Prayer, time spent communicating with the Lord, is an important part of my life. I believe it is a foundational aspect of the Christian life. However, this is an area where I always feel I can make improvements. I'd like to wake up each morning and spend time in prayer, communicate with God throughout the day (not just when I need/want something), and end each day thanking the Lord for His goodness. I often fall short of this desire, so I include things in my life that remind me to pray and remind me of the awesome power of prayer.
Reading About Prayer
As with most things I enjoy and want to learn more about or practice more, I often read books about prayer. I recently completed two excellent books on the power of prayer.
Prayers That Changed History is a children's book that shares the stories of 25 people who changed the world through their prayers. The chapters are arranged in chronological order beginning with Polycap (who lived from 69AD until 155AD) and Constantine (272-337) and ending with Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945). Each chapter shares a brief story of the life of that individual and how his or her prayer(s) changed history, then includes questions to think about and a similar story about someone in the Bible.
This is an excellent book for middle readers to learn about prayer. I'll be passing my copy along to a friend who is a homeschooling mom. (I received this book free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.)
My friend Rita is a prayer warrior, someone who prays regularly for others. She also reads about prayer and often shares books with me that she's read. Recently she sent me Stormie OMartian's Prayer Warrior, a fabulous book for those who desire a meaningful prayer life that helps advance God's kingdom and glory. I always enjoy Stormie OMartian's books because she shares personal examples of how prayer has impacted her life and family and includes sample prayers with scriptures at the end of each chapter.
Meeting With Others For Prayer
I also find that taking time to meet with others for prayer, whether in a church service or special prayer meeting, is an excellent way for me to include more prayer time in my life. Recently a friend of mine invited a few of us to meet with her at a local park once a week to pray for specific needs within our communities and throughout our country. One morning I arrived early and spent time doing some Bible Journaling.
I had read a quote in the Prayers That Changed History book and decided to include it in my Bible near the Lord's prayer in Matthew Chapter 6.
Here's a closer look at this thought-provoking quote by Oswald Chambers.
During our time of prayer together, we discussed this quote, shared prayer requests, and took time to pray for the needs of each other, our church, our local community, and the upcoming presidential elections. These times of prayer with others help me take time to pray for things outside my usual prayer list and allow me to stand in faith with other believers as we seek answers to those prayers.
Writing Out My Prayers
Taking time to write my prayers is a tangible way that I can express my desires and praises to the Lord. I find that I am often including written prayers on my illustrated Bible Journaling pages.
Recently, I created a tip-in using one of the new Art Play Paintables papers. I colored in the quote, then added this strip into my Bible using washi tape along the edge of the page. On the back of this strip, I've written out a prayer that I've been repeating over and over recently. I included this in my Bible alongside the story of the Persistent Widow in the book of Luke, which is a reminder for us to continue to ask the Lord until we receive an answer!
What do you do to help you keep prayer an integral part of your life?