As I've been thinking about my prayer journal lately, I was reminded of this post I did some time ago. I thought it might be an encouragement to others to see how it works in our prayers for ourselves.
Ongoing answers to ongoing prayers...I’ve been so encouraged lately to see how God has been answering my ongoing prayers for my own growth in several areas. It’s happened without my even being totally aware of it. These are things I usually pray for only once a week, on Saturday, my day to pray for myself.
(I don’t recall if I have shared much in the past about my prayer journal. So I’ll briefly do so here. Basically, I have three sections -- Adoration, Agreeing, and Asking. In Adoration, I have a number of pages dealing with individual attributes of God. In Agreeing, I have a number of pages dealing with sin issues/character flaws in my life. Asking is the largest section and contains a divider for each day of the week, as well as one for every day. I pray for my husband, kids/grandkids, my parents, and a few special friends everyday. I have our church directory divided up pretty much evenly and pray for a certain portion of our church family each day. Beyond that, on Monday I pray for missionaries; Tuesday, for special friends; Wednesday, for church leadership; Thursday, for our country and our extended family; Friday, for several special families I am praying specific verses for; Saturday, for my personal requests, and Sunday, for each aspect of our church services, any visitors, etc. So that’s my prayer journal in a nutshell.)
Back to my personal prayer requests. I have a number of them. But sometime back, when I completed a Bible study on Proverbs 31 (“Beautiful in God’s Eyes” by Elizabeth George), I was challenged to list down prayer requests for areas where I needed to grow and change to become a woman like the Proverbs 31 woman. Here’s my list:
* MYSELF: work on kindness, careful speech, health and energy.
* MY HUSBAND: work on taking better care of him, helping him, benefiting him.
* MY HOUSEHOLD: work more diligently at watching over it.
* MY ENTERPRISES: work harder at discovering how God might have me to use my skills and interests to benefit the family.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t seen huge progress or answers in all of these areas. But in a couple of areas the answers have been amazing.
For the health and energy request, I am continually learning to eat more healthfully and exercise more regularly. A free download from FlyLady.net called the “body clutter investigator” has recently helped me keep much better track of things like water, exercise, sleep, and fiber intake on a daily basis. Each of those things really makes a difference! I’ve lost a lot of weight over the past year and gotten a lot more fit as I’ve exercised more regularly.
For the household request, I’ve shared before how the FlyLady system has helped me get a handle on my homemaking. Even though I haven’t done the best at this through my recent big writing project, yet I’ve been amazed at how having the basic routines in place has helped me stay right on top of meals, laundry, dishes, etc. In the past, all of those things would suffer when I had a deadline. I’ve also been helped by Elizabeth George’s books “Life Management for Busy Women” and “God’s Wisdom for a Woman’s Life” and also by Organized Home.com. (Today I have zeroed in on my kitchen, as that’s the FlyZone for the week, and am seeing some progress even though it’s late in the week. As FlyLady says, I am not behind!) In recent weeks, I’ve been blessed to visit the blogs of Mrs. B and Mrs. Wilt and find these ladies to be incredibly inspiring in the household department!
Another ongoing prayer request of mine has been to nurture my creativity. I find that I am happiest if I can do one creative thing, however small, each day. I’ve gotten much inspiration from the crafts message board at Organized Christmas.com. The ladies there put up a challenge each week for spending a certain amount of time crafting. Although I seldom accomplish everything on my list, yet I find it very encouraging to have goals and just pick away at them bit by bit. It has kept crafting on my “radar screen” even on the most stressful days. Again, I find my creativity nurtured by visiting blogs -- I’ve been especially blessed by Mrs. Wilt’s thrifting finds and by the vintage embroidery pattern site she shared. I’ve also been blessed -- just today -- as I looked over an essay from Kelly at FlyLady.net concerning a “kitchen remodel” that costs almost nothing but time and a creative way of looking at things.
What an amazing God we have! I am humbled and so very encouraged as I see how He works and the different vessels He uses to answer our very personal, heartfelt prayer requests.