How is your prayer life?
I don’t often post a book review, but I do want to share this resource with you. I received a free copy from Barbour Publishing, and it is in fact compiled by Barbour Publishing. Although the title says for women, it is equally relative for men. Following the review I posted to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christian Book Distributors, I will explain what led me to add my review here.
The Prayer Map for Women
I am impressed with this prayer journal. The title is an excellent clue as to what is inside. Truly it is a great map to find a deeper, richer prayer life.
There is a two page spread included for each day. We write the date in, and then the map leads us to greet our heavenly Father before doing anything else. We move on to a time of thankfulness before going forward to making a list of people we are praying for that day. There is a place to list our worries or concerns, and a place to note what is happening in our life at the moment. The map then shows us where to put our needs. The next stop on the prayer map is a place to share anything else we want to talk to God about. The map ends with a scripture verse and Amen.
I feel this is exactly what I need to enrich my prayer life. In my experience, I pray more consistently and fervently when I write things down. I have a separate journal for scripture journaling; the focus of this book is definitely prayer. I like having a prayer journal for two main reasons: it is helpful to write things down to keep our focus on our prayer, and we can look back later to remind us of what we prayed and noting how the prayers were answered.
Physically, the journal is a perfect size for grabbing a cup of tea and going outside for prayer time. The wire binding makes it easy to turn to the current page and write in without needing a table. The cover seems to be good quality, and I suspect a small spill or drop of jam could be wiped off without damage to the cover if done quickly although I have not had to test that yet. Colors are mostly soft so they do not overpower what you write.
So far, I have not found anything about this prayer map journal that I do not like. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their prayer life. I also feel this book can be a great resource in a class or workshop about prayer.
Now let me get back to my original question. How is your prayer life? Let me state that another way…how is MY prayer life?
For some time, I have been very concerned over my prayers. It seems to me my prayers have become too vague and repetitive. God and I talked about that, but I don’t think I was in a listening mood. Once I even caught myself saying to God, “but I don’t need to tell you that because You already know what I am going to say.” Really Susan?! I lamented and stewed and pleaded with God, but never really put any effort into changing. I confess, at one point in my life, I did a lot of praying and a lot of listening to God. Perhaps I took it for granted, but I don’t think that is what happened. I think I simply got too busy, too involved, too tired…whatever. It isn’t that I didn’t want to pray but more that I was skidding through prayer without digging deeper. I was letting outside thoughts seep into my prayer time. (Even the work you are doing for the Kingdom can intrude on your prayers at the wrong time.) You might say I was letting the cares of the world make my prayers unfruitful.
I am positive God often shakes His head and lovingly says, “Susan, Susan, Susan.” When I was pleading with God a few months ago to deepen my prayer life, little did I know that I would be asked to review this book. Let me say that it doesn’t tell me anything new, or that I didn’t know. However it reminds me that I need to take time to greet my heavenly Father and praise Him and tell Him how much I love him BEFORE I get into the I needs and I wants. It reminds me that if I list the people I will be praying for today I am much more likely to remember to actually pray for them throughout the day. It reminds me that I need a consistent way to organize my prayers to be more effective.
It reminds me of the song we used to sing as children. Deeper, deeper, in the love of Jesus, daily let me go….(deeper yet I pray. And higher every day.)
Gotta go. It’s time to pray. And I am excited.