Journal Entry ~ 11/22/17

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. - Luke 18:1

Living in this world can be so discouraging sometimes, especially when our focus is in the wrong place.  We can exhaust ourselves trying to create a happy world for ourselves and our families, leaving us feeling defeated when things don't work out the way we planned. We tie so much of our inner peace to our situational happiness, and when things fail, we get discouraged and we lose heart. 

In this verse, we are told how not to lose heart - we are to always pray. When we pray, we keep our focus on Him. When we pray, we open the door for Him to lead us and guide us in His strength, and not our own.  When we pray, we allow Him to do the real work in our hearts, trading in situational happiness for supernatural peace. We cannot find the inner joy we long for if our eyes are fixed on things of this world, but we can't change our gaze if we're not in prayer with Him. Prayer fixes our eyes on Him, as it works to align our hearts with His. 

Prayer is hard work for many of us. It’s definitely my weakest spiritual discipline. I could spend hours reading and journaling on Scripture, I could sit for hours under the teaching of a great pastor, but spending great lengths at time in prayer alone is something that has always been challenging for me. When I’m praying with others, I don’t seem to struggle - In fact, I truly delight in praying at length with others. But when I’m alone, I find it challenging to stay focused and pray for a considerable amount of time. Sometimes it’s because the hurt in my heart is too big to find the words to say, sometimes it’s because I just get distracted with all I have to do or simply what is happening in my life. It takes consistent and persistent effort to grow in our prayer lives. Over time, I have found strategies that help me - praying from a journal or prayer walks always helps to keep me focused when I am alone with Him, but I still have to push myself to grow in this discipline. 

Even in my weakness, God has done an incredible work in my heart through prayer. It is in those quiet moments when I am pouring my heart out to Him that I feel His comfort surround me, that I feel His presence and His strength. He shows me how to surrender my desire and my will in all things, and allow Him to control the things I can’t and I shouldn’t. He not only reveals my sin and my blindness in those moments of prayer, but He reveals His majesty and His greatness to me as well. How awesome is it that we have access to the Creator of the universe any time we want it simply by reaching out to Him in prayer?

Press on, ladies ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:

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