Pursuing Prayer // Kendal // ODU

Have you had a concern, a problem, a tough decision, or a rough spot in your life and turned to your friends for advice? Well, that’s not a bad thing, but let me ask you this…Did you ask God? So many times we forget that we have a way to openly communicate with God—prayer. The Bible constantly talks about prayer and its importance in a believer’s life.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 confers two simple words, “Pray constantly.”

Now, I don’t believe that this verse would be able to stand on its own unless it was significant. Every time I read this verse, however, I always think to myself, “How am I going to pray 24/7? I have to eat, sleep, take tests, brush my teeth, etc…” I mean, how many times have you prayed while brushing your teeth? But, the point remains. We have a two way radio that goes between us and God and all we have to do is keep our hand on the button. Just always stay open for God to talk to you and He will always be open to listen to you.

So what do you pray about? Well, you may not always want to be repeating the ‘prayer requests’ you have had on your mind lately until you go crazy. Prayer doesn’t have to be a request. It can be a conversation, a praise, a worship, a question, or anything just as long as its communication. The more you talk to God, the more of a response you will probably be able to hear. (This is only because your part in the communication is more amplified, it’s not because God was ignoring you before—that’s not what He does.)

Since I’ve made my attempt to be more mindful about my own prayer life, I’ve found strange times when I’ll always just be talking to God. For example: I don’t know if any of you get anxious about being in front of people as I do, be it a performance, speech, or really just anything public. If you do, you know what I’m talking about. That feeling were your stomach twists up into knots, the legs get shaky, your mind feels numb, and your heartbeat is throbbing so hard you can’t focus over the pounding. Yeah, well it’s in those moments especially that I find myself just talking to God and just asking Him to take the nerves away. It works every time!

Prayer doesn’t have to be, “Bless this food we’re about to eat,” or “Help my cousin’s broken toe to heal, help my friend’s aunt find her lost cat, etc.” Although those are completely acceptable and there is definitely time for those prayers! It’s just that sometimes these become our only calls of prayer to God on a daily basis, if even that. Find opportunities to just talk to God.

What do I talk to God about?

Tell Him about how your day is going. “Today was ____”

Ask Him for advice when you need it. “I don’t know what to do about ___”

Take opportunities to glorify Him. “God, thank You so much for ____”

Tell Him your dreams. “God, I really wish that one day I could ____”

Come to Him with your questions. “God, why did ______”

Tell Him your concerns. “God, my friend _________”

Come to Him for your needs. “I need Your help with ____”

Any of these can work and so can many, many others. Sometimes, it’s even important to just listen. Keep the line open if you can’t find words to say.

What if I have nothing I can think of to pray about?

Other than just listening like I previously suggested, the Bible offers a verse for situations like this. In Romans 8:26 it says, “In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.” Now this verse may make a little more sense when taken in its context—Romans is always a good book to study!—but it still goes to show us that even when we have troubles in our prayer life the Holy Spirit still dwells among us and is spiritually active even when we are not. (Disclaimer: This is not an excuse not to pray! )

Is there anything that can remind me to pray?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I find myself forgetting things all the time! So, I found a helpful prayer app that cannot only remind me of things that need constant prayer, but if you need to get back into the habit of praying it can literally send you a reminder to pray. This app is simple to use and has transformed my prayer life. This way, I have all my basic prayer requests written down and categorized. The app takes your requests and presents a few for you to pray for at a time and the requests change every time you finish a set. Personally, I am constantly adding prayers and reprioritizing them. I only go through sets of ten to fifteen requests each time I pray. That way I get in some time to just talk with God consistently as well. I strongly encourage this app, it is a very helpful tool that is easily accessed on your phone. It’s called PrayerMate. Please consider this app, even if you have a strong prayer life, this could help you organize all the requests you’re juggling.

Prayer is essential in a relationship with God and I encourage you to take time to talk to someone who will always listen and will never let you down.

 

My name is Kendal Adams and I am a sophomore at Old Dominion University studying Mechanical Engineering. I love sunsets, traveling, flying planes, music, movies, and Jesus! My favorite quote, which happens to be a verse of course, is “…be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.”  -Romans 16:19

@kendaltheaviator

NO IFS, ANDS, or BUTS//Victoria//CNU

Do you use “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” when praying? I do. I may not directly say it, but the underlying meaning is there.

If you can, please grant me ____”

If you could give me ___”

If you can help me overcome  ___”

Mark 9:14-29 is the story of how Jesus miraculously heals a boy that’s been possessed his entire life by an evil spirit. The spirit has thrown him into fire and water in attempts to destroy the boy’s body. The disciples were unable to heal him, so the father of the boy turned to Jesus, and asked:

  1. 22-23 “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us”

Jesus’ response was “ ‘If you can’. Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Jesus basically responded, as if to remind this boy’s father, “there is no if about my power or if concerning my willingness”. “If” implies doubt; which means lacking faith or not believing.

It’s not a question of God’s ability but a question of our belief.

Instead of ‘if you (God) can do anything’ it should be ‘everything is possible if you (we) believe’.

How can I have such small faith, when I know that He has the perfect track record?

Time and time again, we forget how faithful God has been and how attuned He is to our hearts. During trials, valleys, mountains, joys, pains, sorrows… just life, why do we forget?

We forget because we get distracted by minor things.

Oh but how quickly we can refocus, with a simple humble prayer.

  1. 24 “…Help me overcome my unbelief!”

The boy’s father spoke this prayer, asking Jesus to help him to have a stronger faith. Instantly, Jesus spoke, and the evil spirit shrieked and fled his presence.

God is able. He both can and will. How does this change our prayers? Or the way we view God?

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that works in us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,

forever and ever! Amen.

Read that again.

“…immeasurably more…” : Not just more, because that’s measurable. So much more that it’s off the charts! There’s no measurement. (my little brain doesn’t understand this, and that’s okay)

“…more than we ask or imagine…” : What He does will exceed what we imagine or hope. He will continually provide in more creative ways than we can imagine; after all, He is The Creator.

God will always be able. He will do immeasurably more than we could hope for, or what our brain is capable of understanding. He will exceed our imagination, and will likely answer prayers differently than we ask them.

God’s able.

No ‘ifs’, ‘ands’, or ‘buts’.

I still believe

You’re the same yesterday, today, and forever

I still believe

I still believe your blood is still sufficient for me

-Kim Walker-Smith, Still Believe

{great song, look it up}

thetaylorfamilysession-11

 

Hello! I hope this blog finds you doing well and enjoying the beginnings of Fall! My name is Victoria Taylor. I’m a senior at Christopher Newport University, and I plan to graduate in the spring. I patiently anticipate May, as I will graduate, celebrate my 22nd birthday, and become a Mrs. all in just 1 week! God has given me a passion for medicine and healthcare, so I’m currently applying to Occupational Therapy schools while planning our wedding. I am experiencing many new joys right now, but I am also praying and watching my trust in the Lord grow. Thank you for reading this! I hope it brings as much peace to you as it does me.

 

Five Things Friday // Growing with God {Meg}

One thing I became passionate about in my own life starting in college is the concept of self-feeding & my personal growth in my relationship with God.
I think so many times we fall into the dangerous trap of thinking that our growth in our knowledge of God comes primarily through other people.
God certainly uses other people to grow us – I’m well aware and well acquainted with that – but ultimately, people will disappoint you. Your friends and disciplers and Bible study leaders and [gasp!] even Cru staff members will all let you down you at some point.  It’s just true.
But guess what!? Your walk with Jesus isn’t dependent on other people.

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Don’t get me wrong – community is SO valuable, and I’ll be the first in line to tell you to invest & plug in & ask for wisdom from older women & share your struggles & pray for your friends & get involved in a church & go on summer missions & pretty much anything else along those lines involving Biblical community, but community with others doesn’t come before community with God on your own. It just doesn’t compare.
A turning point in my life was learning that God created a relationship with me and it wasn’t on my own doing. Sure, he used other people to bring me to himself, but ultimately, He knows me, and He died for me, and He’s a personal God, and it’s good for me to know Him.
It’s always my hope and my dream for college women to embrace the same things. Because as a staff member wisely told me [in the context of discipleship & community, after all that!], the habits you make now – meaning in college, or whenever now is for you – will be habits you continue to hold to after college, and for decades to come.
So, in order to take a step towards equipping you women & challenging you to walk intimately with Jesus in your own personal lives, here’s five things to inspire you to begin, or grow in depth, in that journey – in no particular order:

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  1. Know God more by reading His Word.  This one seems of utmost importance to me.  If you’re not sure how to do that in depth, read Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word.  I think sermons are awesome and I do love a good Christian book but there’s something unique & imperative about spending time primarily in God’s Wordthat is invaluable. Yes, you can learn from others, but God gave us His Word to know Him more (let that sink in)… and so do it. Passionately.
  2. Start a prayer journal.  I love the basic Moleskine or Target journal where I can fill up my pages with prayers to God.  But, I also love a structured direction with my prayer life. Consider Brooke’s prayerjournal guide she shared with us on this blog.  Also, consider investing inone of these or these.  And pray.
  3. Be willing to be sanctified {which means being made more pure, more like God}. One of the most convicting prayers in Scripture, in my mind, is the prayer in Psalm 139 – Search me, Oh God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  {Insert shocked face emoji here.} But yeah, ask the Holy Spirit to show you your grievous ways, and then be willing to pray and ask Him to grow you in that… And, eek, bigger gulp – if you are having a hard time seeing the Holy Spirit’s conviction for you there, consider asking a friend who knows you well to help you to see areas you are doing well in and an area you can grow in.  And then ask them to help you walk more like Jesus in that.
  4. Learn from others, too, but as a supplement to – and not more valuable than – God’s Word.  God uses others to teach us about Himself, which is beautiful. Don’t let that time overpower your time knowing about Him and discovering truths in scripture on your own.  But, learn from others, too.  Podcasts, books, sermons, online articles… soak their wisdom in in.  Take advantage of all that is literally at our fingertips & let other believers sharpen you, too.
  5. Be willing to be alone with God, and connect with Him in ways that are personally meaningful for you. Going on a walk, being in nature, creating art, singing, writing, cooking, running. Fill in the blank.  You do you, but do it with God.  He speaks often loudest when we’re most quiet.  Make yourself available to Him in ways that bring you life.  Be willing to be alone with Him.

Will you take one step towards this this weekend? I am going to. This afternoon. I’m going to take a stab towards walking with God in a way I’ve been abandoning on my own the past few months.  Join me.  I promise – God will use it.

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Happy Friday! Stay awake. Be free. xoxo