When My Prayer Life Needed a Jump Start

June 20, 2013 in books,prayer

There used to be so much to pray about: what to study in college, how to spend my summers, who to marry, where to live, and piles of friends who were all making the same decisions. Leaning on God to avoid anxiety was necesary during that time. Then one day I was a mom, at home, and what I needed to be doing was obvious: take care of the home, do my wifey thing, and care for my children. I didn’t need to pray about whether or not to change a diaper or if I should vacuum. And we were settled. We owed a very affordable home. My husband had a job. I needed to pray for patience and wisdom, but prayer didn’t feel as urgent as it used to. Oh I still prayed, but they were short and rather like playing the same CD over and over again.

There would be periods of big prayer times: new jobs, moving, health issues. Generally though my prayer life was stunted. I had tried different formulas. Give thanks, Give praise, Ask for others, Ask for yourself. It didn’t stick. I knew prayer was supposed to be more than a list of requests. I liked the idea of praying scripture for people, but honestly, I didn’t know scripture well enough for most situations. Growing up the only prayers I heard were the ones that were part of the service (usually scripted) and the short meal prayer we used sometimes: God is great, God is good…..

Stormie OmartianI had seen her books for years: Stormie Omartian. She had so many books that sold well. Power of A Praying Wife. Power of a Praying Parent, Power of Praying for Your Adult Children, Power of a Praying Kid. I assumed this author had found a formula that sold and capitalized on it. Who could possibly be an expert in all those areas?  I was passing judgement without  reading a word.

Early in my mothering, I read the first chapter of  Power of Praying Wife while browsing at the library. It hit me like a rock in the stomach. It was powerfully convicting. Still, I put the book away and didn’t finish it. A recent desire to pray for my husband and my kids more brought out the book plus Power of a Praying Parent and it has revolutionized my prayer life. Though we are still “settled” in a different affordable house, our schooling decisions are made, our future is clear unless God sends directions to change the course, and my husband has a different job that he loves. But now, the urgency to pray is back.

I knew I needed to pray for our life more. But really I didn’t know how. My mind would come up blank. It never occurred to me to pray for my girls’ relationship with their dad, for their desire to learn, for my husband’s work(he loved it and it appears secure), for his health (when he is not sick even), for his integrity, for my critical heart, for when I need to take better care of my body. I used to be a straight circumstantial prayerer.

The Power of a Praying….books are organized in a way that feeds my heart. Each short chapter has a brief explanation of the prayer topic, a prayer and scriptures to accompany the topic. I’ve actually gone through each book multiple times. The scripture help me change and refocus the prayers for different need, the topics help me cover all aspects of life with prayer. And my favorite part, many of the chapters focus on me. Because family life is not about them, it is about us, and my sins are part of the problem too. The longest and most difficult chapter in Power of a Praying Wife is the first one called, “His Wife.” Stormie helps me take the plank out of my own eye.

There are other great book out there on prayer. Do you have a favorite? How did you learn to prayer? What spurs you on to talk to God? I would love to know.

 

 

 

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Adventure Girl June 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

My mom loves these books, and now I’m thinking I should read one. An event called the Great Banquet rocked my spiritual world including my prayer life…the book I love to pray right now from is a year round devotional by Beth Moore called “Praying God’s word day by day”. I just finished a Bible Study called “Believing God” and it was amazing…it totally breaks down how to pray God’s word. What a great post!

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pruningprincesses June 21, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Thank you. I knew Beth Moore emphasized praying scripture. Is her book topical or more of a how-to? Thank you the suggestion. If left to my own brain, my prayers can get very self-focused!

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Adventure Girl June 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

The devotional book by Beth just has different prayers along with the scriptures it comes from…it has one for each day of the year (if you miss a day just hop to the day your on). When I find one that really clicks…I go back to that day over and over. The believing God study is a “how to”. I actually have verses printed on index cards by my mirror now, so I can read them outloud while I get ready.

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Gail @ BibleLoveNotes.com June 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Wise advice. I think we are more apt to get distracted in prayer than any other activity in life. I suppose that’s Satan’s plan. And it’s wise to use any books, tools, reminders, methods possible to keep us focused and making our prayer lives meaningful. Thanks for sharing your story.

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