Saturday, 27 October 2012

I Am A Listening, Journaling Pray-er.

This blog is inspired by a question I was asked.

I dedicate it, with love, to the 'Ask-er'.

Prayer is not just what I do.
Random, Continuous Conversations on the Go!
Over the years I have come to a place where I am more or less having conversations with God all the time. I got to this place in my bid to 'pray continually'. As far as I am concerned, praying is about talking to God from the heart, reminding him each time that Jesus Christ is the only reason for my audacious confidence and trusting the Holy Spirit to help me talk sense. So basically, my prayer life is a three-way relationship. I call it being in the Circle of Love. Many, many times, especially  recently, it is remembering that I belong to this circle that has kept me sane. And Mondays to Fridays when I cannot seem to find that time to just really get alone with God. This is what keeps me going. Like Therese de Avila, I have learned to pray continuously, randomly doing the most mundane things ever. You will be surprised the kind of prayers that scrubbing in the bath, brushing your teeth, plugging in your laptop, doing homework can inspire! Bottom line: I am seeking an all the time conversation with one of my closest friends and no topics are off limits. 

Weekday Conversations in the Car!
But you and I both know that the above cannot sustain me.  So, some mornings in the car I go into God's Word. I have a long commute to work. Long enough to use Our Daily Manna (not using Open Heavens this year. No reason. I love Pastor Adeboye but I needed a change). I love ODM cos it has prayers for each part of the day: Mornings, Afternoons (which I use at work sometimes) and Evenings AND on point prayers for almost every situation we face in this life from praying over your tithes to seeking a life partner to finishing a project! The daily devotionals are always relevant and on point for me and even though some of the prayer points scare me sometimes, I mostly find that after I read the bible scriptures, the devotional and pray the prayers that don't scare me 'very seriously', I feel truly at peace. The ODM also has awesome declarations which I confess every other morning. 

By the time I do this, I am somewhere around Lekki Phase One. Still enough time to use my 'Power of a Prayer Parent' (every parent, current and future, should have this book!) AND make a daily confession using my little Black Book of Daily Scriptural Confessions (This book is like giving yourself a booster shot of godly determination and spiritual confidence!). I just confess based on the date. If it is the 27th of October, I will go to page 27 of the book. You grab?).  By now, I am somewhere around Bonny Camp and it is time to put on my 'face' aka makeup so I don't scare people at work. Lol! The truth is that, makeup or no makeup, the days I do the above and not let myself get distracted, my day goes very well and even stuff that I was anxious about get sorted somehow and I can truly say to myself that 'the tomorrow I was anxious about is today and ALL is well'


Saturday Morning Journaling & Listening Prayer 

For me, Saturdays is the day that works best for me to have those long, un-rushed, secret bonding times with God. I will do all of the stuff I told you about up there AND then I will sing praises, I will worship and when I am done praying, I will spend time listening.  I will listen with my heart while reading my four translation in one Bible . By the time you have read the same bible passage or scripture four different ways, your eyegates would have caught something especially if before you began, you asked God to send his spirit to help you see something new/specific to the burning situation you are facing.

I promise you, God will show you. He will speak. He loves to jist too and he always has something to say. If only we would just take time to pause and listen. I am always waiting, pen in hand, to write down what he says to me. I am one of those who prays verbally out loud, quietly in my heart and boldly in black and white in my journals. And over the years, my prayer journals have become veritable reminders of God's faithfulness to me. His love for me and how nothing is impossible for him. 

Two Empty Chairs in an Empty Room
Sometimes I find it hard to focus cos my mind is running up and down. I have learnt to pray for whatever it is my mind brought up and move on. So if my mind takes me to my provisions shopping coming up later in the day, I would thank God for providing me with the money to shop and ask him to help me shop prudently. But sometimes even doing that fails and so I have to use my two empty chairs in an empty room method. This is when you lock the door of your room, place two chairs face to face, sit in one and literally, out loud, invite God to sit in the other one. Then you talk to him. You cry, you scream, you sing, you pour out your heart to God cos if you invited him with your heart, he is sitting right there. I tell you, I don't do this all the time BUT I have never done it and gotten up from that seat the way I sat down on it. The peace is tangible. Try it and see.

A Constant State of Praise and Thanksgiving
I have an Outlook reminder that pops up every 30 minutes on my PC. It says 'Drink water and praise God'. If I said I obeyed my reminder every time, that would be a lie but each time I did, I know it sent the enemy scattering (because my praise and thanksgiving is one form of warfare) and improved my health cos I end up drinking the required 2.5 litres a day my body needs. 

I also try to send up a prayer of thanks to God each time my cell/office phone rings. Just before I pick, I will thank God for something. The ability to hear, my life, my health, my kids, my mgm, that Nigeria is still one. Anything! There is always something to thank God for. Abi?

I also drown out any 'noise' with music. If you have been following this blog long enough you will know that I love music. I play it non-stop at work (with earphones of course and in my car on the way home. I don't play on the way to work cos I need some quiet. Once upon a time I used to listen to my Bible Experience CDs in the morning. Not sure why I stopped to be honest cos it is an awesome experience. Anyway, in this season of my life I have been listening to songs like Ceecee Winan's Waging War, Donald Lawrence's There is a King in You  and Brandon Heath's The Light in Me

And many more. If you ask me,  good Christian music is the food of my spirit, so play on!
At The End of the Day
The above is just my way of keeping my spiritual life vibrant. Each of us has a routine or way that works for us and that is what is important. That we find that way and live by it. And if your life changes and you need to do it differently, please adjust it. There is no cast in stone way of talking to your Father in Heaven. What works for me may not work for you. Even as parents, our kids relate with us in different ways depending on their personalities so I am sure that God is able to relate with each of us how ever we come to him. They key is that you come to him.

All I have said above might change tomorrow. I might be led to do things differently.  The how and when is not what's important. What is important is that you ensure that you keep yourself connected to the Lover of your Soul, your God.  It is good to hear God via your Pastor or some other men or women of God but unless you are an illegitimate child, an Omo ale, you should be able to talk to and hear from your Father by yourself too.  What I have tried to share above is how I hear my PapaGod.

I hope it helps or encourages you to figure out how to hear from him by yourself too.

This is a long, long post but even if no one reads it to the end, I hope that the 'Ask-er' will. I hope I have answered your question on how I stay connected to God. If I have not, I look forward to your e-mail.

In the meantime,  I invite others to share their own ways with us here. This is just my way.

What is yours?

 

14 comments:

  1. I really like the idea of having two chairs because my mind wanders sooo much
    This is a really powerful post
    God bless you fro sharing
    xxxxxx

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    1. There is just something about it NIL. I cannot explain it. It is best experienced.

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  2. Lol. I read till the end.

    You are one disciplined someborri

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    1. Not really o @ilola. I just try to CHOOSE to do what I know is needful for me. Upon all of the above, I sometimes faces brass heavesn when it feels like God is so far away. But THAT is the truth, it is just a feeling. The truth is that God never leaves me or forsakes me. So whether I feel like it or not, whether I sense him or not, happy or sad, I CHOOSE to keep talking to him anyway I can in that space. Not to do so would be like one driving a car for miles and miles and refusing to stop for gas. One day, one day, the engine of that moto will knock!

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  3. Love the two chairs in an empty room method. It helps rein in wandering minds. And like you, worship music gets me into the zone. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It really does cos it makes you focus on the person in front of you. Your God cos if you asked him to sit, he truly is sitting there listening. Thanks for stopping by Olusola

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  4. You are just divinely sent to this generation you know? Thanks for sharing from your heart. I do have that wandering (or dozing off) in the place of prayer habit but I have been so so so encouraged by this post, and the Reading Revelations blog as well. God bless you loads. Still pained I could not beat traffic to make your book signing but it is well.

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    1. Oh, don't worry about that Creativeworks. I am sure we will have the opportunity to meet some other time. I am thrilled this post blessed you. I brag on God for that.

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  5. I love this....
    And I ges I've missed u.
    Ur blog always serves as a reminder and keeps me in check....
    I love u......and thank u fr ds post altho I knw ther'll be odas I'll be thankin u fr later :)
    Thank u fr allowing urself to be God's vessel

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  6. And ure beautiful without makeup don't worry...lool..
    U won't scare anybody away...
    Read it to d end btw...good sign of an enriched post

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    Replies
    1. *smiling* Thanks o jare Sugarspring. We all need reminders all the time. I am glad you did. I am still trying to do short blogs. So hard. I talk to much. Lol! I thank God for using me.

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  7. This post really ministered to me. Thanks for sharing and for being very real about spending time with God.

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    1. I am so blessed to hear that Anonymous. To God be all the glory. Our enemy has concoted this life so that we will never find time for this or when we do, we will sleep. We must be relentless about this. God will surely help us as he sees the intent of our hearts. Thanks for coming by.

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  8. The two chair method is magnificent! If only I have a room to myself............I have a christian playlist on my phone[50 songs] and I have over 3000 gospel songs on my laptop, I love circular music but it doesn't coincide with gospel music. I play christian songs anytime,not necessarily on Sundays but i felt I wasn't just doing enough.
    So i'll start typing prayer points on my memo pad, that will enrich my "Constant State of Praise and Thanksgiving" method.
    I love this! God bless you.

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