Praying the Word

Lord, thank you that wherever we go, you are with us. Even in the darkest places of our doubts and struggles you are present. Even when we try to get away from you, you do not let us go. Even in the darkest of places you are present. Thank you for always watching over us, and for drawing us back to you when we wander. For your unfailing love we give you thanks, Amen. #livingbyprayer #scripture #myprayer

Praying the Word

Fill me with your love today Lord, and cause that love to grow not just in my heart but in the whole of my being bringing patience and kindness, trust and hope in ever increasing measure into who I am. Let that love shape how I walk and how I talk. So that I can rejoice in truth and protect those who are need of protection. Let my life overflow with your love as people see Christ in me. In His name and in His love I pray, Amen #myprayer #scripture #livingbyprayer #love

Elements of Prayer: JOURNALLING

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Journaling is a great way to maintain focus during prayer. It also gives a record of our prayers, which can be looked back upon. Distraction is big issues when it comes to prayer. It’s so easy to let our minds wander and find ourselves making a mental “to do” list for the day or thinking about a whole range of things which have nothing to do with prayer. The discipline of sitting down with pen and paper, or keyboard and screen can help to focus our minds and avoid, or certainly minimize the distractions. When we become physically occupied, it can help us to focus.

A Journal is also a place where we can return to see how God has answered our prayers. When we have a record of what we have prayed it’s easy to see how God has answered, especially when we begin to realize that God does not always answer us in ways we would expect. A journal can become a valuable resource for times of thanksgiving and praise.

There is no right or wrong way to journal. We bring our own personality and style to any journal. For some people writing out a whole prayer works best for them. For others, they may write as if writing a letter to a close friend or relative. Writing out a passage of Scripture can be a great way to journal. As you write you are forced to slow down and think about the words, which in turn can draw one deeper into the scripture and deeper into prayer. Some people even find doodling or colouring a great way to pray and journal. As they colour or doodle around a name or a situation they spend time praying.

It’s good to try different styles of journaling to find what works the best for you. Some styles and ideas will work better than others. Some methods will just not fit our personality but eventually our own journal style will emerge. Christian poet Luci Shaw describes journaling as “the catching and holding of joyful, crucial, exciting, significant moments in life”.  It becomes “a record of your spiritual travelling, your personal edging towards God.”

Take some time to sit down, reflect, pray and journal with the Lord.

Praying the Word

Lord, you instruct us to love others just as you have loved us. But we choose to hold onto our fear, our ignorance, even our pride. Strip from me those things which hinder your love flowing through me and draw me deeper into Your love so that as I see the true depths of your love, that love may well up in me for others. IN Jesus name, Amen. #livingbyprayer #love #myprayer #scripture

Praying the Word

Lord, at times my heart can be so blind to your love and grace. I miss you because my focus is upon myself, my needs, my opinions and my desires. My heart can be so selfish and hard. But You are the one who opened the eyes of the blind man. You are the one who cause hearts which had stopped working to beat again. Lord, touch my eyes and heart so that I may see, feel and know You. Let me turn to you and find that deep spiritual healing. In Jesus name and for your glory I pray, Amen. #livingbyprayer #scripture #myprayer

Elements of Prayer: SINGING

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Singing may not fit with a “hands together, eyes closed” style of praying. But song can be a very powerful element in our prayer lives.

Saint Augustine is quoted as saying “when one sings one prays twice.” It has been repeatedly shown that music and song connects with us on a deeper level, a fact I witnessed a few weeks ago when I was in a room of people dealing with various levels of dementia, but who all responded to a singalong video when it began to be played. We connect emotionally not just cognitively with God through singing.

The Old Testament Psalms, Israel’s prayer book, are filled with the directions to sing. Forty-one times in the book we are instructed to “sing praises.” Singing can become a powerful way to pray. It was as Paul and Silas prayed and sang that the earth shook and their prison doors were opened. Paul and Silas were released and the Philippian jailer came to faith in the Lord (Acts 16). King Jehoshaphat “appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise him” (2 Chronicles 20:21) and as they sang the Lord defeated the Ammonites and the Moabites. There is power in singing the praises of God.

Practically, singing in prayer can be as simple as singing a favourite hymn or worship song, either on your own or singing along to a CD or iPod. Or we can choose to sing a song which comes from our own heart. We don’t have to have perfect words or even a wonderful voice, for it is to God that we sing, and to our heavenly father there is no sweeter sound, than the sound of his child singing to him.

So, as the psalmist instructs us, let us…

“worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs” Psalm 100:2
and” let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6