A Prayer Guide: His Nearness, Our Good


April 12, 2015

Jennie Allen Prayer Guide

Our lives are flat-out wild this Spring. Four kids in sports and I’ll tell you something- if you have young kids- a day will come when your kids stay up as long or longer than you do, thus leaving no part of the day that you can just be alone and turn off unless you get up before everyone and so lately I have been and it is just sacred time.

Often I miss God.  I haven’t been alone with Him and prayed- and then I wonder why I feel so selfish and apathetic.

Prayer is hard. It is talking to someone invisible. And it helps to embrace the belief that, this invisible God hears me and responds.  I am not prone to talking to invisible beings.

And I think if we were all honest, the sin of prayerlessness is common.  We have a hard time sitting still with ourselves.  We feel restless and cranky and dealing with God seems daunting.  But if we were asked, “Do you pray?” We would all pipe up, “of course!”  Like if someone asked us, “do you love God?”…. “Of course.”

But do we really all take chunks of our day and form words in our minds, hearts, and mouths to an invisible God?  Do we really pray?

Or would that “of course” be referring to mealtime or tucking our kids in? Or the toss-up “thank you God” as the plane lands on time and intact? Or would that “of course” be a lie because honestly, you can’t remember the last time you talked to God- not about Him- to Him?

NEVER STOP PRAYING. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17

Paul suggests that our entire life could and should be lived in belief and dependence on that invisible God.  We live in a generation that has run far from the bounds of legalism (which I applaud), but in doing so we have left behind all of the faculties designed to know and love our God.  I want to need prayer and run to it with every discipline and desire…. so passionately that it was as if I were talking to God.

We must consider why we feel so stuck, so attacked or defeated, so messed up. Is it because we are not associated with God in any way but by title?  Perhaps we are not living in life and peace, simply because we don’t believe God and so we don’t seek Him for it.

This is a war- there are two sides- and while One has already won- they both are pretty dad-gum powerful. One side is trying to bind you up and one side died for your freedom.

“I am undone, O God; be merciful to me, and forgive this awful sin of prayerlessness.”- Murray

Here is a tool I put together for you today. It is so terribly simple but such a gift to just give my frantic mind some focus. Many years ago I bought this little journal by Beth Moore called Whispers of Hope. It was simple, and it worked. I found that I could focus better with a pen in my hand…. so here is a little guide based on that experience I had many years ago. Just drop your email into the form below, confirm your subscription, and you will get the Prayer Guide PDF in your inbox!

I’d love to know… When do you pray? Is it hard for you?

28 Responses to “A Prayer Guide: His Nearness, Our Good”

  1. Kimberly Stokes

    While I no longer find prayer difficult, it has been a journey to this point. The first thing I surrendered was the perfect formula for prayer…once I came from a place that God already knows what is on my heart, prayer became an unfiltered dialogue. I, too, struggled with a busy mind in prayer, however, after beginning a practice of “morning pages” while working through The Artists Way, I found that this stream journaling (cursive, no dotting I’s or crossing T’s, recording any and all thoughts) moved me from a to do list to thanksgiving and praise and eventually a place of stillness and reverence. I invite the Lord in and prayer flows. I do pray through the day…immediately when I receive a request and when someone cones to mind out of nowhere. As I grow in my personal relationship, praying thanks in all things throughout the day draws me closer to God. When I’m struggling to find words, I ask the Holy Spirit to lead me. Sometimes I’m called to just be still and rest in the Presence. I close everyday with Pillow Talk prayer…with my Lord…lifting those on my heart, thanking Him for the blessings of the day and the opportunities that stretched my faith. I seek forgiveness for things done & undone and ask for protection on the journey.

  2. Carolyn

    Thank you, Jennie, for sharing and for thinking of us. I am grateful for this prayer resource and all the other ways IF has energized my faith. I am becoming more disciplined about reading my Bible, but find I spend more time in study or reading IF:Equip comments then spending time in relationship with God. If I begin with prayer the Word speaks to me more clearly. I have to ask why am I spending so much time reading what others say about God and their journey, when HE longs to tell me himself and to create first hand experiences. I plan to add your guide in my daily lineup as I begin the Peter study. YOU are in my prayers. Thanks for being a blessing to so many.
    Carolyn

  3. Allison

    I find prayer difficult –I lose focus and start thinking about the activities of the day

    I am having a hard time finding the download. I just keep getting redirected to the sign up page. Is it just me?

    Thanks. Looking forward to anything that you’ve written, I know it will focus my skattered brain.

  4. Janna Lynas

    my life is busy too- four kiddos who have somewhere they need to be and time does get away from me. The older I get the more I recognize God’s presence and His desire to talk to me. He doesn’t always wait for me to initiate but I canny help but be drawn to Him and when our conversations don’t come first thing I feel the absence of it. I just want to thank you for all that you do. I truly believe that you are thinking of me, or Us, collectively, or rather listening to God with such intensity that you share your life with others who will likely never never meet you, in such a way that we feel that you are thinking of Us personally. Such a pleasure to receive your posts in my inbox and share with my tribe in Indiana.

  5. It amazing to me how someone I have never met can seem to articulate exactly what I am feeling and struggling with. I have thought this several times when reading your books. Thank you for being so authentic and open with your life and struggles, but more than that thank you for sharing what God is teaching you and how He is leading you, It encourages me and builds my faith. I have always felt such a burden to pray, but like others it is often the first thing to go when life happens. After reading Restless last Spring, I felt led to gather a group of women in my home to do nothing else but pray. We met throughout the summer and it was such a time of growth for several of us. When Fall came, our time together fell victim to the busyness that school, jobs, kiddos, sports, etc brings. But your words today spoke directly to the struggles I have been feeling in my heart lately, even just this morning! I am not praying…I may be in the Word, but without prayer, and listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying, I am missing one of the sweetest most powerful parts of my relationship with my Savior. All the worry and angst I am feeling over my children, marriage, life, is put to rest when I invite God’s power and purpose into the circumstances! I once heard someone say that my prayers are even more powerful than my presence in the lives of those I love. So true, but so easy for me to forget. Thank you Jennie for reminding me of this truth and providing tools and encouragement. 🙂

  6. I find prayer extremely difficult. I do better when I journal, but I have always felt that I need to be good at plain old simple prayer. Recently though, I was encouraged by some people that it doesn’t really matter if I use my voice or a pen…whatever works for me. So I am trying to journal more. I journal out my thoughts, and then go back and read it. It works a lot better…only problem is it takes more time….and I could write pages and pages sometimes. Hard when I only have a window in the afternoon. But that is what I plan on doing from now on 🙂

  7. THANK YOU for this post! To hear someone acknowledge that they too at times struggle w/an “invisible God” literally lifted so much pressure and weight off my heart. For the first 34 yrs of my life, I was raised Roman Catholic and, after experiencing a life changing event in 2012, I have since found a new life as a Christian. In many ways, I feel like I am starting over–relearning and rediscovering God, Jesus and my faith; and yet, despite having lived my whole life with an awareness of God, in my new faith walk, I find myself struggling at times to hear Him, connect with Him more intimately and be closer to Him as I so desparately want in my heart. I have spent much of these past couple years essentially “beating myself up” because of this, striving toward being with a God, who up until now, I didn’t know was alive and right here with me rather than unreachable in Heaven, so to “hear” you say out loud that you too struggle with connecting sometimes, gives me so much peace. I feel like I can exhale knowing that “I’m ok” – that I’m not flawed or messed up just because I struggle sometimes… so thank you for not just sharing your thoughts but for being authentic and real, approachable and relatable.

  8. Chelsea

    Thank you so much for this! I can relate–I’ve barely prayed at all recently. I’ve had all the feelings you described above. I’m glad to find out that I”m not the only one struggling with prayerlessness. I’m printing out the prayer sheet, and going to go spend some time with Jesus now…something I haven’t done in a while…Thanks again.

    • Love that! I think for a lot of people it comes naturally. And for others they have to be more disciplined.

  9. My ability to turn to God in prayer has improved over the past year. Yet, it is still easier for me to study about him during my quiet time than it is to talk to him. Since last fall, I have felt many times when God has asked me to get on my knees – literally – in prayer. This has helped me stay focused and intentional during prayer.

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