I love the quote that our prayer life is like a constant conversation with God. We as His creation have this immense privilege to approach the throne of our Creator with not only our praise, but also with our requests and concerns! It blows my mind. The fact that God is intimately involved in our lives brings us purpose and direction…and hope!
As we approach this new season of spring and soon, summer (can you believe it’s May already?!), I find myself thinking about all that God taught me this school year and ways I wish to continue to grow in 2016! This is a hugely common theme as a long winter ends and spring ushers in times of purging, reflecting, and cleaning!
Back in December, I had created a New Years Goals worksheet with a category called “abiding.” Even as I look at it now, I have the uncomfortable realization that so many of my prayers this past year were so centered around myself, what I wanted out of situations, or even around my own self-pity or self-gains. I do believe that God cares about each of our little worries and every situation we find ourselves in…but for this new year, I want to approach my prayer life with more intentionality – and centered more on others and on God. After all, our ultimate goal in life is to bring God glory and to make Him known.
5 Ways to Pray Intentionally This New Season:
1 // Pray that your heart would ache for the hurting. We so often go about our daily lives acting as thought we’re unaffected by the trials and difficult situations of others. As 2016 goes on, I want to pray that God would take my heart and allow it to reach new levels of compassion and understanding.
2 // Pray that God would grow and stretch you. Even by definition, water that sits stagnant often goes bad as a consequence of merely sitting! On a similar note, stagnant living is never recommended! Sometimes the most “easy” chapters of our lives can cause us to drift away from our Good Shepherd. I’ve learned a LOT (a lot a lot a lot) this school year, and much of what I’ve learned has come as I’ve emerged from difficult circumstances, leaning ever closer to my Savior. I want to allow God to continue to grow and stretch me, even when it’s hard or painful, because I know that the result of those “growing pains” can only mean improvement of my character and things of eternal consequence!
3 // Pray prayers full of thankfulness! I read the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp two summers ago and it changed me! In the book, Ann speaks about her journey to true, joyful gratitude regardless of her season of life. When we choose to focus on our blessings and to praise God for all He has given us, our attitudes shift and our approach to life brightens. (I highly recommend that book. She’s got a deep, poetic style, and it’s full of heartfelt reflections and descriptions in her journey to gratitude.)
4 // Pray for the wisdom to act when and where God sees fit. In terms of wanting to grow in compassion this year, I also need to be open to the idea of acting on it! I’m praying that I will have the courage to speak up and act, or the wisdom to stay silent in different situations.
5 // Pray that God would use you to bring others closer to Him. As Christians, our purpose is to glorify God and to bring people to Him! I did begin to pray this prayer relatively recently (especially as I compiled these Bible verses for the work week), but I want to stay within this same line of thought continuously – praying and seeking to glorify God wherever we’re at.
How do you want to bring intentionality back into your prayer life this season? How have you grown and stretched as you prayed this past fall and winter?
If you enjoy faith-related posts like this, check out “5 Things That Have Helped My Faith Walk Lately” or click the “Faith” tab at the top of this page. Thanks for walking in this journey with me, friend!