BBS: Week 3 Discussion

Sneaky Momma Blog Design 

What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
I feel inspired by the Blessings described in the chapter - I know those aren’t the only ones I could enjoy with a life committed to prayer. It was especially motivating to read how Elizabeth’s spiritual journey wasn’t one where she automatically knew exactly how to be from the get-go. Like any meaningful relationship, these things take time with A LOT of careful, thoughtful cultivation.

Read Mark 1:35 for a glimpse of Jesus at prayer. What can you learn about His prayer life? 
That He made the effort to get up, before anyone else - to prevent any distractions - so He could dedicate that time in communication with God.

Now describe in a few words what preceded this quiet moment in verses 21-34.... 
Jesus healed many people!

Is your head spinning? Mine is! But Jesus shows us how to handle the “head-spinning” events of busy, hectic, challenging days. How can you follow His example today? 
Uh, let’s see here. This is pretty humbling. I sometimes let my prayer time with God slip because I get caught up in the busyness of life. But, let’s be real here - I’m NOWHERE NEAR as busy as He was ... ever. Guess it’s time to really step it up.

Blessing #1: A Deeper Relationship with God -- As you consider that prayer increases faith, provides a place to unload burdens, teaches us that God is always near, trains us not to panic, and changes lives, which one of these benefits would be the greatest reason for developing a heart committed to prayer at this stage of your life? Why?  
Oh boy... Well, I initially thought it was “trains us not to panic,” but now that I’ve really thought about it, it is probably “teaches us God is always near.” If I could remind myself that God was always near, no matter what the situation, I might not be as inclined to panic... Does that make sense? Here’s the problem. I’m sort of a late bloomer when it comes to my walk with the Lord. I’ve always been a believer but I wouldn’t say we had a relationship - I turned my back on Him a lot. I questioned if He was really there at times and I didn’t have a clear understanding of unconditional love, for sure. I have been working on getting stronger in this area - come to think of it, I’m pretty sure it will top my prayer list.

Blessing #2: Greater Purity -- I shared with you my problem with gossip in this area of purity. Now won't you identify your particular problem area and share briefly what you plan to do about it?

Wow, where do I begin? I’m going to say that I struggle in many areas - more than I would like to admit. However, I would like to eliminate gossiping and even if I don’t actually say the things that are on my mind, I also want to wipe away the bad thoughts. Because even thinking ill feelings or will toward another is also sinful. I will add this to my list of prayers and try to mimic Elizabeth’s tactic of giving it to God every day so that eventually, I’ll get so sick of hearing myself admit that sin to God that I will stop!

Blessing #3: Confidence in Making Decisions -- Look again at the picture of Jesus at prayer in Mark 1:35. What was the result of His time in prayer in the area of decision making (verses 36-39)? What difference did prayer make in the direction for His new day? And what difference might prayer make in the direction for your new days?
When the disciples found Jesus they let Him know everyone was looking for Him. But instead of staying there, He said they should keep moving so He could keep preaching - spreading the Word. Maybe in His prayer time with God, He asked God what He should be doing and knew He should keep moving instead of staying where things were going well and comfortable, where everyone was in favor of what He was doing.

Blessing #4: Improved Relationships -- What relationship do you need to improve through prayer, and how can you begin immediately to commit to prayer about that relationship?
I would have to say it is with my mom. We haven’t always been the closest through the years and I need to keep reminding myself of how I need to be in case my daughter and I have conflict. I need to add this to the prayer list too.  
Blessing #5: Contentment -- Identify an area in your life where you struggle with finding contentment. Now look at Philippians 4:10-13. What can you learn about contentment from these words from the apostle Paul? How can you apply Paul's lessons to your own situation?
WORK! When I lose track of the big picture and focus on this temporary life, I get extremely caught up in how “unfair” things might be at work. Instead of always thanking the Lord for the means to support our family, when times are really tough, I really know how to have a pity party! Admitting it here starts to make my stomach turn - it’s pretty selfish, not to mention childish. Eww. I think I'm missing out on so much and how if I didn’t have to work, things would be so different. And I am confident that at some point, if God says my place is in the home, then it will happen. To stay positive, I will thank Him for being blessed with the physical ability to work. That my daughter is healthy. That she is safe. That she has food to eat and clean water to drink. And that my husband - the man I committed my life is trying to make the desire of my heart (to spend more time with our daughter and future children) come true. That he is healthy, that he is faithful and that he loves God with his whole heart.  

Blessing #6:: God-Confidence -- How do these scriptures increase your trust in God?

Psalm 34:9 -- “…for those who fear him lack nothing.” I have to admit that I get a little confused when I read the “fear” part but I think what it means is that those who “trust” in the Lord, lack nothing. And with that, it makes me realize that if I truly put all my faith in the Lord… I. Will. Lack. Nothing.

Psalm 84:11 -- That if I remain blameless in His sight, then He will withhold nothing from me. A wee bit intimidating but reassuring because my motivation to please Him is higher than it ever has been. Here’s the great thing … He knows my heart. And if I start giving Him the time He deserves and wants, my relationship with Him will grow stronger and stronger.

Blessing #7: The Ministry of Prayer -- Edith Schaeffer stated, “Interceding for other people makes a difference in the history of other people’s lives.” Who are the people you can minister to through prayer, and when do you plan to begin this “ministry?
I can minister to others who feel lost. I can share my testimony with people who have been brought up in less than ideal situations. Of course, we all have things that were not perfect and I’m not trying to say at all that I had it badly. However, I have definitely had some quiet internal struggles which have kept me from being able to live the God-focused life. It’s those people who I find have the hardest time believing. They’ve been judged so harshly and sinfully by someone who brags about being a Christian. And unfortunately, the miss out on the intended message because of the presentation and less than ideal situation.

Read again the suggestions made in the “Yes, But How?” section for cultivating a heart committed to prayer. After writing down which ones you will put into practice today, read my own story.

1.) I‘m going to locate a special journal to start my prayer log. I’m going to put the past behind me and begin anew, one day at a time - to begin my journey of a woman after God’s own heart!

2.) I want to start praying through everything, whether good or bad. For my loved ones and my enemies.

A Heartfelt Prayer --  Relate in 100 words or less one instance when you were aware that you actively chose time in prayer as a priority over something or someone else this week.... 
There was a day at work, I think Tuesday, where I was feeling tense, overwhelmed and downright pitiful. And while I had emails to return, messages to listen to and return, I stopped, closed my door, put my head down on my desk and prayed to God for peace. And although I wasn’t nearly as focused as I would’ve been had I spent the time devoted to God in the morning before the madness ever started, I didn’t lose my temper or my patience. I breathed a sigh of relief, reminding myself of how I would just do the best I could and God would take care of the rest.

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