One Simple Family Prayer That Has Astonishing Results

One Simple Family Prayer That Has Astonishing Results


Reading Time: 4 min 48 sec


It was the best day of the year, his birthday. A shy grin stretched across his face as he was surrounded on every side with aunts, and uncles, grandparents, and cousins, siblings, and parents. He listened to the rousing rendition of the Happy Birthday song,  which ended with the sound of cheers and laughter. 


His face hurt from smiling. His anticipation rising, he heard the crowd get closer, felt the big and little hands of family members rest on his shoulders, head, and back. His eyes drifted shut, the part he had waited for all year had finally arrived.


And then one by one, the voices of his dearly loved ones, celebrated their love for him with the Creator of the Universe.  Their prayers recognized the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit at work in his life. Every person ended their prayer with a blessing.


His face bowed, his heart full, their words enveloped him, reminding him of who he was, where he came from, and where he was going.  The experience lasted only a couple of minutes, but the effects were felt to the end of his days.  


A Blessing given in love and faith is a precious gift to a child.” Catherine Stonehouse, Listening to Children On The Spiritual Journey.


Today, I want to share with you one-simple prayer that can’t help but change the trajectory of your child’s life.

1. Family Praying: Jesus’ Model

2. Family Praying: Blessing Prayers

3. Family Praying: When To Pray A Blessing

1. Family Praying: Jesus’ Model


The prayer of blessing has been around since the beginning of time. Throughout the Old Testament, we have examples of parents and elders laying hands on their children and praying blessing over them.  The most famous example is found in Mark 10:13-16, where Jesus stops everything and blesses the children.


It says this, “The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.”


I love how it reads in the Message translation, “gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.” Prayer is an active experience. Blessing prayers are not just a verbal but a physical act of anointing future generations. Positive touch, by the laying on of hands or through a hug, communicates God’s love, incarnate to that child.


Imagine the power, of your child not only hearing a verbal expression of thankfulness, love, and blessing but feeling God’s love through your physical touch and presence.


Vernie Schorr Love, in her book, Spiritual Disciplines for Children, says it this way, “The combination of words and touch leaves children with the deep sense of being loved, accepted, cared for, and valued. Blessings speak hope, life, and a sense of belonging, worth, and competence into them.  Blessings lay the groundwork for children’s inheritance to multiply with each generation.”


Your act of engaging in the practice of blessing your child can affect the spiritual lives of your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. What a wonderful legacy to leave your family!



2.  Family Praying: Blessing Prayers


There are a couple of different ways that you can pray a blessing over your children. You can speak your own prayer over them.  You might use a combination of calling out where you see God at work in their lives and in asking for his protection and blessing over their future.


A prayer of blessing does not need to be elaborate or long. I remember Jesus’ words as he encourages us in Matthew 6:8 of how to pray, “This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.” 


If you prefer to speak a written blessing over your child, here are some suggestions to get you started:


1. “May the peace of Jesus fill you,

The Love of Jesus surround you,

And the presence of Jesus guard you,

Now as you sleep, and all your life.”  -Angela Ashwin


2. “May God Bless you and keep you.

May God turn toward you and be gracious to you.

May God turn to you and grant you peace.

May the light of God shine over you.

May the Holy Spirit fill you.

May the blood of Jesus cover you.

May you sleep/live/go in peace. (Use the verb that suits the setting)

And may you always know just how much the Lord Jesus loves you. Scottie May


3. “_____, (child’s name), your name means ______ , and _________. We see your tender attitude toward your friends and ours. You are able to see the needs of others and often ask us to pray with you for them. We ask God to continue to bless us and to bless you as you grow, learn, love God, and obey his ways. We love you and thank God for sending you to us.” Vernie Schorr Love



3. Family Praying: When To Pray A Blessing

Prayers of blessing can take place at any time. I have found that it’s helpful to tie a prayer of blessing to a specific event or time of day. This practice helps me to be intentional about incorporating blessing prayer into our lives instead of always postponing it to some date in the future.

Personally, I use blessing prayers on my children’s birthdays, and each night before they go to bed. Children love traditions and birthdays can serve as a great opportunity to intentionally include other people in speaking prayers of blessing over them.


Bedtime blessings are POWERFUL! I cannot tell you the number of rich conversations and positive connections with Jesus that have happened as a result of a bedtime blessing.  It can become this deep place of connection with your child. “Children mentioned their bed and their bedroom more frequently than any other as a place where they talked to God and sensed God’s presence.” Listening To God on The Spiritual Journey


There is such power in the liturgy of laying your hand on your child’s head each night and speaking words of affirmation and blessing over them.  That time right before they fall asleep, is a very thin place, where children are most aware of the movement of the Holy Spirit.  This is where there is an amazing opportunity for your child to experience deep connections with God and with you.


Here are some ideas of when to use blessing prayers:


  1. Birthdays
  2. New Years
  3. Thanksgiving
  4. Bedtime
  5. Meal Times
  6. Important Milestones (Baptism, Graduations, etc.)


I can’t wait to see what God will do through the intentional and simple practice of praying a blessing over your children.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? Have you practiced blessing your children? What was their experience of the prayer?    I would love to hear your story!   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How To Combat Fear When The World Is In Crisis

How To Combat Fear When The World Is In Crisis


Reading Time: 6 min 17 sec


How do you combat fear when you are in living in a state of crisis? Are you tired of the news playing havoc with your emotions?  Does each press conference, or latest update feel like a stranglehold on your desire for security?  Are you desperately searching for a safe haven in the midst of a storm?


     At the time of this writing, COVID-19 is assaulting the world.  We are daily hearing stories of toilet paper skirmishes, mask shortages, and how hoarding has become the norm.  The mainstream media continue to stir the pot of fear each trying to outdo each other with elaborate headlines. 


We wrestle with the idea (turned reality) that in our age of advanced technology, and strong healthcare systems, a pandemic can have such an effect on our lives. We subconsciously believe that we are too evolved for viruses that we can’t control. 


    But pandemics, wars, natural disasters, widespread poverty, and pain are not a new phenomenon.  These life-altering events have been affecting humans since the beginning of time.  We fight against it because it forces us to come face to face with our own helplessness, our own vulnerability, our innate humanness. 


    We are not God, and that is never more apparent than in a time of crisis.  You wonder is it even possible to live with peace when fear is the common currency? We are going to be talking about three practical ways to combat fear:

1. Fight Fear: Recount His Faithfulness

2. Fight Fear: Praise God When The Sky Is Falling 

3. Fight Fear: Practical Tips To Turn Your Eyes Toward Jesus

1. Fight Fear: Recount His Faithfulness


The Israelites from the Bible were very familiar with overwhelming odds and near-death situations. After escaping Egypt, the Israelites were caught between the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army pursuing them from behind.


I can’t imagine how terrifying and helpless it would feel to see a huge army, including 600 hundred of Pharaoh’s fastest chariots hurtling towards you, as you are stuck on the banks of the Red Sea with no way to get across.


The Israelites responded to the crisis in the typical human fashion, “They said to Moses,“Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?  Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Exodus 14:11-12


When faced with overwhelming odds, instead of looking too God, they started planning their own funerals. They forgot that they served a God who had just unleashed his mighty power through plagues, rescued them from Pharaoh, provided a pillar of cloud to guide them by day, and a pillar of fire to guide them by night.


So, what do we do, when we feel like the world is closing in around us and there is no way out?  We need to learn from the Israelites and remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness.  Nothing that is or will ever happen is a surprise to God. He is not scrambling to try and figure out a solution to the issues at hand. When we are tempted to panic, we need to stop and remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness to us.  So, let’s get practical, shall we?


Recounting God’s Faithfulness Prayer Exercise:

a. Grab a piece of paper, or journal and a pen. Find a quiet place and get comfortable.

b. Optional -Light a candle as a visual reminder that God is with you right now.

c. Close your eyes and invite God into this time of prayer. Spend a couple of minutes in silence just spending time with God.

*If this new to you, set a timer for 2-3 minutes, so you are not constantly checking your watch wondering if it broke. 🙂

d. Ask God to remind you of his faithfulness in your life. Record those events by writing down any time, large or small, that God has shown up.

Option 2: If you are finding this is difficult, or you have a relatively new relationship with God, start by listing all the ways he showed up for:

  1. People in the Bible
  2. Members of your family
  3. Current Godly men and women that you admire
  4. In the lives of Christians throughout history

e. Post that paper in a prominent place as a daily visual reminder of God’s presence in your life.


2.  Fight Fear: Praise Him When The Sky Is Falling 


The story continues with Moses challenging the panicking Israelites to not be afraid and to trust in God.  With everyone watching, God made history yet again. 🙂  He saved the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians, by dividing the Red Sea and allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry ground.

Exodus 14:28 says, “The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.”


The Israelites spend an entire chapter, singing a song of thanksgiving to God praising him for his mighty power.


I don’t remember a majority of the sermons that I have heard over the years much to my dismay. However, I once heard a pastor unpack the story of Moses and the Israelites in a way that I have never forgotten.  He said that the Israelites praised God on the wrong side of the river.


In the face of adversity, they promptly forgot his track record of faithfulness, and they demanded proof yet again that God was who he said he was. Anyone can praise God AFTER he shows up in a mighty way.


God is inviting us, built on our love relationship with him, to trust him.  To praise him when it looks like everything is crumbling around us, and the world is screaming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”


We need to remember that we serve Immanuel, which means God with us.  Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us of God’s character as it says,


Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”



Will you choose to accept God’s invitation to trust him and to praise him on this side of the river?


3. Fight Fear: Practical Tips To Turn Your Eyes Towards Jesus  

Take a breath and remind yourself that there is nothing new under the sun. The Bible alone is full of men and women faced with extraordinary challenges, completely helpless, and chose to accept God’s help to see them through.

David hiding from Saul in the mountains. Daniel in the lion’s den. Esther facing death. Ruth facing starvation.  Baby Jesus and the threat of King Herod are just some of the examples.


I am always looking for ways to take head knowledge into practical heart transformation. I have compiled a list of practical ideas to help you when fear starts to creep up.   They are not in any particular order.


 a. Place Restrictions on Media Consumption.

I am not advocating burying your head in the sand. It is important to be an informed citizen.  However, be wise at how much control the headlines have over your mental and emotional health.


b. Set Parameters on how Long you will Discuss the Latest News.

 Along those same lines, be intentional on how much time you spend discussing the latest headline.


c. Spend Time in the Bible.

I would highly recommend reading through the Psalms. They are full of David’s sometimes brutally honest cries to God for deliverance.  I would recommend reading a Psalm or two a day and using them as your own personal prayer to God.


d. Don’t Isolate Yourself

Find ways to connect with others, even if it can’t be in person.  FaceTime, phone calls, text messages, and yes, even letters. Skype with your small group.  Get creative! 🙂


e. Memorize Scripture

The great Christian mothers and fathers throughout history have used meditating on scripture as a way to live in peace, not fear.  You can focus on topics like peace, hope, and joy.


f. Exercise

 This is so important to your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  Go for a walk around your neighborhood, try out a new exercise video on youtube, play outside with your kids. The point is to get moving!


g. Be Honest With God 

Talk with God about your thoughts and feelings. Be honest. He wants to hear from the real you not the “good christian” you.


h. Eat Healthy Foods

 I know you want to indulge in comfort foods 24/7 to help manage the stress. But eating whole foods is crucial to supporting a healthy immune system. The little choices you make today affect your overall health tomorrow.


i. Get Rest

Don’t use the latest restrictions as an invitation to binge watch tv until one am. Be wise and set aside six to eight hours for much-needed sleep!


j. Engage in a Hobby that Brings You Joy

 Seriously, now is the time to try out that new hobby. This should be something that allows you to decompress and invites you to experience joy, wonder, and beauty in this world. Explore music, exercise, art, fix a car, learn to knit, try a new card game, or a new recipe.  The skies the limit and there are no acorns in sight. 🙂


To God be the Glory, Forever, and Ever, Amen.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to fighting fear?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


13 Inspirational Faith Quotes for When You Are Discouraged

13 Inspirational Faith Quotes for When You Are Discouraged


Reading Time: 4 min 2 sec


Stories of inspirational faith can be used by God powerfully in the dark and dreary seasons of life.  Have you ever felt utterly discouraged? The I want to stay in my sweat pants, eating ice cream and binge-watching Hulu forever seasons?

You know, those times where nothing seems to be going right and you are out of answers.  Have you ever wondered where is God when you feel so miserable?


In times of great discouragement or disappointment, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The feelings of helplessness and discouragement can threaten to overwhelm you.  However, there is hope! God in his infinite wisdom did not design us to journey alone through life. We were meant to live in community with others.


One way we can do that is to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness even in the midst of unbeatable odds. It is these stories of faith that bolster our sagging spirits. Throughout the Bible, stories played a powerful role in the encouragement and instruction of future generations by proclaiming who God is and what he has done.


I see quotes as mini-stories of God’s power at work in the lives of men and women of faith. Today, I have compiled a list of my favorite quotes and scriptures specifically for discouraging seasons.  I would encourage you to use the exercise below to allow God to speak to you through their words of hope.


When we read articles with bullet points it can be extremely easy to want to speed through the article.  But I would challenge you to engage, by inviting God to speak to you through the words of godly men and women by reading slowly and reflectively.  Their inspirational faith can serve as a catalyst for our own spiritual growth if we can slow down long enough to listen.

Inspirational Faith Exercise:


a. Pray and invite God to speak to you through the quotes below.

b. Read through the quotes slowly and notice any phrase or quote that jumps out at you.

c. Bring that phrase or quote to the Lord in prayer. Ask him to speak to you through those words.

d. Read through the phrase or quote again slowly. Then sit in silence allowing elbow room for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. 

If this is your first time sitting in silence, I would highly recommend setting a timer for two-three minutes. It keeps you from constantly checking the time. 🙂

e. Close your time in prayer by thanking God for his presence.

f. Journal any thoughts, feelings or impressions you experienced during this exercise.


Here are 13 Inspirational Faith Quotes from great men and women of faith that if read reflectively can serve as a catalyst to a deeper walk with God even in times of discouragement.


13 Inspirational Faith Quotes

1. “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles it empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom

2. “If you want to get warm you move near the fire. If you want joy, peace, eternal life, you must get close to what has them.” C.S. Lewis

3. “O God, when my faith gets overladen with dust, blow it clean with the wind of your Spirit. When my habits of obedience get stiff and rusty, anoint them with the oil of your Spirit. Restore the enthusiasm of my first love for you.” Eugene H. Peterson


4. “When I trust deeply that today God is truly with me and holds me safe in a divine embrace, guiding every one of my steps I can let go of my anxious need to know how tomorrow will look, or what will happen next month or next year. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God’s love within me and around me.” Henri Nouwen


5. “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” Hebrews 11:1


6. “Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.”-Thomas Merton


7. “The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we will allow or require our minds to dwell upon.” Dallas Willard

8. “Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God’s guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness.” Henri Nouwen


9. “One way to define spiritual life is getting so tired and fed up with yourself you go on to something better, which is following Jesus.”-Eugene H. Peterson


10. God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” Lamentations 3:24


11. “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” Corrie Ten Boom


12. “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis


13. “But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.” Luke 17:6



If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 


What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to pursuing a deep relationship with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

What To Do When Pain Smacks You In The Face

What To Do When Pain Smacks You In The Face


Reading Time: 5 min 44 sec


The pain hit like a sledgehammer, followed by the unmistakable realization that life would never be the same. I gulped back a sob and tried to breathe, my whole-body seizing, ready to crumble.  I shook my head in bewilderment, as thoughts of grief, flooded my mind. I gasped, “Everything was fine just a few moments ago. How could this happen?!”   


Pain is one of those unavoidable experiences that strike each of us with deadly accuracy. The loss of a loved one, the death of a relationship, or a dream, the end of a job, or even a cross country move can leave us reeling.


We stumble around in a fog, desperate for something that will stop the ache inside.  We believe that if we can just find our new normal, maybe this debilitating pain will stop, or at least not punch us in the gut when we least expect it.


We self-medicate by binge-watching tv, finding comfort in food, spending long hours at work, living at the gym, or filling our calendars so full, you have to schedule a time to use the bathroom.


God invites us into something different.


He asks us to journey with him as he transforms the pain in our lives with the renovation of our souls.


So, how do we work with the Holy Spirit when pain smacks us in the face?

1. Stop Running


2. You Can’t Do This Alone 



3. Rehearse God’s Faithfulness



4. Embrace Transformation



1. Stop Running 


I remember as a little kid arguing with my mom over the removal of a band-aid.  I was convinced that if she went slow and took it off bit by bit, it wouldn’t hurt nearly as bad as taking it off in one brutal swipe.


She tried to warn me, but I was determined, so I started to slooowly peel the band-aid off.  With my whole body tense, I squirmed, yelled and did everything in my power to fight against a quick removal.


That agonizing band-aid experience was the longest two minutes of my life. smile


Just like the band-aid removal, when presented with agonizing situations, our first urge is to do anything that might minimize the pain. We drown our sorrows in every distraction that presents itself. We try to outrun, to bury, or do just about anything but face our pain.


Pain is like a disease, when suppressed, it just eats away at our souls. It spreads throughout our lives leaving nothing uncovered. It affects the quality of our relationships, our jobs, and our relationship (or lack thereof) with God.


If you want to find hope, healing, and rest, you have to stop trying to submerge your pain in a carton of ice cream.


Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. C.S. Lewis


Attempting to conceal your pain only adds unnecessary grief and stress to your life. Taking the time to acknowledge your agony is the first step to healing.


Take a moment and ask yourself:

  • In what ways am I trying to bury unresolved pain in my life?



2.  You Can’t Do This On Your Own 


As American’s we are obsessed with the need to control. We try to control our bank accounts, our kid’s futures, our food, and our wardrobes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


We celebrate independence as a virtue. The phrases, “He stood on his own two feet.” “He pulled himself up by his bootstraps” shout we don’t need anything or anyone. We can do it all on our own.


We take that cultural lie into our relationship with God.  “God helps those who help themselves” seems to be the common mantra of the American church. I’m willing to bet that some people would even think that’s an actual Bible verse.


And so, we press on, trying to control the pain and fix the situation, desperately trying to make our lives go back to normal.  We fumble around in the dark with our limited knowledge, trying to be the god (small g) in our own lives. We are so quick to assume that God wound the clock and then left us to get the job done.


But God is calling us to a different type of life. A life of freedom, peace and rest. A life where we don’t have to carry around a huge weight of expectations or operate under the constant threat of failure.


Matthew 11:30 says, “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.”


God in his infinite wisdom and love is encouraging us to surrender our need to try and control our world.


He is inviting us into a safe place, a place of vulnerability, a place of comfort, a place of lavish love. A place where you don’t have to have all the answers.


The weight of the world wasn’t designed to lay on your shoulders.


Like children who can play and move throughout their days in the comfort of their parent’s protection, God offers us that same benefit. We can go through our days, finding rest, and peace in the comfort of his wings.


Pause and ask yourself:

  • What do you think God feels (or thinks or is doing) in you as you experience this situation?



3. Rehearse God’s Faithfulness 

Let’s be honest, it can feel inconceivable to think about releasing control when you are going through a painful situation. In a time when we feel so helpless, we can jealously hoard any small measure of control that we have left.
One practical way to let go is to rehearse God’s faithfulness to ourselves. God promises time and time again to never leave or forsake us. His very name “Emmanuel” means God With Us. He wants to journey with you minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, in the painful and joyful moments of your life.


Prayer Activity: 

Time: 10-15 minutes


Pray and invite the Holy Spirit. Ask him to bring mind all the ways God has shown up in your life (large and small). Give the Holy Spirit elbow room to speak by sitting in silence.


Write down each moment or experience.


If you have a relatively new relationship with God it might be helpful to start reading through the Old Testament. Look for situations where God showed up for his people and write them down.


As you look over the list, share with God your thoughts and feelings. Praise him for his faithfulness to you. Ask him for the grace to surrender daily your pain to him.


The pain doesn’t go away, but it becomes easier to surrender when you have a tangible reminder of God’s proven track record in your life.



4. Embrace Transformation


So how do we embrace everything God has for us during our pain?


We have to understand that our lives are a daily (sometimes hourly) process of surrender.  Acknowledging our pain, surrendering and praising God is not a one-time deal. This is a lifelong process that takes patience and perseverance. And we cannot embark on this journey BY OURSELVES.


When we are in pain, we want to lick our wounds in isolation, believing the lie that no one has ever experienced what we are going through. However, God designed us to live in community with one another. To truly embrace health, healing, and transformation, amid pain, we need each other.


We serve a God who in large part is unseen. When we encounter the listening ear of another person that is God’s tangible touch of love in our lives.  He uses each of us to support, care and love one another; as his hands and feet in our communities.


Here are some ideas of ways you can find community in your local setting.

  • Church Services
  • Church Small Groups
  • Recovery Groups ( AA, Overeaters Anonymous, etc.)
  • Grief, Single Parent, or Divorce Support Groups
  • Accountability Groups




If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to pursuing God when you are in pain?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!      [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

How To Have Time With God When You Feel Awkward

How To Have Time With God When You Feel Awkward


Reading Time: 5 min 15 sec

I tiptoe through the house, and with a cup of steaming hot coffee in my hands, I pull out my Bible and sink down into the couch.  I bask in the feeling of accomplishment that I actually woke up before the sun, ready to spend some quality time with Jesus.  


I glance down at my Bible and instantly feel overwhelmed. Now what? My mind is filled with questions; Do I just start reading? Should I start with prayer? How long does my prayer need to be? Do I need to use a devotional in order for this to count? Should I try opening my Bible and point to a verse?


I know my pastor must have said something about how to meet with God, but nothing is coming to mind and a feeling of desperation comes over me. I stumble through a prayer, feeling foolish. Who knew that having devotions could feel like so much work? I know I’m supposed to spend time with Jesus. But this just feels plain awkward.  I’m at the point where l almost feel sorry for God.  


My bed starts to look really good as my eyes feel weighted down. I start feeling resistant to continuing to try and meet with God. I read a chapter or two from Matthew, mumble a quick prayer and close the Bible quickly. Whew! I feel relieved that I can cross that off my list today. 


A feeling of dread sweeps over me at the thought of having to go through the process again tomorrow.  There has to be a better way… What do you do when no one has ever taught you how to spend time with God?


Have you ever felt like this?  Don’t worry you are not alone. 


The goal as Christians is not to learn more about God (though that is super important), but to develop a deep love relationship with Jesus.  We start developing that relationship by meeting with him each day


There are many different ways and tools that you can use to meet with God. However, we are going to be specifically talking about three practical steps that you can take to experience God every day:


1. Learning To Be Present

2. The Power of God’s Word

3. Pausing To Reflect



1. Learning To Be Present


You are reading your Bible and suddenly you realize that you have been staring into space for the last five minutes thinking about how you need to pick up milk, deposit cash, and  write a thank you card to a friend.


Distractions are a great way to keep us from connecting with God. We will always have something (or a lot of things smile) that our minds want to fixate on.  


For the sake of clarity, God wants to hear about your thoughts, pain, triumphs, questions, and concerns, but if we are not careful, that can quickly become the extent of our relationship.


One way that I have used to be present with God is to realize that the way I come into a time with Jesus is important.


There are times  where I am almost bent over with the mental and emotional anxiety that I am lugging into my time with God.  It could be a never-ending to-do list, a conflict with a co-worker or friend, anxiety about finances, or frustration over past disappointments.  


If I’m not careful, I can quickly become distracted, and find that my thoughts drift over and fixate on my latest conundrum.  As we grow deeper in our relationship with him, our goal is to live in such a way where we are present with the one who is ever present with us. We can’t be with God  if we focused on trying to figure out to solve the latest crisis.  


One of the most helpful steps, that we can take when we meet with God, is to call out the elephants in the room! smile  We can do this by acknowledging our distractions before God and laying them down for a time, knowing that they will be there when we are done.


This can happen through a simple prayer:  


“God, I invite you into this time. My desire is to know you and experience a deep love relationship with you. I feel very distracted by…  I lay my distractions at your feet. I ask that you will help me be present with you during this time. I thank you for your grace and love, Amen.”  


As you find your thoughts drift (and they will) during your time with God, gently bring your thoughts back to him.  God is ever gracious and delights in your effort to hang out with him.



2.  The Power of God’s Word 


The Bible is all about God’s desire to have a love relationship with us.  The purpose of daily time with God is not about learning more about him, but actually learning to experience a relationship WITH him. How exciting and humbling that the God of the Universe desires to have a best friend relationship with us!


There is no substitution for time spent in God’s word. Books, devotionals, and bible studies are great and can be helpful but they cannot replace the transformative power of the Bible. We want to spend this time reading the Bible for transformation, not information.


We want to create elbow room to allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives through the power of God’s word. One way we can do this is by reading slowly, reflectively and incorporating silence into our time with God.  


What I love about this approach to reading the Bible is that it forces you to slow down. Your purpose morphs from getting it done, to allow God’s word to transform your soul. This idea sounds deceptively simple until we find ourselves rushing to get through our time with God, in order to move on to other things.


In our accomplishment driven culture, we can so easily turn daily time with God into another thing to check off the to-do list.  We see this come into play with the many Read the Bible in a Year studies. We do need to know the Bible but not at the expense of a living, breathing relationship with God.   


3. Pausing To Reflect

It is important to stop and reflect on God’s transforming word. We want to soak in the truth of the Bible allowing it to run deep within us, transforming us from the inside out.  

We can do this by slowly reading the passage of scripture several times. I have found that Psalms, Proverbs or the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) are a good place to start.


1st Time) Read the entire passage.

2nd Time) Read slowly- Paying attention to new perspectives.

3rd Time) Read slowly- Ask God to highlight a word or phrase.

4th Time) Read slowly- Reflect on the word or phrases and ask the Father to speak to you.


Pray and tell God your thoughts. Ask what is the Lord inviting me into?  How can I respond?

You can incorporate times of silence, journaling or drawing to reflect upon your experience.


When you spend time with God: Invite His presence, lay down distractions, read the Bible slowly and reflectively, and spend time in prayer asking the Father to speak to you through his word.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 


 What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to spending time with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


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