What a week!
Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the Cypress campus was amazing this week. It was a sight to behold as the Branch and Cypress campuses worked as one to pull off a great week of ministry. Sixteen kids made first time decisions to follow Jesus and many more were spurred on in their faith. Continue to pray for God to work in these young lives and to bless those workers with rest and satisfaction in a job well done for God’s glory.
Speaking of prayer, we’re continuing on our prayer series tomorrow and it’s going to be fun! We’re going to keep the VBS energy going. We’re talking about expressing ourselves in worship and prayer – clapping, shouting, and blowing trumpets! Did I mention it’s a family service? Don’t worry, we’ll have ear plugs available. Seriously.
The point of all this noise-making in prayer is that we are physical beings and God wants us to use these bodies He’s given us to glorify Him, including in how we pray. I’m going to share a few things that have helped my prayer life, but I want to encourage you to write in the blog comments what helps your personal prayer life. I had so much to share tomorrow I needed to cut a ton so I thought I’d share some great prayer helps for me … and I hope you share some as well.
- Pray with people who know how to pray. Sometimes we don’t quite know how to approach God, but praying with people who know how to approach Him well is a valuable way to learn. Join the prayer team on Tuesday night at 7:00 at the Cypress campus for a good place to start (6143 Ball Road, Cypress).
- Another way to learn from others is through prayer books. I found Phyllis Tickle’s Divine Hours to be immensely helpful. It actually gives you words to pray. It’s no substitute for your spontaneous prayer life, but it helped keep me praying throughout the day and served as a good jump-start to my prayer life.
- Small rituals are also helpful. In his book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster describes praying with your palms up when you’re seeking to receive something from God. And turn them palms down when you are turning something over to God in your life. There’s nothing mystical to it, but it helps us focus.
- Another ritual that I think great (though I don’t do it myself) is when people remove their shoes to pray. Sounds weird, but it’s a reminder that wherever they happen to be at the moment, if they are praying, they’re on holy ground (see Exodus 3.5).
There are tons of great ideas and I know you have some … so go ahead and share them!