the importance of ongoing prayer

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“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9

This year I have gone through a lot of change… I mean a lot. If I were to list the major life changes, emotional changes, and season changes I have gone through this year, you wouldn’t believe me. I might not even believe me!

However, throughout this year, I have learned one very, very important piece of my spiritual journey with Jesus – ongoing prayer.

See, prayer is what keeps us in contact with God. Prayer is the tool we use to combat the lies of Satan, it’s the gateway to a growing relationship with our Savior, and it’s the mechanism we use to keep our hearts and emotions in tune and in check with the truth of God (2 Chronicles 7:14, Ephesians 6:18,James 5:13, Matthew 26:41, etc.).

Until summer of this year, I never understood how critical prayer is to my life. This all changed when I was at a baby shower (seriously… could y’all have any more babies right now), and I ran into a girl whose car Dylan and I bought off the side of the road in September of last year. I knew of her through our 30 minute encounter where we handed her cash and drove off with her car (ha!). So, I run into this girl and we strike up immediate spiritual conversation.

Throughout our two hour talk I felt the Lord pressing on me to reach out to her after the baby shower and learn more about her life, which lead to me learning about her mission. I later learned that Lauren (author of two of the most powerful prayer devotional books ever written – link at the bottom) was on a mission of teaching women to pray through prayer journaling. I couldn’t contain myself when I learned this!

Lauren, noticing my excitement gifted me with her book, Steadfast! I immediately began this book, and the Lord used it to change my daily life.

In this book, I learned the importance of prayer journaling scripture and using scripture as the basis of truth for my daily life. I’ve learned how God is so intricately part of my life and I can’t help but see how faithful He is to His children – to me – His daughter! Since July, I have completed 2 notebooks (front and back) of written our prayers. Now, if you know me, you know I am NOT a writer, I have no desire to be a blogger, and until what you are reading here, I haven’t written a paper since college!

As I began to write out my prayers (mostly based off of different Psalms) the Lord began doing a work in my heart, attitude, and my emotions.

I have learned how to give fear to the Lord through prayer and how to write out the truths of God to combat the lies of Satan. I have learned to recognize my emotional state, and then ask the Lord to fill me with the emotions He would have for me to feel. I’ve been reminded that my identity rests in Jesus and all that He has done and NOTHING can change that. It’s been solidified in my heart that my sin has been paid for and nothing changes that. I have also learned how to pray specific prayers for my friends and family based off of God’s truth.

So, my friends, I encourage you to grab a journal this year. Date it at the top, and pray scripture over your life and situations.

Combat Satan’s lies with the powerful, victorious truth of Jesus! Actually pray for people when you say you are going to pray for them. Put more time and energy into knowing your Savior. Write out your prayers so you can go back and read them to be reminded of the faithfulness and perfect plan of God! You won’t regret it. I am attaching a prayer I prayed for myself below. Maybe this can help you in your prayer journaling experience! I sure hope so!

 

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017
Scripture: Psalm 55

Jesus, thank you for knowing every pain I have faces. Thank you for interpreting each tear that I’ve cried. You know every roof of pain that I have. Thank you for being the God who listens to my complains and pains, but doesn’t leave me there to soak it in. Please use all of my pains for your flory! Let me reflect a heart set on heaven-on you! Teach me how to praise you and be an arrow that strikes Satan right in the heart. When I am restless because of the noise of the enemy, help my thankfulness and praise drown out his voice. May I not be paralyzed with pain. Because of your steadfast love, don’t let me moved. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Lauren’s Book: Steadfast

 


 

Erika is one of my oldest friends. Growing up like sisters, even in our adulthood and marriage and future circumstances, loving Jesus and people, I know we will also have something sweet.

Erika, her husband Dylan, and their dog Cooper live in Atlanta, GA.

I love hearing how God is changing and teaching and revealing Himself in other people’s lives, and I want to prioritize that with this blog. He created each one of us uniquely and intricately, from our features to the way we process to the way we interact with Him, and I love Him even more for it.

Erika has also written a post for my Clothe Yourself With series, about joy, if you’d like to read that also.

1 Comment

  • Lauren Mitchell

    This is beautiful; it’s an encouragement to my heart and a testament to God’s faithfulness and steadfast presence in our lives. Erika Carter, love you always!

    12/26/2017 at 2:01 am Reply
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