This post is part of the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge hosted by Anita Ojeda. Participants choose a category, in which to concentrate throughout the challenge and the host provides a daily writing prompt. You can find me in the Christian Living category of this year’s writing challenge link-up. Be sure to visit other posts while you’re there.
Yesterday I mentioned that prayer is a key part of this process, so let’s explore the topic today.
Jesus regularly devoted private time to prayer (Luke 5:16). If He could do it, with all He accomplished in His three years of ministry on earth, then so can we. Prayer is how we communicate with and get closer to God.
Prayer can take away anxiety, bring joy into our circumstances, and change a negative perspective to one that dwells on the positive (Philippians 4:4-8).
If prayer is something you’re uncomfortable with or you don’t think you know how to do, relax. Prayer can be as easy as having a conversation with a dear friend. No, you probably won’t hear an audible response but He does answer. The fervent prayer of the righteous person can be very effective (James 5:16), so never shy away from it.
Making a Verse Yours
Let’s talk about personalizing God’s word. Put your name, or personal pronouns into the verse and recite it back to yourself. If one stands out, or even if there’s one you have trouble believing, try writing it on a sticky note and place it where you can’t help seeing it throughout the day. Repeat it to yourself whenever you do, and be sure to read it before you go to sleep. This is an easy way to speak God’s goodness over yourself and (BONUS) to memorize scripture.
Here’s an example of personalizing Colossians 3:12: So as I have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, I will put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Do you see how this is a positive statement about who you are because you have been chosen by God? Chosen – that’s past tense, it’s done. Because you are chosen, God will change your heart.
Tip: I put my “sticky note verse” on the back of my cell phone, then I remember to read it every time I pick up the phone. The next day I replace the sticky note with a new verse and transfer the one from the previous day to a little notebook I keep in my purse. When I have a down day there’s always an encouraging word tucked away in my heart (and purse) that I can use to lift up myself, or easily share with someone else.
Get into God’s word daily and you will find no end to the love He wants you to experience and share with others.
Praying these personalized verses back to God is powerful. God doesn’t forget what He says but, I believe, He loves hearing it from His children. In my own experience, incorporating God’s word into prayer helps me internalize it. Even more so when I pray it out loud. I can hear myself speaking words of faith, love, and God’s promises over me. I know He hears me (1 John 15:14-15) and that gives me confidence.
Try something like this, based on Colossians 1:9-13:
Dear Lord, fill me with the knowledge of Your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may live in a manner worthy of You, Lord. I want to be fully pleasing to You in every good work, bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of You. Strengthen me with every power, according to Your glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy, giving thanks because You made me fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. You delivered me from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of Your beloved Son, in whom I have redemption and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord, and In Jesus’ name, amen.
Through prayer and God’s word you have access to everything you need to discover your identity in Christ. Tap into these unending resources and learn more about how God cares for you and what He thinks about you.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you. Psalm 139:17-18