I wrote a while back about how the Lord is pressing on my heart to be more intentional about prayer. It is an area of focus for me this year. I started a prayer journal for me to have a place to go and write down my prayers so that I can come back later and look at the Lord's faithfulness. One of the very first days in my journal I remember praying and asking the Father to teach me how to pray. I have tried things before and have always struggled because there are so many people and things I want to pray for and about. Soon after asking the Lord I felt him press upon me a desire to make some list. I asked him to show me what and who to include. I soon had a list of people I wanted to remember to intercede for regularly as well as ministry opportunities and personal requests I wanted to pray about. I don't try to pray for everyone and everything daily. I work my way through the 6 separate lists and I pray for the next thing on each list. Other than that I trust the Lord to press upon my heart other things I need to specifically pray for that day. He has been faithful to do this many times already.
As a mom of three kids, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a daughter-in-law, a sister in Christ, and a light to unbelievers, I have many roles to fill and many opportunities to be an ambassador on Christs behalf, but I can go days and even weeks without praying specifically about these roles. I have ideas about the type of mom I want to be but I often forget to ask the Lord for His strength, grace, patience, kindness, and servant's heart in this role. I forget at least until I feel stretched and spent and I am soaking in doubt of my ability to be a mom. I know the type of wife I desire to be but I don't pray about that nearly enough. Just wait until I am hurt, isolated, harsh, and resentful in my marriage and all the sudden I am on my knees begging the Father for his help. This is true of all the roles I listed above. I desire to do the work of the Father, to live my life in a way that gives glory to His name, but I fall short over and over again. I know in my head I will fall short if I try to go it alone, but I still try until I prove to myself once again that I am nothing without Christ. I have to have Him daily intervening in my life and I need to pray and ask for that intervention.
It is amazing that as I pray for my heart to be more servant-like I find ways and opportunities to be a servant in my everyday life. As I seek the die to myself more I realize that when a sweet little boy wants to be held and I need to sweep the floor and finish my to-do list so I can relax, that I can choose to die to self and snuggle with that child. I can find God in the midst of the mundane and I can follow Him more closely. I have experienced greater fullness of God as I have found ways to set aside more time to pray. I have learned the pleasure of interceding on behalf of my kids, husband, other family and friends. And the greatest treasure is that I have learned more and more about why I must depend on Him fully and pray more regularly. It has been a joy filled journey of seeking the Father through prayer this month. There have still been days when I oversleep and don't get that extended time of prayer, or I try to pray at night and drift off to sleep. Even with more intentional prayer my sin still creeps up and I get frustrated with my kids and snap at my husband. I still can be critical of others and judgemental, but I can tell a change. I really believe that prayer is largely about changing me, shaping me to be more Christ-like. It helps set my mind on the things above. It focuses my priorities and it helps me to live in the hope that is before me and that Hope is Jesus Christ.
Lord, take this year and make it my greatest year of prayer yet. Please keep me faithful and diligent to seek you and spend time with you through prayer. Help me to be more disciplined in the way I choose to live so that the things that creep in, the busyness of life, won't quiet my hearts desire to pray and the ability to actually find the time to devote to prayer.