regarding prayer...from Faith Barista Bonnie Gray's challenge...
i LOVE praying! alone, together, on my knees, or in a large group...with words in my heart or floating around my ears - my own or others...love to be a part of it.
praying comes easy for me - i love to talk - so don't use flowery words and "Christian-ese" language - just talk to God. He IS my FATHER...and He understands my heart (even when it's broken), my mind (even when it's pre-occupied) and my physical needs (even when they are great). He knows my silences...and i'm grateful that it's ok to "be still and know that He is God". He loves me, and wants to hear from me. i want to walk with Him in every area of my life!!
a partner in ministry and i began to meet at the start of summer one night a week, for one hour, to pray for others - the global community of workers sharing the gospel of Jesus abroad. for missionaries, unreached people groups, and for others who would be passionate to come and pray about these things with us. i love seeing who He leads to join us each week! i'm ALWAYS amazed at how quickly that time flies by!!
in some areas of Christian work, we see a lot of hurt and loneliness in worker's lives....the problem - the inability to join together and pray in agreement. to do spiritual warfare against the common enemy. i'm praying for these men and women and families to lay down their pride, their shame, and be willing to lift each other up in prayer!! my prayers for them can only go so far....so i'm praying that they will put on their armor and do battle, that HE will equip them to do it, and lead them in prayer!
i think that one of my most motivational prayer resources has been "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian (all her books are good, but this was my first one years ago). i LOVE how she states at the start - we have no right to pray for God to change our husbands unless we are willing to ask God to change us too - that has become a part of my foundational prayer in MANY sessions - "God, change me; change "them", or change the circumstances" - and He always answers that prayer (can you guess who gets changed most?).
a book sitting on my desktop waiting to be read is "And The Place Was Shaken" on leading prayer groups...i've heard good things about it!
my favorite thing to do- when someone says "would you pray for me..." i will stop right then, and pray for them! often they are caught off guard - they don't want to BE praying but want the benefit of prayer - but it's a good thing to do! you get the benefit of leading someone else into a time of prayer (perhaps they have never prayed with another person, out LOUD?!) and God is glorified through our act of praying - coming into His presence (good for all of us!!) and we may get to play a part of seeing an answer to prayer.
some good ideas for prayer, from my youth group leading days:
P - praise God for who He is!! use scripture to define His attributes, His character.
R - remember what He has done! scripture is great to focus on, but it may be something recent too. also remember what WE have done - do we need to confess anything to Him, to clear the air?
A - ask - is there something we are requesting from Him??
Y- yield to Him...this might be in quiet, silence, listening to hear His quiet voice speak something to us.
it doesn't have to be long, flowery, or in detail - all we may be able to pray is, "God, i don't know what to say - but i love you and trust you, and ask that Your will would be done in this situation..."
thanks for sharing Bonnie...you can bet i'm getting off of here and getting into some serious prayer time...
grace and peace (and prayer...)