Have you seen the latest Kendrick Brothers movie War Room? If not, I highly recommend it. It is their best movie yet, and sheds light on the value and power of consistent prayer.
If you look at a history book containing information about my prayer life from the time I believed Jesus as my Lord to now, there would be seasons of much activity as well as seasons of barely a word. That being said, I love this aspect of God’s design of life, this piece of our relationship. I delight in the act of conversing with Him, about the silly things as well as serious things. The reality is that prayer is a gift. The fact that we can connect to God in this way is astounding — right? Humbling, sometimes overwhelming, many times sweet and peace-giving. The story that War Room told — its truth, its mission, both refreshed and challenged me in my attitude toward prayer.
I’ve heard recently that if you love someone, one of the greatest things you can for them is pray for them (I even wrote about it).
The Holy Spirit has convicted me recently, not about the words of my prayers or my desire to pray, but the consistency of my praying.
I then pondered why I’m inconsistent when it comes to real, powerful, praying-the-Bible praying. I can do the continual conversation with God in my head thing. My expressive and heart-on-my-sleeve self does that pretty well. It’s the daily, intentional prayer, the interceding and battling against the enemy + distractions of the world… this is where I’m lacking.
Instead of telling God “Okay, I’ll try to do better.” I took a long look at myself and brainstormed how to effectively make steps towards change. What I came up with is pretty simple, but I’ve already felt the difference.
I bought a spiral-bound index cards ‘book,’ and took a page or two to write down prayers to pray. So far I have cards for my husband, my family, my best friends, people in our community who are deeply hurting, my church and its leadership, even my self.
(Sidebar: I used to think that reading prayers wasn’t me actually praying. Is that ridiculous? I thought this way for a long time, until recently. Now I consider written down prayers to be mega-helpful in the act of consistent prayer.)
Realizing that using the Bible as content for my prayers has changed the way I pray. I have cards that preach solely to God’s greatness. I have one card with a list of His names/traits. I have one card with a paraphrased version of Ephesians 1 on, to remind myself before my Heavenly Father that I am forgiven, chosen, His child, equipped, etc.
To be frank with you, the desire of my heart is not only greater intimacy with God, but also to witness His power in changing lives. If there is a card for a particular individual in my life, and I daily intercede on their behalf, for simple things like math tests, or big things like victory over sin — God may allow me to see how his power is released, because of my prayer. How incredible would that be! It won’t always happen that way, most of the time I probably won’t see the result of my prayers, and I’m content with that — but wouldn’t it be amazing to look back over a course of time and see how He changed, worked, loved, helped, etc?
Since I’ve started using my spiral note cards as a tool, I feel refreshed, motivated, strong, and energized in my prayer life. Maybe it could also work for you, if you’re in any way like me?
Do you have a prayer habit that is helpful to you? I’d love to hear about it.