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I am impressed with Daniel's praying three times a day, faithfully, regularly, even if it meant punishment. I want to be like that, but mostly the last few months I act more like Jonah. God wants me to pray, to set aside time to pray instead of filling up with food, activities or entertainment, and I find a lot of ways to head for Ninevah.
This morning I decided my life's prayer title should be "Just when I thought I would dare to be a Daniel, but I jumped a ship like Jonah." Instead of praying three times a day, I find myself belatedly praying for three days in the belly of the fish because I would not obey immediately.

With the best of determinations to set time aside to pray for some very urgent needs in my church, my community, my children's lives, I find myself reaching for something to distract me, to take up my time, to insure I do NOT spend that time praying.
Again already, I grumble and head for the prayer time, just as soon as I do one more thing ... that is my ongoing battle.

Frequently I wake in the middle of the night knowing, "I did not pray for ..." Since I won't get back to sleep for an hour or two, I get up and try to make amends. I kind of like those middle of the night sessions. Quiet, no one distracting me, I am focused and hearing God and not everything else.

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Comment by Jennifer Weed on April 12, 2010 at 1:30pm
I love reading back over my prayers from time to time. They can be encouraging, where I've seen God move and answer the prayers that are written there. They can be convicting, when I am reminded of a sin issue that I have been struggling with (and sometimes helps me identify it as a stronghold which I need to start praying deliverance prayers about), and helps me track my walk with the Lord. Some people can do all that in their hearts, but I need it on paper to really help me.

The other thing I think about is that one day my children will have access to my journals. What an incredible treasure that would be for them. They know I am so far from perfect in every area, but I can't imagine how encouraging it will be for them to be able to read through my journals and see how I take my struggles to the Lord, and hopefully they will also be able to see where the Lord gave me victory. They will also be able to see how I interceded for them and others and how God answered those prayers as well. Praise God! What a treasure that will be for them!
Comment by Joan Hershberger on April 12, 2010 at 1:04pm
Journaling is just one way that I began using a couple years ago when I needed to focus. What does one do with all those pages afterward?
Comment by Jennifer Weed on April 12, 2010 at 10:19am
Our worship/prayer pastor & facilitator for Mission Birmingham, Kevin Moore, suggests praying out of the things that your mind keeps wandering to. He says that sometimes those things aren't just distractions, they're actually promptings of the Spirit of what to pray for. I think sometimes we are so focused on our prayer agenda that we don't recognize when God is trying to show us His agenda is totally different - especially if you're used to praying out of a "formula".

I also agree with you, Joan. Journalling my prayer time definitely helps, but I don't always journal my prayers.
Comment by Joan Hershberger on April 12, 2010 at 9:41am
Wandering thoughts, been there, still do that. Sometimes I corral them by journalling prayer time, but even then I still catch myself going off.
Comment by Jennifer Weed on April 10, 2010 at 10:27pm
Wow. I can so relate to this! It's so frustrating. I have periods of time where I delight to be in the Lord's presence, and can't get enough, and then before I know it, I'm right back to "reaching for something to distract me".

I, too, rather like those middle of the night prayer sessions. They have been some of my sweetest times with the Lord. I wish I could get disciplined enough to do that regularly.

Thanks for sharing!

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