February 1, 2012

Lauri: Warrior Princess

...Prayer Warrior to be precise.
This year I feel like God is leading me to deeper devotion in my prayer life.  When I was in Kenya, one of the first lessons the Pastor taught our team was, "Without prayer you will not survive, literally."  And so those 8 weeks we took him at his word and sought God's face over everything, growing in confidence to pray out loud, learning better how to pray with and for others, even exploring different ways to pray both individually and as a group.  It was one of those lessons I thought would never fade, that I had finally earned my prayer warrior stripes for good.
But a couple years later, a couple years of food security and being within my cultural comfort zone surrounded by everything I need to meet my survival needs, and my warrior stripes have significant;y faded; my prayer muscle has grown flabby.
And so, I feel like my Heavenly Father is telling me to get off the couch and get working on those muscles again.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 has been gnawing at my heart, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
And so I have begun.
Step 1.  When I say I'm going to pray for someone, I write their name on a post-it note and stick it to my bathroom mirror.  This way while I'm brushing my teeth and drying my hair I am reminded to seek God on their behalf. (for someone like me who thinks better while she's moving/doing something it definitely helps)
Step 2.  I am trying to be intentional about praying before I go to sleep and to use my first controllable conscious thought to pray a prayer of thanksgiving.  "Thank you God for this breath in my lungs and seeing me safely through the night" starts the morning off a lot better than "O shoot is it really Monday, what have I got to do today?"
Step 3.  I pray before I eat.  Not just a prayer of thanks for my food, but I pray for heavy burdens on my heart.  This is how I fast.  Prayer and fasting seem to go together like peas and carrots and this has been a sticky problem for me in my desire to become more prayer warrior like...warriors fast and I can't.  I have a history of eating issues or not-eating issues to be more precise but that is a story of God's faithfulness for another time, we'll just say that by God's grace it is not a daily struggle.  However, it is still a struggle in particular when I am anxious or feel like my world is out of control and so I know that choosing not to eat for a period of time will lead to an unnecessary temptation.  So with all of this messiness I've had a hard time figuring out how to work "fasting" into my life.  I've done media fasts, but I feel like there's something about focusing on your Sustainer instead of sustenance that media-fasts miss.  So I've started using my meal time as a reminder to pray for things that are particularly heavy on my heart, things I need to lay at Jesus' feet continually so that I don't try and fix it on my own.  I don't know if it's right or an appropriate alternative but it's working for me
Step 4.  I'm reminding myself to pray with confidence, like the daughter of the King that He has made me to be.
Ephesians 3:12 : In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Hebrews 4:16 : Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Pretty powerful promises!

On my own I am weak and I need to constantly be reminded of what I know to be true.  I need to remember that it is not only in Kenya that I will not survive without prayer...it's everywhere.  By His grace alone can I become the Prayer Warrior Princess that He would have me be.

Linking up with Emily and others at Imperfect Prose