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I'm going to try to write bi-weekly devotionals and let you guys know what I'm studying and what I'm going through. This week I wanted to go over the power of prayer. I recently just ended a 40 day fast last week Friday. I started this fasting with a group of girls from my church and decided to fast soda and watching YouTube before bed. I tend to drink a lot of soda and not enough of water and decided to give up on YouTube before bed because I would spend hours on my smart phone watching meaningless videos. I started to notice that my excessive YouTube watching was effecting my sleep and probably my vision. In return of not drinking soda and watching YouTube, I wanted to spend time writing in a prayer journal. For many years, I've struggled with in my prayer life.

My faith walk has been shaky many times and I struggled to have a daily prayer life. I knew how important prayer was and how powerful it was too. In church, we emphasize prayer a lot and we pray together a lot. But, deep down I felt like prayer didn't do much. I didn't see the importance of it because I couldn't see the results of it. I know that God is with us everywhere and at all times. But inside of me grew a small doubt and insecurity that God wasn't listening and that made me turn away from prayer. I never really shared this with many people because I felt like it was just a small struggle that didn't really matter.

In doing the fast, I struggled really hard to write prayers in my journal. I actually took the easy way out and recorded myself on my phone because I was too lazy to write it. I probably prayed only like twice a week. I usually would just lay in bed and pray, but end up thinking of something else and never finish my prayer. In this fast, I wanted it to be more personal, more focused, and more intentional. So, instead of praying lying in bed, I prayed on my knees by my bed. Kneeling made my prayers feel so much more spiritual and made it more like I was surrendering myself to Him. It gave me the sense that I was so weak and so undeserving, which I am. Praying is what I need daily because I am always in need of His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, His love, and just Him.

Currently in school, I’m taking a theology class called Faith and Community. One of the readings that were listed for the course was a book called “Why We Pray,” by William Philip. Although, this book was required on the syllabus we ended up not even reading it. Still I bought the book and it seems interesting, so I took a look inside. Philip writes in the first chapter, “The most important question to ask first about prayer is – Why? Why do we pray? Not, why should we pray?” This book really goes into why we pray (hence the title) and shows the significance prayer has. It also references a lot of biblical backup, so that was a definite plus for me. I would encourage you guys to get this book, if you’re interested about why people pray. I’ll have a link right here --> Why We Pray

Prayer is something that is important to me because it shows the relationship I have with God. If I think about the relationships I have with my friends, it all starts with communication. Verbally talking to them and getting to know them more. Communication is pretty much the key thing that connects people. In the same way, it applies to the relationship we have with God. In order to know him more, we must have communication with him and that is only found through prayer. Prayer is really just talking with him. Although, we know God is with us everywhere and knows everything about us, prayer is how God knows we want a personal relationship with him. When I pray, I get a sense of thankfulness and joy that I am able to communicate with Him and let Him into my life. Prayer doesn’t have to be long or spoken out loud, but it should be faith filled.

In prayer, the focus should be how thankful we are to have Him and to have what we have. The struggles that we face and the healing we need, plus the struggles of those around us. Asking him to forgive us, to seek him, to want to know him more, to let him guide us, and to just ask Him for our needs. Prayer means being honest with God and letting yourself be vulnerable. Opening your heart, your mind, yourself to let him really help you and use you. Although, we pray and don't see the signs of how prayer effects our life, we have to have faith and trust that God will provide and that His will will be done. God likes to test our patience because He knows whats in our hearts and wants us to work in His time and not ours. God has a purpose for everything and we just need to let his plans unfold before us. I encourage all of you to start praying or to start a prayer journal. My prayer journal is just like a diary, but a diary of my relationship with God. I start off every prayer entry with Dear Heavenly Father. Make your prayers meaningful and intentional. I wanted to leave you guys with a these passages from the bible;

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will

be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to

him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Matthew 7:7-8

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with

thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends

all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

I pray that you guys took something out of this devotion and hope you guys can reflect about this in your life. If you guys have any questions or prayer request please tell me. I would love to answer your questions and pray for you. Until next time, God Bless!

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"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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