One sibling photo a week throughout the year. 13/52
This week, I spent several hours reading some
hilarious serious entries in a journal of mine from 2004. As I read, I revisited pages of pre-married (and actually pre-engagement) angst and sappiness that made me laugh out loud, but I also rediscovered a thread of continuity that I’m still learning to accept about myself. I have always been annoyingly serious about life.
For as long as I can remember, I have believed that there is a spiritual reality that is something unlike what we can see with our physical eyes. The natural and spiritual worlds are interconnected, and while I have plenty of questions about how all that works, I have repeatedly experienced things that reinforce my belief that Jesus is the hope of the world, that the Bible gives us a reliable look into the heart and story of God’s work in humanity, and that engaging in prayer puts me in a position of openness, connection, and communication with God.
Through prayer, I have had countless tangible, real-life needs met in unlikely ways. I have seen emotional wounds healed, relationships mended, babies conceived and delivered to parents who endured years of unexplained infertility, brokenness redeemed, depression turned around, life-long anxiety replaced with unexplainable peace, deep sorrows turned to joy, profound purpose in ordinary life…the list goes on.
A few years ago, I began creating themed collections of scriptures with paraphrased written prayers interspersed between the verses to help me stay focused in my prayer times as I began to engage in prayer more intentionally. It was a quirky thing I found a fair amount of joy in, and while I shared a few of the collections here and there with friends in different tough circumstances, I have mostly kept the practice a private/personal one. For some reason, I now feel prompted to share these collections in a more public space, in the event they would be helpful for others who desire to grow closer to God through prayer. Do I think this is the best/only/right way to pray? Definitely not…but perhaps this resource will enrich your life the way it has enriched mine? My prayer is that it would!
So without further ado, I present to you “Inspired Prayer // Strength“, the first of many themed scripture collections with paraphrased prayers that can be used as a springboard into more intentional prayer. Feel free to print it out, tuck it into your Bible, hang it on your wall, write on it, or share it with someone you know. As the first of it’s kind, I welcome your feedback, encouragement, and suggestions as I prepare to make more guides to share going forward.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b (NIV)
Update on goals for week 13:
1) Run/walk at least 10 miles per week. Week 13 ~ 14 Run/Walk miles traveled, 143.5 cumulative in 2015
2) Write 10,000 words weekly. Week 13 ~ 10,025 words completed, 54,225 cumulative in 2015
681. easter egg coloring, 682. fuse bead fun, 683. raising one voice in worship together, 684. meeting my weekly writing goal for the first time this year, 685. being on the other side of family-wide sickness, 686. personal breakthroughs with self-discipline, 687. promise of restoration, 688. flowering trees at green lake, 689. easter meal with new friends, 690. truth