So, how do you balance your prayer life??

When God first drew me to Bible study curriculum, I had no thought of ever having an office or even a “ministry.” I fell in love with Scripture at my old dining room table in my late twenties after taking a Bible doctrine class. Over the course of weeks, months and then years, that table was bow-legged and piled halfway to the ceiling with resources, pages, colored pens. It hardly ever had an actual meal set on it. If folks needed to eat, I reasoned, they could eat at the breakfast table. My man got so weary of book-tyranny that he practically did a cartwheel in his cowboy boots when I found a tiny office space at a nearby building that we could (barely) afford.

Over the years and one wonderful person at a time, God built a true team and led us from that office building to our own (house-like) ministry building. (Only about 14 of us work in-office, in case you’re trying to picture the size.) One of my very favorite parts about working here amid these fine women of God is lunch conversation. We have staff prayer time on Mondays at noon so, between the other four workdays a week and my travel schedule, I usually average about 2-3 lunches a week with these dear sisters, ranging in age, in background and denomination. But those times are highlights for me and we talk a hundred miles an hour and, many times, laugh a creak in our necks. Occasionally at lunch I throw a topic out on the table and hold a mental bucket wide open to catch what tumbles out of my coworkers mouths. If Curtis happens to be at lunch that day, it’s even better. He is man enough and opinionated enough to provide a welcome shore for this sea of estrogen. Today there were only 6 of us girls so, late in the lunch, I said to them, “OK, I have a question for the table.”

I told them about one of my LPL praise team members showing me some writings that his new wife had done (with her permission, of course). They were psalms, really. Gorgeous outpourings of love and need and wrestling and waiting that she’d written to God over the course of what I’d suppose was a decade. The book was compiled from portions of her prayer journal and, as I read them, I marveled at the beauty and almost blushed at the intimacy. One thing was certain: Jesus was and is the uncontested love of her life. And, from her husband’s point of view, he was twice as loved and blessed because he was second to God (and God alone).

Reading her journal stirred up a fresh longing in me. I know a woman who poured out pages and pages and pages like that. No, not as beautifully most of the time, but often as intimately. Jesus has been life to me. Redemption from wreckage. I know He has been the same to many of you. But here is the conflict her journal whipped up in me. In many of those extended periods of time when I’ve poured out my heart like that days-upon-end, I was going through extreme crisis and marrow-deep healing. (One season was as recently as nine months ago so, certainly, not all of these are in the past.) In my normal practice when I’m not in complete crisis mode, my sweetest and dearest relationship in life is still with Jesus. Even in all my frailty and fallenness, He is how I start my day.  I always make confession of sin toward the beginning, get into His Word then pray for myself for several minutes right at the end but, in between, Girlfriend, I HAVE A LIST! I mean, mature believers are meant to have healthy intercessory lives, right? The New Testament summons us over and over to pray for one another. I keep a prayer journal of intercession with multiple people on it everyday. And, then, all these natural disasters! We have to be on our faces, don’t we? And, what about the spiritual condition of this country?? It needs prayer, doesn’t it? “If My people who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…”

Yes and yes and yes and yes and yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. BUT, we will miss out on the new wine of life if we do not also spend time in the presence of Jesus just simply being present with Jesus. Most things don’t fix on their own. We don’t automatically forgive on our own. Or heal on our own. Or put others first on our own. Or discern between good and evil on our own. Or comprehend the Scriptures on our own. We are the children of God and our hearts need tending and mending that only He can bring. And, in our intercessory roles, we’re also wise to come to grips with the fact that we’re not in control and our whole worlds won’t fall apart if we don’t get through our lists today.

SO, here’s the question! How do we balance both kinds of prayer: for others and for ourselves?? How do you grapple with this dilemma? Most of the time, I let crisis be my guide and when I need more personal tending, I spend more personal time with God on matters concerning my own heart. I think that’s a good plan and it’s worked fairly well for a long time. But, then, I read something like that young woman’s journal and I long for that level of personal intimacy with Christ every single day. Anybody else?? I know there’s no getting this thing down pat but I think I need some shifting and sifting in my prayer life.

We had the richest conversation over it at lunch time and now I’d love to hear your take on it. So far from our conversation, I think I’ve decided that I’m going to stay with my usual early morning prayer-practice with the primary emphasis on intercession for most days a week, but, at least for a little while, I’m going to take two mornings back a week, primarily just for Him and me. Times just to bring my own needy heart before Him with concentration and  complete transparency for fresh intimacy and revival. More than the few minutes I spend on other days. Needless to say, this is all subject to the daily leadership of the Holy Spirit and He can turn the whole thing upside down any time He wants but I think I’m about to get that pen back out and write some new love letters to the dearest Love of my life.

Anybody else struggling with how to pray? I’m not talking about formulas here nor doing the same thing the same way every day. I’m just talking about some basic balance. Anybody found some?? Let’s hear it! (Not too long, ladies! Think succinct!) Scripture tells us to encourage one another and stimulate one another’s hearts and minds toward the Lord Jesus. That’s what Siestaville is all about. Don’t freak out if it’s morning before we post many of your comments. Keith just called me and wants me to go somewhere with him this evening so I won’t be able to bring in comments much tonight. I’ll bring in a few this afternoon then K-Mac and I will get the rest of them posted as we can. You are dear to us around here! I missed you at the lunch table today.

P.S. Make me a promise that nobody falls into condemnation here. I am well aware that some of you moms of young children (and some of you caring for elderly parents) are doing well to get ten minutes alone with the Lord.  He meets us where we are.  Let’s stay healthy here. Let’s also encourage one another to grow in our intimacy with Christ.

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683 Responses to “So, how do you balance your prayer life??”

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  1. 51
    Kimberly says:

    Prayer is such a hard thing for me. I can intercede for others–I don’t struggle there–but it is so hard for me to just be with the Lord. I know the personal relationship is lacking for me, and I want to have that deep relationship with Jesus, but that kind of prayer, which I think is the missing thing for me, is just hard for me to do.

  2. 52

    I replied to Dawn but if it’s okay I want to add one more note. While I have been praying mostly for myself because of struggles I face, I start my morning with more of reading and meditating on the Word. Because of the types of days I’ve been having, not bad just hard, I need to hear God’s voice early on and get direction and strength from Him more so than I need to speak and make my request known.

  3. 53
    Sharon says:

    This has always been a struggle for me! I am desperate to spend more time in prayer and struggle to find it. In the morning I’m getting my kids off to school, then I’m at work, and then I come home to cook dinner and spend the evening with my husband and kids. Since about January, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to get up early to pray, but I never followed through. In April, I went to a prayer session and God spoke to me through someone and said very directly to me “Get up early and spend time with me. You won’t regret it.” How could I ignore that!?

    I didn’t want to set the alarm clock and wake up my husband, so I prayed and asked God to wake me up. I was so blessed to be awakened every morning for four mornings at 5:00 am without the alarm clock!!!!! God showed me that He wanted to be with me so much that He would honor my silly request and wake me up. This inspired my husband so much that he is setting the alarm for me now and is often getting up to spend time with God as well! God never ceases to amaze me! My intimacy with Him has grown so much and He is right – I do not regret it.

  4. 54
    Laura says:

    Many years ago, or so it seems, I started reading the Mitford series by Jan Karon. The main character, a priest, would often pray the “perfect prayer” or “the prayer that covered everything.” His prayer…”Thy will be done.” I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed that prayer over the years when I was truly conflicted on how to pray for someone or something. Even when there has been a specific prayer request I often find myself praying that prayer, because I am still learning that what I want or think I need is not always the same thing as “His will.”

    I also have a hard time spending a great deal on consecutive time in prayer. I get distracted way too easily. I try to stop and pray as God lays people or things on my heart. I also find when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep-I start praying for those I know in need. My prayer life always needs help, but I do what I can, when I can, and I treasure the moments of any length when I can get some quiet time with my Lord. But I also know that I need to try and make time for him that is not interrupted by Facebook or TV or even laundry. So as far as balance is concerned, my prayer life is most definitely like a seesaw with a really tiny kid on one end and a really big kid on the other end. Never in balance.

    • 54.1
      Jill says:

      The perfect prayer of Father Tim, ” Thy will be done” covers my intercessory prayer life at this time. What I have learned is that I don’t always have all of the information or facts to really know what is best. Plus, God’s master plan is at work ; therefore, I need to get out of the way. I pray more and more for acceptance of his will.

      Having read Ann Voskamp’s ” 1000 gifts”, I really like the idea of a continuous communion with God. A constant praise for things just as they are. Eucharisteo.

      The reality is that at 51- I don’t know. Which is why my prayer life sometimes is just a big old cry for Help. Please just help me!! The work I do has made me look at the ugly side of humanity. This is a broken, broken world. One I don’t understand. I don’t understand why things are not fair. The only thing I do know is that we have a Savior. And that is enough.

  5. 55
    Mandi says:

    Right now with a toddler, I find that I sneak in as many prayers into our blessings before meals and at bedtime. I’m trying to lead by example (scary thought!) so I stick to requests that he can understand, and I keep them simple. But often I feel God very closely during those times, because I think He’s pleased that I’m trying to teach our son to go to and love Him. And I believe a 2 year old’s faith my just be purer than mine 🙂 Other than that, I try to do my devotional in the morning, and pray before bedtime too. The time’s more broken up than I’d like it to be, but we’re kind of hectic right now.

  6. 56
    Grace says:

    Thank you for this post Beth. Don’t feel like I “deserve” to pray for myself- been in the desert for so long can barely pray for others. How does one go back to Him when I haven’t been with Him for so long- I feel like such a hypocrite. I’m faithful to church, I love the Lord with all my heart, I’m just so dry. Don’t mean to be a downer, just struggling so right now.

    • 56.1
      katelyn says:

      Grace…that was me not so long ago! To quote a good lady, “Stay in the Word” and keep praying. As surely as He has made the desert of my heart run with streams of living water, He will for you also. I cannot tell you how much He has captured me with His love, grace and faithfulness – set me free from my barren, good church- girl prison and given me endless cause to praise His name!

    • 56.2
      Jane Smolen says:

      I’ll pray for you, Grace- I’ve been there, too.

    • 56.3
      Jeannette says:

      HE is the living water! Praying for you right now, Grace. That your dry desert may be flooded with Him.

      • jenn says:

        your answer lies in your name! accept His GRACE and turn your eyes upon Jesus. you don’t have to do anything BIG; just lift up your head.

  7. 57

    Beth, thanks for this post. I pray. Mostly I pray for others’ needs, my family, friends, those on the church’s prayer chain, the world, the government. There are times that you call God Stops where the wonder of God causes spontaneous prayer, praise and thanksgiving.

    But one area I need work in is the sweet time with Him. I remember in one of your videos you spoke of snowflakes and God, and that sweet time. I yearn to have that kind of relationship. I know God loves me and I love Him. Without Him I would be a horrible mess. But I struggle. Because of the abuse I received as a child it took a long time to not cringe when people prayed, “Father God.” I didn’t want another Father. Little did I know I needed Father God. I don’t cringe anymore, but I don’t have that sweet security that my kids have with us, to be able to crawl in our laps when they were little or confess a problem that they have as young adults. I need that kind of assurance with God, that I am His special child, and that I can go boldly into His Presence.

    One time I had a dress made out of an Indian bedspread and I wore it to a party. My dress matched the curtains in the room, I was the perfect wallflower. Sometimes I feel I need to hide, like a wallflower in His Kingdom. I know that is a lie from the pit of hell, but I struggle. Would He really want to hear my petty concerns? I am crying as I write this for I thought I had sorted a lot of this out. But there is work to do.

    That being said, there are times when there is sweet communion, and He does speak to my heart. He has shared His love and I know that truth. I think the problem comes when I get in His way with my thoughts and ideas and memories. Oh Lord, Help me to get out of Your way in my life. I am going to try and take some time a few mornings in the week to walk and talk with Him. I just wish I had that childlike innocence that my kids have with Him.

    Thanks for this post.

  8. 58
    Rhonda Thurman says:

    You are so “on the money.” With this day and times it is difficult for women to get that “alone” time with the lover of our soul. My heart aches with longing to spend more time with Jesus to praise and love Him. I don’t have an answer but I sure do understand where you are coming from. Thank you for this today, it has really opened my heart afresh to the fact jesus is the only one that is able to fulfill this longing in my heart.

  9. 59
    Melanie says:

    Hello Dear Beth! Yes, I have a daily prayer list of family, friends, neighbors, extended family, world peace, natural disaster victims, etc. Sometimes I get a bit carried away; but I manage to go quickly. Sometimes I just say “for all my people and intentions” and trust God who knows my speed doesn’t mean I’m insincere. Same goes with routine prayers that I’ve said most of my life. In fact, on some prayers I conceptualize or image the prayer without saying all the words (i.e., picture placing your hands over your loved ones as in a blessing over them and asking God to “Bless”, with words or not). But I do make a point of meaning from my heart whatever it is I’m praying, and not just making a ritual.
    Yes, I do have days where I don’t get it all done. I trust God accepts that I need to ‘have a cup of coffee with Him/Jesus that day’! Other routines involve reading Scripture and/or meditative reading everyday I can; as well as listening to Wednesdays with Beth on the James and Betty Robison T.V. program! Yes…no kidding…I really do this.
    And specifically need to Thank You for your book: Looking Up When Life is Looking Down. I found it in my library before Easter. Guess what? I read it, prayed with it and took notes during Holy Week!! Wow!…’coming out of the pit’ for Easter. Cry out, Confess and Consent will always be part of my prayer life, Thanks to YOU!

  10. 60
    Lorraine Slind says:

    Is talking with God throughout the day prayer? Or is prayer our requests? How awful I feel when I forget to pray for someone. More and more I am feeling the presence of The Lord come between my heart and those on my heart-He wants me. He wants to Love me!! It is like a marriage–if my husband and I only spoke about the business and the operation of the household everything else would be taken care of but our intimacy would be lost. Praise His name I’m found. Keep Lovin on me Lord. Take the time for you and God. Sweet Praise

  11. 61
    carla says:

    ok, here goes it, I hope I understand the question fully. I used to pray for just my needs, so selfishly, then as I got older, I let God lead my prayer life, I honestly do not know where I am, sometimes so jumbled, like now with all the suffering people in our country who have lost everything but found what is most important in life, I don’t know the answer. I just pray more than I used to from the prayer for a puppy when I was little to the closure for families missing loved ones in these storms, somehow, my needs keep being pushed on the back-burner and I feel so bad for praying for myself. I find myself praying for simple things like why did I not stop and talk longer to the person in the restaurant who was alone, it is all a growth experience and I am both humbled and ecstatic at the growth. Still feel like I have miles to go…….

  12. 62
    Misti says:

    I love this blog post, and the tenderness within its words. I have struggled for years in this area. When I was a teenager, I got up before school and had my quiet time with Christ. But as I grew older, got married and then had my son, my life just kept getting crazy and getting up in the morning was so difficult. I felt so condemned for not being able to do what I use to. Then through many sermons and long talks with my hero (my father who is so in love with the Word), I realized it will always be difficult to do. It is dying to the flesh and feeding the spirit, but it doesn’t have to be done at a certain time every day or in the same format. I had to get creative, because if I sit for a while in one position, I’ll fall asleep.
    I get my quiet time in usually when my three year old pretends to nap. He pretends in his room to be quiet and resting, and I pretend he actually closed his eyes and dozed off. I call it my “coffee time”. So many deep and meaningful things happen over a cup of coffee. So, I make a cup and I sit down with my journal and a devotional. I usually read the devotional first, and if it perks up questions, then I follow references within scripture. I write in my journal the scripture the devotional had for the day. Its usually brief and it helps my mind visually soak in the Word. Then I begin journaling what I believe its meaning to me based on what has been going on in my life and the world we live in. I end it by writing my prayer to Christ. If feeling going long, I usually wrap up the writing part and then continue verbally. On days when I feel if I even sit on a chair, I will fall over from exhaustion, I play worship music and while standing, just love on Christ. I may have days where none of this happens, but I’ll never give up trying to do it daily.

  13. 63
    Mindy, Granger, IN says:

    I was a pathetically fearful child but it turned me to prayer. I saw early on that God answered me and that motivated me to pray more. I pray mostly for my kids, husband, and my prayer buddies (2 godly women) and I let my buddies pray for me. When I find a verse or passage I want to see in us, I pray it for all of us. I have a daily list that I get to sometimes, that includes church, government, extended family, … It seems only when I am desperate or really needy that I pray for myself directly, although I do write out my needs and desires in my journal with my time in God’s word. It’s truly my favorite time of the day to “throw the whole weight of my anxieties on Him.” I guess I just know He cares so I figure He’ll bring to mind what’s most important for that day.

  14. 64
    Vicki says:

    How funny! I just had this conversation with my husband not four hours ago! I struggle with balance in my prayer life. I know I have been called to be an intercessor and I am humbled by that. Currently, I use my shower time for intercessory prayer. I pray through my list for that morning. When I complete my morning quiet time, I pray adoration prayers. That’s my most intimate prayer time. Throughout the day, I pray short prayers for family members, my husband, and myself. It’s not completely satisfactory, but it’s what I’m trying right now.

    Oh, as far as the disasters, etc. I pray for them the moment I see them on the news. Can’t wait to see what everyone else says!

  15. 65
    Tiffany Morse says:

    I adore the Lord, Jesus is my EVERYTHING!! I am learning to commune with Him everyday all day…it is happening s-l-o-w-l-y…I have had everything stripped away this year…things too intimate in nature and revealing to post online, but it has forced me into an ever increasing intimate relationship with my God!

  16. 66
    Alta Blake says:

    I have loved devoting my first few hours of every morning in what I call “the prayer room” just a spare bedroom I have a comfy chair, desk, Bibles, devotionals, Beth Moore books, workbooks and more”) but, my favorite spot is on the floor…face to the floor…I got that from you sweet Beth. My most intimate times with Jesus is on that floor. Some days it is intercessory, my heart may be breaking for someone, a loved one, situations, our church, our country.
    Some days I just feel I need to listen while He speaks through His Word.Some days I walk on the treadmill and I have a picture of Jesus I love so much, it is on the wall in front of me and I just talk to Him and sing, and praise Him. Sometimes that is where He inspires me and gives me ideas how to minister to others or something I have been asking Him to show me. Sometimes I just write in my journal what is on my heart and what I believe He is says to me.
    Main thing is just learning to flow with the Holy Spirit. My part is to be there first thing in the morning to meet with Jesus. I have loved this season so much. It seems to me so freeing. I love Him and I want to know Him more and love Him best. It just seems to be balance to me.
    I am retired so I feel very blessed to have this time. Thankful”)But, I feel like I talk to Him all through the day. Praying when I’m moved to. Listening for His voice.

    Simply His,
    AltaLynn

  17. 67
    tulip in Idaho says:

    Sweet Beth,

    This is something I have always struggled with. How to pray, when to have time to pray, remembering to pray, why should I pray (if He knows everything anyway, would it make a difference). I’m not comfortable praying in public and it stresses me to do it (even in front of my kids) and there is NO time in the morning as my feet are flying the minute the baby wakes in the morning. I homeschool 5 kids ages 10yrs to 17 months. It is a constant stream of teaching, training, rebuking, correcting (not all in righteousness on my end, I tell ya), schedules, lists, menus, organizing, errands, shopping, planning……and the time I have at night, while my husband is at work, I never use wisely to collapse in the arms of my sweet Jesus. There are times I go DAYS without even thinking about Jesus and then I wonder why I’m stressed and dry…will I ever learn? There doesn’t need to be any guilt or condemnation from anyone here…I’m doing a fine job heaping it on myself.

  18. 68
    Ginnie says:

    For so many years I’ve heard others talk about their intimate relationship with Jesus and have longed to have the same kind of relationship. At times I have doubted that I’m truly saved because I didn’t feel that I had that intimacy with Christ. In the past few months I’ve realized that I do have intimacy with Christ just as the others I’ve heard talk about it. . . it’s kinda like my relationship with my son with my relationship with my daughter, both are different, but both are alike! I remind myself that Paul’s, David, John, Peter, James, Mark, Job, Mark (the list could go on and on) each had differences in their relationship with Christ yet they also had similarities. It’s the same with each of us. . . our relationship with Christ will look different than the sister sitting next to you Sunday School.

    Hoping that made sense. Just simply trying to say that all our prayer times and our intimacy with God is going to look different from each other’s. But praise God that we have the privilege of having a relationship with him.

  19. 69
    Colima says:

    It seems that I need to work on my prayer life because literally this is the third time that prayer has come up in like a week! I like to pray out loud in my car, especially after bible study or church. I like to journal to God, and really just write out how I feel, and also list specifc prayers for others. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night with someone random (to me) on my mind, and I will pray. That also happens during the day and I just figure for some reason I need to pray for that person. I feel like I need to be more disciplined about praying because right now I’m sort of sporadic and a little rote.

  20. 70
    Janice says:

    This is an interesting exercise and the posts are so honest and touching. I am inconsistent and undisciplined with my prayer life. I love to spend in time in prayer and I like myself better when I am praying. There have been seasons in my life that I felt like I was in constant prayerful conversation with God – kind of on-going. I am not currently experiencing that at this time. I like one of the suggestions that someone made to pray for our country one day, missionaries the next and so on. Beth, your book “Whispers of Hope” really enriched my prayer life. And so did “Praying God’s Word”. James Dobson used to have a calendar for praying the Scripture for your children daily. These were short and brief. I think these days that my prayers are more reactive instead of proactive due to so many crisis’, disasters, diseases and sickness. When I receive a prayer request over email, I am trying to stop right then and there and pray. That is really taking some discipline. I have to walk about 4 blocks into the office everyday so I use this time to pray for those who have authority over me and that I perform my work as unto the Lord. However, I am very remiss in praying for missionaries and the county and our president. I love all these posts. Your suggestions are encouraging.

  21. 71
    Cheryl says:

    What a timely post. I really needed to hear this. I am out of balance right now. Three months into a new job with a lot of responsibility. Long hours. Desperately need that ongoing communication with Jesus to keep me on track, but I get to the end of most days and my best intentions go out the window because I am so tired.

    • 71.1
      Janee says:

      I so understand. My life went from a thirty hour work week to a sixty good/six day work week. I so tired…..I think about God all the time, yet I don’t pray……

      • Cheryl says:

        I hear you. I do the same thing. Hang in there. Perhaps you and I can find just 15 minutes to spend with the Lord. I really need it. I think it affects the quality of my decisions when I get too tired and too far away from my last conversation with Him.

  22. 72
    Judith says:

    I find that reading the Gospels and the Psalms keeps me feeling like I\m close to His Heart……right now I’m reading through the Bible (the O.T., the Psalms, Proverbs and the N.T.) and amazingly, right now I’m reading the gospel of John and IISamuel and Psalm 119 at the same time.
    And I feel that God is calling me to just enjoy HIM and experience HIM and marvel in HIS miracles and love!!!

  23. 73
    Sarah M. says:

    My goodness have you ever picked a topic today! Balance in my prayer time has been such a struggle. For most of my life, my prayer life has been a struggle – but praise God that is gradually improving. As far as balance goes, you said something at the Women’s Leadership Forum at Ridgecrest back in November that struck a cord with me and has stuck with me. I think it applies to balance in prayer life as well. You said “Do not let your devotional time turn into your preparation for ministry time.” I think we could easily say “Don’t let your prayer time become so focused on others that you never have ‘me and Jesus’ time.” Yes, we need that prep time for ministry, but before we serve others we’ve got to work on ourselves! It’s much the same with prayer. We’ve got to do both!

  24. 74
    Laura says:

    I wish I could say that I have balance. But I don’t. I so desperately want to. I get up at early to spend time in the word and journal. But I don’t feel like I have that great prayer connection/intimacy with Jesus. There are so many things that I would love to pray for myself, my husband, my children, my ministry, my job, etc. everyday, that it simply becomes an overwhelming list. So I don’t. And so the cycle repeats itself. I feel fairly defeated by it and know that I’m missing out on so much.

  25. 75
    Kathy says:

    After years of trying formulas that left me weary of going through long lists of people and things to pray for every day, I have found that what works best for me is breaking my prayer list up and having a specific day in the week to pray for different people, a day to pray just for me, a day for my immediate family (husband and grown kids) and a day for rest of family (siblings, nephews nieces, parents, friends that are like family) and a day to pray for people in ministry, at church, and a day to just sit quietly before the Lord and not ask anything, not intercede for anything, just be with Him and worship.

    Most aspects of prayer remain a mystery to me, but I know God teaches us to pray, He works through prayer, and He answers prayer!

  26. 76
    Heather W. says:

    Thank you so much for bringing this up! This has been a huge struggle for me for a while. I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 14 month old and finding any time for me when they’re not awake and I don’t have a hundred other things to do seems almost impossible most days. I’ve noticed that most of my prayer time has been spent interceding for others…very little has been spent on me at all. I’m feeling the effects of it because life has been more stressful/demanding lately than ever before. I NEED that time now and would love to see how others are fitting it in to crazy schedules.

  27. 77
    Kathy says:

    I just lost my reply- hope this is not a repeat. What a timely post, thank you. I have been revisiting this very subject now in my sixth decade.

    I am convinced I will not realize the abundant life promised unless I regularly listen, focus on scripture and spend time in the quiet with my Lord. My intimacy with Christ is the key to me being able to pass on his Kingdom’s power and love. I now believe that God’s greatest desire is for us to spend private time with him- as a “doer” it was shocking for me to realize that God wanted ME not my doing as a priority.

    I desire to be a conduit for Christ’s love and healing. I know I do not have power to change and redeem anything, but our might Lord does have that power.

    What amazes me is that he will use us as vessels of his love, if we will set aside our ego driven “false shelves” and allow his River of Grace to flow through us. I’m trying to “starve” my false self’s thought life, but it is very difficult. Spending time in the quiet with Christ shifts that ego focus.

    God Bless you for taking the time challenge us with this post.

  28. 78
    kay Kay says:

    There have been seasons when I stick to a ACTS (adoration,confession, thanksgiving, supplication) format and pray pretty briefly. But in this season of my life I’m able to spend about 45 minutes a day in prayer. I do have a list and I feel RESPONSIBLE to pray for the things on my list (my family, my church, people in crisis and four foreign countries.) But I do struggle. It’s work. I don’t want my prayer to be just vain repeating, I want to pray as the Spirit leads. I pray out loud because otherwise my mind wanders. Often I pray while I walk because then I don’t hate exercising so much. I am thinking that God answers prayers but prayer is also my way of cheering God on for what He is going to do. It’s my way of participating in God’s plan. My prayer life is a continual work in progress.

  29. 79
    jamie says:

    Beth, you yourself have taught me about the Sovereignty of God ~ You. I know, God is sovereign, I believe it (now) to the marrow of my bones. BUT ~ I still find it difficult to even type ~ to GRASP the groanings that this planet is doing, and the utter destruction of livee, property and dreams. THAT being said, I find it difficult to pray. “Save them dear Lord” … “Rescue Father” ~ “Comfort Holy Spirit” is about ALL I CAN pray… I GRIEVE intensely…co-workers even poo-poo’d me. I’m certain this is a character trait that GOD made, so I don’t ask for forgiveness from humans for the weight that is on my shoulders.

    Thank you for the encouragement..to be the prayer warriors that God has called us to be.

    America. Bless. God!

  30. 80
    Joy says:

    All I know is that when I take an opportunity to spend some one-on-One time with my True Love, I get down-right giddy! And I take every chance I can get! I am mindful of God’s Presence all through the day, and I whisper prayers to Him. But I don’t have a routine. And that’s on purpose because I want to be careful that I don’t go to God out of obligation as something to check off a to-do list. I go to Him because I crave my time with Him…because I love Him like no other…because He is my Treasure…because I’m crazy about Him and I can’t wait to get alone with Him so I can know Him more! However, I do typically spend Mondays with Him (I’d say that’s my Sabbath). That’s my day off, and everyone else is out of the house so I’m free to express my praise loudly if I’d like! 🙂 I journal a lot as well. There’s just something about writing down my struggle that unravels it from the tangle in my mind and spirit. And then later, going through old journals is eye-opening and faith-building!

  31. 81
    Blessed in Colorado says:

    Wow, My first post with you Beth. I love my Jesus…He alone can take us all where we are at, and use it for His glory. I have been struggling with my prayers too. “Oh God, I have brought this to you now for 30 years…(family for saving)..don’t ever let me forget you hear…don’t let me pray in empty repitition.” I struggle also with all we see in todays world…sin, murder of children, disasters…God am I to pray for each every day? But God, I need YOU today in my marriage… I need you today to cleanes me of this self centered, want it MY way attitude. I also have been soooo confused, and split in my prayers, guilty if I only pray for my family, my needs. I too see wisdom is ALLOWING myself days for Him and me, for time to speak to Him on my marriage, and time to listen. Days to focus out to the world He has me in, the job I go to each day, the neighbors I have by me, the church I worship with. It already feels less stressful knowing it can be planned out is a way, and not struggling and feeling gulity if I don’t do it all every day. THANK YOU LORD! Thank you for hearing us all..

  32. 82
    holly smith says:

    Please hear this from the humblest place in me…I pray all the time…for everyone, whenever they mention a hope or dream or hurt. I pray. I pray aloud in front of whomever I am with when I see an emergency vehicle. It is part of my make-up…some days the only make-up I have on. I tattle, I plead. I seek and mostly I pray out of my lack and weakness. When it is all said and done, I have seen God move when I pray, so I keep on. It is just something we choose…and as Joanne says, practice makes perfect!

  33. 83
    ediebal says:

    I have only bought the journal , waiting to write in it. The words are in my mind but have not come out… Praying for guidance…

  34. 84
    Maria says:

    I never thought about taking a morning just to pray for myself and commune with Him. Snap! What an awesome idea! I have been struggling lately with figuring out whether to get in the word first or pray first. Just feeling like I’m in a dry season.

  35. 85
    Karen Stuber says:

    I recently completed a Bible study that talked about asking God for the asking. I find myself asking God more questions since then. i.e. How do you want me to pray, LORD, for….?

  36. 86
    Linda says:

    No, I am guilty of being in a routine and having no balance. However, I do love getting up each morning early for time with the Lord. If I don’t, I feel like my whole day is messed up.

    But, your inquiry has come at an interesting time. I just finished reading “One Thousand Gifts” and went to the author’s website last night and she had about 7 posts on how to journal our prayers, so this morning I tried it. I honestly think it’s the first time I’ve remembered what I learned in my quiet time past 10:00 in the morning! Actually, that’s not funny. It’s the truth.

    So, I look forward to reading all the comments and getting me some balance!

  37. 87
    Erika says:

    Oh Siestas it’s so encouraging to read each others thoughts about prayer. I have been in a season of rebuilding as well. I think from early on in childhood I had a natural proclivity towards deep intimacy with Christ in a way that I believe some people would have a hard time believing a child could understand such beauty.
    Allowing Christ to break spiritual pride and performance has as a long-time believer has been beautifully messy, and I have found myself unable to pray and intercede for people like I used to. So my prayers have been newfound prayers of deep desperation for Christ like I have never known before. There are many days when I wish I wasnt so desperate for time and for Christ, and a lot of days I am probably creating my own crisis in my lack of prayer. I just keep remembering HE loves me in all sorts of states. The joy of giving him sweet incense for what he has done for me will return in a deeper more sustaining form, and I look forward to filling my journal a fresh with Psalms of praise instead of psalms of me.

  38. 88
    Aim says:

    This post was definitely just in time. I am just starting a new ministry and this has been the question of my heart for the last month. How do you balance prayer life? Another question I’ve been having is: How do you even begin? As another siesta stated I would love to hear how other prayer wariors pray because at times I feel so lacking.

  39. 89
    Mandy says:

    We had this exact conversation at my women’s bible study this week. We all seem to struggle with this. I have found that a continual conversation with God throughout the day about “me” stuff works. Then I can devote those 10, 15 or (God willing) 30-45 minutes to the list of prayer requests I store up. I used to talk to myself in my head. But changing that conversation to one with God has been amazing.
    Our Lord wants a conversation–and I’ve certainly got one going. 😉

  40. 90
    Sally Denton says:

    Through my son’s ordeal with all the surgeries and the battle with the insurance when they allowed him to remain in pain and we didn’t know what to do and I felt so desperate and my prayer life went to being literally prostrate on the floor and feeling prostrate in my heart every time I was in a church service and sobbing uncontrollably in services and with friends yet having people come up and mean well to say they were praying for us but after three years, they didnt know my son’s name and I wondered (How do you pray for someone for 3 years and not know their name?) I felt my heart beginning to build resentment and bitterness and my prayerlife had to change to protecting my heart and taking away the yuck that had built up from all the hurt. God is still doing that but He is beginning to bring me back to a desire for a full and sincere intercessory prayer life that is pleasing to Him from a pure and undefiled heart. Pray with me, please

  41. 91
    Ashley says:

    Well, discipline not being a personality trait of mine, I’m probably not the best example. And having four kids, three of which are almost 5 and under, my way of staying connected is to just be open all day. As things come to mind, I pray. As I see things on the news (when I do get to know what’s going on “outside”) I pray. I sing. I listen. I thank him for beautiful flowers. I intercede here and there. I don’t spend set times to pray and read the Word, and I think I need to try to make that happen, but I’ve come to the place of no condemnation – and I grab moments whenever I can, and I trust that He is okay with that for this season.

  42. 92
    Jaime says:

    As a mom to three little ones (ages four years and younger), these days I’m most often crying out to Him for patience, strength, perserverence, and one decent night of sleep! 🙂 I will admit, I usually pray for my own needs or the needs of my family more than I pray for those I don’t know. I’m working on trying to change that and to have a heart for His people. But it takes effort on my part because this does not come as naturally to me.

  43. 93
    Kelli says:

    I don’t have a prayer life. Don’t even know how to begin to have a prayer life. I’ve done tons of bible studies, I try had to be aware of my thoughts and heart and keep them right, I talk to God about little things all day long but to say I have a prayer life would be a lie.

    My husband and I have officially warped into a rut in our marriage, we are just not connected. My kids are growing up and seem to need me less and less. I don’t work outside the home so I don’t have much of a social life. And I think if I make these things known to anyone – it will seem as though I have donned my swimsuit and built a big ole pity pool for me, myself and I!

    I have read many entries and from what I gathered having a prayer journal is a good start but what do you put in it? Prayer requests that come my way? My needs? My family needs? Maybe this is the wrong forum for this post – I don’t know.

    Confused is an understatement but I do have a great desire to get in touch with Jesus and stay in touch.

    Kelli in Colorado

    • 93.1
      Beth says:

      Kelli, I’m so glad you spoke up. Here’s what I want you to try first: Go buy a new spiral notebook and a kind of pen you like, open up the first page and write “Dear God” and then just say anything you’d imagine saying to Him if Jesus showed up visibly right there in front of you. If it were me, I’d start by pouring out to Him exactly what you poured out to us because He really can do something about it. If you have only a few sentences to say today, that’s fine. Then do it again tomorrow. Just talk to Him. No rules and regulations except to come to Him in transparency and to come to Him in Jesus’ Name.

      • Kelli says:

        Thanks for the encouraging words. I have a notebook that I just put in the kids drawing pile. I will dig it out and start today. I actually feel hopeful right now that I at least have a direction to go in. Maybe this will help me squelch some of those inner demons.

        Thanks again! I really appreciate it!
        Blessings
        Kelli in Colorado

  44. 94
    Evie says:

    I’m not sure this qualifies but I use my 45 minute morning commute to work as a time for prayer. Praying for those whose driving etiquette seems a bit “off”; clearly begging for a blessing. Or I pray for those who get pulled over for breaking the law; those experiencing car trouble…etc.

    My personal devotion time with Jesus is early in the morning before anyone awakes. I care for my elderly mom; who turned 85 yesterday! So my time with Jesus had to be very early and if I over sleep then it’s very short about 10 minutes.

    I read the news from my home town at bedtime and use those tragedies to pray for those sufferings; victims as well as perpetrators.

    I pray for me and my family all day long. “I need Thee every hour… I need oh I need Thee every hour I need Thee oh bless me now my Savior I come to Thee…”

    On my drive home I praise Him usually to Hillsong; my favorite right now is Bones. I also love to journal… I love You Jesus going to keep pressing hard after You in your Holy name Amen.

  45. 95
    April says:

    Oh Beth,
    Tears just flow down my face. Thank you THANK YOU for being so supportive of moms. I am a mom of two boys, 4 and 2 and I feel like people just do not understand. I’m a stay at home mom, so apparently I am suppose to have huge block of time that are just waiting to be soaked up. So wrong. I can’t find a moment of silence unless we are all sleeping and then I do good to get 7 hours. I adore my children and I know one day I will be wishing I could be back here. But it’s awfully exhausting. I’m like everyone else, I’m a pray on the go kind of girl – or as the need arises. And it’s almost like “I said I’ll pray for that” surely God knows that and counts it. But true “time” devoted to prayer.. it’s very, very rare. I’m working on it though. I have journals of journals I prayed especially during my second pregnancy and I want so badly to have that relationship with Him again. Discipline. . . I need discipline! 🙂

    • 95.1
      Beth says:

      Jesus cherishes the very sight of you, April. How darling you are to Him, even in this busy season. May He meet you in unexpected places.

  46. 96
    Mary Watkins says:

    Every morning I pray asking God to show me what I need to see in His word. While reading I take notes of anything the jumps off the page. This helps me recall what I need to pray about.

    Beth, I was under conviction when you shared your plan. The part about spending more time each week with just you and the Lord. I fall short in this. You express your feelings so eloquently. I just know I need to spend more one-on-one time with the Lord. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. I suspect a proud heart is what makes me avoid Him. I confess this today and seek your prayers. Thank you, dear sister, for your honesty. God used you to show me my prayer life is out of balance.

  47. 97
    Lyn says:

    I unwillingly became a single mother 15 months ago. I have struggled to find that balance. Recently as dear friend encouraged me to put pen to paper and write a short story, getting some of the junk out of me. I was able to put aside many pains including condemnation. I long for a closer walk with DAD, but struggle with how. Now that I, with the help of DAD, have been able to break out of my cocoon, I’m not sure where to go from here.

  48. 98
    jean dean says:

    Dear Beth and fellow Siestas ~

    If the truth be known, we could ALL have our own “book” of special “psalms” we have shared “privately” and “intimately” with the Lord. Most of us, unfortunately, get so caught up in the wonderful “moment” of love and warmth with Him, we do not want to interrupt what is happening between the Lord and us, long enough to grab pen and paper and jot these things down. So, no personal “book.” However, the One Who does have this “book,” is the Lord, Himself. He keeps EVERYTHING that goes on between Himself and us … down deep in His precious heart!

    Remember, always, that our prayer life is conducted and directed and led “totally” by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, He will draw us entirely away from everyone and everything that is going on around us, just to have us to Himself! Some of our family members and friends feel that we have gone missing! 🙂 These can be THE most intimate times EVER with our Lord … this side of Heaven! However, there are other times when the complete opposite may be occurring in our lives with the Lord. He may seem distant, or we may feel “dry,” and at a loss for words to even get much of a prayer out. At these times, we feel so barren, and we are not clear on why this is!? Just know this, the Lord IS listening, and watching, every single thing about us … He LOVES us! … and, whatever it is that is happening to us, it is because He is doing something that He alone understands the reason why; and we can rest assure, whatever it is, it is to draw us even CLOSER to Him!

    Sometimes, even in the most intimate (human) relationships, we have a need to “see and experience” “absolute” dedication, trust, faith, surrender of love and devotion from the one who loves us. And, visa versa. They need it, too. It can be a long wait for some before they are completely convinced.

    This is what is going on with our Lord, one way or another, whether He is swishing us off to hidden places to be alone with Him, or, we are out in the desert … wondering where in the world He has gone. These are the normal testings of love, true love. And, as we humans test love; even God TESTS our devotion of love to Him, and is willing to wait on us for as long as it takes, and expects us to wait patiently on Him, as our love and devotion is proved to Him, and as He proves His love and devotion to us! He feels we are worth the wait … and HE is certainly worth the wait!!!

    He knows what He’s doing, and He knows what is best … and He’s going to do as He pleases, anyway, every time! So, we just trust and obey, and wait. and converse with Him with sweet prayers of all kinds; and His unfailing LOVE is going to grab our hearts … when we least expect it, and it is going to blow our little minds away! Isn’t He just THE MOST precious love there is … ever!? Have fun loving on Him today, and always.

    In the dust of His feet,
    jean dean
    Psm 73:23-26;28

  49. 99
    Juanita says:

    Oh how true this is for me. I find myself in a place where God is tearing down previous expectations or thoughts of who his is, kinda like someone else said hrs bringing me back to Jesus 101! I feel like I am at a place that I can not even begin to form words, I feel lost for scripture to pray. I rely on reading others prayers in blogs or journals. I have a big struggle with putting down the books or pushing away the blogs and just sitting with him! I have a 20 month old and I am never awake before him so I do my time at night. But then I’m tired and usually trying to get all I can and as I fall asleep I pray for forgiveness for not spending more! I really should start using nap time for me and God instead of me and chores or computer!

    Thank you for bring so open about your life and allowing God to use you!!

  50. 100
    Julie says:

    Wow!!! Thank you so much for this post…it is exactly where I need a boost! Listening and waiting are the 2 areas where I need to focus…Too many times, I “send up” the pleases, thank yous, and bless thems, and forget to just “Be still and know…” Thank you for the encouragement.

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