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.Β  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 andΒ  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.Β  He meets us where we are.Β  Let’s stay healthy here. Let’s also encourage one another to grow in our intimacy with Christ.


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

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  1. 401
    Sacha says:

    What a great subject for me to update some ANSWERED prayers in my life. And I want to thank, thank, thank, the ladies who put me on their home prayer lists and everyone who prayed for me and my husband and family. PRAISE THE LORD!!! Things are looking very good. There is beginning to be REAL heart change in my husband and REAL good change in our relationship.
    I struggle with my prayer relationship with the Lord but one thing I have learned through all of this is how essential prayer is and I am working on a more intimate prayer life with my Lord. Thank you, Beth for stating no condemnation or legalism or formulas because when I pray like that it never seems real! Thank you for this whole community! Thank You, Lord!

  2. 402
    Jill Kutz says:

    Very cool, Beth…I JUST had a conversation with the Lord this morning about this VERY thing!!!! I have one daughter interning at Desiring God this summer and the other daughter working at a Christian camp so I am home with my husband and the Lord thinking through and chewing on lots of things like this. He has already challenged me to study some of the prayers of the OT like Moses, David, Nehemiah, etc. I have been trying to balance the specific needs with the awesome reality of the One who I am lifting them up to. Anxious to hear all the comments/feedback you receive!
    In Christ, Jill Kutz πŸ™‚

  3. 403
    Jean says:

    ~Thank you so much for this. It is so difficult to balance indepth bible study, memorization of scripture, praise time!, and prayer time ~ all with meaning. Great topic, great discussion. I am so thankful for this blogsite! Blessings to all!!

  4. 404
    Sandy Dobbins says:

    Beth you did a segment on the names of God…since then my personel alone time starts with me raising up all of His great names….then I just sit and adore Him…you taught me to not bang out all my wants….typically I just lift up all the needs in my direct reach and let Him know I am a stinking flesh bag that needs His continuous care taking. Beth you have changed my life and 16 years have flown by in Christ thanks.

  5. 405

    Thank you, Beth…sometimes my sweetest prayer time with Jesus is when I just repeat His Name out loud, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” and rest in His Presence…but I also love the P.R.A.I.S.E. prayer format I learned from you in your devotional, “Whispers of Hope”…
    …It is helpful to have the format, not only for my early morning quiet time, but even as I am prayer walking, it helps my focus and keeps me from being distracted πŸ™‚

    • 405.1
      Michele says:

      That sounds like a book I need to get

    • 405.2
      Nesha says:

      I use this format alot too! I can’t tell you how many times this has been broken down into sections based on time:) But, it truly keeps me in prayer no matter where I am: home, driving, lacrosse field. I’ve even prayed one day in the hallway at the middle school waiting on a basketball game to start. Love that he meets us where we are!

  6. 406
    Jennifer Tricarico says:

    Beth –
    I used to try to use Emilee Barnes’ list to direct my intercessions (see G. Jan’s reply!), and even have some prayer “to-do” lists on my phone using my Cozi Calendar app. But I easily go a day or two without accessing that app.
    Daily I try to start with two devos: currently “Jesus Calling” and “To Live is Christ” then just SITTING and soaking in His presence even if just for two minutes. A total luxury in my life. I offer my day – lately I’m on my face for that – and then I’m off! Throughout the day is when the intercessions happen. I take every opp to pray with folks IMMEDIATELY upon hearing a need. I don’t trust me to remember otherwise and I also often think of the Patsy Clairmont quote: Every time we think of God, it’s because He first had us on His mind. (I hope I got that right.) So that must be true of all the folks who come to my mind – another opp to just lift their name to the throne.

    All week I’ve been walking around like a wreck as the Lord has led me to homeschool our kids next Fall. I’m trying to rejoice in this and know it will be a huge blessing for all, but my prayers are now ALL ABOUT ME in this and all pretty much “the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless GROANS.”

    Obviously my morning prayer time will be key to this season of shaping me and equipping me to teach my kids without killing them. Did I just type that? And daily intercessions by category will be a family practice during our school days.

  7. 407
    Sharon says:

    How timely is this post, Beth! I’ve been dealing with that myself, but you said succinct and that is a topic for another time. One thing I have done is turn off my radio on my way to work. I don’t have far to drive, but if there is a pressing matter that needs prayer, every minute counts. I find it extremely difficult to pray for myself(but I do)because I don’t want to be selfish.

  8. 408
    Laura Opheim says:

    I have been having daily “quiet time” in God’s nourishing Word for 8 months. It has been absolutely life changing for me. I am a practicing Roman Catholic, but never really read the Bible on my own… I attended a televised workshop you did at the invitation of my sister…and it was love at first site. I need my Jesus every day. My purse is exploding with scriptures written on index cards, worn and folded… I write Bible verses on my notes at work, I am in a constant conversation with my savior, my protector…sometimes all day. I pray for everything, and everybody I come into contact with..but reading your post mad me realize that I pray a LOT for myself. I repeat over and over during the day, “Do not throw away your confidence….” and “In God ALONE does my soul find rest…He is my fortress…I will never be shaken…” I think it’s because at this season of my life I find myself vulnerable and am in a restorative mode. I am also like a newly wed…so in love with Christ and wanting to spend every waking moment with him. I think our prayer lives change and grow as we change and grow. I know I will be more of an intercessor as I mature in God’s powerful and life changing Word. For now, I am having trouble keeping my own “eyes fixed” and “guarding my heart.” When I think of the miracle God has made in my life and the maintenance of that miracle that can can only happen through my prayer life, I want to cry. He not only took me out of the pit, He is giving me the tools every day to stay out.

  9. 409
    Kathy Fields says:

    I love this post as I’ve been so there. I’m loving on my 91 year old mom with dementia who loves/loved Jesus with everything within her being and also caring for 3 grandkids (ages 2, 2, and 3) while their sweet parents have to work outside the home. God really got ahold of me to get up early (I’m not a morning person) and take time with Him. I’m leading a book study this summer on “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. That book has made me think and pray (or better yet, reflect on my love for my Lord). Right now the Lord leads me each day/some days just reflecting on who God is, some days just praising Him for the mighty works in my life, some days mainly intercession, and other days prayers of thanksgiving in anticipation for what He is about to do. I love the uncertainty of my prayer time, but know this too shall probably change in time. I feel so much better after your post, that maybe I’m on the right track right now.

  10. 410
    Jody says:

    Oh…Beth….I wish that I could say I had this regimented prayer life in which I lifted the needs of the world, our country, my work, my friends and my family, but I am in such a crisis mode lately that I am down on my knees begging God to give me wisdom on how to raise my strong willed 7 year old boy who happens to have a VERY low frustration level. I am just continuously praying for God to give me peace and teach me to trust Him and run to Him and right now it’s just all consuming. Throughout my day as needs for others come to my mind (or appear right in front of my face) I immediately lift them up, but I don’t have a regular time of intercessory prayer. I wish I did and one day I KNOW that I will. God’s trying to teach me something right now and I’m trying real hard to learn, but I’m struggling in the processs wishing I could see some progress!

  11. 411
    Tanya says:

    A question related to prayer I’m hoping someone will answer: What do you pray for when there is bitterness and anger so deeply rooted in your heart that anger springs up at the slightest thing? In my case it is anger against the very abusive newspaper industry where I unfortunately worked for years until I finally got away, and against the local paper where I was mistreated the most. I get so overcome with anger I don’t know what to do, and it alarms me to know how long and deep the tentacles of anger and bitterness go. Anybody have any verses and/or suggestions?

    • 411.1
      Karen E says:

      Hi Tanya!

      I’ve been in that angry place — it’s no fun! I realized that I was hanging on to my anger in order to protect myself from further hurt. I wasn’t trusting God and the result was more pain than when it started! So I began praying for God to give me the desire to forgive and to let go of the anger. As I let God into my heart, really a surrendering to His sovereign plan for my life, I’ve been freed to forgive and then to even love by God’s grace.

      2 Cor. 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you may abound to every good work.”

      Joy to you, Tanya! God bless you!

    • 411.2
      Brittany says:

      I experienced different circumstances but the emotions were the same: anger, bitterness and a lot of hurt. I didn’t want to feel that way and I prayed and cried to forgive the person who was “making” me feel this way. All I can say is God answered and I’m not even sure how He did it, just that He did! I also actively had verses I was memorizing which helped a lot! Phil 3:13-14 was where I began: learning to actively leave the past in the past. But the biggest change was when I stopped hoping for a change and started asking for one from God. A change that was beyond my ability to conjure up!
      Freedom may not come easy but it’s so worth the fight!
      Praying along with you!

    • 411.3
      Colette says:

      I read your comment last night and felt drawn back this morning to comment. I will pray for you because I recently had something happen to me where I could not believe how angry I got over it! So I prayed Lord help me with this and he reminded me that is how the enemy works! And I do not want satan to think he is winning because he won’t!!
      I pray for the Holy Spirit to fill me up so full that there is no room for anger and bitterness to come in!!! I also pray that for fear, and anything else that tries to hinder me!!
      I found a few verses for you!
      Proverbs 29:11 “A fool gives full vent to his anger,
      but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
      ( You don’t want to be a fool!! Right?? )
      Colossians 3:13 ” Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
      Proverbs 4:23 ” Above all else, guard your heart; for it is the wellspring of life.” (God knows your heart!)

      I will be praying for you!!

    • 411.4
      Jan in Tulsa says:

      Dear Tanya,
      I hope you will find comfort in knowing that Jesus experienced what you did. He was abused to the ultimate, but He forgave them because they did not know what they were doing (see His words when He was on the cross). He told us to forgive others as we are forgiven. Forgiveness is not letting them off the hook. It’s setting us free to have peace in our hearts. God said He forgives for His sake (Isaiah 43:25), so it’s for our sake that we forgive. God will do what needs to be done to make it right even if it’s not until heaven. But for now, you can rest assured He knows how you feel, and He is with you. Trust Him. Learn from Him as you follow Him in His Word. Pray for them to know the redeeming love of Jesus Christ as you let them go and as you let God take care of them. This is not easy, and you may have to pray to let them go several times a day. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” says Jesus. He loves you so much, and He knows what you are going through. Go to Him and be honest with Him with every emotion and He will heal you in His time in His way.

    • 411.5
      Amy says:

      Tanya, for me, the Lord taught me about forgiveness, and the freedom that comes with it. I have learned that even when I just don’t want to forgive, if I ask God to help me get there, He does; and the bitterness an anger always so away, sometimes slowly, but they are replaced with the Freedom that only Christ can give. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about forgiveness so if you have a concordance or something just look up the word forgiveness, and I think you will be blessed by what you find. Also, know that you are being prayed for.

    • 411.6
      Diana A. says:

      “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth, and HOW WE SET OUR HEARTS AT REST IN HIS PRESENCE whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts and He knows EVERYTHING”. 1 John 3:18-20 NIV

  12. 412
    Sharlene says:

    Oh Beth,
    Your question is one that grips my heart on a regular basis. Sadly, I often fall on the side of the fence that sees me throw my hands up in the air and not pray at all, rather than get it wrong. Pretty foolish, eh?
    Until I heard a wonderful teaching on the Lord’s Prayer. To keep it short, it basically was a study on the original language and culture of the time and left me with the encouragement that every time I breathe in and become aware of GOD, I am in prayer.That revelation has been incredibly freeing to the point that when I am even thinking of needs I just lift them to Him in my thoughts and believe that in that moment I am praying and He is in control.
    Of course, we need some time out with Him, in quiet, but this new way of thinking has so freed me to be at peace with an issue that usually just filled me with guilt!
    Was I clear enough? Hope so xxx

  13. 413
    jami says:

    I am convinced that God gave me a job 20 minutes away for intimate time with Him. I start with just loving on Him and letting Him love on me and then I plead the blood of Jesus over each of my family members and ask for His protection spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically focusing in on any that have specific needs.
    I keep a piece of paper on my desk at school to jot down prayer requests, so that as I pass it, I can pray.
    On Thursdays, I fast, actually from dinner on Wed. to dinner on Thurs, which isn’t a huge thing, but I ask God to tell me what I need to focus on that day in prayer. It is just a day to focus in on friends, loved ones and situations that are pressing on my heart and mind.
    One other thing I try to do is pray immediately when someone emails a request even if it is a quick whisper.
    I just see prayer as a natural extension of my relationship with my Father. I want to walk and talk with Him all day and ask Him to bring to my heart and mind those that I need to pray for.

    • 413.1
      Jim Fisher says:

      Jami – This is perfect. A few years back I stopped praying through my list. I now just ask, “Father, you know the list. Show me a name, a face,” and without fail someone will come to mind. Then, “What’s in your heart for her, Father?” and something else will come to mind and I pray for that. And then maybe the light turns green and I drive on. But in several cases, the need was urgent and it caused me to pull over. I recently prayed for emotional protection for a friend. The words “rise above” kept coming to my lips. I found out later that she was in a meeting with her ex and a parenting consultant at the time. It was brutal. But, she was able to keep her composure in spite of being attacked. She was able to “rise above” and not get sucked into the mud fight. Pray without ceasing. Stay in conversation with the Father. It’s as easy (and as hard) as that.

    • 413.2
      Sharon says:

      I do the same thing!! (With the list at work) I have fasted before (usually when my Minister of Education has asked me to pray for something very specific) but do not fast all day b/c of a medical disorder I have.

  14. 414
    Beckie Potterfield says:

    Every time I look at this post, my eyes fill with tears. Our Women’s Ministry is right in the middle of Kay Arthur’s – Teach Me to Pray. It is amazing me how we range in age from early 20s to 80s and the women are beginning to hit their knees. This is the week that we are studying intercession. Thanks for the encouragement that you didn’t even know I would need to lead this awesome group of women.

    The way I find balance is on Saturday mornings when I have the house all by myself and I just hit my chair, my knees, my face and just pray until I have prayed. Sometimes it is quick and sometimes it isn’t.

  15. 415
    Ruth from North Idaho says:

    I’ve wrestled with this topic for 30 years! I’m content with a few basics that have become truth for me. I’d call myself an intercessor~my heart is ‘always there’, not only for myself and those around me, but for the nation and beyond.

    The answer for me lies in consistantly, daily asking the Holy Spirit to be my Teacher and Leader in it, and for daily seeking to not only have that early morning ‘waiting’ before Him, but to also be in the Word in that time and let it transform my heart. I ask Him daily to help my heart abide in Him throughout the day, and I’ve learned to carry on my day practicing His presence. For me, I’ve learned that He relates to us, even in our prayer lives, according to our personalities and the seasons of our lives. I needed to dispense with prayer lists for a while so that duty could be replaced with delight and longing after His heart in matters. I’m satisfied here for a season. I’ve learned that as I make abiding in Him my chief desire, He’ll bring the subjects, people, thought, news, etc into my focus so that I can concentrate there and not be overwhelmed by all around me, at home and thoughtout the world. I keep up on news and things that interest me, then let Him direct me to my “place on the wall” (Nehemiah) to concentrate my prayers. Some happen in that quiet time with Him in the morning, and some are breathed thoughout the day. I’ve taken to have having a ‘wrap up’ time just before going to sleep at night, again asking the Lord to show me if there was anything else to discuss-my evening offering.

    I could go on, but I’m trying to honor ‘succinct’! May we all ask Jesus to ‘teach us to pray’, taking our little lunchbox of fish and bread to Him, and letting Him feed multitudes with it!

  16. 416
    Jenny says:

    You are so right… with three young children, it is hard to sneak in ten minutes with God… let alone potty in privacy. My prayers are frequently interupted with cries of mommy,mommy,mommy over extreme emergencies like finding the pink sparkle crayon or fetching a lost sippy cup! And I forget far too often that I am completely welcome to interupt my Father with DADDY, DADDY, DADDY… and I find myself trodding around with this mental list throughout the day of things that I need to bring to him, when I need to be reminded that I can bring it to him while I’m doing the dishes! πŸ˜‰

  17. 417
    Lin says:

    This is a great question. Balance in prayer. My personal experience right now is this: God has placed me in a severe season of change over this past year. The running theme is based around a fundamental shift in me, which I can only assume must be for His Glory. In the thick of things, it becomes difficult to see the outcome and purpose, but this has most certainly changed my prayer life.

    In the past eleven months I have entered my forties, buried my husband, buried his mother~ a true mother to me, seen my oldest child become a teenager, and my youngest graduate pre-school, and experienced a major change in some close frienships. Currently I am watching my home church staff being restructured from the pastor on down. So, my church home too, is experiencing a fundamental shift.

    What I am learning is that I hate change, and nothing earthly is stable. Only God is unchanging. I have spent much more time this year in prayer for myself, seeking to gain my own balance from an unchanging God in this whirlwind of earthly life. Sometime my prayers are so simple, especially when I awake alone in the middle of the night. “Jesus, I am afraid. I am afraid that you are not here. Please Jesus, I need You.” Some nights I can do little more than say His name over and over until I fall back asleep. God has pulled me out of bed most mornings way earlier than I prefer just to talk with Him. I have poured out the most awful things to Him that are the truth of my feelings. I have had to confess how little I actually trust Him despite what I say to others. This has been a season of truthfulness~ confession and repentance before my God. Quite frankly it can be awful at times, as God places the spotlight on my heart and motives, and especially my unbelief. I have many a night “cried out, and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.'”

    It is currently quite unbalanced towards personal relational prayer, but I believe that my season, and the condition of my heart in such change requires that I do so. I can’t even begin to effectively intercede for others until I am right before God myself and this major turmoil in my spirit is resolved. I believe that our prayer life will match, or at least run a parallel course with our season, and once God has me where He wants me, I will be able to again intercede for a wider range of people and issues than I currently am able. This is the “balance” that He requires at the moment.


  18. 418
    Vickie says:

    It seems God gives Beth the proper topic at the proper time. That is so like Him and we love them both for it.
    Balancing prayer life for me is a struggle. But there is a difference now as opposed to 3 years ago, when God placed His Spirit in me. Before, my prayers were very seldom and only about what I wanted from God, admitting that makes me want to barf. Early on, I had to make a conscience choice to pray. Now, most of the time, my mind is at rest in prayer. Some mornings, I roll out of bed and my knees hit the ground first. Other mornings, God is not my first thought…as soon as I realize this, I repent and give thanks. My husband say some nights he hears me singing praise songs in my sleep, I am totally unaware of it. Some nights, God will wake me up to pray, most of the time I am obedient, ouch again. My prayer life is a work in progress just like me and will always be. Some days, I spend hours in prayer others not so much. Now, I will be praying for balance in this area.
    Thanks so much for helping me realize this. Love you all.

  19. 419
    Beverly Schlomann says:

    Will you siestas please rejoice with me? I went to nuclear medicine for my thyroid cancer treatment, and the doc decided not to do the radioactive treatment because there were NO THYROID CANCER CELLS LEFT TO TREAT!!!! Got the lab work back the next day which confirmed the cancer is gone. None left. Doctor said, “I am really surprised; I’ve only seen this happen once every 7 years or so.” I told him, “My God has done this, and I praise Him!!”
    I still am completely hypothyroid, and because of my heart condition have to have thyroid hormone introduced slowly, so doc said it will take about a month before I start feeling human again, but the CANCER IS GONE!!

    Those of you who are able, would you please jump up and down for me? Thank you so much

    Midlothian, VA

    • 419.1
      Karene says:

      Jumping and down, and praising God with you πŸ™‚ That’s wonderful, Beverly! So happy for you!

    • 419.2
      Jennifer Tricarico says:

      Bev –
      Praising the LORD with you over this wonderful news! And it just made my heart dance to see you are in Midlothian, VA! My Nana lived there for years. I know your ‘hood! Again, rejoicing with you! Our God is so mighty and able!!!!

    • 419.3
      Madelin says:

      Oh Siesta Bev-

      I am so happy to hear the wonderful news CANCER IS GONE!!! Just picture all of Siestaville united jumping up & down offering a hand clapp of praise.

      For His Glory~

    • 419.4
      Sharon says:

      PRAISE THE LORD!!! I’m jumping up and down with you, my sister!!

  20. 420
    ginger says:

    Good topic! I keep quiet time prayer limited to praise and worship, needs of my husband and children and myself in that order, and lifting the short devotion topic, imprinting it on my heart (hopefully) in meditation.

    For intercessory, I lift things up in a breath daily as they occur, all day long. For storms and major needs I will stop and kneel as I can, but my intercessory is on the fly.

    I am one of the ones whose children keep me on the move. I dream of sitting someday in the nursing home praying for people all day long. The President mostly. I almost never get to him.

  21. 421
    David Alves says:

    Thanks Beth. My first visit to Thanks for expressing the things that we all experience in such a forthright and personal way. Deepening our intimate communion with Father seems to be just where He has us in this season of our lives. So Marcy and I will be watching to see what other insights the Lord shares with you in your time with Him.

  22. 422
    Lezlie says:

    Just wondered if there was going to be a video recap from the Minneapolis conference? Hope so, it was an awesome experience!!!

  23. 423
    Laura Pilant says:

    Beth, I actually saw this in a movie not to long ago and have had it on my heart for some time ever since…. the young woman built her own “wailing wall” (prayer wall) , with stones , and whenever she had a prayer she would take her pencil and paper out to her prayer wall and spend time….. there were tiny rolled up papers all in the cracks between each stone…. the wall was at least 20 or 30 feet long , maybe…. kinda reminds me of when Jesus would go off by himself to pray…. Obviously we can’t always go to a “prayer wall” to pray, nor do we have to…. but I thought it was kinda special…. Lori in Mo.

  24. 424
    Reba says:

    Very good question! Seems to me crises is the one thing that makes me get out of that hum-drum prayer. When I take the few min to talk to Him about the Bible Study lesson I just did it’s such a sweet time.
    When I’m crying and pouring my heart out to Him, again a sweet time, even though I’m a mess.
    I think it is keeping in mind that we NEED that intimacy with Him, which brings on the next question. How do we keep that need in mind w/o the crises?

  25. 425
    Angela says:

    I have more time on my hands than I would like (new sort of empty nester), so I talk to God or think of Him anytime I am alone. A few of my coworkers join me via email everyday to cover our children in prayer, we each take turns. It is a blessing and something I wish I had done a long time ago.

    Angela, Mansfield, TX

  26. 426
    Selina says:

    Selina, Kentucky

    I have been going thru a particularly difficult time in my life just now and have found myself being about as intimate with God as I have ever been. The needs that I have are so very personal I can’t begin to describe it.Sometimes I can’t even get the words out to Him, I just cry but I know He knows exactly what each tear means.I had originally thought that it might be selfish of me to just pray for myself so I would usually start my day early with prayer before I leave for work and it continues as I drive and on into the school where I work. I would usually begin with praise and thanks for all He has done then move into intercessory prayers for others. My mind and heart right now is focused on regaining my footing. I will be a better prayer warrior for others by taking some time for myself.

  27. 427
    theharbormom says:

    The Lord is impressing on me the importance of vulnerability in prayer. I pray for myself and others, but I pray prayers I know will get a yes answer, the prayers I think God answers: Grant me wsdom to do your will in this situation. Forgive me. Help me to manage my own behavior when putting my kids to bed even if they cannot manage their own. Usually that is not the truth of my heart, but what I know my prayer will settle on after I take a few deep breaths. What I’m missing is the authenticity before the Lord that comes with honest, heartfelt, raw prayer: I have no idea what is going on!! Why am I doing the same wrong things over and over, and why don’t I really do what it takes to change??? MAKE MY CHILDREN OBEY ME!!! Those are the honest emotions of my heart. Right or wrong, good or bad, I want to be real before Jesus. Let’s deal with that part of me as well, Lord, the Real me with all it’s crazy and irrationalness. Lord, help us both! I want to be the real me in front of you,

  28. 428
    Praying Paula says:

    Balance here for me is variety- moving prayer with me in the routine in which I’m in for that day. If I’m walking the dog then it’s praise, glory and thanksgiving to God..while on the exercise’s intercession for loved ones and crisis that is occurring..Bible study time it’s more about me and the Lord & His will. Mostly phone calls with my girlfriends are prayers of intercession for marriages, friends and crisis..driving time is the community and people I see or encounter..Praise the Lord for praying girlfriends! Praying with a friend everyday exercises the gift of prayer to stretch our prayer lives. Listening to Stormie pray on a CD..praying over the beds when making them..ironing and praying over my husbands arms for strength to overcome evil and temptation and find his strength in Jesus..the prayer goes on and on..pray without ceasing..practicing using the Word of God in prayer what I’m after now..I’m hungry for the everyday encounter with God..He makes me thirst after Him.

    Thanking God for you, Beth! With your obedience you have changed my life forever and eternity..

  29. 429
    Anna says:

    The precious girl who discipled me all through my time in college once suggested using a prayer chart to manage all my prayer requests. Across the top of the page are the days of the weeks and down the side are categories. Categories such as friends, family, future, church, world, husband, child, myself (I usually get two rows), missionaries, etc. I usually change it up about once a quarter. I even began using the back of the chart and printed out a blank calendar and used stormie omartian’s prayer prompts for praying for my husband and child everyday. This is a great tool

  30. 430
    Becky says:

    Beth, This topic is something I have been thinking and praying about too. My prayer life is an area God is calling me to work on and change. He has been saying to me again and again lately, “Simplify, simplify, simplify life for more time with Me in the Word and prayer. I am trying to do that. I have a prayer notebook I use, but I know I need to be in intercession more. The balance of praying for others and for myself is one I continually work on. Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions.
    In His Love, Becky

  31. 431
    Carmen Reynolds says:

    In this season of my life, prayer is usually about my child, our immediate family, and the families of preemies. I spent most of my short pregnancy in 2009 sick unto death and delivered a son at 27 weeks in Jan 2010. In the 4.75 months we spent in two hospitals, we prayed all the time for his survival, my recovery, and the other stressors that come with illness. In the past year that our little guy has been home, we do lots of medical appointments. Our little family has been slammed on every side. It is hard to care for a special needs child but God has been faithful. My little one is doing well and I am still holding on to my sanity and my faith! Most importantly God is showing us and everyone around us that He is good and that He is capable of carrying us and all our concerns. He still works miracles!

    I don’t feel guilty that I can’t pray for everyone and everything. When I was single, I spent years praying and studying. For this season, this is all I can do. Without this intense focus on God’s character and what He can and is doing, I would be lost. My prayer some days is “Lord,have mercy” and on other days all I can get out is “I trust you Lord no matter what.” Then on other days God gets a big “WooHoo!” No matter what, God meets me where I am and I love Him for it. He is real for me; He’s not just a character from the Bible or a distant figure. My very breath and tears and smiles connect me to Him in ways that I can’t always explain.

  32. 432
    Michelle C. says:

    I usually started mine with, “Hello Mr. wonderful. How are you doing today?” He is wonderful… and I always assume he is doing great in his glorious splendor but at the same to taking care of all of us, i wonder if there is a day he is especially sad, or happy about the general movement of humanity; I know he takes special interest in each of our lives.
    These days I’m so scatter brained I start prayers in so many different ways I can’t keep count. But I am signed up to the –International Justice Missions– prayer list ( and I thoroughly enjoy praying for the victims of Human trafficking for orphans and widows. I pray THE ARMOR so important to put on and I also pray for the Holy Spirit’s direction in prayer, power. Knees always makes it more intimate for me…

  33. 433
    Loys says:

    As I walk through my week I find the best prayers are ones the Holy Spirit leads me in through out the day. Times of someone coming to mind; being awaken in the middle of the night to intercede for my grandson and finding out later it was a time of crisis for him. Times I’ve called someone just to ask how can I pray for you because God has put you on my heart and finding again time of crisis and tears. As we walk closely with God and truly care for another He will bring many to your mind to pray for throughout the day. Strange at time but I don’t share these things with others but many will say I know you are a person of prayer. It’s a God thing that all I can say about prayer being called to pray the prayers of God and knowing His heart through the Word. It’s being in a loving relationship with the Father.

  34. 434
    SheilaG says:

    I don’t know that I have a balance in my prayer life. I want my husband, my kids, my family to be “covered” in prayer but also as was mentioned in the beginning, I too have to spend my personal prayer time with God, to confess my sins, ask forgiveness and seek his answers to the questions I have in my own life. I too find that I pray throughout my day. I wake up in the morning and pray before my feet hit the floor. If I am awakened in the night, I usually pray, sometimes specifically sometimes not so specific. I get up at 4am so its early. I pray on my way to work a lot of times. I pray at my desk, in the bathroom, in my car at lunch….I have found that the more I read my Bible and search out God in my life the more I pray. I am part of a prayer group, as well, we used to meet regularly but we have let the business of life get in the way of this. Please keep this in your prayers. But of all the prayers the most intimate ones are the ones in my home on my knees when I can pour my heart out to Jesus with no interruptions or time constraints. I have prayer journal with names listed for prayer, the sick, the weary and the unsaved and of course my loved ones that I just want Jesus to smother them with good things. I also have some of my desires listed in my journal or shall I say journals, I have one beside my bed, one that I carry to work and one on my computer. I have some very faithful prayer warriors, we keep in contact and pray for one another very frequently. I have no formula, no blueprint for my prayers…my prayers have become like talking to my friend “my Jesus” all the time and in all times. I cannot imagine one day, one hour, on minute with out Jesus in my life.

  35. 435
    Andrea says:

    Nothing much to contribute here besides agreement, but I must say that a few years ago, I made the commitment to drive to work every morning in complete silence. It was a time when life was about to get really crazy (I was going back to school) and I knew that time with God would go the way of the dodo bird. I’m still relatively good at talking at Him, but I have always felt there’s not enough listening going on, so this 20 minutes every morning is simply making room for Him to show me something if He wants. I think that setting aside this specific time as His has helped.

  36. 436
    Chris says:

    I can’t believe I pulled this page up, and this is what you were blogging on. I was getting on to read the “Insecurity, you’ve been a bad friend” past blogs. I have been a wreck this week and I know it’s because I haven’t been spending anytime with God in the mornings. Yes, on the weekends, but school days are so rushed getting myself and kids ready to get out the door. I NEED him everyday, of course….I just allow so much to crowd Him out. It is 100% my fault and I’m ashamed! I feel like I’m so concerned with everyone else’s business, I push His business aside. Tell me, why is more important for me to ck txt messages or Facebook in the morning before I even sit down to speak with Him? It’s NOT!!!! I’m mad at myself for putting time with Him last…but I am the only one that can change that!

  37. 437
    Christi says:

    I love the idea of journaling to Jesus, but how can you girls do that- knowing someone might run across it? The things I need to discuss and take to the Lord are way too personal and sensitive for anyones else’s eyes and yet I sense it would be a great thing for me to pratice-putting it to paper.

  38. 438
    Linda says:

    Years ago I read in a book to organize prayers, Monday is workplace related, Tuesday is acquintances, Wednesday is the USA, Thursday is the world, Friday is for my Spiritual Growth, Saturday is for my entire family (I’m single, no kids, but the youngest of 8 with a ton of extended family now:-)) Sunday is for the Church as a whold and the church I attend.

    I start my quiet time with a devotion book that leads me to scripture, then prayers and journaling, then reading the Bible…some morning I wake and have tons to talk with Him about and other days it’s just silence.

    No matter the order, a quality Quiet Time, balances out life. He amazing that way.

    God Bless,

  39. 439
    Becca says:

    Beth, thank you for that sweet note at the end about mamas with young babies! Somedays I sorely miss my times of dedicated study of the Word and lengthier prayer time. Thank you for the reminder that my prayer life and service to God these days are in the {work} of caring for my baby boy. We read Scripture together every day, and I sure have been blessed by that simple practice.

  40. 440
    Elisabeth says:

    I’m 28, single, have 3 jobs to financially survive & serve big time in the high school ministry @ church. It’s hard to balance intercession for all my high schoolers & co-workers in the secular wk world & be pouring into everyone constantly with little human filling coming back. He miraculously fills & sustains me. Here’s my latest way of balance that seems the most effective & powerfully dynamic so far:
    1. I listen to Beth’s teaching @ @ 3:00 am every single morning, in the bathroom, while doing hair/make-up. (have an iPod dock in there just for this!) This is a way of listening to God speak into my life & studying scripture even when I’m not sitting still with it.

    2. I hide in my car on lunchbreaks to do my actual Bible reading. Sometimes I drive & park somewhere nearby to get out of sight.

    3. I set alarms on my phone throughout the day to pray for speciic people/ministries so that I don’t feel I need to do it all in one shot.

    4. I turn OFF the radio & rant out loud with God about all things as I drive to and fro. (This I learned years ago from Beth. HUGELY affective.)

    5. I ask God on my 10 min breaks to re-set my vision to see every person I deal with @ wk through His eyes & not my tired ones.

    6. I make LPL a priority every year as a way of getting away, shutting all out, & letting Him pour & speak into my everything. It’s been a very hard year & I just decided to go to a 2nd one this
    August. In another state. By myself.

    That’s all I got at this point. It’s working for me:)

    • 440.1
      Jenna says:

      Hey Elizabeth, what state is that? I am going to the Utah one and would love to have you join our group?? But that might defeat the purpose of getting away. So just thought I put it out there…if its even the one in Utah…

    • 440.2
      Cinnalyn says:

      Are you coming to Columbus, Ohio? Some of my dearest friends and I are going and I would love love love to meet up with you! I see you post on here all the time and I just think you are a doll. We are the same age and I’m sure we would have a blast worshiping our amazing God together. Pray about it and e-mail me if you wish…
      [email protected]

  41. 441
    Michele says:

    My prayer life was severely injured 7 months ago the day I lost my beloved Cindy. Just before we left the house, I prayed over her and specifically asked God to protect her from panicking and make the end peaceful.

    That did not happen. She did panic, and her screams devastated me. The one thing I specifically asked God for, He said no. I was devastated.

    After that, I felt helpless to pray for myself or others. I questioned the reasons for prayer, and honestly deep down inside I felt that just letting bad things happen would be better than having petitions rejected by God.

    A few months later, God explained to me why he let Cindy & I get hurt that day. I do trust God as much as I am able and want to trust Him more, yet I still struggle with prayer at times because I do not have faith that God will protect me because I know He allows bad things to happen to us sometimes.

  42. 442


    I find myself in an attitude of prayer all the time. I really think it is more the practice of actively listening for God’s voice throughout the day and then praying as He leads me to pray, but it is the heart of communion and relationship with Him that really brings life to me. It keeps me from slipping into crisis and having full confidence in His answer no matter what that looks like.

    Applying what His Word says, and what I see of Him in everyday life to my very circumstances and living by absolute faith. I don’t know if this is an answer or merely an open door to more questions.


  43. 443
    Barb Schwarz says:

    Thank you for this post. I always feel my prayer life is inadequate. I pray in the morning after my Bible studying. I try to follow the Lord’s Prayer outline, praise,thankgiving, sin confession then my ‘list’ and for my personal daily walk – my husband is not saved (I Pet. 3:1-4). At night in bed I “imagine” God’s presence with me and get more personal, as well as another time of confession(I must sin alot!!mostly pride/judgmentalness/selfishness). You, Beth, have been so instrumental in bringing me to my search for a true love affair with my LORD and Saviour, altho I have a long way to go!

  44. 444
    Margie says:

    Always the challenge, isn’t it? Balancing all the aspects of not just living but living as a Christian. When I started the Siesta memory verse for this year, I felt very directed to install into my mind verses that directly address the weakest points of my believing God. In these areas, I found myself unable to pray sincerely because I doubted God and scorned what I felt was His unwillingness to show up and protect me.

    In memorizing and reviewing these wonderful verses every day, I’m seeing a changing heart in myself. I spend 2hrs/day in my car and they’ve become a precious time of worship, confession and just talking to the Lord about absolutely everything. Big cuts are happening at work and I have to pray my way out of all-out panic many times. I’m single and self-supporting and care for my stroke-inflicted mom and don’t have a way to move to work elsewhere.

    I can tell you that prayer WORKS. It’s powerful and all about our one true RELIABLE God! However it is that we walk with Him, He’ll see to it that fruit comes from that for His own name’s sake. I LOVED reading others’ thoughts and ideas and think I might work on some of those.

    Thank you sooooo much you all!! Thank you Beth for this topic.

  45. 445

    I love this post … I can easily struggle with legalism if I try to get too organized, but in my hopelessly type B self that is a rarity. I love to journal. I write and write and write all that my heart wants to pour out. Whether it’s fear and concern or thanksgiving and adoration. I feel like just from years of hearing it I follow this acronym for the most part that I learned in Junior High: ACTS

    I am a stay-at-home mommy to three babies 4, 3, and 9 months. I try to set my alarm clock to get up before the day starts but someone always ends up hearing me! I heard a lady named Phyllis Stanley talk this Spring at a tea and she told me a wonderful tool to use in seasons where you’re out of organized bible study. It’s simply to read one Psalm a day and in your bible (or journal) list out what HE IS to you through that Psalm … Is He a refuge? A Stronghold? All-Knowing. I’ve been doing it for around 6 weeks now (It should take you 5 months to complete) and I feel like my journaling has really turned from what could have been more “diary” format, to a love letter to Jesus. I’ve discovered more things about Him from dwelling on just one simple Psalm.
    At the end I’ll print out all me HE IS discoveries and have something special that when in a time of trouble, grief, or even celebration I can remember specific and precious scriptures that showed me He is EVERYTHING to me!

  46. 446
    Destee says:

    I don’t have a formula or any set standard. I pray about what’s been layed on my heart. I have made lists before and sometimes go by them but most often I just pray for others as I think of them. When I start thinking of someone, especially one who is in trouble I take that as a cue to pray for them.
    What I struggle with most is what to pray for in situations where others are in trouble. I find myself praying for things and thinking “That’s what I think would be best” and find it insulting that I would even ask God to oblige my “request”. I mean He knows everything, His timing is perfect. What more can I ask for than “Lord, may your will be done?”. I find myself more and more just asking God to help me trust in His timing, to see His purpose in trials, to bring glory to Him in trials, that the trials he has brought people I love will bring them to Him instead of away from Him. I don’t think there’s anything bad about praying for specifics but I have realized my “specifics” are essentially ignorant of His ultimate will. Sometimes I may begin to see things piece together later but not always! I trust that His ways are perfect, even if I don’t understand.

  47. 447

    Yes Beth, I agree that we need to spend more deep enriching time with God. I work early morning hours so I do my strongest praying in the eve. before bed. But I have found that spending an hour or two alone with God in His nature is awesome. This has created some of my favorite memories with Him. Once sitting by a waterfall on a rock with my bible another time on a blanket by a babbling stream with the Word. My goodness my heart is getting excited just thinking about it! Its like a bowl of Chicken Pot Pie…makes you full, content and comfortable!!(can you tell I live near Dutch country?!)

    I think God and I have a date under a Maple with our toes in the water this week. I can hardly wait!!!!

  48. 448

    It is amazing how timely this blog post is. Up until March I thought I had my prayer life down (at least schedule wise) and then God made a shift in my life and I got so angry. I didn’t understand why in the world this was allowed to happen. I mean, life according to “Cheryl” was hoping along quite well on the faith level. I had this “list” of people I was praying for, My sisters of Faith Entrepreneur, my high school girls, my life training group, couples/marriages in trouble, my baby mommas, my family, friends, neighbors, Pastors, not to mention the “immediate” prayer needs that came around – and then suddenly the time I had “allotted” was gone, but that has sense became my answer – it was the time “I” had allotted. Then I was reminded of a couple of things: first, that prayer was about unceasing communication with God and second, that I was so busy going through the motions that was all it was. God seemed to be saying to me “It’s about today” – live in My presence NOW, not tomorrow, or the next month or even the next year. I wouldn’t say it’s balanced, just more intimate. I still have a desire to pray for my “groups” of people regularly and I’ve been playing with the notion of daily focuses so that it’s not so overwhelming – I can manage 10-15 minutes of specific prayer vs the 45 min to an hour that had become. I just know that an active prayer life is a characteristic of the Christian I want to be. Thank you for sharing this struggle. I “see” all that you have going on in life and I know how committed you are to Christ and you are constantly inspiring me to be so much more. With much love ~C

  49. 449
    Holli says:

    I’m not exactly sure how to find a good balance here, but God gave me the picture of oxygen masks dropping down on an airplane. You know how they tell you to make sure yours is on first before you help the person next to you. I feel encouraged to take more time breathing deeply of God in prayer for my own heart before interceding for family and friends.

  50. 450
    Peggy Savage says:

    Your question of balance in prayer is very interesting. For me, my prayers are conversations with God. I talk with Him, listen to Him and wait on Him. There are the days when I cry to Him and talk about all of my pain. Then there are those days when I praise Him and the glorious life I have been given. Then there are those days when I simply come into His presence and feel Him embracing me in the silence. I have no set routine, no formula, no regiment to follow. I enter into prayer each day in newness, freshness and anticipation. Yes, I do enter into intercessory prayer, but I let my spirit drive the conversation. God is always there. He knows my every need and the needs of everyone I know and don’t know. The significant issue is that I come to Him, heart in hand, wanting to commune with Him on all levels. So I guess the answer to your question about balance is that I allow God to do the balancing. My part is to show up and participate.

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