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When You Know You Aren’t Giving it Your All

August 17, 2015

I’ve always known how to pray. “God is Great, God is Good…” or “Bless this food to the nourishment of my body and my body to your service.” Isn’t it funny how way too often the only time we ever bother to acknowledge God was when we in a time of sheer desperation (someone is sick or dying for example) or when we feel obligated. Like when we say the blessing. And as sad as it is, those obligatory prayers are usually so generic that they may as well have not prayed at all.

I saw one of those e-cards floating around Facebook that simply asked…

What if you woke up tomorrow and the only things you had left were the things that you thanked God for yesterday?

How is that for a wake up call? What would you have left? Because if I’m honest, most days I don’t think I’d have a whole lot anything. My little family included. I went months and months at a time without even so much as acknowledging that God existed. And when you wake up one day, see something like that in your news feed and realize that you’ve been seriously, seriously slacking in gratitude and reverence, God does something amazing.

Not-Giving-it-Your-All

 

He uses that reality to change you. And not only does he use that kind of reality, but he also tends to bring things (and people) into your life to challenge you and encourage you. One such person for me was my husband’s sweet grandmother. I’ve talked about her here before, but I don’t know that anyone (our family included) knows just how much this sweet woman influenced by life in the short seven years that I knew her. I lost both of my grandmothers at 17 years old. Neither of them made it to my Senior Prom, or my Wedding, or ever got to hold one of my babies. Losing them both was hard; losing them within a 10 day window of each other was harder; but hitting some of those big life milestones without either of them around was gut-wrenching.

I remember the first time I met Mama Nell. My husband and I had just started dating and he was eager to take me to meet her. I had heard nothing but amazing things about this sweet women. But more-so, I had heard already about her prayer life. At times I think it was obscure to her family, even her children, that someone would or even could have the kind of prayer life that she had. She would pray, quite literally for three-four hours in the morning, every morning.  She had a prayer circle of ladies that she would call and they would pray together over the phone. She wrote her prayers down in her journals and prayed for anyone and everyone she met.

I remember when Noah was a little bitty guy (maybe not quite two) and we were having dinner with her and my mother-in-law and she began to say the blessing. We all bowed our head, Noah included, to pray. She blessed the food, her family, her church, her friends…20 minutes later when she said “Amen” Noah had already finished his dinner and we hadn’t even begun to eat. She was that serious about prayer and how important it was.

When she passed away and we had her funeral, we gave people who knew her a chance to speak about her, share their memories, and just honor the woman that she was. Every. Single. Person. who spoke mentioned not only her faith but her prayer life. She believed wholeheartedly in the power of prayer.

Which is what has led me to lay down my own schedule and my own fleshly desires for sleep to begin the routine of becoming an early morning prayer warrior. And not just any prayers. Not just “thank you for waking me up today” kind of prayers.

Big, Bold, Brave Prayers.

The kind of prayers that leave the enemy scattering because of the power that comes from the words I’m speaking to Christ. The kind of prayers that move mountains, restore relationships and do things much bigger than I could even imagine. Priscilla Shirer says in the beginning parts of Fervent

We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy. we pray because we are serious about taking back the ground he has sought to take from us.

Prayer is serious business. And a business that I think far too many of us-myself included-have take too lightly for too long. As we dive into Strategy One in Fervent this week, I want to challenge you to get up early and begin your day with prayer. Try to make it up before your kids (if they are still at home with you) or before anyone is up to bother you every day this week and see if you start to see a trend in your days becoming better than the days in which you don’t get up early. I recommend checking out the #First5 app to get you going. This is a lovely little addition to my morning and the alarm clock feature is fantastic! I can tell the difference in my days when I don’t pray first thing and it is certainly worth the loss of sleep to get up and be with God before the world wakes up.

I’m excited about this Fervent Study with you ladies! If you haven’t gotten your book, there is still time! We are beginning with pages 1-39 this week! You can find the whole reading schedule right here! Don’t forget that I would love to pray for you daily if you need it! You can submit your prayer requests right here!


 

The New Big, Bold, Brave Prayer Journals are now available in the Shop! This project is one that I poured so much of myself into over the few weeks and I hope and pray that you guys love it as much as I do! Let me know if you have any questions! These babies are LOADED with goodies geared to help you in becoming a Prayer Warrior yourself!

This product is available in a few different digital downloads as well as printed and bound versions!

  1. […] to her grand-daughter. Reading about that made me think of Josh’s grandmother again…what a legacy of prayer she left behind! If only Priscilla’s (we can be on first name basis, right?) grandmother saw the kind of […]

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Courtney Kirkland is a Sacramento, California photography and design business. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, meaningful documentary-style photography and intentional, high-quality design.  Value and celebrate the beautiful, messy, and uniquely-special moments of everyday living.