Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pray and Purpose

Every evening I turn my worries over to God. 
 He's going to be up all night anyway. 
~Mary C. Crowley

Do you pray?

I wouldn’t say that prayer has always been a focus in my life. I have lived by the “Dana knows best” way of thinking. I would say I normally have an on again off again prayer routine. Lately, though, I have prayed more for a couple of reasons.

One I am reading this book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart.

I don’t have it with me at this time, but a few days ago I read when you pray about something or someone it puts them in your heart more. If I pray for Shelby then I spend more time (if that is possible) thinking about her.

Let me back up…I think I have always said little prayers, but lately it seems like I pray for a purpose. I have a time and a pattern that I use to pray. I was told many years ago that I needed to pray out loud. A friend of mine had told me that the devil can’t hear your thoughts, so when you are praying out loud it lets the devil know that you are speaking to God. I am not sure about that, but there are times where I get more out of praying aloud.

I was taught the P.R.A.Y approach to prayer a long time ago and still use it. I know it is normally for people who are learning to pray, but it is helpful to me.

Praise: Simply sit quietly and thank God for who He is and what He has done.

Repent: Confess all known sin and commit to turn from it.

Access: Tell Him about the needs and frustrations that tangle your life and the lives of those you care about. I also call this “Ask” because this is where I ask for help.

Yield: (I had to look this one up, guess I miss this step) Once you spread your prayer list on the floor in front of God’s throne, don’t retrieve them. Yielding means you leave your requests there. You have permission to bring them again and again. But the fact that you have brought them before God indicates that you trust that He will, in His time and in His way, take care of them.

Now that I look at it and think about it I may also use the A.C.T.S Approach to pray. They are both great, here is A.C.T.S

Adoration: Tell Him that you love Him. Reflect on His greatness, His power, His majesty.

Confession: Well…you confess…

Thanksgiving: Think of several specific things to thank him for…I always say my family and my friends, but I also include things like tapping me on the shoulder when I am getting off track.

Supplication: (ok you know I looked this up) Simply this is where you pray…you pray for other before yourself.

Both are very useful and I probably mix them up and do them out of order, but hey I am still praying. As my friend Stefanie has drilled into my head, “Worry about nothing, Pray about everything.” I am working on it…

Besides the book I am reading, I have been praying more due to the overwhelming anxious feelings I have been having. They will vary from day to day. Yesterday it was the fear of losing Shelby since I had been reading about a young girl’s tragic death during Spring Break. The night before it was the fear of someone entering our house while I was slept….I know silly, but I worry sometimes about those things which leads me to prayer.

Now Purpose…when I thought of this title I didn’t not mean for purpose to have anything to do with Prayer. In the past few days it has become more of a realization to me that my purpose in life is to be this girl’s mother. Pretty cheesy, huh?

I am not sure what it is that has made that hit home so much lately. It’s just the overwhelming feeling lately that she my responsibility. It is my responsibility to make sure she learns what she needs to learn before she becomes an adult…and I am not talking about knowing the difference between a cube and a rectangular prism. I mean the stuff that matters…the stuff that will determine what kind of adult she will be. I used to not think I could handle such a large task, but lately I am ready to face it head on. I love this child will all that I have and I will do everything possible to help her have a successful life.

Which leads me back to something that I stated earlier…this week I need to focus on Yielding. In His way, in His time, things will be taken care of. 

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