becoming: devoted to prayer, nov/dec 2012

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There are many of us who pray on the fly but havent committed to regular times of communion with God; while this is a good start, the Bible calls us to a lifestyle of unceasing prayer. Very few of us are devoted so deeply.Let me assure you that this issue is not at all meant to condemn us. It is meant to encourage us to think about what wed like our prayer lives to be as we are reminded of the great power and privilege of prayer. I hope it will spur us on to integrate prayer into every corner of our lives. As usual, I invite you to follow along on the blog as we seek to dig deeper into the life God is calling us to live. Join us at www.becomingmag.com!

TRANSCRIPT

  • BECOMING

    devoted toprayer..................Nov/Dec 2012

  • BECOMING MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2012 2

    The holiday season is fast approaching and I wonder if this has ever happened to you. It's Christmas Eve and you're excited, although exhausted. The past month has been a whirlwind of parties, shopping, candy and carols. You've made it to the Christmas Eve service at church- it was a struggle to get everyone out the door on time and you might have yelled at your husband in the car. But still, you're here. And slowly, as you sing hymns and listen to the pastor's message, the realization washes over you that outside of the little time spent sitting in church the past month, you haven't spent any time at all preparing your heart or mind to receive the truth of Christmas.

    Well, maybe, that's not you. But that happened to me a few years ago. It's not what I wanted to happen. God has blessed me and my family so tremendously and yet I hadn't found it important enough to spend even an hour to be still, await His coming.

    This year, would you join me in taking a different approach? Would we commit to preparing our hearts and homes with prayer? Would we create the space in this season to linger with Emmanuel, the God who comes near to his people?

    This is an important decision because the Christian church today has a problem- we are not living prayerful lives. There are many of us who pray on the fly but havent committed to regular times of communion with God; while this is a good start, the Bible calls us to a lifestyle of unceasing prayer. Very few of us are devoted so deeply.

    Let me assure you that this issue is not at all meant to condemn us. It is meant to encourage us to think about what wed like our prayer lives to be as we are reminded of the great power and privilege of prayer. I hope it will spur us on to integrate prayer into every corner of our lives.

    As usual, I invite you to follow along on the blog as we seek to dig deeper into the life God is calling us to live. Join us at www.becomingmag.com!

    Always BECOMING,

    Shannon

    All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer. Acts 2:42

    EDITORS LETTER

  • BECOMING MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2012 3

    Features

    TASTE & SEE 6 by Shannon Basso

    THE ELEMENTS OF PRAYER 14by Shannon Basso

    Articles

    PRACTICAL PRAYER 18 by Melissa Ramb

    PRAYING FOR YOUR SPOUSE 22 by Shannon Basso

    PRAYING FOR KIDS 24 by Ashley Abernathy

    DIFFICULT PRAYERS 26by Nicole Ickes

    Extras

    PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES 13

    IN THIS ISSUE

  • BECOMING MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2012 4

    THE CONTRIBUTORS

    I am devoted to prayer because...

    MELISSA RAMB

    ...I desperately want to know my Savior better and to see life through the lens of His redemptive work. Without prayer I tend to worry, control, and focus on myself and my finite view of life. I love to pour my heart out to the Lord and intercede for others but my greatest joy comes when I hear Him speak to me in the quiet of my heart.

    NICOLE ICKES

    Prayer continually brings me into God's presence, deepens my relationship with Him, renews my mind and spirit daily to live with hope & gratitude, and opens my heart, eyes and ears to hear God's voice, see His power, & live in His peace amidst the chaos of this world.

    MICHELLE STERCHI... I believe in and have experienced the power of God that is unleashed in our lives when we draw near to Him in prayer. It has become my daily life line. I love to pray!!

    RHISSA PARKER... because I can only rely on Gods wisdom. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our own. Therefore, I trust Him with all that I love and hope for!

  • BECOMING MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2012 5

    7 AM: I lay here this morning listening to the sounds of our waking household. There is stirring and the forced whispering of a 3 year old. He really is trying to be quiet.

    The littlest one is also awake and has grown restless of singing "Twinkle, Twinkle". She's calling for rescue from the crib. She knows the morning drill- "Dada? Dad-day" After several tries with no response she gets desperate. "Mama?" I smile. Daddy swoops in and releases her; I stay in bed a little longer.

    A few minutes later my sunshine, the eldest, comes in silently and crawls on top of the bed. A pleasant surprise this morning- she leans over and kisses me gently on the cheek. "It's time to get up, Mommy", she says with that angelic voice. She is followed in by my sweet but not so quiet little boy who jumps on the bed and says, "Mommy, Look! It's morning time! Get up, get up, get up!"

    I laugh and notice the swell in my heart. This welling up of gratitude how did I get all this goodness? No one in the room will understand the depth of this thankfulness I feel. I sigh and roll out of bed.

    11 AM: I see an old friend while I'm running errands. Happy accident! We don't see each other much anymore so I am thrilled to see her, but she seems distracted, a little down even. Her mom is struggling through an illness I wonder if that's it or something else. I'm always so uplifted by her friendship and my heart feels heavy as I walk away. I wish I could offer her more, do something to help her. I hate feeling helpless when others are in need

    5 PM: Why is dinner time so wild? Every child in this house takes a crazy pill in the late afternoon, I just haven't found the stash yet. I cannot believe I was at the grocery today and forgot chicken. It's only the main ingredient of dinner. So, I guess I"ll be serving whatever's in the pantry again.

    Me: "Hon, could you get the rice started?" Husband: "How do you make rice?"Me: "Um, are you serious?"

    Did this skill somehow, magically escape him all these years? I give my best "I'm disgusted" grunt, roll my eyes and say, "I'll just do it myself."

    What is wrong with me? I just barked at my best friend, my closest ally. He goes and plays with the kids instead of dealing with me. He's an awesome dad, the kids adore him. Truth be told he's a great husband, too. Puts up with my nonsense and Lord knows I'm hard to deal with.

    I tell him I'm sorry. He forgives, he always does. I still feel awful... something is wrong with my heart.

    7 PM: The moon hangs low. It's huge, orangey-yellow, the kind you can't not notice. I'm tempted to wake the kids so they can see. It's so amazing, the moon. Giving us light in the darkness, a way to see in the night. Surely something, someone out there is responsible for this beauty.

    I want to praise in thankfulness but there's no on there. I want to beseech someone to intervene with power but no one's able. I want to confess this guilt but relief is nowhere to be found. My heart longs for a confidante but finds only silence. Can you imagine the void? Praise be to God for His gift, so we dont live...

    A Life Without Prayer

    Can You Imagine?

  • BECOMING MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2012 6

    TASTE & SEE:Rediscovering 4 Truths About Prayer

    Words by Shannon BassoPhotos by Rhissa Parker

    One of my favorite parts of my "job" is studying and preparing for a new issue of BECOMING Magazine. Usually I am so excited to share what I've learned, to write and to encourage spiritual growth. But something was different this time. I sat down to get started and there was nothing no urgent plea, no spiritual challenge, no words to put on the page. I had nothing to say about prayer.

    Now, let me just tell you that I'm the mom of 3 precious, but very energetic kids 5 years old and under, so I don't make it through an entire day without prayer. And be assured, this magazine I put together does not take shape without prayer. I am not capable

    of producing anything worthy, inspiring, or even coherent without God's direct influence through prayer.

    So, I do pray. But, if I'm honest, I don't have to search very deep in my soul to detect the Spirit's conviction about my prayer life. My meager dependence on Him, the distracted requests tossed up in the chaos of the day this is not entirely what He has in mind.

    I think a distinction can be made here between prayerful Christians and Christians who pray. Prayerful Christians have cultivated a lifestyle of prayer- it's who they are and how they live. Everything they do is woven together... (contd)

  • BECOMING MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2012 7

  • BECOMING MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2012 8

    with the threads of prayer. They are God-reliant. This is opposed to the common practice of self-reliant Christians who treat prayer as another discipline that they try to incorporate into their busy lives. For the most part, they use prayer as a rescue tactic when they run out of their own options and there is no intimate relationship with God outside of their problems.

    There is a great difference. And as I sat down to prepare this issue, head and heart empty, I was forced to confront the truth of my own self-focused prayer life.

    "Why do we not give ourselves fully to prayer?", I wondered. The Bible commands us to pray. Jesus, fully God in human flesh, our perfect example, prayed constantly often rising in the early morning or staying late in the night to seek the Father. Why have we decided that obedience to God's Word and following after Jesus' example aren't enough to motivate us to a lifestyle of prayer?

    There are a million reasons we could give, but I agree with a prayerful friend whose bottom line assessment is this: "We don't pray because most of us just haven't fully tasted the sweetness of being in God's presence." We