By: Julianna Macari
“You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”
This is really such a beautiful verse, but I think it’s easier said than done. Finding the Lord and searching for Him with all of my heart is difficult and it’s a lifelong journey. I don’t have a perfect prayer life and in fact, I am glad that I don’t. It means that I am a work in progress and it helps me to be humble. I have not yet arrived at perfection and you know what? That’s okay!
Today I am writing to talk about our prayer lives. I’m not going to get into the importance of having a prayer life: AKA communication with the Lord. We probably all agree that it is important so I will leave it at that. Let’s talk about thinking outside the box when it comes to prayer. I have been struggling a lot to find a good groove/rhythm/system to praying now that I have Joseph, an active two-year-old. When I was single, my time was more of my own and I could pray when and how I wanted. I preferred going to a nice, quiet chapel and writing in a prayer journal. Once I had a baby, I found it a lot more difficult to connect and feel close to God. It didn’t really feel like I prayed if I didn’t go to a chapel. Looking back now, I think that is because I really only took a prayer time in one particular way. Now I see the importance of being flexible, branching out, and learning to find God in different ways. I wish that I had seen the importance of doing that long ago!
Imagine any romantic relationship or even friendship for that matter. Would you ever just talk to someone on the phone or text and call that a good relationship? I hope not! A relationship needs different love languages, face-to-face time, activities, love letters, gifts, etc. I encourage you to see your relationship with the Lord in the same way. He is good at all the love languages, so expect to find Him in whatever way you seek Him. With that said, I just want to give you some quick tips on how to think outside the box when it comes to our prayer time. Here are six ways to find the Lord:
Praise and Worship: If singing is praying twice, then does this option count for more? There are so many amazing worship songs…close the door and sing your heart out! My current favorite is Take Courage by Bethel Music.
Acts of Service: This is the hardest one for me. Try to get out of yourself and DO something. Do a chore without being asked, do something loving for that difficult person in your life, choose to volunteer at a soup kitchen. We usually receive even more when we give.
Nature/Beauty: If you’ve never been to the top of a mountain or stood on the shore of a great ocean and prayed, then I encourage you to so when you have the chance. Sometimes even just going for a walk can lift the soul.
Chapel: Sometimes our lives are incredibly noisy and all the Lord needs is some quiet and some undivided attention to speak to our hearts. Did I mention how much easier it is to hear Him without distractions? Find a chapel or at least a very, very quiet place.
Talking AND Listening: This suggestion follows my last one because I forget about this all the time. Communication is a two-way street. If you’re a talker like me, then it is hard to just stop writing and talking and start listening. Some of the most intimate moments with God are the ones where we hear Him speak.
Daily Intentions: This one has been really helpful to me. I set reminders on my phone throughout the day to pray and offer each day up for particular people and intentions. Since I struggle with complaining so much, it helps me to be offering my little sufferings (and joys) for someone or something else.
And there you have it. These ideas are not complicated, but anything that is worth doing will require some effort. Don’t be discouraged if you find it difficult to step out of your comfort zone. You will find Him when you seek Him.