Browsing Tag

prayer

When Your Quiet Time isn’t so Quiet

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

Yes. This. Everything about the above verse makes me want to type in all the praise hand emojis. Because quiet, alone, unseen, rewards, secret … all these words tug at my busy-mom-of-three emotions.

Then … reality hits.

Mark 1:35-37 is more my reality …

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

“Everyone is looking for you!”

Is this your life too? I assume I’m not the only one who gets up and goes to a solitary place to pray, only to be followed by little people. *wink*

Even if I wake earlier than usual, odds are one of the children will wake up and interrupt me. They will need breakfast or help going potty or help finding their favorite shirt or something. That’s how it is. This is my reality in this season.

So yes, many of us have very, very little time to ourselves right now.

I’ve included below a few captured “quiet times” of my own so you can see what I’m talking about.

I used to think because of this lack of privacy and silence, my quiet time wasn’t meaningful or productive, so often I’d grow frustrated and even resentful for not getting “ideal” time with God.

But I’ve learned – am learning – that God can and will use my not-so-quiet moments to grow my knowledge and relationship with Him.

No matter how hard I try, some days my “quiet” times are going to be filled with doll babies, nursing real babies and feeding eggos to older babies. All with Peppa Pig blasting through speakers.

But I know God is with me wherever I am, whatever I’m doing and no matter who is around me.

While I still crave and love the literal “quiet” times I get with Jesus, I’m learning to roll with it and recognize not every moment with God has to be perfect and serene, with all the spiritual type of feels. Because REAL LIFE, friends.

So how do you have a productive quiet time in a not-so-quiet scenario?

Here 4 things that help me have meaningful Not-So-Quiet Time.


Keep Him handy.

This is number one for me. Keeping scripture quotes, bibles, devotionals, even prayer prompts handy is great for when I do find a few silent moments throughout the day. If His Word is right there, it’s easy to take advantage of the time that does pop up.

I keep my phone close by me almost all day long (I know, I have a problem), so it’s easy to hop on a Bible app (YouVersion and the First 5 app are great for quick and short reading) or listen to an audio Bible.


Plan ahead.

Okay, so we’re going to devote time to God, but we don’t know how it’s going to turn out, if we’ll be interrupted or sidetracked.

Pick a bible reading plan to follow or a book that studies the Bible. When I wake up, I know which book I’m going to grab (right now I’m finishing up Wendy Blight’s I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God) and get through what I can. If I have to stop in the middle, I have to stop in the middle. I don’t waste time flipping through the Bible, wondering “where should I start?” 


Plan to not follow the plan.

Let’s be real. It isn’t always going to play out how we imagine it. So if you are currently trying to read through a bible study book, and you’ve been unable to sit down that day to read it, you’re going to have to engage a new tactic for the day. Sometimes, I will go back to the First 5 app or something similar, where there is a ready-made and short devotional quickly available that I am not currently following.

Here are another couple strategies I use as a back-up plan (adapted from [re]SOURCE, by my good friend and pastor, Jessica H. Morris).

[re]THINK – Reflect on what you learned or read in your last quiet time. Re-ask some questions to yourself about the subject and ask yourself what stands out most to you about it, that applies to you most personally.

A good strategy here is memorizing scripture, as well. Take a scripture verse and meditate on it all day, write it down in an email to yourself, chant it over and over, write it on sticky notes posted all over your house, or whatever you need to do to keep thinking about God’s Word.

Here, the goal is to re-engage your brain to meditate on scripture or what God is telling you.

[re]PRAY – Pray a prayer familiar to you. Maybe you re-pray what you prayed about yesterday, because it’s still relevant. Or you pray the Lord’s Prayer. Maybe you speak to God through a Psalm of Thanksgiving or Psalm 23, both effective and familiar to many.

The goal is simply to speak to God. Speak to him while you drive, while you shower, while you climb each stair in your home. But to simplify it and keep persistency, pray what you’ve heard or prayed before.

Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God. (Colossians 4:2)


Do it out loud.

Okay, so you’ve woken up early, settled in for some QT with Jesus, and your little one sneaks downstairs.

This is often an “UGH” moment for me. But I have to force myself to remember it doesn’t have to be, nor does it for you.

We can pull them up next to us and read out loud, pray out loud, or explain to them what God is teaching us. Remember in Mark 1:35-27 when Simon exclaimed to Jesus during His quiet time, “everyone is looking for you”?

Well, do you also remember how Jesus responded?

“Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. (Mark 1:38-39, emphasis mine)

He taught.

Let’s take a page out of Jesus’ book, and when people are looking for us, let’s teach them and pray for and with them. He reminds me our people should be inclusions, not interruptions. Because this is why we are here.


So there you have it. These are some of my tricks for meeting with Jesus during a non-quiet or restful season of life.

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for connecting with Jesus during your Not-So-Quiet Time. Post them up so we can all learn from each other.

 

In Everything Give Thanks…

“If you made a list of all the things you could be thankful for, the list would undoubtedly be longer than your misfortunes.”
Catherine Pulsifer 

It’s another Thanksgiving, and before we jump into the Christmas crazy, I wanted to be intentional in being grateful for the things in my life.  I’m so thankful for the opportunities I have to share my words and thoughts with you, and am thankful you are here to read them.

So I’m giving thanks for you and this little corner of the internet where we are here together.

Below I’ve listed some of my favorite Thanksgiving Bible verses, and with each a prayer. Shooting up a quick prayer of thanks will keep us in an attitude of gratitude.

I pray each of you have a fabulous turkey day! (Or, if you’re like my family, a fabulous tofu day! 😉 )

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1 Thessalonians 5:18  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I give thanks to You in everything, Lord, for I know this is Your will for me in Christ Jesus.

1 Chronicles 16:8  Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.

Lord, I call upon You and give thanks to and for You. May Your deeds be known by those all around me this holiday.

Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Jesus, let your peace rule in my heart all the days of my life. Thank you for this peace that transcends understanding.

Psalm 34:1  I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

I praise Your name, Jesus. Bless Your holy name, and may your praise ever be on my lips.


Psalm 100 : A Psalm of thanks

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.


Make Your Prayers More Effective

Over the past year, I’ve made a habit of praying scripture over my children.

And I think you should too.

Now, the last thing I want to do is set myself up as the best example for you. I’m riding this along right next to you. I make mistakes in prayer and am still learning what God has to teach me. However, I’ve drawn my inspiration from a few reliable places: Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker, Pricilla Schirer’s Fervent and my good friend, Emily. Emily is a total prayer warrior for her kiddos and it’s inspiring. She posted over on the Moms at Hope blog a little about this and I think it’s brilliant, yet so simple. So I wanted to offer y’all the same battle weapon for prayer that Emily, Pricilla, Mark and … oh yeah, Jesus … did.

Scripture.

As Christians we know prayer is important, but we must realize that praying scripture is powerful.

Two benefits to praying scripture:

  • You will sound super smart and spiritual.

Okay, okay … so the goal of prayer shouldn’t be to sound churchy, spiritual and wise. Not at all. (But it is super fun though, right? 😉 )

Confession. I am not one of eloquent and profound prayers. It’s just not my gift. I’ve been known to stumble and bumble over many a prayer. (Thankfully, most of them have been silent and nobody else heard except Jesus.) (Yet another reason as why to not use me as the perfect example.)

However, God is eloquent and profound. His Word has that all the profoundness written out in plain English for us. When it comes to wisdom and eloquence God trumps all.

So why does eloquence even matter?

To be “eloquent” means to clearly express something or be persuasive in what you speak or write. Our prayers have a powerful impact on not only our future but also on our faith. They are persuasive, especially with ‘ole H.S. bidding on our behalf (Romans 8:26). Using God’s clearly expressed and persuasive words – His own words – we have an impact on everything – a powerful impact.

This was God’s plan all along … for us to engage with Him. He loves it, so He gave us perfect and wise words to pray to and with Him, so that …

  • You pray within God’s will.

Look, it says it right here in 1 John 5:14-15…

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.

All over the Bible we find God’s will for people – for you and for me. It’s literally written in there. So we need to ask for what He wants for us too, because then it is certain – certain! – to happen.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:3)

Every time we choose to think Christ’s thoughts and speak God’s word, instead of our own, we are training ourselves to transforms our way of thinking (Romans 12:2) into His and therefore His will for us.


“Okay, Kristin, so where the heck do I start?”

I’m so glad you asked. *wink*

There are about 876 bazillion words in the Bible … roughly. 😉 I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to pray all 876 bazillion every day.

But we can start with a few.

I have a list of 5-10 verses I pray for my girls (and their future spouses) every single day. So I am offering you a FREE scripture prayer printable with bible verses to print and pray through and over your children (or husband or friend or enemy or whoever).

Just CLICK HERE or on the image below to get your copy emailed to you!

(**If you are my email friend, you already have this in your inbox! Woohoo!**)

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The great thing about praying scripture like this is it doesn’t have to apply to just your children or family members. You can pray these things over circumstances, yourself, your friends, your cat, that grouchy school crossing guard … Honestly, just about anything.

And when we do, you better believe it happens. #AllThePraiseHands 

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)