But i think it's a part of my growth that will never have an "arrival" point.
Prayer is kind of like a language - in that it is a form of communication that requires me to learn it, practice it and use it.
Since prayer is a language between me and God... my desire to learn is strong.
We've been trying something new in our morning devotion time. We've been taking pieces of scripture and praying them. We can take our current situations too - and pray that piece of scripture over them... but I want my littles to learn - like I am learning - that there is power when we bring God's words back to Him.
The other day, I read from Titus during our morning devotions. (Lately, we have been reading Sarah Young's Jesus Calling - which includes scripture references at the end of every snippet that we can use. But for the month of January, we took a break from that as I was reading the New Testament in one month, so in the mornings, I would just read the kids a chapter or two from wherever I was at in my reading.)
The piece of scripture I read included this:
2 As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. 2 Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.[a] Instead, they should teach others what is good. 4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,[b] to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
6 In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. 7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 8 Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.
So we took those verses and prayed them over our lives:
"Oh Father, help me to live wisely, and to do good."
"Let my life reflect the integrity of the Christian walk."
"Help me to be an example."
And on and on - around our little circle - stumbling and reading and praying the words that struck our hearts; awkwardly breaking free from our memorized speeches and safe prayers.
It was harder to pull our minds out of the familiar grooves that our prayers had often taken... but at the same time, it was also harder to sermonize to siblings. It was easier to pray wisely. Part of it too, is just agreeing with God...
"Hey, God? I see here that it says you want me to live in a way that honours you. I agree with that. I want it too..."
And yes... we can pray these things without scripture - and we often do, don't we? But what a beautiful thing to let the word of God be our guide in our communication with Him. More listening... less ranting. More answers... less rabbit trails. More humility... less pointing fingers and tattling.
I can imagine every situation, brought to God through praying scripture.
My heart for the unborn can be brought to God praying Psalm 139...
My desire for restoring relationships can be brought to God praying Ephesians 4.
My longing for awakening or revival can be prayed through Acts 2...
And I know that my Father hears, sees and acts on my behalf...
because He has proven Himself faithful.
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Thank you, Father, for being faithful.