Tag Archive | stretching

Building a Prayer Life

Learning has always been difficult for me. My A.D.D. tendencies can derail a good idea, quickly. Things need to be organized and in their proper place. Reference points are needed to guide my thoughts. As I began meeting more and more people through my faith, I found it difficult to keep track of the prayer requests, or the Bible verses I wanted to study, or my own goals. I needed a way of simplifying my prayer life.

I believe that our prayer life is how we build our relationship with Jesus. This has become most important in my life…to build a strong relationship with Him.

So, I set out to learn how to build a fulfilling prayer life. The following is what I came up with.


We are commanded to pray.

Ephesians 6:18 (AMP)

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

We are commanded to pray without fret or worry.

Philippeans 4:6 (AMP)

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition [definite requests], with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

We are commanded to never cease praying. To pray all the time and to do so earnestly.

1 Thessolonians 5:17 (AMP)

Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]

Colossians 4:2 (AMP)

Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.

The Bible guides us and teaches us not to ramble or only pray by repeating memorized prayer. We are to be specific, with few words.

Matthew 6:7 (AMP)

And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 (AMP)

Be not rush with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.


My desire to learn how to pray led me to search for an organized way to strengthen my prayer life and my relationship with God. A prayer journal or a prayer notebook was just the answer. Using the creativity God gave me, I made my own prayer journal/notebook. Now you can make one too.

Step One

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 4

I purchased a photo album at the local Goodwill for $3.00.

Additionally, I purchased some scrapbook paper and stickers.

Anything will work. Colored paper; wrapping paper….or nothing at all.

Lastly, I purchased some colored index cards.

Again…this doesn’t need to be about expense or color or making the Prayer Book fancy. Plain paper or notebook paper works too.

I chose the photo album because I can move things around fairly easily. Others have used three ring binders. This gives them even more flexibility. A journal or composition book will work as well.


Step Two

My prayer book is divided into the following sections:

Photo Adoration          Adoration – Give God praise and honor for who he is.                

Photo Confession          Confession – Examine yourself before God and honestly deal      

                                                                                     with the sin in your life.

Photo Thanksgiving            Thanksgiving – Verbalize what you are thankful for.

Photo Supplication               Supplication – Pray for the needs of others and yourself.

Photo Proverbs 31               Proverbs 31 – Become a Godly woman.

There’s also a section for Goals and Books of the Bible.

Each section has multiple spaces for note cards. As I grow in my prayer life, I can add and subtract information in the Prayer Book. As I learn new Bible verses, I can add them to the sections where they apply.


Step Three

Start using your new Prayer Book. The Holy Spirit will assist you while you design, make or purchase your Prayer Book. As well, the Holy Spirit will be with you through your entire prayer process. No matter what that may be.

Romans 8:26 (AMP)

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

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I will try harder to love you all.

But, God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ ~ by grace you have been saved ~ Ephesians 2:4-5

One of the areas I have struggled with all my life is the ability to love all people. Don’t get me wrong, I love people….in general. When I do cross paths with someone that I don’t feel “love” for….I try to look at the person as God would. Sometimes, this is hardest accomplishments I can think of. I can help any person. I can extend forgiveness to anyone. I can pray for them and with them. I find it very difficult to love them.

God loves them. He loves them no more and no less than He loves me. Then I realize we can LOVE EVERYONE. We don’t have to love what they do or what they represent or how they behave. But, we can LOVE THEM.

Think of the good we can do if we love everyone. If it weren’t for God’s love, I wouldn’t be living a better life in Christ. If it weren’t for God’s love, I would still be looking for love in all the wrong places. If we are to love others as God has loves us……then our love will show others they can have a better life too. The goal would be to love others as God does, to show them what their life will be like, living in CHRIST.

 

Holy Yoga! What an oxymoron.

I heard the Hindus want their yoga back.

All forms of yoga are spiritual and aim to experience union with ‘God’, Brahman or universal consciousness. In the West, yoga is considered a means of physical exercise, a way to strengthen the body, improve flexibility, heal or prevent a variety of ailments. Hatha Yoga is a common form of yoga practiced in the West. Most believe that it is purely a form of physical positions and breathing techniques. Iyengar Yoga is the most popular form of Hatha Yoga in the U.S.

Besides having the potential to be physically harmful, yoga can be mentally harmful. Breathing exercises can cause injury to the brain and yoga is capable of endangering one’s sanity through the intense meditation. Most importantly, to a Christian, yoga could be spiritually harmful as it promotes the desire to attain godlike stature.

As a Christian, yoga is utterly incompatible with my beliefs. it is impossible to separate yoga philosophy from yoga practice. Yoga is merely the means of helping the yogi toward a union with ‘God’. As a Christian, I do not believe that my problem is ignorance. The ignorance that can be corrected through meditation, chanting and posturing. My problem is sin. My enlightenment is Jesus. I have salvation for free and cannot earn a positional union with ‘God’. Practicing yoga has the potential to be physically, mentally and spiritually harmful to Christians.

“Physical yoga, according to its classical definition is inherently and functionally incapable of being separated from Eastern religion metaphysics”. ~Dave Fetcho~

Stretching can probably be separated.

Breathing and posturing cannot.

It is best for Christians to choose an exercise program with physical benefits similar to yoga, but without all the negative spiritual issues. Christians should consider low-impact or water aerobics, water ballet, or simply stretching. These programs can be just as beneficial for the body, without potentially endangering the soul.

Additionally, it is offensive to Hindus that Christians use a part of their religious belief as ‘just exercise’. Yoga has a religious connection to Hindus. Just as communion and baptism has a sacred connection to Christians. Exercising/stretching and posturing of yoga are elements of the overwhelmingly spiritual practices of Hinduism. As a Christian, I believe that practicing yoga can be a very dangerous, slippery, slope.

Do your own research before you consider yoga as an option for stretching and exercising. I am so thankful to my very dear friend that brought this to my attention and asked me to do the same. I am so grateful that she did. God bless her for caring about my spiritual well-being.