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Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007
My New Year's Goal
I have been giving Laurel’s question to us a lot of thought over the last several days. I am at an age where I want to be careful about the things I want to do. I have made so many promises, so many commitments, and so many vows to “do better this time” only to fail to follow through with any kind of consistency over and over again. I have asked for forgiveness for the same old sins so often I become ashamed to pray. I don’t want to do that any more. The answer isn’t to stop setting goals or making commitments to growth and change. I know I need to do those things. The answer, for me, is to be very careful about the promises I make – especially to the Lord.

Having said that, I really do know exactly what the Lord would have me do. It turns out I didn’t have to think very hard about it at all. There is something the Lord has most definitely called me to do that I have been struggling with for more years than I care to count. It is so basic, so fundamental to my relationship with Him – and yet I have such a hard time doing it. It is prayer.

Time after time I have committed to a consistent prayer life. I do well for a while and then I fail. I suppose sometimes it is just day-to-day living that gets in the way. Some days there just isn’t time. Some days I am just too emotionally spent. Whatever the excuse – it isn’t right. And I know that.

When the Lord is speaking to me about something, He is so patient. He seems to allow me to continue in my rebellious, disobedient way – always drawing me back with grace and forgiveness and love. Over time circumstances seem to join with the still small voice to strengthen the call. Every place I turn lately, the subject of prayer is “staring me in the face”. Just recently for instance – our new study for our Women’s Bible Study beginning in January is “Prayer”; I just read a devotional by Beth Moore – the subject was prayer. At this point I think the Lord is asking whether it is necessary to hit me over the head with it.

It isn’t. I know He is calling me to prayer. Beth Moore said something that just went straight to my heart. “If we primarily approach prayer as a discipline, no wonder it feels like a beating! To the human psyche, discipline means pain. Don’t misunderstand me. Prayer is a spiritual discipline but if that’s our primary motivation, we’ll eventually either become prayerless (we’ll give up) or proud (arrogant because we didn’t)….Think about it. How much good is a “should” mentality toward a long-term, life-giving, Spirit-living relationship with God?...Something about a “should” motivation alone arouses the compulsive or rebellious part of us that resists keeping the rules and acting like a grown-up. What if our motivation moved from “I ought to” to “I get to”? What if prayer became the way we answer a divine invitation to adventure?” I think she nailed me!!!

I don’t want it to be an “I should” any more. I want to look forward to spending time with the Father who loves me so very much. There has been a longing in my heart in recent years to know Him more and to see the miraculous – to see His glory. I know He is drawing me, and yet I withhold myself from Him. The very thing I desire, I keep myself from doing.

I’m tired of the kind of prayer that seems to just become rote. I’m tired of looking at it as some duty that I must perform. I want to see it for what it truly is. I “get to” spend time with the One who created all things; with the great I Am of Old Testament times, with the One who created me and chose me before the foundation of the world; the One who is my Father and loves me more than I can possibly understand; the One who knows me better than I know myself; the One who performs miracles. What an awesome privilege.

That is my goal for this year – and for the rest of my life. Prayer – real, life-changing prayer. I’ve been doing better, but I know I have just scratched the surface. Something happens in my spirit when I call His name. Why do I not call to Him more often? With His help, and by His grace, I’m going to.

  posted at 3:55 PM

At 5:13 PM, Blogger lrlwreath said...

Linda this is beautiful. I too struggled with prayer in the past. If you like to read, may I suggest Bill Hybels book titled "Too Busy Not To Pray" (http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?isbn=0830819711&event=AFF&p=1022507)
It really changed the way I approach prayer. And it is an easy read.

Thank you so much for sharing this.
Thank you for joining the meditations.

Happy New Year, I look forward to next year with you in bloggy world.


At 6:34 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

This is me all over the place! Thanks for putting it into words for me.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Yes, I can relate to this. Beautifully said. It sort of goes with my own meditation post...drawing closer. Because if the we don't have that burning love to be with Christ, it does become just a discipline.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of christians are feeling a drawing by the Holy Ghost to have a more meaningful prayer life, a closer walk with the Savior. Could it be He is about to return?

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Chrystal said...

I think prayer has at one time or another gotten all of us. We desire to draw closer to the Lord, and yet the day to day activities get in the way. Your heart is in the right place, and the Lord will bless you for that! :)

At 9:44 PM, Blogger momrn2 said...

I once heard it said that Satan will attempt to defeat us in our prayer life more than anywhere else... because that is our direct connection to God.

I too have been challenged this last year to focus on prayer, not because I have to... but because I get to.

Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability in this post!! You said it so beautifully!!

At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Linda, this is straight from your beautiful heart, and so well written. And can I say that you could have written most of this about me? I don't just get to speak to God and fellowship with Him, I NEED to fellowship with Him in prayer a lot more than I do.

Here's to a closer walk with Jesus in 2007 for ALL of us.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

This post really touched me and I need more prayer in my life as well...thanks for the reminder. I have the book The Purpose Driven Life and I need to start reading that; I also want to get the Power of a Praying Wife as well.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Cheryl Wray said...

That quote by Beth Moore is awesome!!! I think she nailed it on the head, because we should approach prayer as a really cool opportunity--and not a "have to" disicipline.
I also struggle every year in January with my spiritual resolutions, because I often fall way beneath what I wanted to attain. But I'm going for it again, of course . ..
Happy New Year!

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have the best meditation for 2007. I love that you have chosen to work on your prayer life. May you find a closeness with God that you've always dreamed of having.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

This was really wonderful. I wish I knew why it was so difficult to be regular with a devotional life. That's been the weak spot my whole life. Not my faith or trust or belief, just the daily food needed to feed those things.

Thank you for being so honest with us.

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me prayer is something I do all day every day. I talk to God, I listen whether I am doing the dishes or whatever. I think of it like a relationship. Sometimes I just sit and watch a movie with him, just like I would any family. I just know he is there. I use to beat myself over the head but my relationship with him is like my relationship with anyone else in many ways... I rely on him, love him, talk to him, get mad, read the word... He is just there, all the time. And, he lets me know when I am neglecting him, usually around 3 a.m. ☺

I so enjoy your blog. I look forward to more thoughtful posts in '07.


At 9:43 PM, Blogger Pamela said...

Linda, your thoughtful, tenderhearted words speak to me, as well. I find it so easy to thanks God in prayer but find it much harder to open up my heart and ask for his help. I am improving, but always feel there are so many others who need his help more. It is a weakness I hope to work on too. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers regarding my health. I so appreciate your sentiments. :)

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful and worthy goal. I love this verse, which makes me feel better when I worry that I've failed to pray for something that I ought:

Romans 8:26:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Blessings in 2007!

At 3:19 AM, Blogger MiPa said...

May 2007 see your prayer life blossom! What a lovely post and an awesome goal. Thank you!

At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like shouting, "Bravo! Bravo!" You wrote what I needed to read. Thank you!

I just love Beth Moore--she always motivates me.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Oh yes, I think many of us have struggled with prayer. Seth Barnes book, "The Art of Listening Prayer" did it for me. (I think I have a link to the first chapter on my sidebar.) What an absolute blessing it is that we have a straight line of communication with Him! What an awesome God. Praying that He will show you the way He wants you to pray this year.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Tom Bailey said...

Prayer is an amazing gift. It creates a great Almighty relationship. Using it as a goal is an amazing idea.


At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, to think of prayer as a privledge, an honor and not a duty/chore. I am so in need of this type of attitude Linda. Thank you for reminding me that it is not a chore to pray to our Lord.

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't think of a better goal to have. And I know there isn't a goal that would result in as much reward as this one will.


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