Gratitude Day 556
Wed., Jan. 12, 2021
Psalm 5:1-2 – Listen, Lord, as I pray! Pay attention when I groan. You are my King and my God. Answer my cry for help because I pray to you.
You would think with all the “extra” time we have right now that my prayer life would be top-notch.
The best it’s ever been.
That I’d be knocking my prayer life right out of the ballpark.
It’s been a real struggle. A constant struggle. I know I should pray more. I want to pray more. And yet, I struggle with this day after day.
Yes, I do have moments of prayer and have regular prayer aspects of prayer. But those deep prayers where I feel so in touch and in the moment with God?
It just ain’t happening as I would like.
I started reading a book about prayer recently that a friend shared with me. I kind of laughed when she suggested reading this prayer book as she knows me so well. When I want to learn more about something or explore a thought process, my go-to is to read a book about it.
And so, I’m reading a book about prayer.
I’ve only read two chapters, so the jury is still out on the book. Yet, even holding a book about prayer in my hands has encouraged me to think just a bit deeper and differently about prayer. Today, I’d like to share a few thoughts about how we might use prayer in a slightly different way to encourage good conversation between ourselves and God.
- You know all those Christmas cards you received? If you have disposed of them yet, keep them. And then pray over them. The last number of years, I have set aside a time when I take each card Hubby Rick and I have received and individually pray for every family with every card. I just think this is a special and meaningful way to pray for those who are important to you. I read a slightly different version of this recently: pull one card a day out of your card stack and pray for just one family a day. I’m planning on trying this approach this year and see how I like it versus my play-all-at-one-time approach.
- Prayer walk – I’ve been trying to walk more regularly these days, even if it’s cold outside. I often use this time to pray as well. You can pray about specific things you are aware of. You can pray for the people’s homes and businesses that you walk by if these are things you walk by. You can pray however you’d like while walking. For me, it’s a great way to combine two things that are important to me and stack them together.
- While scrolling through social media, pray for those on your feed. Usually, the folks on our feed are friends or influencers that we follow. This is another way you can stack doing two things together at the same time. Should this activity justify increased social media time? I’ll let you decide this.
- Pray through the membership list for the church where you are involved. When I served as a pastor, I made a point to pray through the membership list once a year. In fact, I let people know what week I would be praying for them and invited them to share with me their prayer requests. If you don’t have a recent prayer list, contact the church office and ask them to e-mail you one. Include church staff and the pastor as well. You can decide how you want to break up the list. Start with one or two families a day or week. There’s no timeframe by which this needs to be accomplished.
- Send a little postcard to a person a week letting them know that you’ll be praying for them all week long and invite them to share specific prayer requests with you. There is always more going on in a person’s life than we may be aware of. If private information is shared with you, treat it carefully and keep it private. I think this is a great way to pray for those you want to lift up in prayer.
- In the next week, there will be changes in our governmental structure. Begin praying now for these changes. Pray for those entering an elected position. Pray for a smooth transition. Pray for those leaving an elected office. Pray for our country and healing. Pry and pray and pray some more.
- Pray through the Psalms. Many of the Psalms were written as prayers or hymns. Some of the psalms work as a prayer easier than others. Sometimes, it’s nice to use a written prayer. Let the Psalms be your guide.
- Listen. Such an important part of praying is also listening. This is the part where I fail miserably … but I’m trying. J.S.T – just sit there – for even five minutes and listen to God. Set a timer if you think it would be helpful. You may not hear or discover anything. But unless we turn down the volume in our brains, most of us won’t.
What favorite prayer strategies do you find helpful? I would love to hear your suggestions as well. In the meantime, let’s pray on!
For the opportunity to connect with you, God through prayer, I am grateful.
Dear God – We know we should pray. We want to pray. And yet, we struggle with prayer. Encourage me to try new little prayer strategy this week. Help me discover a special and person way to connect with You through prayer. Amen.
If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.