You know that old joke “as long as there are tests in schools, there will be prayer in schools”?
Well I would venture the mom version is “as long as kids resist naptime in homes, there will be prayer in homes”.
As a mom I truly live 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing”- and I bet you do too. Whether it’s praying that my kid didn’t break anything when he flipped off the couch (despite my telling him not to fifty times prior) or asking God to please please PLEASE make both my boys take a decent nap, I am praying all the time.
And I think that it’s good to talk to God throughout our day and certainly to rely on Him through the challenges of daily life. But we can’t count solely on those desperate two second prayers to enrich our relationship with God.
We need to dig deeper.
Digging deeper can be hard though. I am not one of those people who reads a passage of scripture and is fascinated by what each word means in Hebrew. I’m just not. I needed to work a bit to create a prayer and study time that actually appealed to me. Because if it appeals to me, I will make time for it- and now I actually look forward to it.
I think sometimes we have a picture in our mind of what prayer and Bible study “should” look like and for a lot of people…it’s a very boring picture. It shouldn’t be that way though! God made each of us uniquely so it would make sense that we would all relate to Him differently.
If you are of those people who are fascinated by the Hebrew definition of words- go you! I have learned a lot from people like you! Maybe you are one of the people who “paints your prayers” and your Bible has become a true work of art- so cool! I might try that too! Maybe you like to snuggle up with a cup of coffee and read and write. If so, you might like some of the resources I suggest below!
While we can’t take an “al a carte” approach to what we believe, we do have flexibility with how we choose to expand our knowledge of it.
Here are some resources that have helped me study and pray in a way that is meaningful to me. I hope you try them or at the very least are inspired to find resources that work for you.
She Reads Truth: I love this online resource! There are a variety of studies to choose from. Each study is broken down into multiple days with a few different scriptures to read and then a devotional. What I particularly like is that the authors of these studies have taught me to read through a “God lens”, learning more about Him (as opposed to reading through a “self lens” trying to find a takeaway message about myself).
Val Marie Paper: Prayer Journal
This little book has been amazing for actually moving my prayers from tiny (often selfish) snippets to prayers of compassion and purpose. The journal is set up in a monthly format with sections for praying for other countries, our nation, friends, family members and ourselves. There are also spots for recording answered prayers, specific scriptures and other thoughts. This little notebook has made a big impact on me.
Savour: Daily Devotional by Shauna Niequist
This devotional is like sitting down with your best friend and having a mini heart to heart. Sometimes it’s encouraging, sometimes it’s challenging, and you always walk away just a little bit better for the conversation.
Bible study and prayer are completely vital to our well being- and they don’t have to be boring! If you haven’t found a way to truly study and connect with God, I encourage you to try something new. Keep trying things until you find what’s right for you.
Your relationship with God is worth pursuing!