A few months ago, I checked out the book The Power of Simple Prayer by Joyce Meyer from the library. At that time, I was feeling a tug to be a woman who prayed more and I wanted to find a book that could help me in this area of my faith. Sadly, the renew option on my account reached its limit and I had to return it today BUT I loved it so much I bought one to keep:)
This book is full of so.much.good info on prayer.
As soon as I started reading Simple Prayer, I realized it was JUST what I needed. Every chapter is full of awesome encouragement-- it's hard NOT to pray after you read this book. I'd never realized all the lies I was believing about prayer; like that you don't have to sit for 3 hours everyday in solitary confinement praying to be good enough for God (not that I literally thought this, but you get what I mean). You don't have to talk in fancy language, have all your "stuff" together before you pray or tip-toe around what you REALLY want to talk to God about.
This book changed my life and my perspective on prayer. It got me wanting to pray all the time for everyone. And it got me really close to my friend, the Post It Note:
See, I told you I loved this book. I don't think I've EVER even come CLOSE to that many notes in a book. :)
God has impacted my prayer life in a big way. I have been challenged to take my prayers to the next level-- to be bold and to pray often throughout my day and to shift the focus of my prayers from myself to others. Prayer is not about a boring doldrum of half-hearted requests of God. It's about a vibrant, active & exciting conversation with a loving Father. I have more joy and peace when I pray and it sets the tone for my entire day. Plus, God hears my prayers and has done, and will continue to do, amazing things with them.
In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
I've always believed in prayer, I've seen it do amazing things in my life. But I'm truly sad to say that despite these amazing outcomes, I still wasn’t putting enough of my heart into prayer. So many times, I would feel at a dead end, or lost about what to do and prayer was my last resort. Why am I like that when I know the incredible weapon we have in prayer? Now, I understand more than ever the impact even one prayer can make. No other force in the universe is more powerful than God and we can access all his power when we simply pray. It's an incredible feeling.
So, all of this reading and growing was happening around the end of the year when everyone starts thinking about their New Year's resolutions. I could name many resolutions for 2011 about being more patient, finding more time to enjoy myself and living healthier this year but those things wouldn't even come close to what God would have for these areas of my life without prayer. All the times I think to myself, "I wish there was something I could do to help that person", or "how am I going to get out of this mess", or "God, what are you asking me to do here?!" can be answered if I would simply pray.
Like I said, I've loved and believed in prayer and have seen it change me, do beautiful things in my life and help the live's of those around me. Now though, I understand it in a whole new way. I am excited to see how God "meets me" this year and how He chooses to use my prayers for His glory. I am so thankful He is a God that loves us no matter what and waits expectantly to listen to our prayers.