Spiritual Routine: Moment of Personal Prayer
of reading - words
I have already told you in articles about 2 spiritual routines: that of our couple and that of my growth group. This time I share with you another spiritual routine: a time apart to pray.
First of all, a separate time, that is, a time that I dedicate to prayer exclusively. There are many other moments when I speak to God: in the morning when I get up to introduce my day and that of my family, meditating on the Bible in the morning, before meals to give thanks, in the evening with my husband during our spinnaker moment, as soon as I feel like it during the day even if I am doing something else etc. We can pray on many occasions in a day.
But there is a moment of prayer that is particularly close to my heart, it is the one dedicated to prayer.
What does it consist of?
I have no particular step or path like starting with praise or repentance etc. I don't oblige myself to anything but in reality I almost always start with the same things: praying for my husband and son, their day and his challenges and I do the same for myself, I pray for the challenges of the day or the days to come. It is like a need to hand everything over to God and just leave with His peace, to recognize that I need Him, that my family needs Him, and that I want to submit to Him. It's a first part where I don't have to think too much, it's the subjects that are close to my heart, that come to me instantly, what's on my heart, what concerns me.
In the second part (it is a way of speaking because I do not divide time in two, I move from one to the other in a natural way), I pray for the regular subject of the day. For example, on Tuesdays I pray especially for my husband beyond the topics and challenges of his week, I can use the prayer diary for her husband to pray for one of the topics proposed. Every day there is a particular theme (husband, child, work, church...). I also pray for the topic of the Open Day (persecuted Christians) if I did not do it when I woke up. I pray for the topics that other people have submitted to me, I look at the part of the punctual topics in the prayer diary (Pray without ceasing), and then for all the other things that come to my mind. Usually it goes too fast!
I have a time limit. The days are full and I have chosen to take 20 minutes for this moment. It's not much and at the same time it's a lot: not much because I always think to myself when it's over "already"! But it's a lot because in a day it's not easy to clear time. So that makes these 20 minutes even more precious!
I must admit that weeks ago it seemed impossible to take 20 minutes, unforeseen events, poor organization, etc., but this time remains a priority in my schedule.
What it does produce
There is a strange operation that is being done: a day from which I take 20 minutes to pray is always more effective than days when I don't have time for those 20 minutes!!!! I've been doing it for years and it's become an "addiction"! I am less stressed, more relaxed, not that the problems are solved but just the assurance that God will do what he thinks is right. I am more rested and confident in God. I experience the trials differently and these times strengthen me in difficult times. When I don't do it, I really miss it.
We often talk about the mental burden of women, who have to think about everything, manage family organization and are always thinking, etc. Well after this time of prayer I have the impression that I have placed my mental charge at the foot of the Lord.
So of course all these good things come together: I also come to the Lord by meditating on His Word and His Word influences my times of prayer. Exchanges with others, the church, the spinnaker time in couple, the growth group etc. influence my prayer times it is a whole!
Finally, I share with you an extract from an article published 3 years ago on the reason for a separate prayer time:
A moment of prayer does not nourish my feeling of being a good Christian, as a quota to be filled in order to feel good. I believe that if for a day I have not spent a moment apart to pray, God will not be angry with me. When I don't do it, I am disappointed that I didn't organize myself well to have this precious moment and not disappointed that I am not a good enough Christian.
We need to pray
It is not God who would like to see us more, who would like to converse regularly, but we are the ones who need it the most. More than we can imagine. We need regularly to open our hearts, to stop running and present our burdens and those of others (Philippians 4:6), to pray for our hearts and also to listen to God. I believe that when we lay down our burdens, things appear in a new way, an obvious solution then appears to us. Prayer submits our soul to God, it is a time when we want only His will to be done and our heart to submit to it.
I am always amazed to see what happens in my heart during prayer. I often have the impression that the answers to my questions come at the same time as I entrust all things to him. His peace also comes when everything is silent and I pray in the calm of my living room. Each time I realize that prayer is truly a blessed and powerful means that God has given us to come to Him.
And you? Do you have a separate prayer time in your day? How is it organized? What's in it for you?