Now, I'll be honest chapter 4 is an area that just makes me squirm. For a gal who never has a shortage for words --- when it comes time to pray, I always feel inadequate. I'm not talking about praying before you eat, praying with my kids, or praying for safe travels. I'm talking about just getting down to one-to-one, me and God, lingering in conversation. I freeze.
I think it's really because I'm so easily distracted that I know that I will end up feeling guilty for my wandering mind. In the Keep It Shut book I found a little secret that in 30+ years of trying to learn from others, I'm not sure I've ever heard!
Karen Ehman talks about prayer warriors and prayer wimps. As I've already confessed -- I'm the latter. But, Karen points to another one of my Bible heroes - Daniel. Through the tempting years of being a teenager, I often held on to Daniel 1:8 "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself..." Other versions say "Daniel resolved...", but let me tell you my resolve is not so strong. This is one of those verses that the KJV saying "purposed in his heart..." wins for me.
We also see Daniel making a stand in Chapter 6. After learning the king had ruled no one was to pray to any god but the king, we read...
"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God,just as he had done before."
Daniel didn't hit his knees only on the tough times. His knees were calloused and his legs strong. He had been building his prayer warrior muscles long before this. This is where I find that cut in my heart. That little voice whispering. Use the secret you learned and get to exercising. Becoming a prayer warrior takes practice.
The little prayer tip that I learned in the book for the distracted kind like myself -- Pray your to-do list. On the days when it's all you can think of -- hit your knees and ask God to help you remember each task you need to do. Take notes and pray that God will guide you in each step and that your interactions with others will be used for his glory. God cares more than anyone else about the burdens of our heart, both the big and the small.
So, what's on your to-do list today? Has it been covered in prayer?
If you missed earlier posts you can download the first four chapters FREE here.
Keep It Shut post #1
Keep It Shut post #2
Here's a bonus excerpt from the book -- you can go here to print this page