This week's reading was all about prayer and just like last week, I am going to be writing down some of my favorite excerpts from the book and my thoughts on each! Hope you can join in and read along with me :)
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)
Why do we pray?
"We pray because God tells us to bring all our requests to him.
We don't need to impress God (or the people around us) with our ability to spout windy, pious-sounding prayers. Prayer, Jesus said, is actually best when kept personal and simple." (80)
"We pray because we need wisdom from above to be good mothers." (81)
"We pray because it turns our eyes toward God and off our problems." (82)
This section really stood out to me because from longer than I can remember, I was told that God has a plan for us and that everything in our lives happens for a specific reason. And I struggle with this and the idea of free will because at times, we don't know why something has happened to us or why we were put in a specific place but later when we look back on these instances, we can often trace them back to why they happened. If it happened, I would have done this or received this job or gotten that deal. And so for this point, the part that stood out to me most was the idea of praying because I am a mother. I cannot be a mother alone and I need God to help me with this path I am taking. And so, prayer is needed.
I don't have time for prayer.
"'Sometimes we think we are too busy to pray,' C.H. Spurgeon once said. 'That is a great mistake, for praying is a saving of time.'" (85)
This one is so much of what I see in my own life. We have somewhere to be after dinner so we quickly sit down, skip the prayer because we are rushing, and scarf down our food. Is that 30 seconds of prayer really going to make us late? Nope. And so, the idea of prayer saving us time really hit home for me. And you'll see inthe 'Cleaning out our closets' section why.
Never give up on prayer.
"As positive, praying moms,, we need to be persistent." (91)
"Checking emails can be downright frustrating at times. Just when I feel like I have responded to all m emails, I'll check in the hours later and the inbox is full again. We can never say, "Well, I finished checking emails. I won't have to do that again." No, as much as we should like to have victory over emails and messages, they keep showing up again and again.
Many of our responsibilities as mothers require that kind of continual, repetitive attention: the laundry, dusting, picking up toys, cleaning dishes, even changing diapers (up to a point). Our worries, cares, and fears demand similar repetitive attention." (102)
Do you ever feel like you pray and pray and pray and nothing ever happens? I sure do! And sometimes, I just want to give up. It isn't helping anyways so why waste my time? What if we were to give up on potty training after the first try? There would be a whole mess of a house and so much more work for us to do, cleaning up accidents and washing the sheets over and over and over again. And just like that, prayer takes consistency too.
Cleaning out our closets.
"As mothers, we have a tendency to hold on to things we shouldn't - and I'm not just talking about old bowling balls, broken umbrellas, and worn-out tennis shoes. Too often we allow the cares of life to pile up in the closet in our hearts called "worry." Just as we clean out the junk in our home closets on a regular basis, we need to continually cast off the worries that we collect and tuck away in our hearts. And while we might reasonably clean out a junk closet once or twice a year, we should tackle our worries one a daily basis." (95)
Now this is me to a tee. I hold onto things. I get into fights with my husband and just won't let it go. I hold grudges and never forget them. I worry, I stress, and I just can't leave it up to God. And so, this is where I am going to work on my prayer time because in this way, I believe prayer could (will) have a huge impact on my life.