Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Everything By Prayer

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Prayer has always been a difficult discipline for me. I seem to struggle with being consistent and often feel like I am just spouting off a list of wants to God. Sometimes I find myself falling asleep or my mind wandering.  I hate to admit it but I can sometimes go days without really praying. 

While it is God who works in us and gives us the desire to want to pray, we still are given the command to pray in everything and are responsible to obey God's word. 

I have found in my struggles with chronic pain that praying for others can help me tremendously. Not only does it grow my relationship with God, but it also helps me take my focus off myself and all my problems for a little while. I often ask people to please tell me how I can be praying for them. This is a ministry I can be apart of even when I feel bad and am unable to "do" things.  I have met so many people through this short journey who are also struggling and hurting and I often say, "I'll pray for you". But a week or two goes by and I realize I forgot to pray for them.  I've tried to write down lists or keep a "prayer journal", but it never seems to work...I end up not praying for the person like I'd hoped.

This year my husband got a small planner/calendar and lists things to pray for each day. He does this in advance so that when the day comes he is prepared to remember to pray for "Bob who is having surgery on Monday".  I decided to try to adopt this practice.  In addition to my husband's approach, I use a systematic guide for each day that I adapted from an old friend's blog.  I am trying to pray for different "groups" everyday of the week.

Monday: Family
Tuesday: Friends
Wednesday: Church/ministries
Thursday: Those that are sick/chronically ill
Friday: Missionaries
Saturday: Hurting/Longing (this may be a struggling marriage or a family facing infertility/adoption)
Sunday: My own personal issues/Holiness and Growth

I still do not pray like I should, but it helps me to have a "plan" that can help me be more consistent in prayer. God doesn't always answer prayer the way we would like, but He does always answer and He promises to give us peace in Jesus no matter the outcome. Prayer is one of the ways God brings about His will in our lives. How amazing it is that the creator of the universe calls us to offer up our requests to Him!

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