Monday, October 28, 2013

Praying Like Never Before

Last week, I started a 40-day prayer challenge (Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson) and I wish I could relay to you how much it has changed my prayer life even in just one week but I can’t just yet. I could tell you that what God has done in one week is phenomenal and miraculous—it is. However,  I still need time to wrap my mind around the full implications of what is happening before I can really share the depth of it with you.

However, I did want to share something with you, so here it goes. First of all, I am keeping a prayer journal and in the process of doing this, God is redeeming another part of my past. From the ages of 12-25, I got in the habit of keeping a journal. I was trapped in an unhealthy environment and deep in depression and my secret journals were the only safe place to express my thoughts and emotions. The pages were filled with dark thoughts and pain. When I finished a book, I’d burn it hoping to and never succeeding to discard the past in the ashes. Today, my journal is a book of hope! It’s the record of God’s grace and love in and through my life. It will be filled with great need and answered prayer, repentance and forgiveness, questions and God’s wisdom. These books will not be burned—rather, they will fill my shelves as a reminder of how great God is.

Second, I have to tell you that after eleven days of waking up an hour early (6 a.m.) to pray and study isn’t getting any easier. I’m eagerly waiting next weekend when we turn the clocks back hoping that will help. Still I’m doing it because if I am serious about changing my prayer life, then this is what needs to be done. I’ve told you in the past that I hit a sort of plateau in my faith life several years ago which was the inspiration for this blog and have been struggling these many years to find new enthusiasm for my relationship with God. When I first gave my life to Christ in 1999, it was all new and exciting. I read everything I could get my hands on and spent hours in the bible and prayer. Then God began the very in depth work needed to heal my pain, my past, my depression, and my PTSD and it was hard work, but in the 8-year process, God has healed me beyond all my hopes. Corrie ten Boom’s saying, “You find God is all you need when God is all you have” describes that part of my life very well. I had been going to God and leaning on him for so long in my pain and my need that I didn’t know how to communicate with him any other way and now there was no pain and no need (not in that area anyway). I’ve been struggling to learn how to communicate with him ever since and this 40-day prayer challenge has begun to teach me a new way to pray. That’s the real reason I’m getting up at some “ungodly” hour – because that’s when God is teaching me to pray and life is exciting again. I’m craving that time in his presence and I won’t give it up just because I’m a little tired.

1 comment:

Audrey said...

Wow, what a powerful post Maureen. I love the contrast between the journals of your past and your prayer journal of now! I went to a prayer workshop on Saturday, and left convinced that I need to dedicate more time for prayer in my daily life. I hope that I can find the motivation and dedication that you have. Once again, thanks for sharing your inner most thoughts with me!