A Prayer Template

When my oldest son was 6 or 7 years old, he asked if his friend, Harrison, who lived in our neighborhood could join us for dinner. At dinner as our usual custom was to pray before our meals. As my husband motioned for us all to bow in prayer, Harrison asked with a distorted face, “what is prayer?” We all looked at him stunned. I do not remember our direct answer to his question. I do remember feeling wounded that a young boy did not know the concept or purpose of prayer.

Harrison and his family moved out of the neighborhood not long after, but I never forgot that dinner. I often think of that dinner long ago when I hear others, young and old, discuss their prayer life or lack thereof.

Paul’s Prayer for the Colossians

The apostle Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is a template when praying for others who may not know Christ, new in their Christian faith, or for all of us who lose our way.

Colossians 1:9-12
9 For this reason we have not stopped praying for you since the day we heard about you. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through every kind of spiritual wisdom and insight. 10 We ask this so that you will live the kind of lives that prove you belong to the Lord. Then you will want to please him in every way as you grow in, producing every kind of good work by this knowledge about God. 11 We ask him to strengthen you by his glorious might with all the power you need to patiently endure everything with joy. 12 You will also thank the Father, who has made you able to share the light, which is what God’s people inherit.

“… Patiently endure everything with joy.”

There is the rub isn’t it? How do we patiently endure the financial hardships, depression, illness, loneliness, the heartache, and whatever else that causes us to fall to our knees in prayer and write furiously in our prayer journal?

What God has done through Christ

Colossians 1: 13, 19-22
13 God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. 14 His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven.
19 God was pleased to have all of himself live in Christ. 20 God was also pleased to bring everything on earth and in heaven back to himself through Christ. He did this by making peace through Christ’s blood sacrificed on the cross.
21 Once you were separated from God. The evil things you did showed your hostile attitude. 22 But now Christ has brought you back to God by dying in his physical body. He did this so that you could come into God’s presence without sin, fault, or blame.

God knows my past. He knows my future.

Who else can know my past so intimately than God? Who can know my heart but God? If He knows my past then I am confident He knows my future too.  I no longer want to ignorantly react to this life as I have to all the chaos and confusion this world has presented me. So, I remind myself of Paul’s prayer to the Colossians that to patiently endure everything with joy is to trust God’s vision for my future.

Colossians 1:13
23 This is on the condition that you continue in faith without being moved from the solid foundation of the hope that the Good News contains.

The Apostle Paul’s duty is my duty too.

Colossians 1: 26-29
26 In the past God hid this mystery, but now he has revealed it to his people. 27 God wanted his people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery—which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory.
28 We spread the message about Christ as we instruct and teach everyone with all the wisdom there is. We want to present everyone as mature Christian people. 29 I work hard and struggle to do this while his mighty power works in me.

My duty is not only to draw closer to God with those things that drop me to my knees in prayer, but help others draw closer to God too. I pray that God’s will and His presence be shown to me in mind, body and spirit with open eyes, ears and heart. I pray for others too that they may know that Christ can live within them giving them hope for their future. I pray this not only for those and unnamed circumstances listed on the back pages of my prayer journal and in my heart, but that I may show others in my attitude, my work and in my spoken words.

It is difficult even for the most faithful to endure all patiently with joy. I believe it is important to have quiet meditation throughout the day every day. It is why I carry my prayer journal with me.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

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My Prayer

Dear God, I give you all the praise and glory for in You I must live if I am to be alive. Replace my sadness with Your Joy so I may live today with the hope of tomorrow. Release all, my Lord, that which oppresses me and restore to me and to others the joy of Your salvation. Remind us of the empty tomb by which He gained for us the freedom to live. Help me to live in the joy of my freedom and to share the Good News so every day is met with joy and confidence of whatever this world may bring. Thank you, God, my Father, for the joy and peace that revive me and restore me to life. May this joy and peace be also felt by whom all I pray. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

My Spiritual Journey

The Prayer Journal’s blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!
I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.

Blessings on your day,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

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Transitioning to a New Normal

After moving our youngest son off into his dorm for his freshman year at college, I could no longer hold back the tears. Two days earlier, we helped his older brother move into his dorm at another college after attending a local community college. In the space of two days, my husband and I were back to being a couple with two dogs.

The house will not feel the same

Over twenty years ago as my husband drove us to the hospital in the middle of the night, I distinctly remember thinking between jolts of labor pangs that the next time we walk into our house we would be carrying our son. We would no longer be a couple with two dogs. Then about two years later our family would grow to four people with two dogs.

A new normal

As with each new addition to the family and now with an empty nest, I must prepare for a new normal. The emotions I felt as a new mother, I am feeling again as I look around their bedrooms – love, anxiety, hope, loneliness, pride, heartache, and especially JOY.  While these emotions are ironically the same, one thing that is certain is the love of God to carry me through this next phase of my life.

“Splendor and majesty are in his presence. Strength and joy are where he is.” 1 Chronicles 16:27

 Leo Nest

My days as a mother are not over just because the chicks are out of the nest. God always has a plan and a purpose for each of us in all of our transitions. Just as my sons eagerly look forward to their educational experiences and independence, I eagerly look forward to expanded opportunities in His service.

Journal Tools

Need help with getting started with your prayer journal? You may email me at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would be happy to help you explore the spiritually enriching experience of a journal writer.

Prayer writing prompts are posted almost daily on my Twitter page:  @PrayerPrompts

Prayer writing prompts are also shared on Facebook, The Blogging Owl Facebook Page.

Praying the Scriptures

“Everything written long ago was written to teach (me) so that (I) would have confidence through the endurance and encouragement which the Scriptures (has given me).” Romans 15:4

“(I) have confidence in you. (I) know that as you share our sufferings, you also share (my) comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:7

“Be happy in (my) confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually.” Romans 12:12

May I pray for you?

Email: Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com

Twitter: @PrayerPrompts

Facebook: The Blogging Owl

Blessings on your day!
Sheri

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