If ever there was a life preserver for the believer, it is the refuge of prayer. Communing with God through the act of prayer is a gift. But how often do we choose other things, take it for granted, or find an excuse to simply leave it out?
Listen to these verses of Scripture about prayer …
- Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11
- The Lord is near to all who call on Him; to all who call on them in truth. – Psalm 145:18
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
Prayer played an important role in our retreat in February. We began praying months before the retreat, and I believe God blessed our time spent with Him and gave us an incredible glimpse of His glory. But that’s not the prayer I want to talk about with you. I want to talk with you about what happened in prayer on Saturday evening from about 11:00 pm until 2:00 am.
Let me first give you a bit of background. This year we decided to have a Prayer Room at our retreat that would be open the entire weekend. In that room sat comfy chairs, pillows, candles, and other decor. But in one part of the room there were prayer journals. One journal for every woman at the retreat.
The purpose of these journals was to challenge and encourage one another by taking the time to write a prayer, verse of Scripture, or kind note to someone. It was amazing to see woman after woman wander into the Prayer Room all night long on Saturday evening. It was such a blessing.
Listen to these words from Jesus that He prayed for believers to the Father before His crucifixion in John 17. It’s almost as though we get a peak into a journal written by Jesus to us for our strength and encouragement.
I was particularly blessed on Sunday evening when I opened my Prayer Journal and found all of the kind Scriptures and notes of encouragement written to me. You never know how a small gesture, a word of encouragement, a Scripture, or a hand written prayer can change a life, save a life, bring clarity to a life. I want to encourage you to bless someone with a hand written prayer note this week. It will simply make their day!
Let me share one more thing that we did with regard to prayer at the retreat. On that very same Saturday night, we hosted a one-hour Prayer Experience. Using Dick Eastman’s The Hour That Changes the World, I led women through a one hour prayer time. Sound challenging? In his book the author identifies 12 aspects of prayer and suggests using these prayer elements in increments of five minutes to pray for one hour. Click here if you’d like a copy of it.
Below are the 12 elements of prayer that are detailed in The Hour That Changes the World. I challenge you to set aside one hour during Holy Week to pray through this list of prayer points.
- Praise – Simply telling God who He is and declaring His attributes.
- Waiting – Spend time in wordless worship. Think about your love for God and God’s love for you.
- Confession – Ask God to reveal the sin in your life, repent, and ask for forgiveness.
- Scripture prayer – Pray prayers written in Scripture or pray God’s Word to Him.
- Watching – Ask God for spiritual instruction and enlightenment.
- Outreach- Pray for individual, local, national, and international outreach of the Gospel.
- Intercession – Pray for the needs of family and/or friends.
- Petition – Pray for your personal requests.
- Thanksgiving – Thank God for what He has done and is doing in your life.
- Meditation – Choose an attribute of God and think on it. Let it turn over and over in your mind.
- Listening – Mentally absorb divine instruction from God.
- Singing – Sing directly to God songs of praise, thanksgiving, or petition.
Praying in this way will surely change your prayer life and will help to make your Easter more meaningful!
In the Scriptures we read of how Jesus often took time to be alone with His Father. He loved talking to Him in prayer.
Do you love talking to God through prayer? Will you take time this week to show God how much you love Him by choosing to commune with Him through prayer?