Today is day 40 of the 40 Day Prayer Challenge that a dozen of us committed to back in June. We (mostly) followed the book Draw The Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson. I have been walking up every morning and kneeling down, drawing a circle around myself and praying. This is the first time in my life that I have done anything like this. And I am happy to share with you that daily prayer is not only simple, but also very powerful.
Gratitude Tip: Prayer may be a new thing for many of you, and for others, it’s already a daily habit. I write often about the power of our habits and how our lives are shaped by the habits we create. The easiest way to break a habit is to create a new one in it’s place. Morning prayer is a great way to practice gratitude. I choose to start my day by giving thanks to God for this gift of another day, for the opportunity to be of service and the chance to make a difference in other people’s lives. Imagine how different your day would feel if these were your first few thoughts when you woke up.
Here’s what I learned over the past 40 days.
- Whether you are new to prayer or experienced in prayer, having a book as a guide is very helpful. Draw the Circle might not be the right one for you, you may choose to read directly from the Bible, or use a different book with daily inspiration for your prayer. I found that having a topic to review, with new scripture (and the explanation of the scripture) helped me to focus when praying.
- Creating a new prayer habit isn’t that difficult. And I what I’ve realized is that on the days where I felt the most rushed and most stressed, the prayer circle become even more important to slow down and realize what’s most important.
- Praying for others can make a difference. We’ve all said it before, or typed it in a Facebook comment that we are praying for someone. How many of us actually do? Before this challenge, I would say a small prayer for someone, once, and then usually forget about it. I started keeping track of all of the people who had asked for prayers (and some that hadn’t) in a journal. Now I review the names of those I am praying for before I circle my prayers. I do see a difference in some of the people I have been praying for. And it feels good to be connecting to them through prayer, even though they may not know it.
- Prayer doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what to say. And what I’ve learned is that prayer isn’t about asking God for things, it’s about listening to what God has planned for you. So a big part of prayer is being silent. So if you’re not sure what to say, simply say ‘God, I’m open and listening.’
- Prayer works. Our prayers may not always come true on our schedule and timing, but if we have faith in divine timing, and we’re paying attention, our prayers are coming true every day. One day we were prompted to pray, ‘Lord, surprise me!’ and that evening I ended up being completely surprised to ‘randomly’ check on our flights for our trip to Costa Rica in November and find there was a massive seat sale and we saved $800 total on our three tickets to Liberia! I haven’t seen that price since.
- Prayer feels good. It’s nice to wake up and start the day with prayer, instead of immediately looking at my phone. I keep my phone off and in another room to avoid temptation. Even if you don’t start your day with prayer, you could choose a few minutes of meditation, yoga or inspirational reading to set your mindset up for success.
- Prayer is more powerful when we pray as a community. Much like any 40 day challenge, we started off with lots of energy and momentum, and by the end we had slowed down quiet a bit. However, I feel a wonderful sense of community with those who stepped up and prayed with me. This was the first time I had ever done anything like this and I am so grateful to have done it with friends.
- I plan to continue to pray. I also learned that I do like to pray. And I feel it’s making a difference. So I don’t want to stop, even though the 40 days are over. It’s a part of my morning routine and something I really enjoy. And it doesn’t take that much time!
What about you? Do you have a daily prayer habit? Do you feel like prayer makes a difference in your life and in the lives of those around you? Praying for ourselves is always most powerful, however praying for others also creates a beautiful energetic vibe that can be transmitted anywhere in the world. And right now, our world needs love and prayers like never before.
Exciting news!!! For the first time EVER, USANA’s International Convention has SOLD OUT. I am completely shocked and thrilled at the same time. The event starts in a month and there are zero tickets left! Yesterday was the last day to transfer existing tickets and it was a crazy day for everyone who had waited until the last minute to book. So the question is, did you get yours? The new science that is going to be revealed is a game changer – and I have NO idea what it is but I do promise that I’ll be sharing with you on the blog next month.
Blogs you might enjoy:
Love these blog posts? I would be honoured to have a place in your inbox daily. Yes, that’s right, I publish a new blog post with a gratitude tip every single day. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can sign up here.