At the beginning of 2014 I chose one word to focus on and that word was pray. Looking back at my one word and journey through 2014, wow what an adventure and learning experience. I have always felt that I lacked in my praying skills and in my efforts to pray. When I began my journey I thought I would learn to pray better and would spend lots of time in prayer.
I was right and wrong all at the same time. Isn’t it funny how God works like that!?
What I actually learned:
- After this year, I learned that there is no right or wrong way to pray. You just have to be sincere and speak from your heart. God already knows your needs He just likes hearing from you.
- You should pray at all times. Never cease praying. I know it sounds crazy or difficult but it isn’t. If someone pops into my head I pray for them. If something happens I pray for that event.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
- Praying is not just for asking for help. I’ll admit a lot that I pray for is for help but we should also send up prayers of thanks and rejoice.
- God hears you if you speak out loud or in your head. I pray both out loud and in my head throughout the day. I have noticed that praying out loud for patience or help with the girls when they are driving me crazy helps all of us (just a little FYI for all you parents). The girls stop what they are doing and listen to me pray. They have even recently started folding their hands and trying to emulate me. It’s adorable!
- I figured when I started this one year of focusing on prayer that I would grow closer to God and I did. I didn’t grow as close as I thought I would but that was because I didn’t pray as often as I should have. The more I prayed, the more I learned how to listen to God and the more I desired to pray to Him. There were times when life was throwing me for a loop and I didn’t know what to do. Then I would have this little inclination or feeling to give it to God in prayer and I would. Immediately upon beginning to pray I would feel better. Immediately. However, there were other times when I was so upset or stressed that I would ignore that feeling to pray and I would keep drowning. Oddly enough, those moments of drowning in life were the times God was pushing me to pray. Instead, I would hop on Facebook to distract myself and see something about praying there. Or I’d pop over to Pinterest to pursue and my feed would be filled with pins about praying. Email, Instagram, Twitter, everywhere. Everywhere I would turn for distraction from my problems would push me to pray. When I would finally give up and pray I would feel immensely better. I’m not saying my problems, worries, or stresses were fixed, I just felt better about them.
- Something I was not expecting to happen during this year of focusing on prayer was growing closer to those I prayed for. Praying for my family and friends made me feel more connected to them. I felt more invested in their lives and cared more about them. As I mentioned last week, reaching out to people helps you feel more connected with them.
After a year of focusing on prayer and praying more those are the six lessons I learned. I know I have so much more to learn. Which is why I’m excited to for 2015 and a year of focusing on… another word. 😉
Did you chose a word for 2014? What did you learn during your journey?
Have a blessed day!