THe Prayer Challenge
Read His Words Before Ours!
1 Samuel 1:10-19
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods, and I’d look up into the sky – up -up – up into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness, and then I’d just feel a prayer.” ~Anne Shirley
I’ve been reliving my childhood fancies lately; escaping into the ever-magical, imaginative world of Anne Shirley. After a difficult upbringing by incredibly strict grandparents, author Lucy Maud Montgomery married a Reverend and wrote many books, including my all-time favorite, Anne of Green Gables. Montgomery’s bold theological statements often pointed out how reverence and worship aren’t what we tend to make it.
Since re-reading Anne’s quote about feeling a prayer, I’ve done just that many times over.
My life feels a little as if it’s spinning out of control right now.
I’ve tried to paint a perfect picture of my life for the outside world to see,
but inside, a tornado rages..
Many days, I feel like I can’t even think what to pray.
So, I’ve closed my eyes, imagined myself in a massive field, and just felt my prayers.
I’ve felt the glory and wonder of God and what He has created.
I’ve felt the loneliness and instability that quakes my soul.
I’ve felt the insecurities and I’ve felt the joy.
And I’ve felt myself releasing it all and giving it to Him.
All without saying a word.
How is that even possible?
Because God knows.
He knows my every thought and every feeling.
He knows me.
The Spirit Himself prays for me. (Romans 8:26)
In this blessed assurance, I’m free to saturate my chaos with intimate moments of communion with my Savior, while He calms my storms and brings peace.
I feel the tornado slowing.
The tension is leaving.
Because of prayer.
Not perfect, holy, well-thought through words.
But connection, groanings I lack words for, shared to the ear of God through the Spirit who dwells within me.
Centuries ago, Christians practiced the discipline of prayer through “Daily Offices”. Believers marked off specific times throughout the day, generally the third, sixth, ninth, and bedtime hours, dedicating them to prayer. At each interval, they put aside their daily tasks to spend time saturating themselves with the Lord.
Prayers of praise.
Prayers of worship.
Prayers of joy.
Prayers of need.
Prayers of longing.
Prayers for others.
Prayers for themselves.
Prayers of confession.
Prayers of angst.
Intimacy and relationship.
What if we prayed like Hannah?
She bitterly wept before the Lord, thinking her prayer,
unable to even audibly speak!
She was heartbroken with infertility. She poured out her soul to the Lord, all of her deep anguish and grief.
What if we surrendered our deep anguish and grief all throughout the day?
Suppose we told Him our ache for a lost brother, or the way our arms feel empty for the child we’ve never held, or how our soul feels crushed from the weight of a seemingly hopeless marriage?
Enter into that intimacy with the Lord, Sisters.
Hearts are changed here.
What if we prayed like David?
King David had an affair with a married woman, yet with the deep convictions of his heart, he cried out to God to wash him of his iniquity and cleanse him of sin.
In prayer, David begged the Lord to restore the joy he’d once known.
What if we recognized our great sins and ugly failures, confessing them to the Lord multiple times a day? Would we become more aware of our pride, quickly confessing and running from it? Would our hearts begin to grieve as we recognized and confessed our lust again?
Enter into that intimacy of giving the Lord your sins, Sister.
Hearts are changed here.
What if we prayed like Mary?
With the news of her pregnancy, and the coming Messiah,
Perhaps she knelt to sang. Maybe she danced, rejoicing loudly while exclaiming the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise! She celebrated her worship!
Sisters, imagine if we were to take intentional time to thank God, celebrate Him, and declare His name throughout the day!
EVEN IF we don’t feel like it.
EVEN IF we have difficulty believing what we say.
Imagine how the thanksgiving we surrender will grow in our hearts, overflowing onto others, and shifting our perspective as we praise the Lord throughout the day.
Enter into that joyful intimacy with the Lord, Sister.
Hearts are changed here!
What if we prayed like Daniel?
Nothing could stop Daniel from praying throughout the day.
Not even the LAW or the threat of his LIFE.
Daniel met the Lord three times, everyday, windows open to the world, unashamed of his God.
What if we said no to distractions having priority over prayer?
What if we paused our lives several times a day to approach the throne of God.
Even WITH kids screaming in the background.
Even WITH a messy house just beyond our closed eyes.
Even WITH a meeting that will last all day.
What if we kept the conversation going on road trips, on business trips, in the grocery store, in the car.
Oh, let’s go there, Sister! Enter into that precious intimacy with the Lord.
Hearts are changed here. Yours and those around you!
I want that in the middle of my messy chaos.
Join me in my Prayer Challenge:
Choose 3 times a day for your phone alarm to go off.
I’m doing it right now setting it for 9 AM, Noon, and 3 PM.
When those timers go off, we pray.
Even if all we can muster is our deepest feelings, a groan, or a cry.
Let’s specifically, intentionally, prayerfully, enter into deeper intimacy with our King.
Watch out, Sisters.
Our hearts and lives are about to change!
This Bible Study is property of Gracefully Truthful, where it was originally posted. For more studies like this one, check out GracefullyTruthful.com!
From Bible studies to blogs, articles to musings of the heart, Kendra's writings are unbarred and raw - exactly how she speaks.