Hmm. I just realized as I went to post this that it's been a whole week since I last posted here. Time just flies. Blogging may continue on the lighter side this week as well.
This is, I think, the third post in which I’ve mentioned the ladies’ retreat we had a few weeks ago, but I have to say something about it again in this Thankful Thursday post. I have been concerned for a while now that I’m not very focused in my praying. One thing I’ve made it a habit to do is that when I say I’ll pray for someone I try to pray right then because I don’t want to forget. I tend to say little conversational kinds of prayers throughout the day, but, when I sit down to pray in a focused way, I tend to be a bit ADD in that I no sooner start to pray then I’m thinking about the 1 million chores I need to be doing or my mind is wandering all over the place.
One thing I’m thankful for is that on the ladies’ retreat, our speaker gave us a little outline that has worked for her in organizing her thoughts as she prays. Basically it begins with bowing to worship, taking cares to the Lord and laying them at His feet, confessing and asking Him to search your heart, praying through Eph. 6:10-18, thinking on an attribute of God from the Scripture and thanking Him, praying for others, reading the Bible and praying about how you need to respond to and obey His word that you’ve just read. Taking the basic format, I’ve been making myself a prayer notebook with an outline that works for me and helps me focus during my quiet time in the morning which I’ve typed up and put in page protectors in a little notebook, along with a list of people I pray for every day, and then I’ve broken up other prayer concerns and assigned them a day of the week when I will be praying over them - things like my family and church (those are on the every day list), my country and leaders, neighbors, friends, extended family, and some other things (certain days of the week). I’ve also started listing out scriptures as I’m reading the Bible that I find I can pray for people on my list.
One thing that I thought of today is to print out a list of my Facebook friends and blog friends for one of the weekdays. Each week I’ll take a few friends from those lists and pray specifically for them, and when I actually know of specific needs I’ll remember them, too. I got to thinking what a special way that could be to take a hobby and make something meaningful of it. As to the blog friends list, if you’ve interacted with me in a somewhat regular way, you are probably on that list. If you want to be on that list, please leave me a comment or send an e-mail and I’ll be happy to add you. I’ve also added to my list the bloggers I read regularly, whether I have actually interacted with them or not.
So, I’m thankful for the encouragement and practical organizational tips the speaker at our retreat gave me to help me to become more organized and diligent in praying. For all the talk about prayer these days that tries to make prayer out to be some contemplative, wispy, unmindful thing, I don’t want to be caught up in seeking after some elusive, hyper-romanticized experience. I want to pray and love God with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. I want to be grounded in God’s word and fellowshipping with Him in a way that truly honors Him and is biblical and will teach me to grow in Christ as I submit to Him and love Him more and be living for His glory throughout the day.