When I first started praying for my own children, I was inspired by two important truths about God’s Word:
1. That it is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, ESV).
2. That it “shall not return to me (God) empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11, ESV).
If those two verses were true, and I believed they were, then it seemed to me that there could be no better thing to pray than God’s Word itself! Because this experience was so deeply profound for me, it’s the same one I’ve used to teach other women to pray! I call it my “Think, Pray, Praise” method. It isn’t really rocket science, just a practical, biblical way to pray the Word of God over yourself or the people you love. It’s also the method we use inside of our prayer journals! Let me walk you through what it is step-by-step (with pictures)!
Inside of our Everyday Prayers Prayer Journals we give you a verse to pray every single day (we make it easy and do the work for you), but you can always search the scriptures for yourself to find a verse you’d like to pray each day. After you’ve chosen it, reflect on, process, and meditate over your verse. If you have time, read a few verses that come before and after your verse, or even the entire chapter of the Bible so you can have the proper context from which to understand it. Consider what God is speaking to your heart through His Word and through this verse. Dream about the future and what it might look like to see the message of this verse come to fruition in your life, or your children’s lives. In a small way, analyze the verse and figure out what you’re inspired to pray.
For almost 10 years, my desire has been to allow my prayers to be inspired by God’s Word. I try very hard not to take verses out of context, or use them for a purpose or meaning other than that which God intended for them (reading the verse in context, like we talked about above, really helps me with this). Once I’ve selected a verse, I craft it into a prayer based on that verse. I usually stay as word-for-word as I can and then pray that verse back to God. You can see an example of a Verse of the Day and the Prayer we craft from it for you inside of the Everyday Prayers Prayer Journals on one of the daily pages below.
Once you have your verse and prayer, use your thoughts about them as a jumping off point allowing God’s Word to move you and shape your prayers. Here’s an example of what it looks like for me on one of the daily pages inside of my personal copy of Everyday Prayers for Joy.
(Image coming soon).
Here’s my favorite part! Think of praise like physically putting on a pair of rose-colored glasses…it literally changes the way you see the world around you!
The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring the fullest light to all the world. Being joyful isn’t what makes you grateful. Being grateful is what makes you joyful. ~Ann Voskamp
When we pause to deliberately reflect on the good things God is doing in our lives right now—even the tiniest of things we have to look hard to see (like having a Bible Study group to clean for (I might not want to clean, but at least I have people coming over to discuss the Word of God with me!)— it changes everything. Instead of focusing on all we don’t have or don’t like (honestly, I hate to clean, but it’s worth the sacrifice in order to be among brothers and sisters in Christ!), gratitude for what we do have begins to bloom in our hearts, truly making us joyful. Each day, I try to write down just a few things I’m grateful for, praising God for His continuous work of grace in my life!
You might notice the To-Do-List at the bottom right of the daily pages inside of our prayer journals. I LOVE that little block because I find that when I sit down to pray, my mind gets flooded by all the things I need to do that day. Every. Single. Time. I feel the urgency of my schedule begin to take over, distracting me from the time I so desperately need in God’s Word and prayer. Taking a minute to list out my to-do’s before I get started is kind of like doing a “brain dump” each day. If my to-do’s are written down, I won’t forget them. This frees me up to spend the time I’ve allocated in prayer without worrying stealing it from me.
Part of being a woman of prayer is interceding on behalf of others. My life literally changed the day a good friend held my hands in hers and said, “Let’s pray about this NOW” instead of just saying, “I’ll pray for you.” You won’t always be able to pray in person, but keeping track of the needs of others on a prayer list like the one at the bottom left of the daily pages is a great way to make sure you’re being faithful to cover the needs of others!
Want to try the “Think, Pray, Praise” method for yourself?
Get a taste for how it all works together when you sign up to receive day one of Everyday Prayers for Joy for free! You’ll get one devotional to start your day, and one daily page to try out your journaling skill! What are you waiting for, grab yours now!