Fighting By Praying

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

Two weeks ago, our large Bible study group combined with another large ministry in our area to do a private movie showing of the War Room…we had close to 600 women there! To be honest, when I heard we were seeing a Christian movie, I instantly thought it would be cheesy. But, due to some prodding from some friends, I ended up going - and boy, am I glad that I did! 

(my current morning War Room)

The movie centers on the idea of prayer and how we can fight for so many things by laying them at Jesus’ feet through prayer. In the movie, a mom is facing many struggles: failing marriage, disconnect with her daughter, financial struggles, job loss, and more. With prodding from an older mentor, this young mom sets up a War Room…a closet with no distractions dedicated to fight for important things in her life by giving them over to God in prayer.

I can’t help but thinking about the many things I fight for in my life: my schedule, time alone, how I am perceived, our financial situation as a family, and so much more. I find myself fighting for these things on a daily basis.

But, the things the Lord tells me to fight for are so very different:

• Fight for a heart that shows love and openness to those around me (Phil. 2:3-4)
• Fight for joy, not allowing the devil to steal it away from me (John 10:10)
• Fight for an abundant life rooted in the Lord (Eph. 3:20)
• Fight for a mouth that speaks kind words and isn’t easily prone to gossip (Eph. 4:29)

The Lord gives us so many things to fight for, and one of the best ways I find to fight for these things is through prayer. To fight for joy by asking the Lord to protect it during busy seasons. To fight for love by praying different scriptures that remind me of how loved I am.

I love the idea of a War Room - a place to go that is your spot, with no distractions and nothing that can pull you away so that you can fight in prayer. When is the last time I decided to fight for the woman I want to become by getting on my knees in prayer?

I highly recommend for everyone to see War Room; as I think about the movie just a week later, I am still convicted and inspired to war through prayer (and not through my own doing). Definitely a movie that sticks with you.

What things do you battle daily that are easier to take on yourself? Do you have your own version of a “War Room” where you can go (distraction-free) and battle in prayer for the things worrying you in life?

Posted in Prayer, War Room

Praying While Folding the Laundry

Posted on June 24, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

So, I’m always trying to figure out good ways to instill prayer into my everyday life. The simple way I have been doing it recently is while folding the laundry.

Laundry washing and laundry folding end up taking up a good chunk of my evenings. It always feels like laundry day, and I always feel like I am folding piles of clothes.

Recently, I decided to turn folding laundry into an act of prayer. As I folded clothes for each person in our family, I decided to pray for that person while I folded their clothes. At first, I would just pray generally, but now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, I will pray a specific “theme” each time…not necessary, but it keeps me on my toes, and actually gets me excited to pray something new (which leads me to not dread the laundry folding each night).

So, for example, the other day, I decided I was going to pray for Honor for our family while folding laundry. For my husband, while folding his clothes, I prayed that his honor would not come from his job or from his achievements at work. For my son, I prayed that as he continues to grow, he will find honor in helping those around him who might be in need or who are getting picked on. When folding my own clothes, I prayed that I would show honor to my husband by serving him in ways that show Jesus.

It’s been a great new habit for me and has made the ho-hum of a monotonous task feel exciting and hopeful. 

Have you ever prayed while folding laundry?  Any other daily tasks that have now turned into opportunities for prayer?

Posted in Intentional, Laundry, Prayer

Where's Jesus on Summer Vacation?

Posted on June 16, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 1 Comment

For me, summer is a hard time for quiet, alone time with the Lord. There is no consistent schedule provided by school or church programming. Many people take numerous trips or vacations during the summer. I also tend to do quite a bit more, soaking up those long summer days, so I am just not inside as much.

It seems like YEARS ago since I made my New Years Resolutions and set some spiritual goals for the year. Some things have been working okay (some things not at all), but the change in the summer schedule sure doesn’t help my consistency in reading my Bible or praying.

So how do you keep Jesus in summer vacation? How do you find time to spend with the Lord, when your life feels without structure or you’re constantly traveling? 

Here are some things I have tried before that could work for you:

1. Just try for a Daily Ritual. I talked about this back in January, but instead of feeling like you have to complete this HUGE list of spiritual accomplishments each day, figure out one thing you can do this summer, that no matter how chaotic your day, it stays consistent. For you, it might be reading a chapter of the Bible before going to sleep. Or, praying a verse for your husband every morning while drinking your coffee. One thing you do each day that doesn’t change.

2. Put your phone to good use. When traveling, I feel like I would have to pack a separate bag for all of my quiet time stuff (Bible, journal, books, concordance, etc.) Because it can feel like a pain, I often leave them at home and put my phone to good use. I will take a picture of the verses I am praying over in my Husband journal. I will use a Bible app on my phone to read through Scripture. I will have a Christian audio book on my Audible app so that I have something to listen to while on the road. My phone ends up helping me stay focused on vacation when I don’t have other resources available.

3. Use your active time as a way to pray. Summer is a natural time to be more active, as lots of people will walk the dog, take a bike ride, or run on the beach. I’ve talked about Prayer Walking before, and using your active time for prayer is a great idea. Out for a bike ride with the family around the neighborhood? Change it into a time to pray for your neighbors. Watching your child play on the playground for the 100th time? Try praying for your child’s different body parts as ways to serve the Lord (his hands to be giving, mouth to be encouraging, head to be wise). 

4. Add some good books to your list. I read a lot less during the summer months, but many people read a lot more. If you’re snagging a book to read this summer, try one that is about or points you towards the Lord. You can check out some Christian books I have read this year and last year to get some ideas.

5. Give yourself some grace. I also don't put too much pressure on myself...I am going to miss a few days here and there, and you know what? No big deal. Give yourself a dose of grace!

What ways do you remember Jesus during the summer? Any suggestions for the less structured, care-free summer days?

Posted in Books, Daily Ritual, Jesus on Vacation, Prayer, Prayer Walking, Praying for Your Husband Journal, Praying Scripture, Summer

Praying for Your City

Posted on June 11, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

I live in a wonderful city; we just love living in Greenville, SC. It has a vibrant art scene, great outdoor opportunities, an incredible walkable downtown, excellent restaurants…I could go on and on.

As much as I love so many things about Greenville, there are many people who live here in great need, without homes or jobs, just really needing help. The United Ministries here in town offers a Greenville Poverty Tour, giving a history of certain neighborhoods, and driving you to different areas that are in great need. It is amazing to me that many of these neighborhoods are just blocks away from the vibrant and cultural downtown.

Praying for my city is something I don’t always think about doing. It’s easier for me to pray for specific people or specific needs, but praying in general for my city can feel overwhelming. However, this city needs prayer, and many people that live here need Jesus.

Here are some different ways I have been praying recently for our city; it’s just a starting list - I would love to know your thoughts:

• Unity for churches and church leadership
• Specific organizations that help those in great need (in Greenville, I regularly pray for the Harvest Hope Food bank, Miracle Hill, specific soup kitchens, the Frazee Center, Homes of Hope, some orphan and adoption ministries, etc.)
• Gospel preached boldly in our city and in our churches 
• That our family and others will live more missionally, with God opening doors to new opportunities
• For God to intersect my life with people I can help and assist
• Small businesses in the area
• City and people living here will come to know Jesus and stand in awe of Him
• Peace and prosperity for our city
• Elected officials who help govern and run our city

Praying for my city is not something I think about all the time…what about you? I’d love to know any thoughts or suggestions on what you would add to the list above

In what ways do you pray for your city? 

Posted in Prayer, Praying for your City, Praying Scripture

Father's Day Coupon

Posted on June 03, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

Have a special husband at home that needs the perfect Father’s Day Gift? What better way to really give to your husband this year than by committing to pray for him over the next 6 months?!

If you’re looking to make a real difference in your husband’s life, prayer is where it’s at. I started praying specifically for my husband a few years ago, and gosh-o-golly, has it made a HUGE difference. I don’t pray because I am trying to change my hubs; instead, I see it as a way for me to continually give his life over to God. 

The Praying for your Husband journal is nothing more than that - a way to point you to Jesus and pray specifically for your husband. What a great gift to give him this Father’s Day!!

Use coupon code FathersDay15 for 15% off our individual Praying for your Husband journals. Offer is good until Father’s Day, June 21.

Start praying today…what a wonderful way to celebrate your main squeeze!

Posted in Coupon, Prayer, Praying for Your Husband Journal

Praying for your Future Husband

Posted on May 14, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

I get asked quite often about whether the Praying for Your Husband journal is good for women that are not yet married, and if it can be used to pray for your FUTURE husband. The answer is…YES!

I heard from a couple of single girls who started using it that way this winter as part of their small group time. As women who are trying to seek the Lord, instead of finding love in all the wrong places, the small group committed to praying for Mr. Right, even though they might not know who he is yet.

(Great photo from @angelaols)

Throughout the past few months, the small group has used their Praying for your Husband journals each week alongside their Bible Study curriculum…an easy way to be intentional about laying their desires for a husband at the feet of the Lord, committing their future (and their husband’s future) to the Lord.

What a great way to focus on Jesus during a time in life when the world tells you that love can be immediate, temporary, and self-seeking. 

One girl in the group also found it as a way to stay accountable. She shared that when going on dates, it is easy to get wrapped up in the feelings of the moment, but since she has been praying for her future husband, “I have new perspective. I find myself stopping and thinking about whether this guy has what the Bible calls us to strive for - humility, surrender, kind words - the same things I have been praying for my future husband."

Thanks to the D3 Small Group for sharing their story…love how you are committing your life to Jesus right now!  

Do you pray for your future husband, if you are not yet married?  If you are married, did you pray for him before you got married?

Posted in Prayer, Praying for your Future Husband, Praying for Your Husband Journal

Praying Over My To-Do List

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

I’ve recently read two great books that brought up the same idea: praying over your to-do list

As a working mom with a young child, my to-do list can often be my end-all-be-all. It ends up being the motivation for SO much of my day…and my happiness. I feel successful when I work through that thing, and overwhelmed when I just can’t get enough done. In a way, it becomes my idol.

I loved Karen Ehman’s advice from Keep It Shut:

“To pray your to-do list, find a few moments to be alone and quiet. Ask God to bring to mind all that you must accomplish that day…then briefly pray through each item on the list.” 

And Matthew Perman gives some great thoughts on why we should pray our to-do list in What’s Best Next:

“We have an amazing privilege as Christians to integrate our planning with prayer. Prayer is essential for our planning, because God is the one who ultimately makes our plans effective."

To be honest, I have never given much thought to praying over my to-do list…but, when I read about it in both of these books, it was like the “ah ha” moment I needed to really change the trajectory of my weeks and days.

Since I’ve started praying my to-do list, I find myself:

Less stressed about accomplishing things, as I’ve already laid the things before the One in charge
• More willing to let things go; when praying for certain things, I realize how trivial they really are
Finding more time to be intentional in my day to day, as I realize that my to-do list rarely includes serving others
• A feeling of a greater purpose to my individual days - it doesn’t always feel like a race against the to-do list; now, I find myself more in tune with my greater goal of serving Jesus in the tasks

I would definitely recommend giving it a try - praying over my to-do list has been truly life-giving these past few weeks. 

Have you ever prayed over your to-do list? How has it affected you?

Posted in Prayer, To-Do List