People who have read my blog often ask me if I mind being so transparent. Does it bother me that everyone can see my thoughts, witness my frailties, know the specifics of my challenges? Nope.
I’m kind of a right-out-there kind of a girl. I always have been. I am sometimes jealous of those who are able to conceal their true feelings, withhold information, or refrain from commenting. I mean, I’m learning…I am 50, after all…but at heart, I’m truly ‘what you see is what you get’.
And where else should this be so than in my personal blog? I just pointed out yesterday that one of my main purposes in writing this blog is to reflect. I do this best through writing and not holding back. Now, I do realize that not everyone functions this way. It’s just the way I am wired. I often, as I have written numerous times, don’t know what is going to pop out of my fingers until it does. I surprise myself. And while, at least for the sake of blogging, some topics are off limits for me — such as what happens in the bedroom or the bathroom — I don’t want to suppress myself or compromise the integrity of my writing.
I read somewhere this summer — I’ve read so.many.books. about writing this summer — that writing is all about finding your truth. And, for me, writing this blog is, if nothing else, an exercise in telling the truth. Often that truth is framed by what I am studying in the Bible on a particular day, so when my devotion this afternoon was about prayer and Daniel’s faithfulness in his daily exercise of prayer, I knew I had to go there.
So here I go: I’m not a faithful pray-er.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the power of prayer — I do! It’s not that I don’t know what to pray for — I do! It’s not that people don’t share their requests with me — they do! It’s not that I’m so busy that I don’t have time to pray — I’m not! I have no excuses!! I just am not a faithful pray-er.
That is why I started reading the book by Beth Moore, Whispers of Hope: Ten Weeks of Devotional Prayer. I started reading this book over a year ago! I’m on my third time through. The idea is that you read a devotion every day, and at the end of the devotion,you write out your prayers. Wouldn’t you think this would be a great fit for me? It is! In fact, I have written about the effectiveness of this book in this blog before!
[Oh my gosh, guys, I just Google searched “Whispers of Hope” and “Kristinsnextchapter” and I found a whole bunch of blog posts written by … Me! That is super weird!]
So the concept is great, and when I am disciplined about reading my daily devotion, I am usually good about writing down my prayers in my little notebook. In fact, I’m on my second notebook! However, you can probably already guess that I’m not super disciplined about doing my daily devotion! I’m about as disciplined with my devotion as I am with my blog. And I’m a little less disciplined with daily prayer as I am with either of those!
This blog entry is turning into true confessions of the poorly praying pastor’s wife.
But I haven’t given up. I am a work in progress.
I have champion prayer warrior examples all around me. I have mentioned before, our great pastor friend, Rev. Wm. Gatz whose life-long ministry is teaching others the power of prayer. His prayer life is inspiring. I think he’s been praying for our family for well over twenty years at least weekly, if not daily. I don’t believe I know anyone who prays more, with the exception, possibly, of our good friend, Laurel, who I haven’t seen in years. We haven’t lived in the same state in over ten years, but I am confident that Laurel prays for me and my family regularly. That is terribly humbling for someone who often forgets to pray for her own husband and children, let alone anyone else.
Just this week, a good friend, who recently received his first call as a pastor mentioned on Facebook that he is creating a prayer wall in his new office. He was soliciting requests to put on his wall. You know I was one of the first to submit a request, but it never occurred to me that I could create my own prayer wall. (Ok, I do realize that it just occurred to me now.)
So, I just had an idea. While I was in Boston last weekend, I was standing in the kitchen of one of my daughters. She and her roommates use the front of their fridge as a white board to keep track of what items need to be purchased and who did what chore last — brilliant. I have also been in the bathrooms of friends who use the mirror to list the prayer needs of family and friends. So, I’m thinking that if I use a dry-erase marker on the side of my fridge that faces the sink where I stand to do dishes several times a day and on the mirror I stand in front of to dry my excessively thick hair each morning, I would find two (or more) times each day to be reminded to pray.
That’s it. I’m gonna go start my lists right now. You know I’m gonna let you know how this goes, right? Wanna give it a try with me?
I Thessalonians 5:17
[Start, and then} “pray continually.”