Thursday, June 7, 2012

If You Struggle With Prayer...

I've told you before that prayer can be hard for me.

But in my mommy-with-young-kids season,  I have accepted the fact that an hour of quiet prayer every-single-morning may be the exception.  Not the rule.

I've come to grips with this.

But the invitation still remains.  Every moment...the Lord invites us into His Throne Room to pray.

The good news for me is are allowed! {grin}
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess 5:17
It is obvious from the descriptions of Paul's prayer life that he prayed for an enormous amount of people.  He tells the church of Ephesus, "I have not stopped giving thanks for you.  Remembering you in all of my prayers. (Ep 1:16)

He tells the church at Philippi that He "prays for joy in all of [his] prayers" for them (Phil 1:4).

To Timothy he writes, "I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day." 2 Tim 1:3

It is obvious...the man prayed.  A lot.

Paul must have spent some time each day naming before God all of his churches, colleagues and supporters.  And that is wonderful.  But how on earth does this translate today?  To me.  In my mommy-with-little-kids season?

My heart echoes the disciples' plea in Luke 11:1.
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us how to pray."
And, of course, Jesus is answering.

I recently finished the book, A Praying Life, by Paul Miller.

Hands down, one of the best books I have ever read on prayer.
Miller says, "Let's face it, prayer is hard.  In fact, prayer is so hard that most of us simply do not pray unless an illness or a public setting, such as saying grace at a meal, demands it.  Prayerlessness is rooted in a core unbelief that can shape our lives, even as Christians.  Because of prayerlessness, our lives are often marked by fear, anxiety, joylessness and spiritual lethargy."
Does that resonate with you?

It did with me.

I truly can not tell you in one blog post how the Lord has renewed my prayer life while reading this book.  But in one blog post I can show you one little way he has.

You see, if I have walked with the Lord for twelve years, I have probably completed twelve or more journals.  Each one filled with list after list of prayer requests.  But if you asked me if I regularly prayed for people I would have to say, no.  Honestly.  How sad.

For whatever reason, "prayer lists" just don't jive with me.

Something about a list makes me think of Wal-mart.

Miller suggests prayer cards.  Simple 3x5 cards devoted to one person or category.  Each card filled with bullet point areas to pray.  Each card holding Scripture to claim for each person's life.

As you see, Ethan's card doesn't have Scripture, yet.  Every few days, I spend time asking the Lord about passages for my cards.  If I am going to pray Scripture over a person, I want it to be right and Spirit-led.  Not just a "nice verse" to recite.

I spend a few seconds reading each card before the Lord.  Focusing only on that person or group.

There are no long lists buying for my attention.  Just one card.

Something about this doesn't overwhelm me.

These cards have helped me in the discipline of confessing my sin daily before the Lord.  Mmm.  So good. See, there's my Repentance card.

Below you see my little prayer case.  Not another notebook!  Praise God.  This makes me happy.  And, if my quiet time is cut short (which often happens) I throw this case in my purse and take it with me.  So while sitting in pick-up line (or even one time at the car wash), I can pray.

God is OK with praying in the car wash :)

I don't know.  You may find it hokey.... my little 3x5 cards.  But I am so thankful for this system.  Something about it works for me.

Bonus: I feel even more connected to my family and friends because, like Paul, I am remembering them constantly in prayer.  I love that.

What about you? 

Do you struggle with prayer, too?  Have you found a way to break the "prayerlessness" cycle?  


  1. This is such an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome, Stephanie! Thanks for reading!

  2. I, too, get bogged down in the lists. Can't wait to try this.

  3. I love this idea and I do struggle with prayer as well. But I have a question, What scripture do we include on the cards? I didn't see that.


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