Exercising The Praying Scripture

After a few weeks of discussing my reasons for prayer journaling, I thought it would only be right moving into putting that into practice. So let us get into it!

There have been so many times I have sat down to spend time with God in prayer – and my mind just seems to go blank. Other times I feel like a broken record, bringing the same things over and over before God.

One day, I was reading a verse out of Psalm 119 that said His word is a “Lamp for our feet, a light on our path.” At that moment it hit me. His word is the “LIGHT” that will GUIDE MY PRAYERS! Honestly guys, this got my brain spinning about some helpful ways I could use scripture to pray and I want to share them with YOU!

First though, let’s talk about “the WHY?”…

WHY Pray Scripture?

It helps you focus on what is important

It is easy to fill my prayers with issues we are mainly concerned about such as illness, money, anxiety, relationships, etc. Well, it is not wrong to pray about things we are concerned about, but scripture helps guide me to pray for things that God is really concerned about”  For example, anxiety is something people pray about often. It is easy to pray again and again for Him to take it away, but His word challenges us to develop a thankful heart in Philippians 4:6.

So for example, let us say anxiety that something of a worry for me. My prayers might be shaped, by not just bringing my desires for anxiety to subside before Him, but filling my prayers with thanksgiving. Maybe it is what I am thankful for in that day or aspects of God’s character that I am thankful for, but He is trying to orient my heart towards something greater than my anxiety. His word helps us pray towards growth and maturity as disciples, not just outcomes.

It helps you pray the TRUTH with confidence

I can feel confident when I pray scripture because I know it’s the truth. It is firm ground to stand on during my prayer time because it expresses God’s will, character and promises to us. I feel so much more confident asking for things when I pray with scripture because He tells us in His word what he has promised to us and how He wants to transform us.

It keeps your prayers fresh

Like I said earlier – some days I have the same prayers on repeat! & that is fine. I can be a creature of habit and sometimes my creativity is lacking when it comes to what to pray, but I have a whole Bible full of verses I can use to pray! Psalms alone feels like a never-ending resource of prayers that I can turn to and use to help me form what I want to say to God.

There are several other reasons praying scripture is a great idea, but these are just a few that I have found to be helpful for me!

Practical Tips for Praying Scripture

Find a Prayer Guide

Find a prayer book or devotional that you can use to support you in prayer. I would highly recommend Fervent by Priscilla Shirer – A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer. It is amazing!

Make a Scripture prayer journal

Well, you must have known I was going to mention this one! One great use for this would be to write down sentences or phrases you see in scripture that will help you build up biblical ways of speaking when you pray. Having these will help give you language to pray with. Your journal is also a great place to record all of your scripture-inspired prayers. I sometimes read through a passage and then write a section of it I would like to pray through at the top of my journal page. Then I write my personalised prayer below it.

Pray using the 3 R’s! Rejoice, Repent, and Request

With most verses in scripture, especially the Psalms, we can use one or more of these to pray. I have included an example of this below:

Psalm 51:1 (ESV) “ Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”

Rejoice – God, you are so generous in your love and mercy towards me. I am so humbled to call you my God. Thank you for sending Jesus to rid me of my sins and take away my guilt and shame.

Repent – Forgive me, Father. There are so many times I take your love and generosity towards me for granted. It is so easy for me to rush through my day without acknowledging how grateful I am for you.

Request – Give me eyes to see all of the many ways you extend your grace and mercy towards me. Help me to also extend that love and mercy to others so they will also know what a loving Father you are and how much you care about your children.

***

These have been easy ways for me to start using God’s word in my prayer life! It has been so effective and honestly made praying a lot more fun! The Psalms are a great place to look for scripture you can use to pray because they are meant to be used for just that! I would love to hear if you start using any of these in your own prayer life and how they are working for you!

Let me know your thoughts!

P.s – Something amazing is coming on 1st August, make sure you look out for it!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

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Fuel For Thought: PRAYER

How Distractions Can Actually Fuel Your Prayer Life

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Imagine this… You sit down to pray. Then you close your eyes to all distractions and begin to speak to God. Start pouring your heart out to Him and then…

You remember you forgot to get milk at the supermarket earlier that day.

GREAT. Okay, you begin again. You are on a roll now, praying for a friend’s recent health concerns…

When a picture of the unpaid electric bill you have been meaning to take care of flashes through your mind!

Does any of this sound familiar? It has happened to me too many times to count! Maybe not the exact details, but do you ever find when you are trying your best to clear your mind and focus on God, the distractions come flooding in one by one, like little relentless attackers?

If so, then I have good news: it is actually okay for your mind to wander when you pray. It happens and honestly, I promise you are not a failure at prayer if you are easily distracted.

Let me say it again because you really need to know this:

You are not a failure at prayer if you are easily distracted!

This is so important because the feeling that we are a prayer-failure is one of the biggest blocks to becoming the prayer warrior God is calling us to be!

Satan would really love for us to begin to pray, encounter distractions, and give up.

But that is not our portion! Did you know that you can actually use distractions to our advantage?

I thought of three steps we can take in order to use our distractions as the momentum to fuel our prayers. Let me tell you how it works:

Step 1: Expect the Distractions

Let us face it, we live in a fast-paced world. Words and images flash past our phone screens more quickly than our brains were probably designed to handle. We have been trained to multi-task as a way of life. Is there any question why it is so hard to quiet our minds to connect with God, or to create white space for meditation and reflection?

So be realistic when you decide to begin your quiet time. Stop expecting that sitting still is going to come easily right away…because it is not!

Expect the distractions to come because they will.

Anticipate the attack.

Step 2: Embrace the Distractions

So now you know the attack is coming. What are you going to do about it? Now that you are fully aware distractions may come. You are going to embrace them as they come at you! Embrace your distractions…by writing them down, then continuing to pray. They may be something weighing heavily on your heart and what better time than now during your quiet prayer time to focus on it. Or it could be something important you need to do at a later point in time. You will need to be armed with a journal/notebook or even just paper and a pen, and so when you think about the milk you forgot at the supermarket…

Write it down.

As the picture of the unpaid bill flashes through your mind…

Write it down.

The mere act of writing your distractions on paper captures them, robbing them of any power they might have over the rest of your prayer time. They are captives on your list, to be dealt with only when you decide to deal with them – on your OWN terms.

Step 3: Utilize the Distractions

Okay, now we this is where we use the distractions to actually fuel our prayers.

Here is how it might look:

You are praising God and remember the forgotten milk. You write a note down so you remember to put milk on your shopping list for next time, and shift into praising God for providing the means to buy the shopping for your family. This might remind you of the homeless shelter you volunteered at, and the woman with three young children who was interviewing for a job the following week. You go with it and pray for God’s provision and for the interview to go well.

Then you move on to praying for your friend’s health, and get distracted when you realize you have not paid the electric bill. You write down a reminder to remember to pay it later, and then shift into asking God to provide for the physical and financial needs of your friend and her family, like utilities and housing.

By doing this, not only are all of your distractions dealt with immediately, but they are actually FUEL for your prayers! And an added bonus is that it actually trains your mind to shift your thinking to prayer in many different, seemingly non-spiritual circumstances.

By God’s grace, these three tips will help you leverage distractions to fuel your prayer life? Try it, and let me know!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

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3 Ways To Give Your Prayer Life A Boost

Some few weeks ago, I found myself in low spirits. I was not feeling or acting myself and it took a few of those in my tight circle plus some aunties from church for me to check myself. I decided it was time for me to be intentional about my general wellbeing. The first thing I looked at was my prayer life. Lo and behold it had been slacking and once I decided to check that, I got the boost I needed.

I think sometimes that’s what we need in our prayer lives: a boost and some time to refocus our spiritual rut to get us back on track!

So, this post is to give you three ways to jump-start your own prayer life if you have been feeling slightly discouraged.

1. Go to a prayer meeting (or grab someone to pray with)

One way to improve your prayer life is to find others to pray with. Even the Bible is clear that there is something special about corporate prayer (Matthew 18:19-20). On Friday’s the church I attend regularly holds ‘fellowship’, a time at members’ homes to connect with likeminded people and pray. I also personally enjoy our Young Adult’s ministry, which holds a bible study once a month so we can all come together and discuss the Bible/pray about things on our mind. I attend KICC, if you are looking for a local church. But if you are unable to find a group, have a look through your WhatsApp or contact list, try to connect with a friend, look for a prayer devotional and decide on a short time to pray together regularly. Or even meet up for coffee and pray. There are definitely benefits to technology being soo advanced nowadays. With Facetime or Whatsapp Video around you do not ever feel like you are too far away from others, yet you do not even need to leave the house!

2. Read a book (or listen to an audiobook) about prayer

There are many books on prayer, it would be a struggle for me to list them all but here are some good ones to start with that I personally love and recommend:

The Power of Positive Prayer by Matthew Ashimolowo 

Praying to Change Your Life: A Guide to Productive Prayer by Suzette T. Caldwell

A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller

Growing in Prayer: A Real-Life Guide to Talking with God by Mike Bickle

3. Pray in a new and inventive way

When we begin to act like prayer is a one-size-fits-all practice, it can easily feel like a chore for one. Something we feel we must do, not because we want to but because we just think it is something we MUST do. It’s okay, though. It just means you need to look at it in a different light. As T.D Jakes so simply put it, “Prayer isn’t an activity…it’s a relationship.” And not just any relationship, a relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth our God! However, sometimes we lose sight of this, and see prayer as a duty or obligation, losing awe and reverence for this sacred privilege. We need a shift in perspective – or even sometimes to realize that we are straight up believing lies from the enemy.

 We pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (GNT)

  • Take some time to praise God. Read through some Psalms of Praise (Psalm 8, Psalm 145, Psalm 150, to name a few of my favourites.)
  • Incorporate your personality into the way you talk with God. Remember He loves us and is always there to spend time with us. If you enjoy creating crafts, create a lovely prayer scrapbook which can include inspiring images of scriptures and prayer points. I personally enjoy walking especially during my lunch at work. Go on prayer walks, talk to Him on your walk, speak to Him in your head or even out loud and ignore anyone who may think you may have gone mad!
  • Do some prayer journaling in creative ways. I have been using the A.C.T.S. method for some time now, using each letter for a prompt: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. However there are so many other ways to journal for prayer.

Are there any other ways you rely on to help you get out of your rut? Share them down below!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

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