As I’m packing to leave for a business trip to San Francisco my mind is jumbled with thoughts and ideas. I haven’t been pulling my weight on the blog lately and I’d really like to get at least one post written this week but I can’t seem to concentrate on one subject long enough to write a cohesive post. Thoughts of driving all over South Dakota for work, high school reunions, sick moms, tense family situations, and wondering when I’ll ever feel rested again float around my head like gold fish swimming in a pond with a no fishing sign. All this distraction and lack of concentration reminds me a lot of my prayer life as of late.
Many times my study time far exceeds my prayer time. It is easy to focus with a book and a Bible and a notebook and pen in front of me. I am the perpetual student and it is a role I play well. But sometimes when I pray, when I talk to God, I get distracted. To remedy this problem I try to discipline myself in a few ways. Sometimes I take a verse of Scripture and meditate on that. Sometimes I light candles or incense. Sometimes I turn on some quiet worship music and other times I make sure there is silence in the house. There have been times where, as I’ve read through the Bible I write down verses and prayers to go with each verse that pertain to me and I use that outline as a guide later. Many times I simply write as I pray. I write down my prayers like I would be writing a letter to my Lord. This helps me concentrate and it helps me purge all my rambling thoughts. These letters don’t usually have any structure and tend to be my own stream of consciousness directed at the Father. I often finish with 6 or more pages and at that time I am able to calmly sit in silence and listen to God. Sometimes He has a lot to say, many times I feel like He is in the midst of teaching me a lesson, and usually I am able to sit and let gratitude and praise practically waft off of me.
So today, while I’m distracted, I will leave you with a condensed version of my letter to God. I can start my day, and my week, centered where I belong, in Christ.
Thank You for all the blessings in my life. I know that everything I have is a gift from You and I am so grateful for everything You have given me. Thank You for your Word and the wisdom and guidance it brings me. Thank You for your Son and His sacrifice and the Love that fills me and strengthens me. You are a mighty and a worthy God and I bow down before You. Your beauty and Your majesty leaves me breathless and human words can’t begin to explain Your greatness, Your wisdom, and Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your presence in my life, without You I wouldn’t have the strength to stand. The world tries to crush me under the weight of sorrow, but You lift me up on Your shoulders. You, oh Lord, are my truth in this world of confusion. Your light guides my path and You calm my storms.
Thank You, Lord, for Mark. Thank You for our marriage that is grounded in You. Continue to strengthen and guide us in Your will. Mark has been such a comfort to me in these troubled times; please help to be the wife that he deserves. Guide him and protect him and bless all of his endeavors. Protect our marriage from the ways of the world, God, and draw us ever closer to You. Thank You for my friends and family and for the increased support of K and M in my life. Guide them in a closer relationship with You and protect and bless them and their families. Thank You for my job and all the material blessings You have given us. Thank Your for all the guidance and blessings and all the break throughs that are coming our way because of You. Thank You for keeping and sustaining us.
Dear Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, I long to be closer to You, to know You more and to reflect Your light and love in this World. I surrender to You, discipline me in Your ways. Help rid me of my selfishness and stubbornness. I yield to You, my Jesus. Please be with my family and speak to them. Bring them into relationship with You and fill them with Your peace and love. Bring my mother peace and healing. Lift all anxieties from her and help her to find comfort. Protect her from harm and ease her confusion and loneliness. Bring me healing from my pain and sorrow and bring the wisdom and understanding that can only come from You. Guide me through my struggles and trials, I do not know the way on my own. Bring healing to P’s dad and be with her family through this time of recovery. Speak to them and help them to know You. Bring P the peace that can only come from You. Bless my work and my co-workers, guide them in Your ways and continue to bless our workplace. Bless B and S and guide them to You. Thank You for their friendship, help us to be Your light. Thank You for the blossoming friendship with D, bless and protect him and his family.
Forgive me, oh Lord, for my iniquities and failures. Forgive me and heal me of all the anger that I hold in my heart these days. I am sorry for the snide and hurtful thoughts that I allow to cross my mind and I am sorry for the pride and arrogance that I attempt to hide from others but I cannot hide from You. I’m sorry for all the times that I allow my speech to be riddled with negativity and gossip. Lord, I give my sins over to you and bow to your sovereignty. Thank You for Your unending forgiveness and patience and help me to be more holy for You. I long to please You, Jesus, and I know that I often fail. Praise You for Your faithfulness and steadfast love!
Bless my travels and protect me, O God. Be with me always and open my ears to hear You. I ask everything in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
How do you discipline yourself in your prayer life? Do you write letters to God? What’s the longest business trip you’ve ever been on?