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Prayer Changes Everything

It has been a productive summer for me, albeit very busy. I seem to have lots of projects on the go at the same time and I’ve been implementing some new marketing strategies. All this while preaching regularly at our church since we are in an interim period between pastors, and dealing with the ongoing renovation of our home. Yet, I feel at peace with everything that has been happening. In fact, I have a tangible sense that God is working out all things according to His timing.

Of course, I believe this to be true, even when I don’t “feel” it, but I think the difference this summer has been a purposeful shift on my part to get into RHYTHM with God.

As I write this, it is the Jewish month of AV, and part of this month’s focus is to do exactly that – to re-align ourselves with God. We are to look for negative or destructive patterns in our lives and adjust or substitute these with godly patterns. (You can read more on this in my book DIVINE APPOINTMENTS – either the Summer edition or the Complete year of devotional readings.)

For me, this has meant examining my prayer habits, which I must admit have slacked off since moving into our new house last fall. Not that I wasn’t praying, but I haven’t been getting up early to have my quiet time, which then set my entire day back. Part of this destructive cycle was staying up late to watch TV when my husband was on night shift, which meant I was too tired to get up early. Then, when he worked days, I often went back to bed after getting him out the door at 5:45. On the weeks when he was off, (he works a seven and seven shift) we tended to sleep in… It was becoming a negative cycle that made me feel frustrated.

I recognized this as a destructive pattern that I knew had to stop. I prayed about it and asked the Lord to help me be faithful in changing this pattern. And He has! I am back to spending the FIRST part of my day with God, usually from 6 until 7 or 7:30. I consistently wake up and feel awake and ready to meet with God. If we are faithful in a little He will be faithful in much!

I also determined that I need to spend this time BEFORE I do anything else – shower, eat breakfast, or whatever. (Yes, I do make myself a coffee.) What a blessing to get back to this regular early morning meeting. I realize that some people prefer their quiet time in the evenings or before bed, but I am so enjoying this morning time and it really does seem to make the rest of my day go better.

Another change is being intentional about keeping a Sabbath. It’s one of the Ten Commandments, folks! When we honour God in this way, He makes the rest of our time more productive. (I wrote a blog about it called “The Little Known Secret to Finding Morre Time”.)

Other changes include a “Business Meeting With God”, something recommended by Shelley Hitz, author & coach. Basically, block out a specific time each week/month and spend time with God praying about your business/career. As a writer, this makes sense. He is interested in every aspect of our lives, yet we often negate these areas to the periphery. However, if we feel called to do whatever it is He is calling us to do, shouldn’t we spend time praying specifically about it?

Shelley recommends reading scripture first and then having some quiet worship music in the background as you pray. Also, have a journal for writing ideas and thoughts as they come since listening is an important part of the process.

I’ve had two of these “meetings” so far and I must say, I have been blown away! The next day, after my second meeting, I was driving to visit one of my daughters, and I had to stop three times to write down the ideas that were coming while I drove!

The final thing I’ve started doing again is using my own prayer journal that I developed several years ago to help me pray for specific people and groups. Thirty Days of Targeted Prayer is a simple little tool that I have found very effective over the years.

God is faithful. He wants to spend time with us and He wants us to consult Him in every aspect of our lives. Spending time in prayer is such an important part of life as a Christian. Prayer really does change everything!

1 Comment

  1. Joanna Cann says:

    Tracy, thank you for sharing about your journey with prayer since you moved into your new house and everything that has been going on with renovating/preaching. I also ordered the book you wrote about targeted prayer. I, too, believe in the power of prayer and especially specific prayers.

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