Hello. My name is Kelly and I'm a list-a-holic. I have been a to-do-er for a long time. I like organization, schedules, and control. I have at least 5 different calendars I look at almost every day. These things help my life as a wife, mom, full-time employee, and friend run a little smoother. However... I am not this way in my spiritual walk. I struggle with being intentional and making time for daily prayer and devotion with God. And it's something I want NEED to work on.
Being intentional can come in many forms. Over the next few Thursdays, I will be writing a series on being intentional in your walk with God and in life. Whether it is getting into the Word, praying, worshipping, friendships, or being bold in your faith, we all need reminders and encouragement on how to be intentional every day.
Let's start with prayer. I'm already learning a lot about praying in a Bible study Tiffany (one of our founders and my dear friend) and I have just started. Prayer is a two way conversation with the Holy Spirit. It's listening and speaking, (and listening some more). Prayer can occur at any time of day, in any circumstance, when you're happy or mad and God will always hear you. But do you only pray when things are going wrong or you need something? Do you pray for yourself or others more? Do you tell others that you will pray for them and then don't take the time to do it? (I'm so guilty of this and I feel horrible about it.) I believe that prayer changes hearts and circumstances. I believe that God listens to our cries for help, our longings and desires, and our praises. He answers prayers in His timing and in His way. But just as with any relationship, it takes two. If we are constantly talking and not listening, we don't receive the blessing of feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit and the whisper of His gentle reminders of love and grace. If we never talk to Him, then how are we growing? Prayer is the outpouring of our hearts and the receiving of the gift of His guidance and spirit.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 116:1-2 which says, "I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I have breath." God... the KING, the Creator and Ruler, the Almighty... He chose to turn His ear to my moaning, and begging, my pleading, my despair, and my desires. God listens to me because He loves me and cares about me. I will pray to Him and call out to Him as long as I have breath.
In God's Word, He instructs us specifically on praying to Him in the morning.
Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Psalm 88:13 But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lamentations 3:22-24 22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
Psalm 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 59:16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
My challenge to you is to pick a specific time in the morning to spend time in prayer. It can be during your morning shower, on your drive to work, etc. Take time to just be in peace and quiet communion with God. Prayer is not only about talking to God about what we need, what others need, or how we can grow... but also listening for God's voice. It's a two way conversation that can begin to change your life.