TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Luke 11:2 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Recently, one of my resume clients texted me a TikTok video where a woman showed her prayer journal. In it, she wrote her prayers, and every time she prayed that prayer, she put a circle around it. As prayers were answered, that prayer, with a ring of circles around it, was noted as answered and dated.
As a prolific prayer journaler (not sure that’s a word), I absolutely loved her technique. Especially since I never re-read my journals. This method seems to give more opportunity to see prayers in real time, especially since I have a stack of journals that date back years, and I’m not revisiting them… While I still want to keep my daily journal, I’m definitely building a system similar to hers. In fact, I started it last night.
Back up. I actually started it two nights ago and then listened to a sermon that so convicted my heart, I had to start over. Because my new system was all about me, and that had to be changed. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.
Let me take a moment to interrupt myself and post this disclaimer: In one limited comment that I could see (since I don’t have a TikTok account), this idea apparently originated in a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. I know nothing about this author and I haven’t read his book. I did read a review from a Christian book reviewer I trust (Tim Challies) and he wasn’t 100% glowing in his praise. And with my limited knowledge, I agree with Tim’s commentary if adopting this prayer method means making a list of “name it and claim it” kind of prayers. But that’s not my objective. Nonetheless, I wanted to be clear in the event any of you have read “The Circle Maker.”
Now, let me get back to my previous point. I had already invested an hour in this project a couple of nights ago, but then I listened to a sermon that changed everything about this new prayer project.
The sermon is titled, “It’s Not About You,” and you can listen to it on Francis Chan’s Crazy Love Podcast. My heart was so convicted. I’d started this prayer project and out the gate — it was all about a divine to-do list.
Granted, my prayers weren’t necessarily selfish; I was praying for the salvation of loved ones; praying that I would be a godly wife to Wayne; a loving mother to my son and new daughter-in-love; a good, caring, and respectful daughter to my mom… praying specific things for them, among other things… But from the start, on the first page, was all about what I wanted God to do. I failed to set up pages that acknowledged who He is.
I made it all about me. And it was supposed to be all about Him.
So I started over last night. The outline of my new prayer book starts where it should: praise, worship, and thanksgiving to God. Just as our prayer life should start…
Because while God loves to give good gifts to His children (Luke 11:13), Jesus taught us that prayer begins with praise and a recognition of who God is — “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Luke 11:2).
Pray to the Father first.
Acknowledge who God is by worshipping His Holy Name.
Pray for God’s will in our lives and in the world.
We start with God before we make our own petitions. We acknowledge that we are created to serve Him because He didn’t create us in order to be our divine butler. He is our good Father; our Creator; our Redeemer; and everything we have is because He is loving and generous. It’s about Him.
We have such a natural talent though of elevating the creation over the Creator. My new prayer project thankfully came to a screeching halt before I let that inclination get too far out of hand…
However you pray — whether you keep a journal, a mental list, or have sticky notes all over the bathroom mirror — I had a very strong reminder this week. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. In whatever way you pray and organize your prayer list — put God first. Which is exactly where He belongs in all things.
Today, as you pray — acknowledge and worship God above all things. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember to stay focused on Jesus, and less on yourself.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.