I love that these are special people in my life that I have a relationship with. It is so important to surround yourself with good, Christian friends & influences! Today, we get to hear from another one of my best friends, Tiffany Stone. Tiffany is one of the strongest people I know. She prays about a situation, and she never gives up. She is fiesty, and she will tell you like it is, but she’s also that kind of person that everyone loves and the epitome of the quote “She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.” 😉
What does your prayer time look like?
My prayer time is anytime, any place, where I am at the moment and when I feel like prayer is needed. I do a lot of praying in my car while I’m driving. It‘s really the only time I am alone.
How do you pray, specifically?
If I have things, situations, or people that I am praying specifically for usually I will find a bible verse to claim over that situation, person, or thing, Many times while I am praying I notice that God my drop someone on my mind. When this happens I will pray over that person usually out loud if I am alone, then I will text them and ask them if I need to be specifically praying for something! There are currently several situations that I am claiming verse over in my life. I also feel like if I am praying of those situations specifically they seem to not affect my mood as much as they normally would.
Is your prayer time quiet, prayer in your heart or loud and declaring things to and from God?
When I am not alone, which is a lot with an almost 3 year old at home, I will pray in my heart or a faint whisper. I know He hears these prayers. When I get the chance to be loud and declare I love to do that! I just feel like when I can say it out loud that the devil hears it and that I am warring against the things that he is putting into to place. I just feel more effective when I can pray out loud.
Do you have music that you worship as you pray, or is there silence?
It really depends on where I am and what is going on around me. I really like to have music playing in the background. I like the music, because if I get to a point where I am not sure what to pray I can worship and usually they will bring me back into the pray.
Where do you pray?
I pray any and everywhere. I pray in my classroom, on my job, in my car, in Walmart, at my house. If I go to a place usually I will at some point pray while I am there. I love when I am at a place that I am not necessarily thinking about praying and God drops the person who walked beside me in my spirit. I feel like He is using me when things like this happen.
Do you Journal?
If I have an open afternoon or night when I know I am alone I will take out my prayer journal and journal. I love to journal because I can go back and look at those prayers and see how things have changed over time or I can see the prayers that He has answered that maybe I have forgotten about. Sometimes I write them word for word other times I just list the items I am praying for. I love to see how my prayers change though, so I prefer to write the whole thing out.
Do you post prayers and scriptures around you to pray?
I will post scriptures, but not prayers. I feel like those are between me and God and I don’t really want others in my house seeing them.
What resources do you use?
I will use my bible for scriptures and google to find specific scriptures. I will sometimes use pinterest to find a quick list of all the verses that may to pertain to a certain topic.
Do you have a list of scriptures you pray for certain people or things?
Yes! It’s really according to what is going on and how long I have been praying for that person or situation. I usually will pray over it and find the scriptures. I don’t always get to read over the scriptures as I am praying for that person or things but many times I have memorized small bits of the verses and will call them out.
What are some ways your prayer time has changed over the years?
At this point, I tend to pray more specifically for things and love to declare those things out loud. I also seem to declare His word during prayers also. I haven’t always. I used to just be general when I prayed and I also would never have spoken the prayer out loud.
What are some things you’ve learned about prayer?
IT WORKS! And If you pray about it more than you talk about it, I tend to not forget about it but I won’t let it bother me as much!
Is there anything else you would like to add that I did not ask?
I feel like right now although my “quiet” times are few and far between, I am in a state of constant prayer throughout the day. There was a time in my life several years ago when I didn’t realize how important prayer was. I literally just prayed when bad things were happening or when people were sick or if they ask me to. I was so caught up in me that I didn’t even realize how much not praying was hurting my relationship with others and ultimately my relationship with Christ. It is amazing how much peace I receive when I pray about situations. I know God is in control of every situation and circumstance. He already knows the plans He has for me, I just need to believe that!