Praying scripture is a big deal to me…and I can’t recommend it enough. It is the basis for how I designed the Praying for your Husband journal and the way I pray in my own life. I wrote about How to Pray Scripture a few months ago, explaining how I “put the Word to work.” Since reading Prayer, by Timothy Keller, I have also been using his suggestion of praying through the Psalms - it has been extremely helpful and insightful in my prayer life.
One of the women I admire most online is Gretchen of Life Lived Beautifully. Her blog is probably one of my favorite things, and not a week goes by that I don’t add one of her posts to my favorite blog posts on Pinterest. She is so laser-focused on Jesus, pointing to the Lord in everything she shares. What an inspiration!
(picture from Life Lived Beautifully)
Gretchen shared an oustanding post last week as part of her Well Watered Women series on Praying the Word. It has some great background into why praying God’s Word is so important, and also many suggestions on how to approach prayer time with the Lord. I especially loved her reminder on prayer being a posture, opening our hands as a “physical reminder to…let go of all the things I hold onto and to let God take control.” Words of wisdom right there.
At the end of the post, she lists some great resources…I’ve used her Give Me Jesus journal for quite some time…HIGHLY recommend it. I also enjoy Val Woerner’s prayer journal. And, who can’t love the Praying for you Husband journal too? :)
If you’re looking for some inspiration on praying God’s word, make sure to check out Gretchen’s post…wonderful words from a wise friend!
I am in the middle of reading Manage Your Day-To-Day, a book I am really enjoying that shares some really interesting insight from multiple creative minds on using your time wisely to do your very best work.
Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project mentions in her chapter that she keeps a long list of “Secrets of Adulthood”, which are a list of lessons she has learned as she grown up. One of her best secrets is, “What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while."
I love this, and can’t help but think about how it relates to our spiritual growth.
So many times I put off doing certain “God things” because the situation is just not right - my child woke too early, my child is being too loud, the dishes are overflowing, the dog hair covering my entire house is out of control. Until I can get the perfect situation, I can put off the task…and many times that includes prayer.
I love Rubin’s advice - doing something every day is what is important. A belief in this is partly why I organized the Praying for Husband journal like I did…giving you a verse to pray every day. Praying is important, and doing it every day matters so much more than doing it once in a while.
What things matter so much to you that you do them everyday?
Valentines Day is quickly approaching, and what better gift to give your husband than your commitment to pray intentionally for him? Valentines Day is a great time to kick off your commitment to pray everyday for your husband using our Praying for your Husband journal.
Why pray everyday for your husband?
Sharon Jaynes in her book Praying for your Husband from Head to Toe hits the nail on the head by saying, “amazingly, [God] invites you to play a part in the miracle of making your husband into the man He created him to be.”
We have the awesome and unique opportunity to see God working in the life of our husbands. Because I live day in and day out with my husband, I see ways the Lord is softening his heart, working in his life, and opening him up to God’s character. How wonderful that God invites me to play a part in this miracle through prayer!
On Thursday, I will be sending a newsletter with a Valentine’s Day code to use up until February 14. Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter list so you don’t miss this opportunity!
Give your husband the greatest gift of all this Valentines day - your commitment to show your love through daily prayer for him.
Prayer has always been difficult for me. Sometimes I feel on. Sometimes I feel off. Sometimes I can feel the presence of the Lord. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to nothingness.
But prayer is something I want to get better at doing.
I am currently reading Timothy Keller’s book on prayer, and in the book, Keller says he can “think of nothing great that is also easy. Prayer must be, then, one of the hardest things in the world.” Amen.
I think we can get better at prayer, and I think it takes quite a bit of practice, going through the motions even when things do feel off. A few years ago, when I was feeling especially in a rut, I started prayer walking.
What is prayer walking? To me, it’s a focused effort to pray specifically while out walking or exercising.
A few years ago, I was walking my dog on a regular hour-long route in our neighborhood many days. I decided I wanted to try to pray as I walked, but kept getting distracted, so I set up a little “prayer routine” as I walked to help me along. I decided there were certain things I wanted to pray over - my husband, our jobs, our church, our neighbors, family members - you get the picture. I made a little list, and then divided up the different prayer topics while walking. From Hillcrest Street to Townes Street, I’d pray for my husband. From Townes Street to Buist Avenue, I’d pray for our church…and so on and so on.
It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but after a few walks, I knew what I was supposed to be praying over on each street, and it kept me really on target.
The different streets became so ingrained in my mind that when someone I would meet would tell me she lived on Mountainview Ave., I’d automatically think: “you mean, Prayer for my Job Avenue?” It was funny.
Prayer walking is a little different, but really helped me to practice prayer free from distraction, in a fairly purposeful way. It also translates easily to walking on a track (each time around you pray for something different) or on a treadmill (change prayer topics after so much time).
Do you pray when you exercise? If so, how do you keep your mind focused?
Make sure to check out some more prayer tips!
I recently (and reluctantly) read Rachel Macy Stafford’s book Hands Free Mama. I loved so much about the book (it made my top books of the year) and have found that it has changed my perspective on how I can live FOR the things that are important to me (instead of living BECAUSE of what’s in front of me.)
In the book, Rachel encourages you to set up Daily Rituals with your children, so that “no matter how chaotic the day is, your child can always count on that one period of meaningful connection.” She gives examples such as morning snuggles, or after-school snack time, or walking the dog together. A time to connect daily in a meaningful way. What a great idea to implement with your kids.
And what a great idea to implement in your time with the Lord.
The New Year is always an exciting time of renewal and hope, with feelings of starting fresh and really accomplishing something great. But, it always kind of fizzles for me…my resolutions feel like another to-do list that just can’t compete with my real to-do list. One has to give, so my idealized view of how I’d like things to go gets pushed aside for the reality of my situation.
I usually come up with this great list of spiritual “things” I want to do each year. For example:
My spiritual resolutions become this HUGE list that sounds awesome, but let’s be honest, it ain’t gonna happen.
So, this year, I’ve decided instead to try out a Daily Ritual…I want to do one thing that no matter how chaotic my day is, I can count on this one meaningful connection with the Lord. It is something I can come to expect daily, to count on, despite what else is going on.
For this year, I’ve decided my Daily Ritual is going to be to read and think about a Scripture verse before starting my work time each day (planning to use this list as a guide). I work fervently and intensely during my son’s afternoon naps, to get everything done in that short, glorious amount of time. But, I’ve found myself charging so hard and fast into the work that I forget WHO I am really working for.
So, this year, I want to add that one Daily Ritual. To have one thing in my life that no matter how chaotic my to-list can feel, or how much work I need to accomplish, I know that before it all, I am going to stop, pause, and pray over a Scripture. I want this to the be thing I can count on. The thing I can expect. The one thing I can add to my routine that will make me pause.
What do you think about starting a Daily Ritual? What would you add this year?
My memory is very good in some areas, and very bad in others. For example, I always remember who took the trash out last and whose turn it is to pay for our coffee drinks. I always remember to gently remind (read: practically yell at) my husband to remove all saws and tools from the kitchen table before dinner. I have no trouble remembering these things.
When it comes to prayer? Big ‘ole lost space in the brain.
Many of you (myself included) have probably started the year with some great goals for praying this year (with lots of you starting your Praying for your Husband journal this week!) It’s so easy to start the year strong, but if you’re like me…so easy to let it all fall to the land of forgetfulness very quickly.
So, how can you remember to pray throughout the day? Here are some ways that help me:
1. Use some sort of prayer journal during your quiet time. I use Val Marie Paper’s prayer journal and the Praying for you Husband journal. I know a lot of people who also just use a blank journal for prayers. By writing down specific prayers and having specific verses to pray over, I remember to pray more often, just by the fact that I have everything already written down.
2. Put your prayer journal out on your kitchen table or another central place in your house. Just physically seeing my prayer journal for my husband reminds me to pray for him. I rarely even open it, but when I glance at it, I remember to pray and just start doing it.
3. Set an alarm on your phone. My deep, dark prayer abyss usually comes from about 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., and then from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. I have good intentions of praying throughout the day, but by 9:30, I am caught up in full-on work or full-on child time, so prayer gets forgotten. I set random alarms on my phone (not the same time every day) so that I will remember to pray when the alarm goes off.
4. Change your phone or computer screen backgrounds. I will find a cool background online of a Bible verse or beautiful nature scene, and switch my phone or computer background often. I get startled by seeing a new picture, which makes me pay attention…which pushes me to pray.
5. Take a picture of Bible verses you are praying on your phone. Each week, I take a picture of the scriptures I am praying for my husband in the Husband journal. When I am waiting at a traffic light, or in a doctor’s office, I flip to the picture and have the verses with me already. Big help with praying, no matter where I am.
6. Set up some accountability with a friend. Find a good friend (or Bible Study group) to go at it with you. My great Bible Study group set up a texting accountability thing to encourage each other during our hard times of the day…it was great.
7. Add Prayer to your to-do list. Now, don’t take this one the wrong way - I don’t think prayer is something you do to “check off” or “accomplish” and then move on. But, when I already have a big to-do list I look at constantly, seeing the word Prayer on it reminds me to stop and pray (before doing anything on the list!) I will even write out specific prayer to-dos for each day, just so I remember to pray for different people and things. It helps me remember to pray, without feeling like I am just being a good, checkable Christian. And, I never actually "check it off" - just leave it as something to always do!
8. Put a prayer list near your shower. I don’t get a ton of alone time during the day, so to me, shower time is glorious. I’ll post a Bible verse or prayer list near my towel or bathrobe, so I see it before I get in, so I think to pray for a situation or person in the shower. It’s like free, uninterrupted prayer time. Sweet!
What ways do you remember to pray throughout the day? Have any tips or pointers for people trying to pray more often in the New Year?
Make sure to check out the How to Pray Scripture post as well!