Obviously prayer has been on my mind, lately. I have picked up various books on the subject, spent time on various websites and studied various strategies. I’ve been settling into my prayer journal more and keeping better tabs with friends and family regarding their prayer requests. Because I really, really love prayer.
The problem is, even after being a Christian for so many years, I feel ill-equipped when I approach the Lord. I get hung up on what to say, what to ask for and how to ask for it. I also worry that I am talking too much and not listening enough, so I am always trying to strike a balance between conversation and intercession. And quite honestly, the little “formulas” drive me batty, even though they are good strategies. (i.e. A.C.T.S.; Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.) So when I read about A Journey to Victorious Praying, I knew right away that I wanted to read it. It didn’t sound like the “same old” song and dance. And I desperately needed a new tune to waltz by.
First of all, I adore the size of this book. It’s about the size of…well, Leif, really. It’s bigger than a pocket size, but smaller than a “normal” sized book. But is meaty at 256 pages. It’s literally the perfect prayer companion. I have marked this thing to bits, too. Highlights, pencil marks, arrows, posties, dog-ears…SO much goodness and sound teaching (hallelujah!) packed into these pages. There is also a perfect balance between teaching on prayer and the character of our King, to strategies that are practical and edifying.
I will share two of my favorite strategies, as there are many more in this book for you to discover. The first one is a spin, if you will, on the idea of “first fruits.” Bill Thrasher talks about giving the Lord the first fruits of your day, your month and your year. In thinking this way, it encourages us to prepare these first fruits for God, just as our Bible heroes did. If I know that I am going to give God the first fruits of my month, for instance, I will be sure to schedule that time with Him and keep that date with Him, which requires preparation and intention on my part. Another strategy is, during the week, to write down concerns that you have. On Saturday, finalize that list down to three items. Then Sunday, take these three things to the Lord in prayer.
Isn’t that fantastic?? These steps and strategies are practical goodness that I can apply to my daily world, to really give myself a worry-free prayer life. I wish that I could explain to you all that this book has taught me, and how it has changed my perspective on prayer and the nature of God. This book and my Bible will be paired together forever.