What's God's Handle?
As I've gotten older, I've learned the best way to grow in your relationship with the Lord is to pray. There are several ways to pray, traditional prayers, a conversation with God, prayer through worship songs, group prayer, repentance, intercessory, and the list goes on. I found that having some resources and strategies has helped me grow in my prayer life and my relationship with God. I learned about some tools and methods from some great authors. If you want to have a more fulfilling prayer life, check out some of these resources.
· To develop a habit of prayer, check out I Heard God Laugh by Matthew Kelly
· To get specific and strategic in your prayer, read Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer
· To pray for your husband, I love The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
· To pray for your children, my favorites are
o The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian
o The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian
o Bless My Child by Julie Cragon
· To pray for your grandchildren (if your there, if not, it makes an excellent gift for the grandparents), I like Bless My Grandchild, A Catholic Prayer Book for Grandparents by Julie Cragon
· My first choice to pray for your vocation as a wife and mother is Mothers' Manual, edited by Bart Tesoriero and put out by Aquinas Press
· For more traditional prayer scattered throughout your day, I prefer the Catholic Book of Prayers ISBN 089942-910-6
· For prayers with meditations, Father Hardon's Catholic Prayer Book with Meditations by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.
Other resources to help
· Ascension's Bible in a Year Podcast, hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz and featuring Jeff Cavins https://ascensionpress.com/pages/biy-registration
· Pray more novenas https://www.praymorenovenas.com/
· For a beautiful musical Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary, prayer experience check out Donna Cori Gibson https://donnacori.com
If you don't know where to start praying, I love Matthew Kelly's Prayer Process.
THE PRAYER PROCESS BY MATTHEW KELLY
From THE FOUR SIGNS OF A DYNAMIC CATHOLIC (2012)
His Web Site: www.DynamicCatholic.com
Be Bold. Be Catholic.
In The Prayer Process, we take time – a minute, two minutes, or maybe ten minutes - to spend time with the Lord every day. Pick a specific time when you will pray; ex. Morning Prayer or Night Prayer. It is an intentional way that we grow in our faith.
The seven steps of The Prayer Process are as follows:
1. Gratitude: Begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful for today.
2. Awareness: Revisit the times of the past twenty-four hours when you were and were not the best version of yourself. Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them.
3. Significant Moments: Identify something you experienced today and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event (or person).
4. Peace: Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person, or Him) and to fill you with a deep and abiding peace.
5. Freedom: Speak with God about how he is inviting you to change your life so that you can experience the freedom to be the best version of yourself.
6. Others: Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.
7. Finish by praying the Our Father.
I adore this picture based on the bible story The Samaritan Woman John 4: 4-26. I love that Jesus gets real with the woman at the well. As much as I may not want to hear it, I need Jesus to get real with me! I can't grow as a person or in my relationship with Him if I don't spend time with Him in conversation.
I think overall, the best advice when it comes to prayer recently came to me in my morning reflection and prayer time; it is:
· Just show up
· Keep it simple
· Keep showing up
I would add, use resources if you're struggling, and trust that God will reward your faithfulness if you put forth the effort daily.
Here's to a fulfilled prayer life and closer relationship with Jesus!
Kelly, Matthew. Dynamic Catholic Institute, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, 2012.
Stevens, Glenda. "Woman of the Well." Https://Fineartamerica.com/Featured/Woman-of-the-Well-Glenda-Stevens.html.