Making God Your Partner

March 3rd, 2012

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you know I’m in the process of re-visioning what it should be. I’m still not entirely sure what that’s going to look like, but I have a better idea how to go about it.

As part of my job as a writer, I do a lot of reading, including various blogs. Recently I came across You’ve Got “Connections” by Cheryl Ricker on Wordserve Water Cooler in which Cheryl speaks of connecting through prayer with God to reach our dreams as writers.

Although this post specifically addresses writers, I think what Cheryl says can apply to anyone with a dream. She gives 5 ways one should connect in order to fulfill their vision:

        • Connect with God
        • Connect with prayer partners
        • Connect with God for those we’re in mission for (for a writer that’s the reader)
        • Connect with God for those who will be helping you with your task (beta readers, cover designers, editors, etc.)
        • Connect with God for those who are working in the same mission field (other writers)

Prayer is an important part of our spiritual lives. Through our connection with God things that before didn’t make sense become clear and things that seemed impossible become easily accomplished.

Cheryl gives the example of a friend who posted a status update about his writing on Facebook:

One of my friends posted this on Facebook:  “I struggled with my writing for three hours, but after praying, I couldn’t stop the flow.  Why did I wait so long?”

What her friend experienced is so true. When we fully turn our challenges over to God they suddenly disappear. Is it easy to give them over? Not always.

We humans have a tendency to believe we can solve all our own problems. Sometimes we can. Other times we need a big helping hand. When we keep taking our problems back, though, it slows everything down because, just like a helpful child, we get in the way.

God loves us and wants the best for us, guide us in achieving our dream. To do that God asks that we make a connection through prayer and then let God take control.

When have you been stuck with a problem getting to your dream and prayed about it? What were the results?

 

Prayer Journals and Letters to God Another Way to Pray

June 15th, 2011

prayer photoSometimes, especially if we’re worried about a situation or are trying to come up with a solution to a problem, praying in our head isn’t enough. During those times I found it helps to write my thoughts and prayers down.

Like other types of prayer, there really isn’t a specific way to journal. There are no rules you have to worry about breaking. The sole intent is to communicate with your loving Creator and, maybe, find Spirit answering your burning questions.

While I prefer handwriting in a spiral notebook just a free flow of whatever pops into my head, I know others who would cringe at the mere suggestion of putting pen to paper. For some it’s a matter of privacy, for others the simple dislike of writing.

That doesn’t mean you can’t journal. It just means you may need to get a bit more creative. Perhaps making a collage would be better suited to your needs. Maybe you’d prefer using a digital recorder or speech recognition software. The possibilities are limited only by your own willingness to go beyond your idea of what a journal must look like.

A popular type of prayer journaling are letters to God. I remember one year at camp we were asked to write a letter to God. We were to write like we were writing to a friend. It didn’t matter what we wrote about. The idea was to write a letter, nothing more. After we wrote our letter to God, we were to turn the page over and write a letter to ourselves as if God had written it to us.

Writing from God to ourselves can present a number of challenges. The answer we write could be just our desire to get what we want, turning God into a personal genie. It could also be just the opposite because we don’t believe we deserve what we’re asking for. Or, of course, it can be a highly emotional event, especially if we allow Spirit to show us a glimpse of our loving Parent’s deep love for us.

Whether you choose to write a letter to yourself or not is up to you. Using a journal for prayer is all about communing and developing a deeper relationship with the One who loves you most of all.

Photo by Lel4nd

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There are a lot more ideas and examples on simple ways to pray in my book Simply Prayer. Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

Lord, Teach Us To Pray

May 18th, 2011

Last Sunday I was asked, “Can you teach someone to pray?” (An interesting question, considering we were studying the first chapter of my book Simply Prayer.)

The short answer is:

Yes, I believe you can teach someone to pray.

The long answer is:

Yes, you can teach someone a variety of prayer methods, but the praying is up to the individual.

What that means is, I can give you any number of ways to approach prayer, and I do in my book, but whether you are able to meet God depends on where you are. For instance, if you only choose to give God a list of wants or choose to speak to God only when you need something, then you won’t achieve a very deep spiritual connection with our Creator and your prayer life is going to be less than satisfactory.

Prayer is about communication.

God is always there, always listening. God gives us what we need, though not always what we want. Prayer, however, is not just about God meeting our physical — or even our emotional — needs.

Prayer is about nurturing an ever deepening relationship with the One who knows us better than we could ever imagine. It is about opening our hearts, minds and spirits to the One who can show us what life is about, who can help us grow into what we are meant to be.

So, yes, I can teach you to pray, but it is up to you to let God into your life. Are you ready?