Tag Archives: living prayer

What Does My Life Look Like as Prayer?

I met a lovely woman from the John 3:16 Network when I offered to host her during a book launch. Lisa Lickel has graciously offered to guest post for Under the Cover of Prayer today. Would you please give her a warm welcome.

What Does My Life Look Like as Prayer?

by Lisa Lickel

Make-My-Life-a-Prayer

“Make my life a prayer to you,” runs through my head…a lot! In fact, now that I’ve written it, I’ll probably hum it for the rest of the day. Some of you might recognize the lyric from a Keith Green song. I love it as a challenge and an occasional chastisement for forgetting to keep the line open to God.

What does my life look like as a prayer? (click to tweet)

It’s pretty messy, to tell you the truth. I can occasionally get fixated on the problem or the joy of the moment and forget about daily life. I more often forget to lay my endeavors before Him, which is absolutely ridiculous. I can praise but forget to ask, or typically, ask but forget to praise. I can get caught up in treating my prayer life as a formula: forget one part and the whole equation collapses; or I get caught up in treating prayers like wishes, as a friend recently reminded me.

“Lord, make my life a prayer to you”, is easier to sing than to live. (click to tweet)

It’s easier to hear than to do…but isn’t that our life challenge? To capture each thought, to take each moment, to give thanks even when we might not feel like it?

As a writer of fiction, I’m challenged with creating an enjoyable interlude for my readers, peopling my stories with characters who are real in their endeavors to live godly lives. It’s tempting to sugar-coat situations, to create people who never forget to pray, or in the case of my latest book, to create a pastor who’s so perfect he chooses to ignore a family need so that he can take one simple hour to pray, uninterrupted, for his church.

I find that my prayer life can’t be confined to those few minutes of “quiet time” with God when I haul out my Bible and read a devotional. I have to snatch moments during the day to sit back and wonder at the love and joy, or the hate and spite I encounter, to pray for someone who pops into my head, or a situation I’m reminded about, of a loved one who shares a special situation. It’s not my nature to save up prayer requests and throw a broad blanket over them, or gather them in a group hug once a day.

How about you? Have you been inspired by a hymn to challenge your life?

Here is the song Make My Life a Prayer by Keith Green.

Lisa Lickel D (3) 46 KB

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A muti-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor. Visit LisaLickel.com.

Lisa’s latest inspirational novel is The Last Detail, released in January from the Prism Book Group. Hope, love, and loss meld two polar opposite personalities. How long can they keep passion for their ministry and each other after the wedding?

 THELASTDETAIL_EBOOK_sm (2)

ISBN: 978-1940099330

$3.99 eBook/$14.99 Print

5 DIFFERENT WAYS OF VIEWING PRAYER

5 Different Ways of Viewing Prayer

by Janis Cox

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My “word” prayers have changed over the years as I am sure yours have. I go through dry spells, pleading spells and content spells. I do lists, I pray in the Spirit, I try focusing on the person I pray for, I try acronyms and lots more.

One thing I have learned and I know to be true:

God loves me with an indescribable fierceness. Click to Tweet.

When I pay attention to what is happening outside of me I can see Him at work.

Isn’t that prayer?

Being AWARE of God and growing closer to Him – isn’t that prayer?

I have thought of 5 different ways to talk to God (other than formal prayers) and I am sure you can add to this list.

1.  I read His Word in the Bible and listen to Him speak.

2.  I write a poem, a blog, a journal, and post about Him and I am with Him while I write. (I wrote at Inscribe about this)

3.  I try to memorize His Word so that it will be on my lips and in my heart. ( I am memorizing Romans 1, 8, and 12 – well I am working on it with the Romans Project)

RomansCover

4.  I try (there is the operative word?) to relate to others as He would have me do – with the Fruit of the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

5.  I look around me at people, creation and see the details of His Hand upon each creature and living thing. (The JOY DARE by Ann Voskamp; visit me Mondays at www.janiscox.com)

Prayer is LIFE with God. Prayer is JOY in God

Life is being with God in our daily living prayer.

As we live we pray. Click to Tweet.

Don’t shut Him out of your life.

My Word for 2013 is LIVE:

L – Living
I – In
F – Fullness with God
E – Every day

Here are two quotes to think about this week:

“Am I continually separating myself and looking to God every day of my life” (Oswald Chambers – January 26th)?

” The longer we walk in the garden, the more likely we are to smell the flowers” (Max Lucado, In the Grip of Grace, page 155).

Related articles

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Jan’s Website.

IF PRAYER WERE COMMON SENSE

If Prayer were Common Sense

by Jan Cox

I take myself to be a reasonable person. I can be persuaded to see the other side of an argument – sometimes it is not easy as my husband would attest. But I do try to use my common sense.

Jesus talks to us about the other spectrum – supernatural sense – where there may be no common sense of why at all, in earthly terms.

That’s why we scream against bad happenings and cry – Why God, Why? We can’t see “the other side”; we want to make everything to be at our human level of thinking – and that is not God’s level.

One passage that I have starred many times is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Here we are told three things to do which are supernatural revelations:

Be joyful always
Pray continually
Give thanks

Oswald Chambers talks about praying “without ceasing” (KJV). If we think of prayer as something to do only when such and such happens, then Oswald suggest we are on the wrong track. He reminds us to think of prayer as breathing, as blood flowing in our veins. We are not conscious of it but it always goes on as we live. “Prayer is not an exercise, it is life.”

So as we live and breathe we pray.

Maxi Dunham wrote an excellent workbook called Living Prayer. In it we learn as we live we can pray. But it is suggested that we might need to learn this. Although prayer is innate, in our lives it can become clogged like an artery can be clogged. The spontaneity of prayer can be lost.

“Pray without ceasing”; “keep the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.” (Oswald Chambers, May 26, 2011)

Awareness of Jesus and opening our hearts to Him, opens the artery of prayer. Let’s learn together how to do the supernatural and pray continually.

Next week I will talk about One way to learn how to pray continually.

My Gratitude List – I have stopped numbering and will just continue my list:

– a royal wedding where love seemed evident
– a royal wedding message that made God come first
– chicken already cook from the store
– medicines for pain
– a hubby who does the dishes
– time for prayer with a friend
– first buds on the trees (very late spring this year)
– Ann Voskamp
– Ann Voskamp (she needs at least 2)
– reading One Thousand Gifts
– leading One Thousand Gifts Bible Study
-buying a piece of land
– waiting on God
– beautiful sunshine – clear blue skies (not today while I write this..)

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Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.

IS PRAYER YOUR STEERING WHEEL?

Is Prayer your Steering Wheel?

Corrie ten Boom said:

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”

I have thought a lot about this quote during the week. When exactly do I call on God? I know I should be talking to Him all the time. I have read books and even taught the course on Living Prayer. But when I really ask myself – how often to I talk to God? – I come up with:

During my daily morning devotionals
At bedtime before I go to sleep
During the church service when I sing and when there are prayers
In my weekly Bible study when we pray
Before meals
In my morning reading and prayer for a nation (Operation World).

Other than these regimented times there are other times I am called to pray; it could be for a friend in need; it could be a thought that He puts into my mind; or it could be in the quietness of a walk by myself. I talked about this in Being Called to Pray.

But I know that I could be talking to Him more. Before I start a painting (I do some watercolour) I could take a few moments and ask for direction and inspiration. Before I start to make dinner I could take a moment and ask for help in achieving a balanced tasty meal. Before I go to tap dancing lessons I could stop and focus my mind on God, asking for calmness and the ability to recall the steps and do my best.

These are different times that I thought about when I read this quote. Am I flipping from activity to activity without stopping to thank God, to seek His favour and ask for the Holy Spirit to be present as I go about each task?

When I read Ann’s book, One Thousand Gifts, I remember one part where she feels overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Instead of stressing over this, she decides to take a moment, reflect on the One who cares about her and be grateful. This slowing down, actually savouring God – is an act of prayer.

So during this week I am going to endeavour to live with Him, seek His guidance and peacefully accept His Presence in all that I do and say. This will be my act of getting to know Him better.

Here is my list from this week’s Gratitude Journal:

8. White egrets perched high in the trees (they come for a few days or a few weeks each winter)

9. Clear blue skies

10. My daily morning time with God

11. Light

12. Breath – to be able to take a deep breath

13. A walk by the lake because my legs carry me

14. Colours that are so many and so varied

Prayer:

Lord, help me to remember to look to You in all I do. Help me to seek Your Presence during my whole day. Help me to know You better and better. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

THANKFUL, GRATEFUL HEARTS

Thankful, Grateful Hearts

Last June I met Ann Voscamp at Write!Canada, a conference for Canadian writers and editors who are Christian. God had placed on my heart during those few days my need to write a prayer blog. Ann placed on my heart that there was no need for comments on this blog – it was a time for the God and for the reader.

This week Ann has launched her new book called, One Thousand Gifts, published by Zondervan. The success of her blog and this book she gives entirely to God – More about this book can be found at One Thousand Gifts.

Ann blogs at A Holy Experience.

You can get your copy of this book at DaySpring, Christianbook.com or Amazon or your local bookstore. Start reading the first chapter online and you will be hooked. She has such a way with words – it is like floating along, feeling her every nuance. There is even a book club at Bloom (In) Courage.

Many of her posts have been specifically on prayer and I try to repost when I can. But, since living with God is living daily in prayer each of her posts brings the reader closer to God.

If you haven’t visited her blog I encourage you to do so.

Prayer,

We thank you Lord, for all your blessings. We thank you particularly for inspiring Ann to write One Thousand Gifts. As we talk to you, and yes, listen to You, please inspire us to follow Your plan. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

BEING CALLED TO PRAY

Being Called to Pray

I have noticed lately that God is revealing more people that need prayers. Each day it seems new names come forward. I used to think I needed to keep a long list of these requests. But they became so many it overwhelmed me.

I have come to believe He wants me to pray as requests come in. Not – I’ll pray for you later– but let’s pray now.

As an Internet prayer comes in – I stop and lift that person to God. And then I reply, writing the prayer to that person and possibly a Scripture if one comes to mind.

When someone mentions a need in conversation, I am not as comfortable asking, “Would you like me to pray”? But it is getting easier.

I do keep a list of request for prayers for recurring names and pray from that list each morning along with family and friends. However during the day I let the Holy Spirit guide my prayers. I believe this is part of living prayer, as I have learned from The Workbook of Living Prayer, by Maxi Dunnam.

Prayer:

Father, lead us to pray for others. Whatever way we talk to You help us to continue this conversation. Help us to find a way that is right for us to pray for others. But above all else keep us praying. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN