Saturday, July 2, 2016

Becoming a House of Prayer

Phew, 1 month of summer vacation down! And lots of outdoor projects left to finish. It has been a busy summer so far. Definitely not the relaxed, chill break I was dreaming of, praying for. But it is all good, especially since it involves a pool. Although we have been busy, we have been doing some important things in our home.

We have been using several different prayer tools during out "Jesus Time." My kids have a small check list that they kinda sorta follow every day. "Jesus Time" is part of their routine. Back at the beginning of the year, we introduced them to a specific personal prayer list for every morning. Taken from Ann Voskamp's Soulutions. We took this awesome twist on resolutions and made it a personal prayer list that hangs on each of the kids' wall.

Influenced by the Powerful Prayer sermon series at St. John's, I decided to offer my kids and myself more creative options when it comes to connecting to our Lord through prayer. We started mid June with Prayer Cards. Simple index cards with the name of a family member with doodles and drawings of prayers for that person. We learned this style of visual prayer from Sybil MacBeth's Praying in Color book. While making each card, you are saying prayers of thanksgiving and blessings for that person.

My husband and I also have a prayer area on the side of our fridge with a drawing of our town and church, prayers for our children and other events, like VBS. It's right next to our coffee maker, an essential stop to start our morning routines. The prayers for our children are from a wonderful blog and precious child of God, Connie Denninger's Vintage Grace. Here is the link Prayers for My Children

For July we have started what I like to call a Prayer Grid. It is a simple layout on an insert for our Faith Books, read more about those here. This was also influenced by Praying In Color and Connie, off a book I saw at a Visual Faith workshop. It used a sketch book to create a page to record a daily gratitude and another page to pray in color. I call it our Blessings Sheet. There is room for two weeks of writing something that is a blessing to you on the left side of the sheet and then on the right side a hexagon to pray for something or someone to be blessed by God. As you can see, they are excited and thankful for the pool that's going in.

We have also used the Prayers Sheet from the Faith Book tab. There is also a Prayer List sheet that I have been using to keep track of my prayers for others. I also developed a Prayers for People with rectangles about the size of business cards to do praying in color on if I want to spend a bit more time in pray for that person. The sheet helps to keep it all together in my Faith Book instead of having separate cards. Another sheet is called Visual Prayer. On this one I started with a 'dear God' in the middle, like Sybil Macbeth does, then I added what are affectionately known as, blobs, around it. You put your prayers for people or events in them. 

As the summer keeps flying by, I hope to introduce the other Faith Book Prayer sheets to the kids. I also want to add another personal resource called a Prayer Tin. I've seen some at gift shops, it is an empty Altoid mint tin decorated and little blank notes inside. I'd like my kids to use them to write their personal needs to God in them. I also picked up a neat address book last fall that matches the decor of our house. I want our family to fill it with the names and prayers for our family and friends. That way we can flip through it's pages and offer prayers to our Lord for those we love.

Prayer is such a precious part of our relationship with God. It is the main way we communicate with Him. A strong prayer life builds a strong connection. Which ultimately helps us to know God's grace even deeper. I pray that our home will continue to become a House of Prayer over the summer.

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