Friday, May 18, 2012

Halfway there

The first column is the date,
the second, requests,
the third is for answers.

I'm liking the way this is starting to balance: more answers than requests.

I'm noticing my requests are getting more specific and deeper. Not necessarily more urgent or problematic. Just going beyond the surface and getting to the core.

I'm halfway through my month-long prayer experiment. 
I'm still struggling with some things about the whole process but overall, I see there is movement.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Adjusting the way I see change

In the last week, I've been revisiting my prayer journal and have made the "Answers" column the "Answers and Amendments" column.  Just in a week's time, I've seen how the answers to my prayers come sooner than I expect but come in bits and pieces, in stages. It's a process.  A couple of my requests/ situations were answered quite directly. For instance, my knee has been hurting A LOT and that was on my list. Yesterday I visited the doctor and I now have a few weeks of physical therapy lined up. Easy-peasy. I expect good things from this and am hoping to cross this one off as old news soon.  Another was my thyroid issue to be resolved and healed once and for all. I have an endocrinologist appointment set for later this month. It's a step in the right direction, so I remain hopeful that this process is a means to a most anticipated end of this sickness. And I am peaceful about these things.

There are a few things, though, that aren't so hopeful looking when you look at the amount of earthly movement, the answers.  But I am thinking and remembering that God is always at work.
The verse in Psalm 139 that talks about the "secret place" and "before a word is uttered, He knows"
"You saw my unformed body",  a "high and overwhelming knowledge"..
There are things going on behind the scenes and he is fully aware, in fact, he's the designer of it all.
So I'm not worried...well, I am a little. See below*.

I've noticed a lot of the little things this past week. Coincidental, they would seem, if I wasn't trying to notice his movement so much. These little things seem big to me right now.  They seem divine and they are encouraging to keep at this 30 day prayer commitment thing going.

I've amended a lot of my requests. Not changing them entirely but seeing them, probably, the way God would have me to see, tweaking what I am asking for and expecting. To have a different perspective, to be expecting ANY answer and be fine with it. To be in His will, I think that's the goal.

We will see how this turns out.
Already, I am positive.
* I won't lie, I still am wondering "what if things in (whatever request) don't change??". And it worries me.
But  he searches me and knows me. He understands my heart; He intercedes on my behalf when I can't and don't know how or what to pray for. So it WILL work out and I WILL get an answer.

If you have a moment, read this article I found in Relevant.
It was a good reminder about the way prayer was designed to go.
He doesn't just answer  'yes' and 'no'.
Specific prayers get specific answers. Much like a detailed conversation usually gets you well acquainted with the person you are speaking with, open ended questions get real answers.
When I ask God how he would have me to react to a certain situation, he doesn't answer yes or no. That would be silly. So, I am adjusting how I speak with him. And I'm seeing change..

"...To build muscles, people lift weights. To grow trust, Christians pray. Nothing else builds trust quite like facing all of your ongoing problems and unsolved struggles by getting down on your knees and not trying to fix them the way you would your gutters or broken refrigerators. In this way, prayer is trust in the form of silence and contemplation and honesty."  read on

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ready to see the change

I've decided to do something.
To make a commitment.
First, this:
I pray everday.
Sometimes long, intense, deep prayers.
Sometimes one liners that I try to shoot up super quick to hopefully get an equally as quick response.
Sometimes I find myself having my quiet time in lieu of a dinnertime prayer. Our food is cold by the time I get done which tells me, I need to be spending more time alone with God, just talking.  I had a simple thought just a minute ago: If I talked to God as much as I communicated with friends on my phone or on social media, what a difference I would inevitably notice in our relationship.
 If I listened as much as I talked..So here I go. I intend to talk and to listen. To have a month long conversation with God. It's simple but I am guessing that I will find it harder to be consistent than it seems..

I am going to keep a prayer journal for 30 days.
Not the kind where I write out long 4 page prayers to God.
I've tried that.
I get distracted that my hand hurts when writing that much and that defeats the purpose.
I'd rather chat it up or pour my heart out aloud in my car than write for an hour.
I do like what the journaling brings to the practice of prayer though, you see change.
And for a long time, I've been struggling, REALLY struggling with prayer. Everything about it.
And I want to see change.
I don't know what kind of change I need but I know that the way I understand prayer, is not really consistent with what the Bible probably says.
I am simply just writing these down everyday and leaving them in God's care and keeping.
I will not be spending anxiety on these things.
I will not be analyzing anything over and over.
I am leaving them at His feet.

 In this month, I am asking God to change my heart, to readjust my eyes so that I see change.
I want to see change in myself, first and foremost, and also in some circumstances in my life and in the lives of others.  I am certain more happens in my life than I am really aware of. I think that if I was even a bit more intentional about noticing God moving and working in my life, I'd be very much strengthened in my faith, in my belief of the power of prayer and would be refreshed all together.

I just re-read what I've written on this post so far. It's such a simple thing, this prayer journal. I'm almost sort of embarrassed to be on this seemingly elementary step in my faith but oh well! I'm ready to grow.

With this sweet journal that I was gifted with and decorated at my last MOPS meeting, I begin today.

My purpose to the right reads: 
"I'm committing to keep a prayer journal for 1 month to see how God actually does move in my life and in the lives of others.  I'm not very mindful of this now.  I hope to behold some awesome moves of God during this time.  I want to have a better prayer life and have increased faith and a better, more balanced idea of what true prayer really is."

And below that, three columns "Date", "Request", "Answer"
I put the answer column because I am aware that the answers to my prayers aren't always what my initial request wanted. So I am on the lookout here for God's answers, 
not necessarily the answer I think I need or want.

on the front is my little family as a reminder to pray for them consistently. To be seeking God on their behalves and praying God's word over their lives.

Then, Romans 12:2 as a reminder:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I'll keep you posted on any revelations I may get.
I've already written down some pretty "impossible" looking situations. 
But I keep remembering that with Him, all things are possible.