Category Archives: Under the Cover of Prayer

#UTCOP – What is Vital Communion?

What is Vital Communion?

by Joy Lenton

What-is-Vital-Communion

Prayer can be a continual conversation with God as our hearts turn toward Him for help, strength and guidance throughout the day.

Or there may be strict set apart times specifically for Bible reading and prayer as ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication or similar practices.

At other times we can sense an inner call to just simply come and be in His presence. No agenda. No particular purpose other than to love God and be aware that He loves us.

Those moments are to be treasured. They can be hard sought and fought for in a world that cries out for our constant attention.

Any time given to God is time enhanced beyond measure.

The poem below arose while I listened to God recently.

‘Vital Communion’

Make way for mellow moments
Give in to the Now
Yield to soul craving
and find it life-saving

Pause. Breathe. Give thanks.

The world can wait, you know full well
busyness will capture you soon enough

This is a time for listening
Wait upon Holy Spirit’s touch
Seek a better way than rushing
headlong straight into a new day

Be aware. Be present. Be here.

For this is where earth and heaven collide
This is where rest, joy and peace abide

Vital communion between you and Me
and the very best place for you to be

©JoyLenton2014

As we learn to discern and listen to God’s voice, the more He will speak to our minds and hearts.

Being a Christian is all about the wonder of being brought into relationship with God Himself, our heavenly Father who made and sustains us.

It is a gift of grace to see the Father’s face mirrored in Jesus and get to know Him for ourselves.

And when we come aside, make time, switch off noise and hurry, we find He has been waiting here all along with a heart heavy with love for us.

Maybe He’s whispering an invitation to you today; maybe He’s missing your company; maybe He’s longing to pour blessings out upon you?

Prayer:

Father, We are so easily distracted and impacted by the world around us and its multiple messages we heed, yet you desire us to pay more attention to your voice instead and spend quality time in your presence.

Help us to see our need of you. How vital it is to our spiritual and physical health and strength to be refreshed, restored and renewed by your Spirit.

Speak to us in ways we cannot miss. Encourage us to lay aside all that hinders and prevents us from reaching out to you and receiving all that you long to give us.

Amen

Tweetable:

Any time given to God is time enhanced beyond measure. (Tweet this)

 

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

#UTCOP – How God Answers Prayer

How God Answers Prayer

by  Brenda j Wood

how-does-God-answer-prayers

According to the experts, several things have to line up before God is able to give a yes answer to our prayers.

I always think of a NO as God saying “Don’t hurt your self. This isn’t good for you right now.” Think of a five-year-old praying for a driving license and getting it!

Sometimes we have to GROW before we can handle the change.

I was already a public speaker when I first came to know Jesus. I prayed to go out and tell the world about him. The trouble is I didn’t know anything! God wisely kept that prayer aside for many a year.

When the circumstances aren’t right the answer is SLOW! You might be ready, but the rest of the world isn’t. Look at Paul ready to go to into Asia or Bithynia but forbidden to do so. However Macedonia was ready; Paul was ready and God said “GO.”

And Paul and Silas passed through the territory of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word in [the province of] Asia. And when they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.  [There] a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from Macedonia stood pleading with him and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us (Acts 16:6-9, AMP)!

That GO is God’s yes. Let us not be discouraged by what God tells us. He is all-knowing and His answer is always for our best.

Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah) (Colossians 3:24, AMP).

 

Prayer:

Lord, we pray that you always respect the prayers of your servants and our supplications. O Lord our God, listen to the cry and the prayer which we your servants pray before you. In Christ’s name. Amen (from 2 Chronicles 6:19-AMP)

Tweetable:

Sometimes we have to grow before we can handle the change. (tweet this)

Brenda J. Wood

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
The Pregnant Pause of Grief: the first trimester of widowhood

Read more at:
http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker

#UTCOP – How to Pray Anyway

How to Pray Anyway

by Ron Hughes

Pray,-regardless-of-how-you-feel-Albrecht

by Albrecht Durer



The other day I took note that biblical writers used two different verbs relative to the believer’s communication with God. In Numbers 11, we read of the judgment of the Lord coming among His people because of their complaining. They appealed to Moses and verse 2 records that “when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched.” (NKJV)

Most Christians have found themselves in roughly similar situations—ones where someone’s distress moves them to bring that person’s predicament to the Lord for resolution. Note that Moses seemed to be somewhat detached from the circumstances. The people were desperate, but we see Moses “praying,” no doubt fervently, but apparently dispassionately.

In the next chapter, judgment fell specifically on Miriam, Moses’ sister, because of her speaking against her brother. This time, we find Scripture using a different word regarding his approach to the Lord: “So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘Please heal her, O God, I pray!’” (Nu 12:13 NKJV) In due course, Miriam was restored to her place in the community.

Most of us have also found ourselves in situations where our emotional involvement with a sufferer intensifies our prayer to the point of “crying out to the Lord.” (Perhaps too many of us only pray when we are in the throes of emotional turmoil because of suffering that afflicts us or those we love.)

As I read of the constant stream of misery regarding our Christian brothers and sisters in troubled parts of the world, I shake my head in disbelief that such cruelty can be perpetrated against the innocent and harmless and the rest of the world be untouched by it. Now, you may be preparing yourself for a lecture on how we should identify with these suffering saints and be moved to cry out to the Lord on their behalf. Certainly, I commend that to you.

However, let me point out that in both scenarios in Moses’ life,
the Lord answered his prayer.

Many of us in the West cannot relate to the kind of suffering we encounter in the news. Some of us shut down as to avoid entering into emotional turmoil at the hideous images.  

May I urge the Lord’s people to pray,
regardless of their personal emotional response.

If you are deeply moved and cry out to God on behalf of the suffering, wonderful! The Lord hears and responds to those heart cries. But if you find yourself, for whatever reason, less emotionally involved, having a more cerebral response, pray anyway. The Lord also hears and responds to prayer that arises in the mind.

  Pray, regardless of how you feel.

Prayer:

Father, I confess that I often pray capriciously. Forgive me for neglecting prayer for justice to be done and righteousness to prevail in the world around me. Today, I specifically lift up my suffering brothers and sisters, wherever they are. Stimulate my mind. Stir my emotions.  Let me not rest in intercession, today. In Jesus name, amen.

Tweetable:

May I urge the Lord’s people to pray, regardless of their personal emotional response. (tweet this)

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts. Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

UTCOP: How Can We Pray Across the Miles?

How Can We Pray Across the Miles?

by Tanya

how-can-we-pray-across-the-miles

Recently I had a need for prayer. My mind was led back to a prayer group that another blogger belonged to. The thing about this prayer group was that the member were thousands of miles away from me.

Earlier that same week, while doing research in preparation for homeschool, I stumbled upon a blog post about how one homeschool family organizes their day. One of the things they do every morning is to pray for some child in a war torn country, and a specific person of interest.

Then it hit me. These people were praying for people they had never met in person, they had never spoken one word to, yet somehow God had impressed on them to pray for those people.

Then I remembered my own prayer need and that this prayer group had done the same for me. In fact I have been added to their weekly prayer list- a stranger thousands of miles away. And I have done the same for others I have never met personally, but whose stories had touched me and I think it would be safe to say that many if not all of us have prayed for someone(s) we have never met.

Why? Because we believe in the power of prayer!

I’ve seen it in my own life. I’ve heard people talk about their own experiences. I’ve read about the power of prayer and of praying for others.

Prayer is real! There’s no denying it.

Oh those prayers that are being prayed for faces we have never seen and people we have

How to Rediscover Prayer Walking

How to Rediscover Prayer Walking

by Stephanie Nickel

how-to-rediscover-prayer-walking

A few months back we began fostering a friend’s German Shepherd. This led to 15-30 minute walks each day. Since I’m not a huge fan of cardio exercise, the daily walk was a benefit to me. But even more importantly, I rediscovered the joy of prayer walking.

Below are some suggestions you might want to incorporate into your own prayer life.

Give Thanks

I thank God for many things while I walk.
For the ability to walk
For eyesight
For hearing
For physical health
For the ability to think
For the invitation to commune with Him

Once I begin to give thanks, one thing leads to the next, which leads to the next, which leads to the next.

Prayer for Strangers

I pray for the residents in the houses along the route I walk.
I pray for the owners, the employees, and the patrons of the businesses I pass.
I pray for the motorists and pedestrians I encounter.

Prayer for Replacement

I pray that God would replace negatives with positives in the lives of those along my route.
Doubt with saving faith
Darkness with light
Despair with hope
Loneliness with companionship
Turmoil with peace
Woundedness with healing
Lies with truth
Spiritual blindness with spiritual eyesight

The Opportunity to Listen

As I observe the beauty of the Creator’s handiwork, He reveals more about Himself. Oh, that I would have ears to “hear”!

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20, ESV).

I admit that I am easily distracted. The physical activity of walking actually helps to keep me focused. Plus, of course, I do thank the Lord for things and pray for individuals I am less likely to pray for during my prayer time at home.

What advantages of prayer walking have you discovered?

Tweetable:

God invites you to discover the wonders of prayer walking. (tweet this)

 

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, photography, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her author website, Steph Beth Nickel, is a work-in-progress.

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

by Joy Lenton

how-can-i-have-a-conversation-with-God

Have you ever thought that you wouldn’t bother God with your concerns?

Maybe they feel too small or huge to hand over to Him and you wonder if it might be wasting His time; and isn’t He just too busy taking care of really important things/people to be free to take care of me? Thankfully, no and no.

Nothing matters more to our loving heavenly Father
than being available to us ~ all of the time.

There are no constraints. No limits to His love, patience, kindness and compassion. We can take every concern to Him in prayer and be reassured that He hears, will take it seriously and respond appropriately.

There are promises in His word reminding us of God’s faithfulness, steadfastness and fatherly care, yet we so often feel we cannot share This _ fill in the blank.. with Him. Maybe shame or fear hold us back, or anxiety about how to pray and what to say. Because we are apt to forget how much He loves us, how we are no surprise to our Creator, how He has paid the price to set us free from the worst of ourselves to become our best true selves in Christ.

Sometimes we get lost in the silence and fail to listen for the gentle whispered reply. Sometimes we draw back because prayers seem to go unanswered and we are just too hurt to pray again. Sometimes God speaks clearly but we don’t like what He is saying.

No matter the cause, God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic,
simple and natural to our lives as breathing.

Long words and pious speech are not necessary. We can say nothing or chat just as we would to our best friend, because that’s just what He is. In everyday conversation with those we love and are comfortable around there will be times of sitting in a companionable silence, times of non-stop exuberant chatter, times of leaning on the other where tears alone speak volumes. So it is with God.

He invites us to come just as we are.

To share our moments and our days, be caught up in His will and ways, and to let our hearts break with what breaks His. We have all of heaven’s resources at our disposal, Holy Spirit interceding for us when words fail, an alertly attentive Father above whose heart spills with tremendous grace and love, so what’s stopping us?

Come to Him today.

He won’t rebuke you for any delay but He will welcome you and me with arms wide open.

Prayer:

Father, forgive us for making prayer a thing to fear, a chore, ritual or dutiful habit rather than a conversation with The One who loves us beyond measure and rejoices over us with singing. Help us to make time to talk to you and time for you to speak to us, knowing our lives will be greatly enriched, our journey of life and faith enhanced and our hearts rewarded by peace and joy for every minute we offer to you. Amen.

Tweetables:

 God invites us to come just as we are. (tweet this)

God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic, simple and natural. (tweet this)

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

#UTCOP – God, Why are You Not Answering My Prayer?

We welcome a new guest blogger today, June Whittle. I am pleased to have her join us at #UTCOP. Please give her a warm welcome. Enjoy her post about faith and never giving up.

#UTCOP – God, Why Are You Not Answering My Prayer?

by June Whittle

prayer-June-Whittle

Thanks to Digital Photos . Net

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Luke 11:9, NIV).

As far as I was concerned, I was asking, asking and asking. But God wasn’t answering. So one night, on my knees I cried out, ‘God, why are you not answering my prayer?’

I had been earnestly praying for my daughter to come back to God.

For three years we were part of a dedicated praise and worship team at a church. She was passionate about God, read her Bible daily, prayed and even ministered to her friends. But something in the church changed. The focus became too money orientated, instead of the Word of God. So, God moved us from there.

My daughter didn’t want to know God anymore.

We did find another church. However, the experiences from the old church left a bad taste in my daughter’s mouth. She started to question God about faith, creation and lots of other things.

Eventually, she didn’t want to go to church anymore. She started drifting away. And my heart was breaking. I felt like I was losing my daughter.

Our home turned into a battlefield. I couldn’t talk to her. Everything I said upset her. She lashed out at me verbally at every given chance. I became extremely stressed. I rang family and friends asking for advice. They were helpful, but it didn’t change anything. The situation grew worse.

My daughter developed an interest in nightclubs, drinking and smoking. Her best friend (an old classmate) was a girl who loved getting drunk and hanging out with lots of boys. She and my daughter became so close that my daughter stayed at her flat most nights. Sometimes I didn’t even know if she was coming home or not. When I questioned her about her whereabouts, she got angry with me.

Where was God when I needed Him?

It’s funny how you tend to turn to everybody else except God in a crisis. But I thank God for the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He spoke to my heart and told me to commit the situation to God.

Pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thes. 5:17-18, NKJV).

That’s exactly what I did. For months, I prayed asking God to take control and do something. I cried out to Him. I begged Him.

But the more I prayed, the worse the situation became. Many more months passed.

My daughter and I just wasn’t getting on. She didn’t even want to stay at home or spend any time with me. When she was at home, she stayed in her room. I hardly saw her.

“Why God? Why? Why are you not answering my prayers?” I pleaded with Him. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I even asked a fervent man of God to agree with me in prayer for my daughter to come back to God and to change her rebellious ways.

It seemed like all my prayers were floating in the air. Maybe God didn’t hear me or refused to listen to my pleas.

However, I didn’t give up.

When she was out at night, I prayed for her protection. I was afraid she would get raped or even murdered. She was mixing with all types of unsavory people. People who didn’t know God. Who didn’t care about how they lived their lives.

I knew I shouldn’t worry. I couldn’t help it though. I had no peace at nights.

The torment I was in, went on for nearly two years.

The surprise telephone call that blew my mind.

Then one day my daughter told me she was going to the sexual health clinic because she needed to get a check up. She thought she had a urinary infection. I left for work that morning and told her to call me with the results.

She did call me. I was with a student at the time. She said, “Mum, I’m pregnant!”

I replied, “What? Really?” To say I was shocked is an understatement. But I wasn’t angry.

She added, “I wonder what plans God has for me now.”

Well, when I heard her mention the name God, it took my breath away. She actually thought about Him. Enough to wonder about His will for her life.

Anyway, a few weeks later, she rededicated her life to Jesus. Her walk with Him was stronger than before. During her pregnancy, she was on fire for God. I was amazed at the transformation.

So, what I learned was, when you pray and God is silent, He is working. Don’t ever stop praying. Whatever it is you’re asking God to do, hang in there. Be patient and trust Him. He knows best. In my daughter’s case, God used what seemed like a bad situation to glorify His name.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I give you thanks. I praise your holy name and worship you. Lord, you are everything to me. When the challenges of life hits me hard, I know I can depend on you. I thank you because you are faithful. You said you would never leave me or forsake me. Thank you for being there even when I thought I was on my own. You carried me when I felt too tired to go on. You lifted me up when my spirit was at its lowest. You whispered to my heart, but I was too distressed to hear you. You were telling me not to give up. And I thank you for keeping me rooted in you.

Lord, I pray that you will bless all mothers, especially single mothers on their own. I ask that you reveal yourself to the ones who are crying out to you for help. Shine your light in the dark places of their lives. May they come to know you and accept you as their Lord. Pour out your love and peace in their hearts. Father, provide everything they need to look after their families.

Father God, I bless you from the bottom of my heart. I give you all the glory, honour and praise. You are worthy. Thank you for your love. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tweetable:

When you pray and God is silent, He is working. (tweet this)

June Whittle

June Whittle

June is a single Christian Mummy, freelance writer and blogger. She gave her life to Jesus in 2000 after the death of her dad, ex husband and 2 week old grandson. That year was a turning point in her life. God carried her through the grief and heartaches. He was her strength and source of peace. She hasn’t looked back at her old life since.

June writes to encourage, inspire and motivate other ladies, both Christians and non Christians. God told her to use her gift of writing. As she walks in obedience she finds fulfillment and joy. She loves to help others and uses her writing as a means to empower.

June can be found at: Arise Single Christian Mummies, Miraculous Ladies and Divine Copywriter.

Sunday Stillness – God’s Grace is Enough

Sunday Stillness – God’s Grace is Enough

God's-Grace-is-Enough

Thanks to free digital pictures.net

It has been quite a week. For those who were praying for me – thank you so much. Last week I caught a terrible virus – really knocked me flat. By Monday morning I did not feel like running a VBS – but I had to. And I prayed. Others prayed. And God gave me the strength to do it. Praising Him.

But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV).

For the rest of the week it was touch and go each day. Each day prayers were lifted and each day He made me strong.

  • I prayed for joy – I felt joy.
  • I prayed for the children to enjoy themselves. And they did.
  • I prayed for the volunteers to be great with the kids. And they were.
  • I prayed for peace through the week. They were the best children I have ever had the pleasure to meet. At no time did I have to raise my voice (I couldn’t anyway as I developed laryngitis by Tuesday). They listened; they were sweet to each other; they had fun.

I found out that Christ does make me strong.

I love the words to the Scripture in the Message. Christ’s strength did “move in on my weakness” and I do “take my limitations in stride”. Love that.

 I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, The Message).

The children also learned about Jesus; who He is; and how to accept Him as their Saviour. Praising God for those who made that big decision.

I also thought of a great analogy as we were sanding our crosses outside on Friday. I realized as we were sanding them that God sands us too.

God sands our rough edges.

He teaches us the fruit of the Spirit. He smoothes us out.

I don’t know about you but there always seems to be a few rough edges on me. Then I hear Him speak – and I know what I did wrong. I make the correction and learn.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, so much for this past week. You taught me a lot. You taught me to count on You totally. When I am weak You are strong. You also taught me to rely on You completely. I pray that every child will remember this week and will always keep Jesus in their hearts. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

I love the praise song Your Grace is Enough by Chris Tomlin.

Tweetables:

I found out that Christ does make me strong. (click to tweet)

 God sands our rough edges. (click to tweet)

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Today is Sunday Stillness.

Special announcement to the people who link. If you wish to be notified that the linky is open please email me at Janis. Due to new legislation in Canada against anti-spam emails we must have permission to email you. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY –
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community by Deidra Riggs

Still Saturday by Sandra Heskaking

Sharing His Beauty

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Jennifer Miller at Scripture and a Snapshot

Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

The Weekend Brew by Barbie

Shelly Hendricks at Renewed Daily (Recommendation Saturday)

Your turn: Add your link below. Don’t forget to copy the specific URL from your post. Talk to others.

Blessings to everyone.



#UTCOP – Should We Pray by the Clock?

Should We Pray by the Clock?

by Jen Cudmore

 

Should-we-pray-by-the-clock

Have you ever set a time limit on your prayer life?

Some people believe praying by the clock is the proper way to talk with God. They watch the clock and pray until the time is up. A friend told me that her childhood worship service consisted of 30 minutes of continuous prayer, and they got in trouble if they stopped.

She found that during those times she never felt God’s presence.

Several years ago I scheduled 15 minutes each day for my quiet time with God. I crammed Bible reading and prayer into that allotment, sometimes stretching it to 30 minutes. I was constantly rushing through my prayer list. Eventually I realized it was foolish –

God didn’t want to be limited by my schedule.

He wanted to be my priority. Now I rise much earlier than I used to, which takes the pressure off my prayer time. I can take it slow, listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and just enjoying myself.

Here are four reasons why praying by the clock is actually a hindrance.

1) It places a limitation on God.

Sticking to a specific time limit is too restricting. What if He has more to say to you, or more He wants you to focus on? Some days He may require more of your attention than others. We must pray until we’re done, until God releases us to go on to another task.

2) It’s typically stale and forced.

Obligatory communication is uncomfortable and unproductive. Have you ever been to a dinner party where you didn’t have anything in common with the other guests and found it hard to converse? It’s similar with God.

Prayer is about connecting. We must seek God with all our hearts.

3) It causes us to become proud or shamed.

If we have to measure our prayer life to feel good about ourselves, then we have a heart problem. God doesn’t love us any more if we pray three hours a day than if we only prayed 3 minutes. He just wants us to communicate with Him. Praying a long time doesn’t make us a better Christian. It’s all about where you are on your faith journey.

Want to know how long you should pray? Ask God what He wants from you each day.

4) Praying by the clock means we are focused on the time, not God.

We become distracted, always watching the clock. Our thought process is interrupted continually, making it harder to hear when God tries to speak. He wants our full attention.

How would you feel if you were spending time with a person who kept looking at their watch?

Praying by the clock does have merit. There are times in a group situation where setting a time limit is appropriate. In college when we prayed for something important, the staff set up 30 minute time slots for students to use so there would be 72 hours of straight prayer. In your personal journey, God may require a specific commitment from you, a decision completely between you and Him.

Yet no where does the scripture state we are to set a time limit on our communication with God. We are instructed to pray without ceasing. (1 Thess. 5:17)

How can that be measured?

Tweetables:

Does God want us to pray by the clock? (tweet this)

Should we set a time limit on prayer? (tweet this)

4 reasons timed prayer may actually be a hindrance (tweet this)

 

Jen Cudmore

Jen Creek small

Jen grew up on the Columbia River Gorge and currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and two cats. Her goal is to write novels that encourage women to look for positive qualities in a life partner, and to foster an environment of real romance, rather than fantasy, as they grow old with their spouse. For more, visit her website at http://www.jencudmore.com/. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.

 

#UTCOP – How to Exercise your spirit with Prayer

How to Exercise your spirit with Prayer

by Kimberley Payne

How-to-exercise-your-spirit-Kimberley

What is Prayer

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6, NIV).

Prayer builds your spiritual strength. It can include praise, confession, thanksgiving or appeal. Prayer puts you in contact with God, Who has more power than you could ever imagine. When you pray, He hears you and fills you with the power to do things you never thought you could do.

What cardiovascular exercise and strength training do for building a strong body, prayer does to build spiritual strength. Your body requires exercise and food, and it needs these things regularly. You cannot just take care of it at the beginning of the week and forget about it. Your spiritual life is similar to your physical body in that way.

You cannot pray just once and a have healthy growing spiritual life.

What prayer is not

 

Prayer is not just for highly-spiritual people. God delights to have you come to Him with your requests. You do not have to be “good enough” to pray.

Like exercise, prayer is not a one-time thing. You can pray every day, anywhere and any time. It is important to spend time in private prayer each day – just you and God.

Prayer is not talking to others, reading or studying. It is not “doing” something. You need to let everything inside you get still. You may feel compelled to cram every moment with activities and external stimuli.

Still your mind and listen for God’s voice to emerge. (based on Psalm 46:10).

Prayer is not just about you talking to God, but God talking to you.

With prayer you can have a private audience with the Lord. An intimate dialogue goes on inside where there may not be an audible voice, but Spirit to spirit.

Benefits of prayer

 

Allows intimate dialogue with God.

Encourages you to face a new day.

Provides information and strategies.

Accomplishes the impossible.

Develops deeper relationship.

A pure motive delights God.

Prayer, when combined with quiet time, can decrease respiratory rate, heart rate, elevated blood pressure and muscle tension. During prayer, the body escapes from the stresses of everyday life and enters into a relaxed state.

This is an excerpt taken from Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual & physical health

 Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You that we can come to You as we are. You love us and want to hear from us. You are a good and gracious Father.

Tweetable:

Learn how to exercise your spirit through prayer. (tweet this)

 

Kimberley Payne

Kimberley is a motivational speaker and author. Her writings relate raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire people to live lives that glorify God. You can visit her website at www.kimberleypayne.com