Monday, 29 December 2014

My Journey to Relational Prayer Part 1

Every year I choose a word to be my theme for that year. In 2013 that word was contentment and I used Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts to launch me on that journey. It was successfully life-changing and I"m grateful for that. I continue to count my gifts - from the minuscule to the great. It is a beautiful practise. Last year my word was prayer. I've felt a distance from my Father God lately that is not comfortable and that is very different from the closeness I once had with Him. Instinctively, I seemed to know that prayer is necessary to bring that closeness back. I started reading a book I had purchased some time ago by Larry Crabb called The PAPA Prayer. I didn't get far in it last year. Not that it is incredibly academic making it difficult to read - I wouldn't describe it that way at all. It is a more intimate conversational type book but also explanatory in order to give the reader understanding of what true prayer should be. No, it's not the style that held me back from reading deeper, it's fear.

I know that relationship with God is life changing and, frankly, I'm a tad comfortable with my life the way it is. BUT (and it's a big, important but) obviously I'm not entirely comfortable or I wouldn't have this unquenchable desire to draw closer to God.  So my word for this year, 2015, is once again prayer (as a side note, I will also be adding hospitality to that this year - tackle two areas outside my comfort zone in one year ... a huge goal!). I will continue my reading through this book and will not let fear overtake me.

The PAPA prayer is about relational prayer. A true prayer must start with relational prayer because relationship with God must be at the centre of everything. Really, it's what differentiates us from others who acknowledge there is a God but don't believe, right? Like the demons for example!

This is my blog and part of me longs to write profound essays that inspire people, or creative tutorials that help people in their creativity, and so on. And, it being my blog, I should be allowed to do that!! But I don't think that's being authentic to who I am. So, I'm doing things differently. I'm going to be vulnerable. I'm going to leave my comfort zone, one toe at a time.

This journey to relational prayer terrifies me. I know it will change my life because I know God will change my life. I have to trust that the changes He brings will fit with the life He has me in - married and a mother to 2, almost 3, children. I am afraid of new things. I am afraid of failure. I'm afraid of change. I like to be comfortable and change is not comfortable. But I know that this change will better me. I know it is for my good and, quite possibly, the good of my family!

A huge part of relationship with God is also spending time in His Word (the Bible) so I will also be including snippets of that adventure in these posts. I am attempting to read through the whole Bible, using the ESV Reader's Bible (that my lovely in-laws gave me for Christmas) following the advise give in this link from The Gospel Coalition: How to Change Your Mind.

So this is the start of my terrifying, life-changing, beautiful journey to relational prayer. I document it for my benefit - so I can look back and see what changes have occurred in my life, to see how God has been working in me; but I invite you along for the ride if you want to join me. I might not be profound and inspiring but I will be honest.

I can't guarantee any regular type of posting but, hey, hold me accountable and post a comment or drop me a note if you want to know how the journey's going! :)

The launch page for all posts in this series can be found here.

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