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Prayer

July 26, 2009

There are a lot of things I admire about you and your writing, but I want to say that the one thing that stands out to me the most is your prayer life. I long very much to have a deeper more meaningful prayer life but I am not sure how to do it. I mean, I know how to pray, but I find that my mind wanders or I pray about the same things over and over, or I just run out of things to say. I am not trying to force it, I just feel like I could go so much deeper if I only knew how.

Do you have any advice or wisdom you would be willing to share with me?

Hi C.!

I just finished up with one of the least effective times of prayer that I’ve had in a while, so I thought, “Oh my gosh – THIS is when I should email C. back!”  Today my mind was wandering, I was distracted, and my prayer time was extremely short. I completely understand everything you said!

🙂

I am going to dump out some of my thoughts on prayer to you.  Feel free to take some of them to heart or throw any of them out!

I struggled for a really long time to pray.   I never really knew HOW to pray – other than short, little prayers. Then, about ten years ago, I started studying different prayer structures.  Honestly, learning about prayer structures really helped me.

I realized that just sitting down and TRYING to pray rarely worked – but if I had a plan when I prayed…a format that I followed…I could focus.

There are a TON of different prayer structures to learn about:

1.  Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore

2.  ACTS Prayer Structure

3.  Becky Tirabassi’s Prayer Resources

4.  Armor of God Study by Pastor John Fitchner in Atlanta (this is the one I started with and loved, actually)

I found that when I had a plan in my prayer time, I actually enjoyed my time with God.

I also changed my mindset about prayer.  Instead of feeling like “I’ve got to learn how to have AMAZING time with God RIGHT NOW”, I decided that I would spend the rest of my life learning how to enjoy God’s Presence.  I became a lot more relaxed as I learned about prayer, because I became focused on the long-term goal.

It took two years for me to start spending a long time with God in prayer, yet I started being able to focus more in my time with God after just a few weeks.  Using a structure freed me in a lot of ways and I began to learn what it felt like to pray for an extended period of time.   Later, I began to have days or seasons where I didn’t use a prayer structure.  This is true for me now; I use a structure some days and other days I  simply sit in God’s Presence and laugh or cry or listen to His voice.

I hope some of this is helpful!

I hope you have an amazing Sabbath, my friend –

Love,
Jess

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2009 10:50 pm

    Jess,
    I too struggle with my prayer life, in fact i acutally found your site about a year ago during the bloggy carnival when you were giving away a custom prayer kit. I bookmarked your site, and have been coming back ever since. I have always admired your openess and honesty about your prayer life.

    I’ll have to look in to those books you referanced in this post!

    Thanks for all you do! 🙂

  2. July 27, 2009 8:27 am

    Hi, Jess! I am Connie @ LockShock…I am here to tell you that I am the link listed before yours and that I made a mistake entering my URL into the mister linky on the SheSpeaks bloggers site…so the link doesn’t work to my blog…but you may already know this by now!
    So, just wanted to say hello, I will be praying for you and I look forward to meeting you on Friday night.
    Thanks for your insights into having a plan for prayer…so helpful and encouraging!
    Connie
    LockShock – http://concettaruthie.blogspot.com

  3. July 27, 2009 11:29 am

    Hi, Jess. Came over from the Mister Linky about the She Speaks Conference. Hope I can meet you there. Love what you had to say about prayer — especially that you have the rest of your life to learn how to pray more effectively and be in God’s presence. So true! Love that!

  4. July 27, 2009 10:29 pm

    I am a huge Beth Moore fan, but have never read that book of hers. I am going to look into getting that.

  5. July 28, 2009 12:24 pm

    I just saw your twitter (tweet? whatever!) about living in the Pacific NW. Don’t be sad about not living here right now – it was 105 yesterday and is supposed to be the same (or hotter) today. I don’t remember it ever being so hot here – I don’t know how people live in places like Arizona!!

  6. July 28, 2009 5:48 pm

    Thanks for linking up ….I look forward to meeting you at She Speaks on Friday.

    Whew…so many thoughts swarming from your prayer life post. Excellent, by the way. 🙂

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