About a year ago, my prayer life struggled and before that it was pretty much nonexistent. I was in a place where praying felt weird and inconvenient. I felt like taking my cares to God was a little vain because then I was making it all about me. I also never felt like the time was right to really open my heart to let God in. Some days I was wanting to hide something I was feeling, and some days, I was totally fine with sharing, but before I knew it the end of the day was there and it was "too late" to pray through it. Or Maybe I felt ashamed, but either way- no praying was happening.
When I started to re-learn how much Jesus loved me (like I had sang over and over in bible school), I started to see why it was so important. And not just that, but how it was going to save me. The emotions a woman carries on a daily basis is enough to sink a ship sometimes, and the only way we can relieve that pressure is by giving our cares to God. It's the simplest concept, but one of the most challenging to put effort towards.
My friend Olivia, from To The Heights is doing a blog series on the total life over haul, and prayer is one of those things that can be such a tool into changing your life for the better. You should check out her posts! Improving your prayer life is so hard. Taking it to a new level requires time, energy and commitment. All of which I feel like I am running low on even before my feet hit the floor in the morning. But with out trying, you will never be able to feel all the love the Lord has to offer you. The reward you get from that deeper communication with God is unmatchable. You think you feel better after you vent to a girlfriend? Just wait and see what the Lord does to your heart after a prayer date! What helped me transition into a more active prayer life where these things..
Finding a feel-good place of rest
I am GO GO GO. All the time. And I don't like silence. I like music or TV on in the background, but ya'll it's impossible to give God our hearts when our mind isn't 100% focused on him. And when there is Taylor Swift on in the background, I am not really thinking about fostering my relationship with God (no offense... love me some t-swift!). Removing distractions, and finding a quiet space that feels good to be in, will make you more likely to go back. My favorite places to detach from the distractions are being surrounded by nature, and in my bathtub. Those places make me feel centered and still.. and not to mention they force me to unplug from social media and just be.
There hasn't been any other small devotional that gives me the type of perspective like Jesus Calling does. I often feel like during or after prayer Jesus is speaking straight into my heart. Not in the whole beam-of-light-deep-voice kind of way, but in a calming-quite-thoughtful kind of way. Reading through the daily Jesus calling pages is like those moments, and it's like having a real conversation. He is directly telling you in modern words where your head needs to be at for that day, what you need to focus on, etc. This gives me a goal, and always prompts prayer requests for me and others for that day that I might now have thought about other wise.
A Prayer Journal
..Or any journal to document your thoughts. Creating the Humbled Hearts Daybook, this very struggle was in my mind. The struggle of not finding time to pray for everything, of distracting myself to not have to dig too deep, of letting God in completely, and so on. For me, having a safe place to write has been such a huge burden lifted. I know when I get finished going through it that my heart will feel less heavy and I will feel more prepared to face what the day holds. And maybe you need that too. You don't have to buy a journal, maybe you just use one your already have. Or maybe you can create your own prayer log/schedule for each day. How ever you decide to do it, documenting helps, and it definitely holds us accountable.