What’s Working in Your Prayer Lives?

IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFORMATION FOR FUTURE LIVESTREAMS: I just saw some of you in the blog comments mentioning that you got on the site and it asked for a password and you didn’t have one. Prior to the broadcasts, there is a set up and test-run process involved. The password is so that, during the hours prior to us airing, only the ones testing the set up can get on. Otherwise, you’ll just watch Lindsee or several others on staff getting the set ready and volume adjusted. While the sanguine in me would think that’s kind of fun, it’s not the best way to do it. Grin. The password-only access gets lifted at least 15 minutes prior to going on the air. I’m so sorry if that caused you to miss our time together today. I didn’t know of the process myself or I would have given you a heads up. We’re all just learning here! Thank you, Lindsee and Sabrina for your hard work in helping to make this media possible!

What a blast, girls! If you joined us for our livestream chat this morning, our topic was prayer. Sabrina told Lindsee and I that the number of viewers spiked from 700 to 1400 during the course of our time together. Oh, how I pray that God found joy in it and will use our discussions today to build up this segment of the Body of Christ. Just one person’s effectiveness in prayer touches the lives of countless others.

As I promised you in the livestream, this blog post is for you to share with one another what “works” for you in your prayer practices. We defined “what works” as what produces fruit. We talked about the principle Christ gave us in John 15:2 – “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” The beginning of a new year is a great time let God cut away some things in our lives that are simply not bearing fruit and seeking Him for things that will.

So, have at it, Sweet Things! Share with one another what has been effective for you in your pursuit of God through prayer and in your practice of intercession. (By all means, share even if you weren’t part of the livestream.) I especially hope to see some of you moms of young children sharing practical approaches. You are also welcome to share what challenges you and where you could use some help in hopes that some of your sisters might offer practical advice. If there are more challenges than effective approaches and no one replies to you, don’t be discouraged. It’s not personal. People just run out of time and can’t get to all of the entries. Be sure and read through the other replies and comments to see if someone lends some insight to you.

I am so honored to serve you. May the pursuit of Christ be (or become!) the joy of your very valuable life.

With so much love,

Beth

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341 Responses to “What’s Working in Your Prayer Lives?”

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  1. 51
    Shawna says:

    Oh my goodness, Beth, I forgot to say how much I absolutely loved the live stream this morning. The topic of prayer was a huge blessing and so timely. I took detailed notes to share with my daughter who is at school and was sad to miss it. Is it saved so she catch watch it later?

    Thank you, thank you! You were such a blessing to me today!

  2. 52
    Susan says:

    As I thought…my grocery shopping got delivered a few minutes after it started. But, I’m grateful that I can watch it later 🙂

    I’m also thankful for the explanation over the password, as I was frantically filling in the account form with ‘livestream’ just before it started so that I could chat along – and was devasted when it asked for another password – but now I get it – thank you.

    Susan

    I’ll be back on later to leave a proper comment when I’ve watched the video 🙂

  3. 53
    Sheilah Hughes says:

    I was telling my mom about being frustrated because I couldn’t silence my mind during prayer and kept getting distracted by thoughts….here’s her reply (great stuff!)
    “Try very brief periods of complete silence at first. Don’t worry about feelings. You have made an appointment with the Prime Mover, the Creator of the Universe; be in awe and silence. He is present in all his glory whether you feel it or not.

    She also said this, and it was helpful to me.

    “Let silence emerge, we don’t have to create it. “Silence is the language of the Spirit.”

    I am such a talker and I am having to work on LISTENING!! If people don’t talk, then I just fill the silence with my own words…so this is quite a challenge! The Lord is definitely speaking to me about this and I’m trying hard to LISTEN!!

    Also reading the book, “The Circle Maker” and it is amazing!

    • 53.1
      Patty Pierce says:

      Sheilah thank you for this particular reminder. It really it me in the face as I was reading through here today. I realate 100% to what you said. Listening is the hardest thing for me to do. I love to talk. The other thing I have found helpful is journaling my prayers. It forces me to focus and not wonder off on tangents.

      Beth I haven’t watched the video yet, but I am so excited about this livestream idea. It is going to be so much fun.

    • 53.2

      I know exactly what you mean. I am the same way. I’m very uncomfortable with silence and I have tried to do this, but I can only stand it for a few seconds before I start talking again! Ugh! And my mind wanders away from focusing completely on Him if it’s silent and I’m not doing anything! I just can’t stand to just have nothing running through my head. My mind immediately starts going and I know it’s not Him cause it’s usually not going good places!! Or going anywhere that has anything to do with Him!

  4. 54
    Michelle says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing your heart. I loved your practical ideas!! Please could you share the name of the prayer book that your friend gave you? I want to order it. Looking forward to seeing you next week 🙂

  5. 55
    Joni says:

    Oh that was so fun! I needed a good refreshing word on prayer
    My method is similar to Miss Beth’s as far as the time of day & journaling & praying scripture etc
    I do think I so often get absorbed in my own family & problems in prayer, so I ordered the prayer journal she mention I think that will really help me to expand my prayer to more than just those immediately around me 🙂 I never want to have my formal prayer time be just a routine thing I do so this word came at the perfect time
    Hope y’all have a wonderfully blessed day!
    Thank you so much Miss Beth!! :):)

  6. 56
    Betty M says:

    I loved the prayer journal and I do journal but need to compartmentalize my prayer requests like you do becuz I have the tendency to forget praying for foreign mission work, our government etc things that are more on an expaned level. I like how you do a period of time in cleansing and confession. I think we often wonder why our prayer life in ineffective and alot of time we are harboring unconfessed sin in our lives. We all know God does not hear our prayers if we harbor or cherish iniquity in our hearts. That is an area I constantly work at cuz I can have a heap of sin happening before I even get going in the AM’s The more we ask Him to reveal this area to us, the more aware we are of it and the more we are aware to needs around us. Your hairbrushing story is airing on Life Today right now! Amazing! I have had it happen that I have prayed and God has brought the unattractive into my life too and I have realized if I do not feed that bachelor who lives close by with hygiene problems who happens on my doorstep at not always convenient times, well, how do I expect to get blessed by God so I do it! I must confess though not always cheerfully!!!LOVE lIVESTREAM! Betty M

  7. 57
    Joyce Watson says:

    First, thank you so very much for sharing your heart with us and for praying for us. From the very beginning when you described the Holy of Holiess and the curtain being torn down as surrendering yourself to God_that right there just really spoke to my heart.
    I thought of several things: Ourselves along with our prayers should be like a sacrifical, fragrant offering pleasing to the Lord. We need Him in everyday life whether it be small or large.
    On the temple there are cherubim wings that cover the mercy seat in the temple and God covers those who come to Him with His protection and His love. We should come to God in prayer for Him to cover over us.
    Second, Years ago I found a book “I’v Got to Talk to Somebody, God by Marjorie Holmes and she wrote conversations with God. I loved the book and so when I was younger I like to write. I would write some poems and my thoughts and prayers to God. It started with things I learned in Sunday School, then things I learned in the Bible. Of course, I still have my own private prayers at night & morning, but I do tend to write my feelings out to God.

    Thoughts & Prayers

    Heavenly Father, bless others,
    that You might conquer their fears,
    Comfort their hearts,
    And surround them with Your love.

    Bless those that are lonely,
    Those who have broken hearts and homes,
    Those who are hurting and in need too
    Those who are reaching out to seek You.

    Bless those that need Your forgiveness,
    Those who need Your love from Heaven above
    Those who need Your protection and care
    Those whose burdens You might already bear.

    Bless those that are poor and the sick,
    Those who are crippled and blind,
    Those who are suffering and treated unkind.

    Lord, strengthen others,
    Encourage and enrich their lives.
    Comfort others and let joy abide,
    Help them follow You and help provide
    and always be by their side.~joyce

    • 57.1
      Kristin A. says:

      Joyce,
      That is very beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that with us today. If you don’t mind, I’d like to print that out.
      Kristin, Renton, WA

  8. 58
    Jean Schlosser says:

    Oh how exciting to pray this way! I’m learning to seek
    God first thing, in the morning. I like the ACTS prayer
    Adoration- remembering who God is His attributes
    Confession
    Thanksgiving
    Supplication
    I like to Journal and talk to God, pray His word and
    write it down on an index card binder, pray out loud, and I talk to Him
    in the car. I know, I need Him all day long and that He
    strengthens me through prayer. How blessed we are to have
    a God whom we can contact anytime. He is
    never too busy for us. That’s our Abba! Thanks for giving
    us more insight on how to pray.

  9. 59
    Tiffany Morse says:

    What works for me is to keep it simple and consistent. the more complicated I make my regimen the more difficult it is to keep it up! I KNOW there is much growth to be had, I simply desire to walk hand in hand with Christ Jesus throughout my day!

  10. 60
    Stephanie says:

    As a mom of 2 young girls (1 and 4), who are both early risers, getting up before them is very hard. So, I’ve started praying while in the car, with the girls. My four year old is learning that we can talk to Jesus whenever we want to, and is also learning how dependent I am on Him every day. It’s become a very special time, not only am I speaking with my Savior, but with my daughter as well.

  11. 61

    Beth-Can you somehow post the document that you shared to track your prayers and answers?

  12. 62
    Steph says:

    I wasn’t able to join for the livestream, but one thing that has helped me in my prayer time is something that my choir director taught me about 20 years ago, she called them stop light prayers. When I’m driving around town, any time I get a red light I stop and pray. I also keep a sticky note stuck right in the middle of my steering wheel with those people that I’m praying for.

  13. 63
    Vickey Headley says:

    I listened at work to the livestream and agree that it was a blessing! When you talked about your prayer journal, I was unable to catch everything that was said and was wondering if anyone could share the way Beth has her prayer journal set up. What little bit I caught, it sounded like a great way to set up a journal. I would love to know how. Thank you!

    • 63.1
      Kristin A. says:

      Hi Vickey,

      Beth was saying that she she makes her own sheets (a two page spread) with columns across the top labeled: Keith (her hubby), Jones’ (one daughter’s family), Fitzpatricks (other daughter’s family), extended family, friends, sick/grieving, missions, government. There my have been one or two more I am forgetting and I don’t recall if she has a column for herself or not. She then prints off her sheets and has them bound into a journal, which can be done at an office supply store.

      I really love this idea. What a fantastic way to jot down prayer requests when you hear them and to watch how prayers are answered over time. I wasn’t taught to keep a prayer journal and even though I’ve heard it mentioned, I never really knew how to do it, I guess. Certainly there are a number of ways to make it work, but this seems like a great place to start. Thanks, Siesta Mama!

      Kristin, Renton, WA

  14. 64
    Lois McNair says:

    Heard about the livestream from twitter, so thank you!

    My husband and I are in ministry and we were just discussing our PRAYER lives this week! It is not always easy to sit and have an honest, genuine, full-on evaluation about where you are in your walk, but that’s exactly what we did regarding prayer. It was so timely to then be able to watch, listen and glean today!!

    I guess my input to “the girls” would be about the starting point. Just be still (which is hard for this sanguine),and listen for the Lord to speak to you regarding “where” you are in your prayer life. Be honest with Him about where you are and where you want to be! Don’t let anything distract you. Yes, I know about distractions, I have four kids 10, 13, 17, and 20! 🙂 But just start with that. Be real, be honest and be ready for Him to show up!

    Ok, this may sound crazy, but with my emails, fb and twitter, when a prayer request shows up, I just stop, put my hand on the screen and pray out loud and by name for that request. Then when the Holy Spirit brings that request to mind later on, I just pray while I am doing whatever task I am up to at the time.

    Then, today we were given such wonderful practical insights to follow! Thank you Beth! I love the boxes and the journaling because that is an area where I get overwhelmed when I tell people that I will pray for them.

    I am not where I need to be yet in this area of prayer, thus the full on honest discussion with my husband earlier this week. It is my hearts desire to be stronger, so I am on the journey as well!

    Intentionally Stepping Up,
    Lois McNair

    • 64.1
      Kristin A. says:

      Lois, it is NOT crazy at all to stop what you are doing to pray for a prayer request right when you see it on fb, twitter, etc. And to extend your hand across the screen, since you can’t do it in the flesh, I think is just beautiful. I, too, try to stop what I am doing and pray when I hear of a request. I want to pray for those who ask and do not want to say “I’ll pray for you” only to forget. What an awful feeling that is.
      Kristin, Renton, WA

      • Lois McNair says:

        Thank you Kristin! I think it is great to pray for someone on the spot, right there when you are with them!

      • PunkyT says:

        Lois, Kristin- I’m with you on that! Laying hands on the monitor! If I don’t stop & pray right then it will likely not happen at all. Same if I see someone out in public or am talking with them on the phone and am asked to pray about such and such, I usually stop right then and pray with them. Don’t want to run the risk off forgetting.

        xo P

  15. 65
    Kelly S says:

    First, that was soooo fun, and THANK YOU!
    Second, the timing of this talk of prayer is CRAZY for me. My church renewed our prayer ministry last summer, and I have been meeting with a group of ladies bi-monthly to pray for concerns in our church and community. I am so excited with the fruit that has come from that meeting. Also, I just shared with them THIS MORNING about my prayer journal, and several of them ordered one today. I use the Debbie Williams journal and have for several years. How fun is that?!
    Third, I just echo what so many have said:
    -Daily time set aside for prayer (I like early also, but as my family has grown I adjust)
    -journal that helps me organize and remember
    -praying scripture
    -Friends or accountability group to pray with
    -I have learned to pray to be faithful in the discipline of prayer. Thank You, Lord!

    Thank you, again! This has really been so encouraging to me today.

  16. 66
    Melissa says:

    These are all such great ideas. I am also in the middle of doing Beth’s Believing God study and am on week 6 which is all about “God’s word is alive and active in me”. This is when she goes into detail about what works for her and SPEAKING the word. I love how God’s timing is always perfect and how He ties everything together because this definitely just reiterates last night’s video.
    Anyway, I am one of those people who are getting weary. I’ve been praying for my marriage for a long time. But I know I just need to keep pushing forward and BELIEVE God! Does anyone have suggestions about what has worked for them regarding marriage prayers?
    Beth- Thank you very being such a great spiritual mentor. You truly are a blessing.

    • 66.1
      Joyce Bailey says:

      Lord, Bless My Marriage by Bill/Nancie Carmichael is wonderful tool.

    • 66.2
      Janice says:

      Melissa,

      I too, have been praying for my marriage a long time. The Lord has shown me time and again that is not about me! As I honestly examined my heart, I was selfish in my prayers for my husband, I was more concerned about the benefits I would receive in answer to my marriage prayers, when the Lord was truly concerned about my husband’s heart. When I began to truly trust God with his heart change, and let go, God began to do a work…..in him and in me!! He has given me “specific words”, and a promise through His word that my husband’s complete restoration to Himself is coming….our Lord is trustworthy, He is Faithful and True…..keep believing!!

    • 66.3
      Katie says:

      My heart just did a jump reading your comment about prayers for your marriage. I was thinking just yesterday what a true blessing, for me, it has been that Beth and Keith are open & share about the struggles in their marriage. Because my marriage is not easy either. Let me say to you…it can get better. One of the best things I’ve taken from reading Beth and even Joyce Meyer on marriage…we have to let the Holy Spirit be our husbands guide. I’m not “there” yet…but it definitely came to mind here when I was typing. Guess I needed to hear a word! hehe. There was an awful time period that I thought it would be better to die than stay in this marriage, and I want you to hear someone say this too can pass. I have had to set some boundaries in some areas…and let it go. I’ve had to realize that if I let this get me down it comes between me and Jesus. I became so discouraged with hurt upon repeat hurt…when I was praying for healing. My husband is bound in several areas. He’s a wonderful man. He needs healing. I believe God will heal him when my husband is ready. And until then, I am to remember that the marriage relationship is one way God demonstrates to us His love for us and how we are to love our spouse. Unconditionally. Start fresh each day. Said a prayer for your heart today..and your marriage. Guard your thoughts with Jesus.

    • 66.4
      Patty Pierce says:

      Melissa while I dont know your specific marriage issue, I can tell you “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Ormatin really helped me tremendously. I also was having some struggles and it was when I first did the believing God study. Between the 2 God did a tremendous work on me first and then He Gloriously saved my husband which was something I had prayed about for over 20 years of marriage at that point. I am so gratefull how GOd worked so specifically on me. What I learned was I needed fixing, my attitude and my desires before my husband could find something desirable in my God. I pray this helps you to. I am still choosing to Believe God .

  17. 67
    Michelle Irwin says:

    Oh how I needed this encouragement today to get back on track! About 3 years ago I was in the midst of what I felt was a really great prayer/quiet time schedule. I actually became quite prideful of how well I could accomplish it every day. How awful!! I may be wrong but I believe God ordained my two college age kids to go to local community schools and, therefore, be at home very frequently throughout the day. Not only have they disrupted my quiet time routine but they have disrupted my work-from-home schedule. My productivity has declined greatly and so to make up for it I slowly gave up my morning ritual to try to get as much work accomplished as possible when I could. Eventually my prayer time has become nearly nonexistent and my life and attitude show it! I had already committed just this past week to starting back with my early morning routine, and Beth’s live stream was so encouraging. I never stopped communicating with God through quick prayers throughout the day but I felt a loss of deep connection by allowing a desire to make it through my work 30 mins earlier every day a priority. I’ve been humbled by the Lord which I needed but also restored by His steadfast love which I also needed. I can’t wait to try the calendar/journal technique. Great idea!!

  18. 68
    1gleaner says:

    We watched the livestream on my ipad while eating our lunch at Honey Baked Ham Co today right after we had just left our BSF class. Woo hoo what a day with the Lord and his word! My prayerlife changed in a major way when I discovered Peter Lord’s 2959 plan. It is a looseleaf notebook with pages for all the things you talked about, Beth. It focuses on one main theme each day though. Personal needs and family everyday, church leaders on Sunday, America on Monday, the lost on Tuesday, those in authority on Wednesday, the Peace of Jerusalem on Thursday, missionaries on Friday, and special heart burdens on Saturday.I poured out my heart and many details on those pages each year, and like you, finally decided to destroy them, but not before rejoicing tearfully over so many ANSWERED prayers (fruit!) over the years. I have since added “sticky notes” to my prayer journals for what I call my “intensive prayer list.”
    Another helpful thing I learned was to picture prayer like my hand with praise, thanksgiving, confession, intercession and petition as the five fingers and LISTENING as the palm. The largest part of my prayertime should be listening to God’s voice and acting on what he says. Prayer must be our FIRST CHOICE not our LAST RESORT!

  19. 69
    Nicole says:

    What’s effective for me is if I’m up early enough in the morning, before the kids, I use that time to open the word. Prior to that I get on my knees and pray..I pray just before reading the word that the Lord open my eyes to His word, that he open my ears to hearing discernment and His voice, that he open my heart to allowing the word to come into my soul.

    I also like to go to the gym early in the morning (note VERY, 4a.m.-ish) and the cardio equipment has tvs built in, there’s a Bible study show on that I like to watch called “Shepard’s Chapel” and often learn new things every time! Working out to praise music is the best way to awaken the Holy Spirit inside!!

    If the mornings are a bust, I take the quiet time during lunch to open the word while I’m eating. Again, on my knees to give thanks and praise before sitting down for my meal and the word. Having no other distractions with me (i.e. cell phone, computer, other people) really helps me escape for a while in the Word.

    Throughout the day I find myself talking to God. He’s always with us and if our best friend were walking with us wouldn’t we talk to them? From my car into the office I say a little prayer to Him, and at other random moments of the day. For me, there really is no “set” schedule, I’d hate to make it a routine and keep it more of an all the time thing.

    Like Beth, if I’m not in the word I find myself falling into the ways of “this” world. It’s amazing what even a small amount of time in the Word will do to keep you connected in your walk.

  20. 70
    Leslie Gl says:

    This morning’s livestream was fantastic! Having one of the scholarship young ladies that I was praying for last week at Passion as well as my own 2 children there I tuned in to Beth’s session on the first day and was hooked! Watched all sessions and was incredibly blessed.

    One of my “goals” for 2012 was to have a more fruitful prayer life. No surprise when that was the content for this mornings discussion. Definitely was an encouragement and I love the journal idea (with the squares). Would love to know where to purchase one or the specifics again to create my own. Also was reminded how we sometimes need to allow God to “prune” even the good things in our daily lives to be able to bear more fruit and better fruit!

    The ongoing communication throughout the day has always worked well for me, but even better is when I have the “formal” uninterrupted time at the start of the day when I allow time for him to speak back to me.

    In working out the morning’s details to be online at 11:30 our time, don’t think Satan attempted to undermine what was going on and take the joy from the morning. That’s when I am also reminded that God is at work!

    Thanks for your ministry Beth to us ladies!

  21. 71
    Sara Freeman says:

    Being a mom of little ones has changed the way I think about prayer time. It has been forced to become a constant, ongoing conversation throughout the day … like in the shower, while blowdrying my hair, in the car, while washing dishes, and at night in the quiet moments before sleep. There just is not a big block of quiet time available every single day anymore in this phase of life. Becoming a mom has changed my relationship with my Father, but in a beautiful way, and I am so thankful for those moments all spread out throughout the day. I love it.

  22. 72
    Sarah says:

    Something the Lord has really put on my heart is how we are a family and He is our Father. If I was talking to my brother I most likely am going to ask him if he has talked to Dad lately and if he is struggling with something I’m gonna ask well what does Dad say? That is how I want to relate to my brothers and sisters in Christ!!! I think we should be bold and spur each other to talk to the Father about anything and everything we are discussing with each other. I also really try to each time someone talks to me about a problem before the conversation ends I say lets pray about that right now! It is so awesome that He lets me participate in His work with just conversation and it’s lifechanging! I have 3 kids 6,5 and 4. We pray on our way to school each day. This year I started something new and we are taking a family and praying for them for a month. My kids each pick a person from that family and we pray scripture for them. I don’t get uniterrupted prayer time but I sooo love that when my kids interrupt me I tell them that they have to wait I’m talking to God so that they know that He is most important.

  23. 73
    Patty says:

    I so enjoyed the livestream and I love this community!!

    For my prayer time and what I have found that works best for me:

    1. Getting up early in the morning before anyone awakes works best for me.

    2. In order to not get stuck in a rut in my prayer time, I mix it up. For example, I have Stormie O’Martian’s book The Prayer That Changes Everything, the hidden power of praising God is my absolute favorite book to use during my prayer time. I might pray out of that and then Stormie has questions at the end of each chapter pertaining to certain situations you may be facing that you can work through.

    3. The main thing I try to do is to journal. It helps me because I have a problem with my mind wandering and journaling has helped me tremendously. First, I confess my sins and ask forgiveness.
    Then I spend time praising Him, and then before I ask Him for anything I thank Him for 20 things.

    Then I spend time praying for others but what I have found that works for me is to ask God to lay on my heart who He wants me to pray for(that day) and then I sit and wait until the Holy Spirit lays on my heart who to pray for and their speciic need.

    I pray outloud and I also journal my prayers.

    Usually, I will start off by asking God how He wants us to spend our quiet time together?Every day varies and I love it!

    Enjoyed your teaching today Beth and I love you!
    Thank you Lindsee and Sabrina for all you do to get our livestream ready!
    Love,
    Patty

  24. 74
    kim safina says:

    It was such a delight to be involved with the livestream.

    I am “trying” NOT to cry since I am un able to attend the SSMT. You would have LOVED my song with scriptures! giggle giggle!!!

    Thank you for the PRAYER TIME!!!

    I love you and the Siesta Community!!!

    The Journey Continues…. With “Heaven Bound” blessings,
    Kim Safina
    Coast of Cali

  25. 75

    Mama Beth, thanks so much for sharing your prayer practices with us. It’s encouraging and helps light a fire in our hearts to get on our knees more. What a blessing!

    A couple of things that really help me:
    1. If you have an iPhone, I have started using a prayer app to organize prayer requests. It works great because when someone asks for prayer, I can just type it right in, and I can schedule things on specific dates or days. I think the app is called Prayer Pro. You can back your list up to Google Documents in case you lose your phone or get a new one.

    2. For praying Scripture, it’s great to have a topical Bible or another resource with Scripture by topic. Your book “Praying God’s Word Every Day” is a great resource for this too. Our church has a Scripture Reference Guide created by the Biblical Counseling ministry that is wonderful for this as well — I bought it in the church bookstore under Counseling Resources.

    3. There are lots of great resources on the web for praying for your kids and your husband — just google it. You will find pre-created calendars with 31 things to pray over your kids or husband linked to Scripture. Wonderful and quick if you are a mommy who is crunched for time, but wants to pray purposefully.

  26. 76
    Tammy says:

    Well I didn’t get to be part of the live stream because of work. But I am looking forward to read your comments and it is funny we are talking on prayer. Because today God answered one of my prayers that I had been praying over for months. It was not the answer I was looking for. In fact I was quite sad about it. I was on my knees in tears and sharing that pain with God as well. My word this year is follow. I was convicted in my prayer when God said are you willing to folloow only when things are your way or are you willing to follow me when I answer differently. That was eye opening.

    The thing I have learned about prayer is that i can be honest with God, persistant, and personal. I don’t have to like His answers, but I trust He has a plan that though I don’t see right now, He will open my heart to in His time. It was a heart wrenching moment in my prayer learning today siestas.

    love to you all

  27. 77
    Sherri says:

    My sister in laws and I decided to set our cell phone alarms to go off at the same time everyday. At that time, we stop whatever we are doing and pray for our husbands and each others husbands to be continually growing in Christ and leading us. I also started praying for my daughters and nieces future husbands and my nephew as well. It’s kind of like our own little secret operation prayer petitions – we are praying together in spirit at the same time and are lifting up our men in prayer. The fact that they have no idea (and I don’t anticipate any of them reading this 😉 ) makes it even neater!

  28. 78
    Jeanette Dahm says:

    Jeanette, Tualatin, OR

    I am not so organized in my prayer time, but manage to keep a prayerful attitude(God before me, God beside me, God behind me) kind of thing. I pray in the shower, confessing and cleansing, pray at night when I can’t sleep, pray while driving, pray while shopping because my eyes are looking for people to pray for or talk to. We also have intercessary prayer once a month for women to attend for an hour. I have tried journaling but the confidentiality of it has deterred me. I loved your ideas and passion for prayer, Beth and I do agree it needs to have a bigger emphasis in our lives. Who better to talk to than the Father of the universe. Love you all.

  29. 79
    Sarah says:

    I commented before I watched it – I try to get up early and have time and I have to journal just to keep my mind focused, but if I don’t get up early I feel defeated so I stop and look at my day and we may run late but I take a few minutes and have formal prayer – it may not be long but it keeps Him as my 1st priority over everything. I also read scripture even if it’s a few verses because he shared with me a few years ago that if a friend called me and talked and talked and when I went to answer hung up I really wouldn’t want to talk to them. When I pray and do not read His Word I am talking and talking and hanging up when He starts talking. Can’t wait to get some more ideas from everyone else!!! LOVE THIS!!!!

  30. 80
    Sandy Smith says:

    I did not get to participate in actual session, but I am a pray-er and I want to share this…when I have been overwhelmed with a prayer concern for, let’s say, my son, I often ask another mom to switch with me because most of the time I am just whining or begging God with my emotions about my son’s situation, but when I pray for someone else’s son I’m a little less likely to worry for my own, but concentrate on theirs. It works for anyone and anything. God knows our hearts. And also, I try to associate something that would trigger me to pray for them during the day (and night) such as when I heard the Star Spangled Banner I would pray for President Bush. (During his time in office my daughters played high school basketball. I heard the Star Spangled Banner sometimes 4 times in a week!:).

  31. 81
    Phyllis Taylor says:

    Hello Beth, so very sorry I missed the live feed and now cannot find the link for the recorded video. I have a small one hour job each day and it was at that time. But I will share that the prayers that literaly saved my sanity are from your book Get Out of That Pit. I photocopied all the prayers for the week and had them laminated and carried them to work in my lunch bag and on my coffee breaks and lunch breaks if I was alone, and I really needed the alone time, I would pray them out loud for that day, CRY OUT, CONFESS, and CONSENT. And your book Praying God’s Word is a definite resource I use when my own prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling. sincerely Phyllis

  32. 82
    Kathy says:

    I am a wife, mom, nana, emptynester. Prayer time for me comes when all the dust settles after getting up in the morning…when I feel confident that there will not be any interruptions and I won’t be neglecting others. I begin by kneeling before the Lord. The change in posture seems to clear the air and my mind and heart open up fully as I pray. Aside from these times I seem to talk to God all day long ever looking to Him for wisdom and guidance along the way…also, taking time to express gratitude to Him, or pray about something that the Holy Spirit wakens me to. There have been times in my life when stress and heartache have overwhelmed me that I found setting aside ‘formally’ a time to be with the Lord was necessary…a time when loved ones knew I would not be available. I can’t imagine not being able to go to the Lord whether in good times or difficult times. A gift to be cherished. Thank you Beth for sharing about prayer and prayerlessness. Your giving nature is such a blessing.

  33. 83
    Christiane says:

    I keep ‘morning vigil’ . . .
    an hour before sunrise, before it gets busy and noisy . . .
    no electric lights, candles please

    and silence

    sometimes the Psalms are prayed, sometimes the Gospels are read and people are remembered to God and I pray also the prayers of my faith

  34. 84
    Debbie says:

    Thanks for the tips on logging in, I still haven’t figured out how to do that to chat with everyone.
    Thanks also for this chat. I am in a place of challenge right now and am so excited to put some of these practices to work, especially writing out who I want to pray for and praying with scripture.
    Your encouragement to keep praying even in long periods with little evidence of progress meant so much to me. I have felt so discouraged, it’s hard to keep praying. I have a renewal to keep persevering.
    I love the dry erase in the shower! It’s definitely a time I could devote to prayer and this is a fantastic tip to remember what is in my journal.
    Love to all you siestas and Siesta Mama.
    Debbie in Portland

  35. 85
    Marisa says:

    I was able to pull up the livestream after the actual time it was on…thank you Lord! I have three little ones and they are napping now so I can get on here. Beth I loved what you said and you gave me some great ideas to use. Thank you! I aim to do my quiet time during the morning before the house is up. Yes, I do have to get up earlier but the house is quiet and I can get some good prayer in and some good bible reading in. With three little ones and one on the way as the day goes on things get crazy busy and mom grows tired. If I wait until the end of the day my prayer time usually consists of something short like this…Dear Lord thank you for this day, may we all sleep well in Christ’s name Amen! Half kidding 🙂 When I do my prayer time in the morning I find myself in step with God along with being the mom my kids deserve and the wife my husband deserves! I am more patient, fun, and loving if I have heard some Truth first. I have tried it both ways and having the morning time leads to an overall better day for me. It was a joy to hear you Beth…thank you and blessings to you!

  36. 86
    Deb says:

    Thank you all for sharing your ideas. I know I’ll need to read through them again and figure out what to incoporate into my daily practice. Many of you have mentioned missing the live event. I did, too! But if you click on the link to the live stream, you will find today’s event (and last week’s) available to view any time. Isn’t technology amazing! 🙂

    Thank you, Beth and everyone!

  37. 87
    Sarah says:

    My bible study ladies and I are doing your bible study Living Free: praying God’s word. And we are wondering why in the old testament a stronghold was a positive thing, but in the New Testament it is considered to be a negative thing. I’m sorry if I’m posting this in the wrong area but I just wondered if someone could answer this question for us.

    Thanks, Sarah

    • 87.1
      Sarah says:

      I’m not sure what specific references you are looking at b/c I haven’t done that study. But this is my assumption.

      In the OT they may have been referencing a physical stronghold that would have protected them from invading armies and enemies. This would be a positive thing, b/c it would have kept the bad people out.

      In the NT often a stronghold is in reference to repetative sin. An area of sin that you are standing behind and/or one that has you in it’s grips. It’s like a wall of sin that you haven’t quite conquered. This is a negative thing b/c it keeps us from living the abundant life God has planned for us. For example, a stronghold that I have actually overcome is unbelief that I was forgiven. I would continue to confess and repent over sin that I had committed years ago. I would feel the guilt and shame of it until God used a variety of scripture, teachers and situations to solidify His truth in my heart. I am a sinner, but when I confess and repent, He is faithful to forgive me of ALL unrighteousness. This is only one example, the stronghold of unbelief was something that I couldn’t get past until the healing Word of God washed the wall away.

      So basically the OT stronghold was a physical thing, the NT stronghold is a spiritual thing. Hope this helps.

  38. 88
    Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for taking time out this morning to speak with us. It was so refreshing!!
    I used to not be so diligent in prayer because I was afraid I wasn’t doing it right…if that makes any sense. Then the idea came to me (from the Lord, no doubt) JUST TALK. “Talk to Me, and I’ll meet you where you are.” I heard Him say at one point. And so I did, and eventually it has matured into a beautiful relationship.

    I’m mother and homeschool teacher of 3. Ages 3,6,&7. I do have to beat them up to have my quite time. 🙂 I get out of the house first thing(440am). I walk around my neighborhood and praise, confess, and be quite. Come back, get my hubby prepared for his day, kiss him off to work and I pick up my bible, study materials and journal, and get into His word.

    He is so faithful and uses so many different resouces to confirm what He is saying. Paying attention to other belivers, music, or podcasts and devotionals also helps me be certain of what His direction is.

    Just this week, God has spoken directly to me on 2 seperate situations. What an encouragement to see the fruit bloom right in front of my eyes!!

    • 88.1
      VAmamaof3 says:

      Amanda,
      Our kids are the same exact ages. I also homeschool. Wow, 4:30am! You are amazing. I am so need to kick it up a notch!

      • Jennifer T says:

        Amanda and VAmom…

        I’m a first-timer (HS) with kids the same ages (okay, my eldest is 10) and my mornings are all-over-the-place! Have been praying for the self-discipline to rise earleeee for these important moments but the fleshy nightowl in me keeps winning. Frustrated! But I’ll add my tips on how I manage to pray despite my fleshy-ness in another comment! Keep truckin’ both of you – you’re an inspiration!!! Oh, and I’m in VA also – but in the DC suburbs. Seems every VA Siesta I saw on here today was in Richmond. Who knew!? 🙂

      • Amanda says:

        It really started as part of a prayer to lose weight. My children hate the YMCA so the only other time to get exercise is early morning. Nights are filled soccer, baseball, dance, church & I also sell 31 gifts.
        Anyway, I pleaded with God to help me & ya know sometimes my feet hit the floor before my eyes even open! I’ve even heard in my spirit a couple times, “You asked for this!” HAHA!!
        He is incredibly faithful to answer us when our requests are also what He desires for us too; and I know He wants all of his children to become closer to Him in prayer.
        Do you blog? I’d love to hear what you’re doing in homeschool!!
        -Amanda
        Oh, I’ve also lost 50 lbs in the last year!! Closer to the Lord AND a new wardrobe!! YES!!!

  39. 89
    Anna says:

    Beth
    This is what works for me

    First thing in the morning.Psalm 5 vs 3.

    Ann graham Lotz re enforced that prnciple for me years later when she asked the question at one of her conferences , “Do you tune your instrument before or after the symphony”?

    Before—works for me everytime!
    After does not hurt at all either, especially when it comes after the first thing in the morning principle for me.

    Anna.

  40. 90
    Sarah says:

    Really enjoyed the Live Cast!!! So much fun!

    Well, I’m not a prayer warrior in the formal sense, but God has been laying it on my heart for quite some time to sacrifice some morning time for Him, so I’ve been doing this for the last week and am a little discouraged b/c I feel like I’m not awake enough to be very effective. So the comment earlier that said “Pray until you pray . . . ” was just what I needed to hear. Thank you all for sharing, it has really ministered to my heart!

    I am also a home mom with a 5 yo boy at home. Last year, I started praying in the shower. Even bowing down to Him when He laid in on my heart (please don’t imagine this). 😉 I really liked the ideas about putting up cards. You all have helped me so much, thank you for the encouragement!!!

    God bless you Siestas and God bless you Beth!

  41. 91
    Ruth says:

    [note to Lindsee: I notice that it was made clear on Facebook that people could go back to the link and listen even after the broadcast. That doesn’t seem to be noted here on the blog, just FYI 🙂 I am sure Siestas will be pleased to know that’s an option]

    THANK YOU, Siesta Mamma, for the Blessing of a Good Word and a very practical word on praying. I imagine that the Lord sees what Curtis is talking about more than we can imagine and that it is a real deficiency if not outright sin in the Body. Bless you for your following the Spirit to be one who exhorts us all with such Love.
    The most significant thing I would share about prayer is the need to LISTEN, to be still and wait on the Lord. (Isaiah 30:l5–“…in returning and rest shall be your salvation, in quietness and trust shall be your strength.”) This aspect of prayer has proven the most challenging to me, the area of the most discipline AND, in many respects, the quality that has proven most fruitful.
    I can be such a do-er in talking prayer and in the “doing” of Bible Study, but the Lord has shown me the absolute necessity of being quiet and still and attentive to receive/apprehend what He may be speaking to my spirit.

    • 91.1
      Lindsee says:

      Hey Ruth! I added the link to the stream about an hour ago. It is right below Beth’s updated paragraph. But, thank you so much for the heads up!

  42. 92

    Enjoyed the live stream and took some notes, too. Thank you, thank you!
    I also love the suggestions everyone has shared.

    For the grid prayer, I found this website that makes calendar templates in Word that you can edit. I downloaded the one in January and will play around with it. You can even move the days of the week to the side so you can put names on top. I hope this helps someone.
    http://www.wincalendar.com/2012-Word-Calendar.htm

  43. 93
    Erin D says:

    One of my weak areas is actually in praying for my immediate family consistently (husband, 8yr old son and 7yr old daughter). We pray together at meals and bedtimes, but I don’t find myself covering them in prayer privately as much as I would like. One trick I have developed which has improved my prayer habit has been to intercede for them whenever I am folding their laundry. This guarantees dedicated time minimum of once a week! Plus it has completely changed my attitude about doing laundry.
    Now if only I could apply that to the dishes, I’d be all set!

  44. 94
    Kristin A. says:

    Thank you so much, Beth, Sabrina, and Lindsee for all your work organizing this livestream for us. I wasn’t able to pop on to watch it live, but did watch it a bit ago and was very blessed. Thank you. Maybe the next time I will catch the stream live!
    I tend to be a silent observer on the blog, just piping up here and there, but today felt very much compelled to pip up several times as I’ve read through the comments. Right now with three young kids, I am struggling to bring back prayer as a daily discipline. Over the years both praying in the car and praying in the shower have worked very well for me as well as praying short prayers throughout the day keeping the lines of communication between God and me open all hours. I once heard that “when you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep, talk to the Shepherd” and definitely follow that advice!
    I am inspired by the idea of keeping a prayer journal, which is something I wasn’t taught to do or grew up doing and am also very inspired by the idea some of our Siestas have mentioned of breaking down prayer requests throughout the week, such that there might be things I pray for daily, but that Monday I might pray intensively for one of children, praying for the others of other days, etc.
    I am looking forward to growing a more fruitful prayer life in 2010 thanks to all of you and your advice and encouragement.
    Kristin
    Renton, WA

  45. 95
    MaryCameron says:

    Although I am a native Texan, currently I’m in Paris, France studying at culinary school. I read about the live stream on Twitter and was so glad my class schedule allowed me to watch. Everything said about prayer made my heart bubble over with a new desire for radical depth and intimacy in my prayer life. I loved the practical application given because it’ll help me turn my motivation into action. I’ve grown up watching my mom dedicate every single morning that I can remember to prayer and Bible study. With this example and the wise words of this live stream I hope to continue on in this legacy.

    Thank you so much from all the way across the globe!

    • 95.1
      ErinD says:

      Hey! I’m not a native Texan, but I am a HUGE Beth Moore fan / Siesta Girl and fellow American in France right now – about four hours south of Paris. How cool is that??!!! REALLY wishing Beth Moore’s Bible studies were translated into FRENCH for the Christian women I am meeting here. Just wanted to say Bonjour!
      ErinD – [email protected]

  46. 96
    Debbie K. Summersville, Mo says:

    Hello all,
    it has been awhile since I’ve posted. Beth just watched the video of the livestream. It was very uplifting for me. I seem to be good at talking to God when I need things, but not so good with the formal time. You gave some great inspiration!! Thanks! I will start praying now for me to take some of the advice and stick to it. I love the livestream, hope I am able to get on live next time. Thanks to all for it!
    Debbie

  47. 97
    Tami says:

    Loved, Loved, Loved this!Thank you so much for chatting about this topic. The Lord has been dealing with me in the area of a formalized prayer time for about a year now. I have floundered quite a bit, and find myself not sticking to one particular method. I am not a good “journaller” and I failed at that method more than once. 🙁 I love the idea of the type of prayer journal you use to help organize, keep me on task, and to document the prayer journey with. I will try that.

    Beth…the journal was hard to see on the screen. Any chance you could take a picture of it and post it on the blog so we can use it as a sample to create our own?

    Thank you so much! Love this blog community…so uplifting and encouraging!

  48. 98
    Tammy Jones says:

    Thank you so much for this livestream! It was so much fun to watch and listen in with so many others. I am so inspired to get my prayer life back on track. Oh I pray alot and all through the day, but something is still missing. I am determined to fill that gap. I am enjoying reading all the comments here as well.

  49. 99
    Jessica says:

    What works for me is singing my prayers to God. I’ve always been better at expressing myself through music and singing than talking! So anytime throughout the day, whether I’m taking a walk or working (I work from home) or putting on my makeup, I just sing to Him. It’s a very organic thing for me, I don’t have a particular time or way of approaching prayer. I just sing out my requests, my questions, my thanks, my declarations… and He hears me… and sometimes even enters right back in with His own song! 🙂

  50. 100
    PunkyT says:

    Loved this discussion on prayer habits. Love what your Pastor said about the secret sin of prayerlessness.

    What has been most fruitful for me is to get up “while it’s still dark” before all the noise of the day kicks in (the early Christian catches the Word). This morning He woke me up at 4:00- thank you. But we had some serious business to attend to. I come downstairs and first thing I do is throw my blanket/throw in the dryer to warm it up because my husband keeps house so dang cold. Then, kinda like you, I hit my knees and surrender my day. I heard Chip Ingram say, “Before you do business with people, do business with God”. Honestly, if I don’t do business with the Lord first thing I just get scratchier as the day goes on. Ask my husband. After time on my knees I fix a cup of tea and talk with the Lord in His Word. I sometimes sit in quiet for several minutes and just wait on Him.

    One of my favorite things to do (something I started when I was going through treatment for breast cancer) is to pile up pillows in the corner of my couch and lean into them like I’m leaning against Abba’s chest, as I talk to Him. Corny, I know… but works for me. Grin.

    I have also used Debbie Williams prayer journal and liked it very much. Agree with you… much more effective and ordered in my prayers when I have it all written out like that. So I have improvised on that with notebook pages with columns (like Debbie’s and yours) for family, sick, ministry, etc. And I have about 1/4 of page at bottom for journaling thoughts, a specific word from the Lord, whatever the He puts on my heart for those I’m praying for or myself. I think I’m gonna get mine bound like you did. Great idea.

    I love Paul Miller’s book, “A Praying Life”… wonderful! Have you read it?

    Thanks for all you do for us, Beth!
    xo – P

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