I recently read another post about Prayer and it was something that I thought I would share my thoughts on as well.
Prayer. It is something we are commanded to do. I'm a realist and this causes me a problem HA! My husband and I have had the same discussion about prayer several times over the years we've been married. The realist in me says "Why pray? Doesn't God already know every aspect of my life; everything that will take place? What is there left to pray about if he already knows it?" My husband always tells me a very straight forward answer. "Because it is a matter of faith and obedience" Don't get me wrong, I believe prayer is a good thing - I think it helps us focus on those areas we really want to see God work and, in the end, we can see how He works. I just have to let go of my realism and realize how great our God Really is!
This brings up three questions. 1) When will you pray 2) Where will you pray and 3) Why will you pray.
When will you pray? I struggle with this because I am not an early riser. I firmly agree that mornings are the best time for things like . .. quiet time. Often, if we put it off until later, it just doesn't get done. I love my sleep though, and because of our current schedule we are up in the middle of the night as it is. One of my goals this year is "discipline and yes, discipline in this area. My goal is to start getting up a little earlier (planning to start today!). No matter what, it is important to have a specific time to pray - a time where you can take time to make your requests known. I've read of some moms displaying their prayer lists near the kitchen sink so when they are working in the kitchen they can take time pray - you just have to do what works for you; but find the time non-the-less.
Where will you pray? Yes! You really need a specific place. I've mentioned a book I read before - it was a fiction book but the main character struggled with severe depression. One of the things she learned while in the hospital receiving treatment (yes, in a psych ward. . .going to meetings) was to have a "worry chair"; a place where, at a specific time each day, she could sit down and say all of her worries for the day in order to let them go. As a Christian she turned it into her Prayer chair. Every day, 30 minutes before the kids got home from school, she sat down and cast all of her cares at the feet of Jesus in order to keep her depression at bay. Having a "prayer chair" gives you place to focus - a place to take a deep breath and just relax before your Father and speak to Him. As a mom of young kids, it is hard to find a quiet place (which again, is why mornings are good - but I so don't like mornings HA!) but it still is something important to do. Personally, I wish I had a little nook, surrounded by windows, with a small table to hold a cup of something yummy, and a basket to hold my quiet time books. I don't have that - but I do have a recliner next to a stand where I can place my books . .. for a moment before I have to put them away ;-) Where is your place to pray?
Why do you Pray? Prayer really is a matter of life and death. We should be praying for our spouse; our children; our families. Laying them at the feet of Jesus and praying for our desires for each of them; for our marriage; our daily life. Have you ever noticed that when you consistently prayer, you respond differently to every day things? Instead of getting upset with your children, you find patience to help them? Instead of sighing when your spouse asks you to do something; you turn to do it with a smile and thank God for that special person. So not only do we pray for our families, prayer builds us up as individuals. It allows us to throw our cares away and give them to the one person who can really hold them - it frees us up to live a worry free life an enjoy the daily joys of our life.
I know I was challenged by these three questions recently which is why I wanted to share them with you. I do have a prayer journal - it is just a pretty spiral notebook. Unlike the "Prayer" class I took in college, I do not have a three ring binder filled with everything about prayer - instead I just have my daily list of requests and then, I do "assign" things to a certain day that I pray for weekly such as my extended family, our pastor, the women in my accountabaility group and so on. Specific requests that people give, I pray for those daily along with my family and a few friends whom I'm praying about salvation for too.