I hope you had a wonderful day today. If not, I certainly hope that tomorrow will be better! In this entry, we're going to be discussing building a personal relationship with God, specifically in regards to your personal prayer life and devotion times with the Lord.
Many of us have been conditioned to only pray when we go to church, in times of crisis, when we need something, etc. I have been guilty of this myself. When I was on the brink of turning 18, my entire relationship with God was built around other people. My family, friends, the church...I realized that I only went to God in prayer during the times listed above and never really spent personal time with Him. He revealed to me that He wanted me to develop a personal relationship with Him and I started by establishing my very own prayer and devotion time in the morning. At first this was pretty difficult. I would stay up late at night watching T.V. and hanging with my family or chatting on the phone with friends, so waking up early enough to spend time with God would often take the backseat in my life. I got to a point where I realized that my time with the Lord is more important and valuable than all the other time I'd spend with people and things so I decided to prioritize. I set aside time for family and friends and had a specific cut off time, that way I was in bed early enough to spend a sufficient amount of time with God in the morning. This method worked!
As I grew in my relationship with the Lord, He let me know that my prayer time in the morning was good; however, He wanted me to take Him with me throughout the day. I would pray at home in the morning and the moment I said Amen, it's like I would leave my room and leave the presence of God there. He wanted me to carry Him in my heart throughout the day. What I began doing was making an effort to acknowledge Him at random times throughout the day. Similar to a sweet text you might send to a friend or significant other, I would say things like, "Hi God, I hope you're having a great day." or "Lord, thank you for being good to me!" When I was in a moment of frustration or sadness I'd stop and ask Him for guidance and strength. As I continued to do this, I realized that these little mid-day "check-up's" weren't for God, they were for me! God didn't need me checking up on Him throughout the day, it was a way of checking in with my spirit and ensuring that I maintain a positive attitude and walk with Jesus all day long.
Prayer is a beautiful, powerful, life changing experience. It is essential to each of our daily walks to be established at the top of the morning in prayer, throughout the day and at the end of each night. Here are some ways that I pray at various times throughout the day. I hope that you will be able to use these as a road map and develop your own method for praying to the Lord and honoring Him in your day.
1st Thing in the Morning
Praying when you first wake up is the most amazing thing you can do. The first moments that you are awake in the morning are crucial to your day. You can either wake up on the right or wrong side of the bed and the tone for your day will be set based on what happens to you and/or the thoughts you think right away. You are vulnerable when you wake up, therefore you are more sensitive to the spirit of God. Allow His spirit to pour into yours and set you up for the day.
Here are some things i do to wake me up and get me ready to pray:
1. Begin with worship music to wake your spirit up with praise, gratitude, adoration and worship.
2. Make up your bed.
3. Wash your face and brush your teeth.
4. Turn on some light/Open the blinds.
5. Crack a window, open a door or turn on a fan (fresh air is refreshing).
Throughout the Day
Checking in with the Lord throughout the day can turn your whole day around. It brings things back into perspective and keeps you on track. For example, if you pray at 8:30 in the morning, get dressed, eat breakfast, have a few conversations, leave the house, go to work or school, deal with classmates or customers, talk to co-workers about what's making them mad on the job, see something unsettling on Facebook, etc. by the time this has all happened, it's probably only 11:45 and you're already stressed! Taking a few moments to acknowledge God can refocus your mind and help you to get through the day. Every now and then, just thank Him or tell Him how much you love Him. This keeps you connected and helps you to focus on the sweet time you spent in prayer, prior to your hectic morning. It keeps you lifted and blessed.
1. Find some place quiet (car, bathroom stall, etc).
2. Breath in and out deeply.
3. Say a sweet prayer to the Lord.
In the evenings, after a long, tiring, or awesome day, it's important that you empty yourself of the day. You know how you call a friend and vet about all the bad stuff that happened and who made you mad? Try pouring all that out to God and ask Him to give you strength for your tomorrow. This helps you to clear your mind and sleep easy throughout the night. you're not cluttered and you literally sleep with the peace of God overwhelming you. That's the most amazing feeling.
1. Get relaxed and unwind from the day (take a bath/shower, light a candle, turn on worship music, etc).
2. Take a few moments and reverence the Lord.
3. Pour your heart out to Him.
4. Go to sleep.
These are just a few things that I wanted to share with you. They are all just suggestions and examples of some of the things I do in my personal prayer times. We will continue this tomorrow in my YouTube video. I pray that this blesses you and inspires you in your walk with Christ.
- FARRAH LARAÉ