Thursday, March 22, 2012


{WARNING!!!  This post is super long and wordy, but I hope you find it's worth your time to read through.  I hope it all makes sense...I wrote it pretty late!}

I love to read a good book. There are two books that I would like to share that I absolutely love. I have had them many years and unlike most books, I revisit them quite often. My goal is actually daily. While I love fiction books, I also enjoy books that help me grow spiritually. I am a busy wife and mother of four and as most of us have discovered, life is not easy. I need books that remind me to stay on course and focus on what really matters in this life. In the past I have been a part of a great group of moms from my church that meet up and do book studies together. We have read some really great books together! I really enjoyed the discussion and fellowship. I found that I got so much more out of it because of our discussion time. Some of the Bible studies we did together were video series, which tremendously deepened what I took away from it as well. If you have never been part of a small group that meets for Bible/Book studies on a regular basis, I highly recommend you try it. No matter what season of life I've been in or how busy I've been, this has always been something that I've made time for.  Find a good group to join in your church or community, or maybe just find a group of ladies and start your own! Let's face it, as moms we need all the help we can get! Our plates are FULL and we wear so many hats. Okay, so back to the books...they are both by Stormie Omartian.  If you click on the links, you can preview a small portion of both books!
About 11 years ago, I joined a small group at a church in Florida I used to attend that was reading/studying The Power of a Praying Wife.  I had not been married long, and didn't know a whole lot about what a godly marriage should be, so it was a tremendous help to me.  I have used this book and the other ever since!  I have a method I used that I'll share later.  Either during or right after we finished The Praying Wife book, someone from my church anonymously gifted me with the Praying Parent book.  I thought it was so sweet, and I actually wanted it and already had plans to purchase it!  Thanks again, whoever you are!  ;)  Both books are filled with extremely short chapters (perfect for busy moms of little ones) followed by a prayer.  I love that each chapter focuses on a specific need concerning your husband or child(ren).  The prayers that follow are full of scriptures and there is a short list of scriptures at the end.  Both have topics that are specific to struggles or areas of concern and need for either husbands or children.  It has really helped me to learn what areas I need to cover my family in prayer.  I can't say enough about how important these two books are to me and what a blessing they've been in my life!  I have seen God's faithfulness throughout the years with the prayers I've prayed for my family.  I must stress that I do not believe that there's a secret formula or any special prayers that will  bring us the things we want or the changes in life that we desire!  However, I do believe that there IS power in praying God's word over our circumstances and praying in agreement with His word for the things we desire.  He's a good father and He longs to give us the desires of our hearts if it's in accordance to His will.  When we're seeking God to change our circumstances through prayer instead of taking matters into our own hands, how pleasing that must be to Him!  It is His will that He is not only Savior, but Lord of our family's lives as well as our own.  If we are praying over these matters and seeking God on their behalf truly desirous of this, how much more does God want this.  Our families are His children!  Could we say that He loves them, desires that they love Him,  know Him, live for Him, and make the right choices in life even more than we do?  He created them...died for them...loves them with an everlasting love.  He knows them way more than we do...or ever will for that matter.  There is power in praying God's word!  I love to see His faithfulness to His word!  While there is nothing that should replace Bible reading, these books give me a great starting point for prayer.  I have used a method for all these years that I strive to do daily. 
My Method
How I began:
The Praying Wife book has 30 chapters, so I read the whole book in a month reading a chapter each day.  It doesn't matter when you start, it'll just take a whole month this way.  Could it be read quicker?  Sure.  But I just wanted to really focus on the prayer and scriptures at the end of each chapter, meditating and taking the time to further study or find scriptures for each topic that the chapter represents.  I wanted to devote some of my quiet time that I spend with God each day to the specific prayer topic for each chapter and continually lift up that need throughout the day.  Make sense?  So I wasn't quickly reading through a chapter and praying a quick prayer and being done with it each day, but rather setting aside a part of my day to lift up the need mentioned in each chapter, meditating on God's word concerning the need, and focusing my prayers on it throughout my day.  After I read through the book, I just continued to pray the prayers, using them as a point of focus for my daily prayer time.  Every now and then I'll read chapters in the book if I need to refresh my memory on a specific subject.
So this is my method.  On day one of the month I read chapter one.  Day two...chapter two, and so on.  Since the Praying wife book only has 30 chapters and some months have 31 days, I just take the extra day to start at the beginning of the book and pray the prayer for chapter one...and on day one of the following month, I pray chapter one again.  The first chapter is praying for yourself (the wife), so I thought it couldn't hurt to use this extra day to focus on myself and have some heart-to-heart time with God about me.  Can't hurt, right?!!  I do the same for the Praying parent book, starting with the first day on the month praying the chapter one, day two chapter two, etc.  This book actually has 31 chapters, so there is no need to repeat chapter one.  However, on the months that have only 30 days, on day one of the following month I can just pray the chapter 31 and chapter one prayers together.  (I actually try to use both books daily so I'm covering both my husband and children daily.) 

My method has worked out rather nicely for me.  While I have failed miserably to do this daily, like my Bible reading, I just pick it right back up and start the day that's on the calendar!  My goal has always been to this daily, but I miss days and chunks of time, and sometimes I've missed some chunks of months too!  :)  But I always find my way back to these books!  They are really good and great prayer starters.  I have to mention too that if I sometimes feel that one of my family members is struggling in a particular area of their lives and I sense that they need prayer, I stray from the day/chapter I'm on and pray for that need either instead or in addition to the prayer for that day.  I've done that many times and some days there have been a few areas that I covered with prayer.  I like my method, it works for me.  I encourage you to find a method  and some resources that work for you.  Your family needs your prayers!

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:10-11

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