Embracing What My Prayer Time Looks Like in Different Seasons of Life

My prayer time goes through a lot of different iterations, almost one for every season it seems. For awhile I had a really in-depth prayer binder, but eventually the big rings got in the way of my writing and I looked for something different. Then I moved my prayer time onto a little throw rug that I put at the foot of my bed and sat on. Then I got tired of sitting on the floor and moved to a couch.

I've gone through lots of different notebooks, giving one up halfway through to try another one. I used to crank up soul-full music and have it playing during my times of prayer, but at some point I felt it was distracting rather than compelling. I used to keep a journal on my computer that I typed in nearly everyday, noting what I was learning and inspiring thoughts I'd come across in my readings. But after a couple of years, eventually that too fell by the wayside.

Sometimes I feel a little guilty about this stop-and-go approach. Guilty that I lack follow-through with my best-laid plans.

And its in those moments that I'm quietly reminded that that's not what this is about. This is simply about spending time with the Lord and getting to know who he is and what he says and what he wants. And how I do that, how my tastes and preferences change and warp, doesn't matter as much as the simple fact that I am doing this.

Change isn't a bad thing. Perhaps that's just how I'm wired, to switch things up again. If I take a step back, I can see that that's the case when it comes to many other things, whether it's switching up my decor, renewing my wardrobe or searching out new menu plans.

The perfectionist in me is always thinking about how I can make something function better, looking for areas to tweak or test out new options. I'm not afraid to stop something halfway through or admit defeat if it means I at least gave it a try.

It's this perspective that I accept and latch on to, not the one dripping with guilt.

Then, I look down at my Bible and the little leaflet that sticks from its pages. Dates are marked off, one after another. In spite of all those changes, I've still managed to use the same Bible plan that I started at the beginning of the year—even managing to get ahead a few days when I got to the parts about the wars and prophecies.

Right now, I have a small ringed notebook where I write out my prayer requests for certain topics and people. In the back, I am keeping lists of memorable Scripture verses I come across in my daily reading. And I sit on the couch or on the rug that is splayed before it, and I speak to my Lord—what it's all about in the first place.

Related Posts
Selecting a Bible Reading Plan for the New Year 
How a 3-ring binder has changed the way I pray and spend time with God


  1. LOVE this post, because I was just thinking about my own iterations of Bible study and prayer time (which I've been super lax about lately). I get what you're saying about how perfectionism is often at the root of "changing things up," because I'm exactly like that. It's why I buy 4-5 planners in a year. And change my blog design constantly. I love the way you put that kind of behavior in perspective with the purpose of prayer/studying. Also, I was looking at your blog earlier in the week (I'm a little stalker, haha), and saw those Bible reading study plans... and I started the chronological one to get me back into my daily Bible study. So THANKS!

  2. Beautiful, my friend. :) I admire your sense of dedication to spending time with the Lord! I tend to have a stop and go type mentality with these things as well, though mine at times goes to truly a stand still where I'm not spending much time, if any, dedicated solely to being with Him. I'm one who needs the constant reminder to "be still and know" that He is God. I've been reading through the Bible this year, too, and that fell to the wayside at some point. I'm trying to catch up now, but am just starting 1 Samuel and know I'm way behind. Still, I know it's not about the schedule so much as it is about being with Him and I press on. :) As far as prayer time goes, I'm currently enjoying silencing my radio on the way to and from work and just speaking to Him (and at times, singing to Him). It's a beautiful thing. In my journal I tend to write prayer sentences, but I'd love to try a prayer journal specifically sometime, too. I tend to be more focused when I'm writing.

    Thanks for sharing this! Your journey and honesty in telling it is inspiring and encouraging to me! :)

  3. Aw, thanks so much for your KIND, KIND comments, ladies!

    @ Rachel - I really, really enjoy doing the chronological reading plan. It is good for helping me piece sections together and wrap my head more around what's going on at the time. It's still hard for me to remember what king was good and which was bad, but I have a much better handle on the whole process after inching through it in context!

    @ Kristin - I need a constant reminder to "be still and know," as well. I think we all do. It is much harder than it seems like it should be, but I think that's part of what makes this journey we're on so sweet in the end. He's always drawing us to himself, no matter how much we kick and scream and try to run the other way!

  4. Visiting from 20sb. Thank you for this honest post. I, too, have gone through changes in what it looks like when I spend time with God. Unfortunately, I'm not yet as dedicated as you, but I know that any time I spend with God is special, no matter how I choose to do it.

  5. I have an awful prayer life. I have a spontaneous one, which is nice. I don't have a very planned one. I do awful by myself. I do much better when I can go to prayer at church. But it's not always at a time I can go. When school starts up we'll have chapel 4 days a week. I honesty need someone I can share my prayer time with.

  6. I've just stumbled upon your blog and I am so so excited to get into it. Every single caption and title catches my eye and warms my heart.
    Thank you for you blog.

    Breanna (http://breannasmissions.wordpress.com/)


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