Prayer kicks my butt.
I am not the prayer warrior that I would like to be.
How about you?
People ask me to pray for things and if I don’t stop right then and there to pray, I will forget. No question about it. I can easily fall into the habit of “present your requests to God,” but forget the whole “with thanksgiving” part of Philippians 4:6. I easily get scared because of the hopefulness that prayer creates. How about you?
Real, raw prayer intimidates me. And honestly, I think it should. We (me included) shouldn’t be so lackadaisical about our prayers. When we pray, we are connecting with, reaching for, and tapping into the power of Heaven. We are asking God to work in us, through us and around us. I’m not saying we should be so intimidated that you don’t pray at all but we should approach prayer with far more reverence than we do.
JESUS, TEACH US TO PRAY
In Luke 11, one of the disciples ask Jesus to teach him to pray. I recently listened to a sermon on prayer and the speaker said Luke 11:1 is the only time in Scripture that the disciples actually ask Jesus to teach them something. How powerful is that?!? These guys witnessed miracles, but they aren’t asking Jesus how to do those. They’re asking how to pray. They understood the power of prayer and knew that miracles were fueled by it. There is a reverence in that request. Reverence for who God is and what He is capable of and what His mission is, not theirs.
I think that’s where powerful prayer starts. Reverence for the One to whom you are presenting your requests. For me, reverence starts when I really take time to examine who He is. Philippians 4:4 starts with “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Luke 11:2 (where Jesus is teaching his disciples to pray) says “Father, hallowed be your name.” Both of these verses encourage us to start our prayers honoring God and speaking back to Him of His goodness.
SAME PRAYING, NEW PATH
I know a lot of people have prayer journals where they write out their requests to God. I have started numerous journals, and that is a great thing! But for me, I saw a drastic shift in my prayer life when I started a praise journal. Whether my heart is heavy with a need or I am just going through life and things feel normal, I have started sitting down with a notebook and writing out all I can think of that is praiseworthy about God.
Some days, it’s really hard to start and other days the words just flow, but I have learned that as I worship God by speaking truth about Him, to Him and to my heart, my focus shifts. The aches of my heart don’t seem so heavy in light of who God is. All of the things I would normally ‘present as requests to God’ don’t seem so huge. My eyes turn to Him and I see His goodness towards me. I will still spend time praying those requests but the atmosphere of that time of asking feels very different.
There is joy in the request when I remember the goodness of the One I am presenting my requests too, rather than feeling forgotten in my need. It’s a beautiful transformation.
So I invite you: in the next 24 hours join me on a praise journey with a praise notebook.
a) Plan: Set aside 10 minutes with paper and pen.
b) Write: Start listing out God’s goodness.
c) Praise: Tell Him who He is and also remind yourself.
I’ll help you get started: He is the King of Kings, Creator of the sun and the wind, Power and Glory, Majestic, Giver of every breath I take, a Safe Place, the Mover of Mountains, Merciful Savior, my Lord, and I love Him. That's where I start with Him. How about you?
by: Nikki Watermolen
Nikki has been a faithful attendee at RSBC since its inception. She eagerly worships Jesus in the church body using gifts of music, hospitality, and caring for women and girls of all ages.