On the first day of spring this year it snowed. Welcome to the Appalachian mountains. West Virginia holds four fluid seasons, but I was ready for spring. Let me say, season depression is not fun when it snows on the first day of spring. Saying goodbye to winter with its cold, dark nights, and germs was what I really wanted to do that day. Instead, I was stuck inside with three stir-crazy little ones.
Winter has been long this year. Not necessarily super cold or lots and lots of snow, but it seems like it started early in October and now into the later part of March we are shoveling the white stuff off of our driveway again. One of the most beautiful things about winter is it has taught me this truth: God is faithful in the seasons we don’t see growth.
One of the spiritual disciplines I’ve been wanting to really focus on has been prayer. I wish I could say after a year and a half of my efforts I could say I was getting up two hours before the kids and spending lots of time on my knees. Instead, I barely get up to drink one cup of coffee and whisper quiet prayers in my kitchen 15-20 minutes before I need to wake them up for school.
The hidden growth years get me down, just like winter. With five little crazy ones running around, I have relinquished my “ideal” time to pray and read Scripture. Instead, I’m trusting God to work in my hearts during my crack times. Those moments in-between real life interruptions are when I find God these days. And that’s ok. Just like the seasons in the hills of my state, my life will shift before I know it. Only three weeks later after that snow on the first day of spring we all pulled out our flip flops and enjoyed a 70 degrees outside. Seasons can change so quickly here, but so do life’s seasons.
As I move forward, one day at a time, living my life the best I can, I’ve found these NINE TIPS and PRACTICES for prayer to be true for ANY season in life. No matter how much time I have to pray, I can use any of these things to help move my heart closer to the Father’s.
1. Read scripture with prayer. It is our guide in prayer. (Romans 10:17)
2. Pray for peace to guard our hearts. (Isaiah 26:3)
3. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s heal. (Romans 8:26-27)
4. Ask God to help examine our hearts. (Psalm 139:24-25)
5. Make prayer a priority by making a plan. (Make 1:35)
6. Keep confession a part of prayer. (I John 1:9)
7. Pray for others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
8. Give thanks to God. (Philippians 4:6)
9. Allow yourself to be still with God before praying. (Psalm 46:10)
I am a go-getter and I DO NOT like to waste time. In fact, I will look for ways to multitask throughout my day. I will cross stitch while I watch T.V. While my kindergartener does her workbook pages, I will write out lists and move through the kitchen cleaning So beginning prayer with “being still” was not natural for me. In fact, it was down right HARD to do! But it is amazing, though, how God has changed my heart about this practice of just being still. Just before I start to pray, I will sit, holding my coffee most days, and just listen. My breathes will go in and out and I will ask the Holy Spirit and God to meet me in this space. Most of the time I am working at getting all of my thoughts captive and stop thinking about all I need to do for the day.
Number nine on my to-do list is the hardest one to put into practice, but I’ve found such fruit from it I will strive to be still more often!
Which of these tips can you practice today?
If you would like to print off this list (as well as Nine Truths About Prayer), you can download a free copy here.
When you see prayer, would you wonder if maybe peace could be a part of your life through the power of prayer?
Join me on a seven day journey. A newly updated versinof my Seven Days to Peace Prayer Challenge is now available.
In it you will find seven days of scripture, prayer prompts, and a short devotional to draw you closer to God through the power of prayer. When you get this amazing, life-changing challenge, you will also receive lock screens and memory cards!!!
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