Saturday, March 27, 2010

Purposed Prayer and Filed Under Grace

This month I spent a lovely bit of time with ladies from church at our annual retreat. We ate plenty, worshiped, prayed, quieted ourselves, learned and listened.

We practiced what I will call purposed and intentional prayer. The process I learned (in my own words) is as follows:
  • Identify an area that needs prayer. I began by listing things that have burdened me recently. Ask God to lead you to the thing He wants you to focus on.
  1. kids fighting, disrespect
  2. negativity in our home
  3. overcoming despair, feelings of failure
  • Simplify the current area. A word jumped out to me as an answer to my list: JOY.
  1. I desire joy, in my own personal walk with Christ, in my family, in our home
  2. My Bible study homework this week highlighted joy, and I felt that confirmed this to be God's leading to pray for joy.
  3. My middle name is Joy! How appropriate!
  4. If I am seeking Joy in Christ in all things, that above list should just take care of itself
  • Gather thoughts and words pertaining to the area for prayer.
  1. I looked up joy in Scripture
  2. I studied books (in this case my weekly Bible study homework on the subject)
  3. I listened to what the Holy Spirit made "pop out" at me as I researched.
  • Write out a prayer, using the research, words, truth you have found. Make it personal and powerful, claiming promises God has given you.
  • Pray knowing and understanding that God will do things in His own time and way, but continue to pray with confidence in what God has led you to pray, until resolution comes. 
I love this! I took the time given during the retreat, resisting the pull to discuss and visit, and quietly listened and dug into my study. Praying like this, with purpose, yet letting God lead, helped me be more specific in my prayer time.

And I am now joyfully watching as He answers. It seems no matter what I read lately, I keep stumbling onto this topic of joy. I'm listening and He is increasing my joy.
This process is derived from the teaching of Graham Cooke. 

This month: Filed Under Grace
Our hearts have been with some new friends who have been experiencing a financial squeeze since the husband lost his job a while back. He was able to find some temporary work, and we hired him to do some work for our company, but it was just not enough, especially considering they are expecting their first child. As is God's way (Never Late, but Rarely Early) our friend just landed an awesome job in his field of choice!

 As far as our family goes in this area, being self-employed and all, I consider every month we can pay our bills an answer to prayer! More than a year ago, the company we do business for was letting droves of its people go, and we were unsure what that meant for us. As whole floors of their cubicles emptied, we braced for the worst. A month went by, then another, then another. And here we are today, debt free and just fine. Worry profits nothing. Faith, everything I really ever needed. It's all grace.

 Matthew 6
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
    28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

How has our Lord been answering your prayers? Have you even been asking and watching for his answers? Do you have a story of His grace to share? For all the details of how to participate, read this, then come back here and link up! 

If you  have an answer to prayer you'd love to share, but don't have a blog, post your story in a comment. I'd love to hear it!

1 comment:

Queen Jolene said...

Love your "worry about nothing." God is good! Hope you have an awesome Easter!