Learning to Pray

October 28, 2011
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Today while getting ready I was going to text a couple of close friends to pray for my strength and for my body as I have been pushing it straight into exhaustion. It’s that time of year. Then a thought later, I was like. Um, Gina asking for others to send you prayers is nice and great, but you need to make time to pray straight to God. Just you and him. Surrendering yourself to him. Tons of people could be praying for you but if you don’t set the time out to let God take over your body and produce rest and rejuvenation, that asking others to pray for you is just fluff. You don’t have to have a fancy prayer for the Lord, you just need to be still and let the Lord lead your heart. Wake up and spend time with him instead of the snooze button or popping over to get your computer or phone.

Also, I have felt a call to my heart to really look at my prayer for others. So often about a month ago I would find myself saying “I will definitely pray for that” or “I am praying for you” but would get through a day or a week and feel like I haven’t found the time. I feel terrible about it and because it was in my full intentions to pray for them I just never did. Now, if I tell someone I am praying for them I want to set out time to really, dedicate my prayer to them.  I wanted to become more diligent about following through. So I have been trying a couple of new things.

-I found this prayer app on my iPad. It has a whole run down list of prayer so that I can have it all in one place. I can mark when I prayed for it and when God answered it. It’s really helped.

-I have started to text, or write out prayer to others. It helps me really focus my prayer, whether I am sending them directly to the person or just in my journal. Written out, I always seem to be more clear and more intentional. Love this.

-I haven’t started yet,  I want to make some sort of “prayer pail” where people write names on popsicle sticks and pick them up from time to time and pray for who’s name was on the stick.

-I also want to start prayer on my knees more often.

I would love if you have any great prayer tips you want to share. I want to grow in this area. I want to continually turn my heart away from what it normally wants watching tv, or perusing the internet and just spend time in thoughtful prayer and focusing on things from above.

Today’s Challenge :: Take 4 minutes today and make a list of those in your life you want on your prayer list and do it.

Ginaism. You have to put in the work. It’s simple. You have to make the choices. No one else can do it for you. It’s almost embarrassing at the realization you had this morning, but its truth that God put in your brain. Remember how you used to pray & visualize during the national anthem before all of your basketball games? Find that quiet. Pray for what is coming. What’s ahead.  Gina you are such a connector. You want to share and help others so so often. While all of this is great, you really need to slow down and cut out the distractions and spend time quiet time with God. You have set out a want for this in your heart and have been diligent to make it happen the last week and it sets your feet. Psalm 119:105 Choose to be filled up with the words of the LORD. Not the words of approval of the world. Take in and really listen to who God says you are. Choose those thoughts over thoughts of disappointment, not being good enough. Set out 15 minutes of prayer time each day to go through your list. You CAN. YOU CAN. YOU CAN.

9 thoughts on “Learning to Pray

  1. Great post Gina! One thing I do is send a text to my close girlfriends every couple of weeks and ask what they need prayer for. I keep them in a moleskin and keep it on my desk throughout the work day so I can pray for them.

  2. Gina :: Once again you have spoken directly into my heart. This subject has been on my mind and heart a lot lately. Thank you for being corageous enough to speak out about an area in your [and my] life that needs a little tweaking. LOVE the idea to spend more time in prayer on knees. I, at times, feel prayer is so powerful in this position. Thank you for this post.

  3. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the complexity of our faith, that we forget about the basics- like prayer. But when we reflect, it truly is the root and most powerful tool we have to connect and hear from our father- to ask him to hear us, dwell within us, and align our will with his! When life gets busy, I think we all fall short in our prayer life! Don’t feel embarrassed. Your beautiful words are a reminder to all of us- and I truly believe that no matter who you are or how long you’ve been a Christian, we can grow and further the area of prayer! My best tip, is to stop whatever you’re doing at that very moment when you hear of someone that needs a prayer. It doesn’t hurt to stop for a minute – the world surprising doesn’t stop in that minute 😉 and you’ve made sure to do it! All the best Gina! I’ll be praying for you xx

  4. Gina, this post reignited my desire to pray too. Thanks for Sharing!

    The prayer pail is a great idea & if you & your hubby both put peoples names down you can pray together for the people who may be important to you as individuals 🙂

    Another idea that I stole from my old roommate is to put just a plain sticker on the bottom corner of your alarm clock or mirror or something you look at every morning. The idea is to let that sticker be a little reminder to pray. Every time I look at my clock I think about my need to pray..I need to be reminded constantly!

    Love from Texas!

  5. Hi Gina, every so often I get a chance to read your blog. This too is something I struggle with. I try to pray right away when I’m thinking about something no matter where I am. I don’t do it nearly enough. I find that when I do finally get to bed, I’m so tired that my head hits the pillow and I forget about all the things I want to talk to God about. I think that it’s always a journey for all of us. Being aware and working towards improving is what I am striving for. Enjoy your honest comments and sharing the journey with you.

  6. Gina, this post was for me! God is speaking DIRECTLY to me through you! He is amazing!! You had those thoughts for a reason, and you’re so brave to blog about them. By doing so, you are allowing God to use what you’re lacking to fill the cups of others (where they are lacking, too). I AM A TESTAMENT TO THIS. Just this week I, too, have had the same realization. I wasn’t to the point of writing out a list of ways to implement quiet time (like you’ve done), but I did start. Just an hour ago, I decided to invite God on a short run with me. I’ve been having some major knee issues and the marathon is quickly approaching. I downloaded the Daily Bible app (it’s free) and listened to a Joel Osteen podcast while I ran. It was GLORIOUS! I prayed the entire time, and I kid you not: my knee didn’t hurt once (just two days ago I thought I was going to have to throw in the towel). I seriously wanted to cry afterward just knowing He was there; knowing I had that time… Then I read your post! I think the message for me in it was really the PRAY FOR OTHERS part. I’ve been practicing praying for myself but my grandparents are going through a really tough time, and after a long conversation with my grandmother last night (and saying “I’ll be praying for you”), all I can think today is “WHEN, Sara!. When are you going to pray for them? How are you going to pray for them?” You’ve motivated me to find the time… to find the way… Sorry this so long, but I just had to share! Your blog is such an joy. xox

  7. I’m downloading the app right now! Devoting myself to prayer more has been sitting on my to-do list, without getting anything done on it, and I wholeheartedly want to join in this pursuit 🙂

  8. Gina, what a beautiful post. Yes I too struggle with remembering to pray for others. So now when someone asks, I stop what I’m doing & do a mini-prayer on the spot just in case I get too busy or forget later on.

    OMG, I just had a I miss doing that more often moment. Praying on your knees is so powerful. It truly opens me up to be more vulnerable before God in a way that praying sitting in my bed or up & about doesn’t do. Thank you for this post

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Gina is a Minneapolis based wedding and lifestyle photographer that loves bringing the LIFE out of people & capturing that energy on camera. Contact Me