This post is adapted from Finding Hope: From Brokenness to Restoration by Heidi Goehmann.
The number one comment I hear from people about prayer is this: “If only I could pray like that.”
I think we often see the prayers we pray in church or that pour from our pastor’s mouth as “fancy” prayers. I admire lovely words, so on the one hand, I really appreciate prayers that use lovely words in such a way that they sound fancy, holy, and absolutely worthy of a God who is just that—very worthy. Fancy, prewritten prayers definitely have benefits. They keep us on a straight path so that we don’t end up saying something that contradicts God’s Word because we haven’t given it a thought ahead of time.
Last week I turned forty with much pomp and circumstance. My family treated me like royalty, sending me off on an adventure with my oldest daughter. My friends made detailed plans for restaurants and meet-ups. There was food and sunshine and praise and laughter involved. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
If you are looking for a way to draw near to God in the new year, refreshing how you approach Him might be a good thing. Here are four very different approaches to some quiet or not-so-quiet time with our relational God.
One snowy December evening, three of the young adults from our congregation stopped over to visit . . . on a whim. Here is the beauty of a whim visit: it doesn’t leave time for me to consider whether I should clean the house, run to the grocery store, or even change the tablecloth. Whim Visits say, “I love you enough to have zero expectations. You don’t even have to let me in the house if you prefer.”
Twenty years ago, a boy looked on me and I swooned.
Okay, it didn’t quite go like that. Instead, a boy looked on me, I looked skeptically back, we started discussing deep theological concepts and—bam—three years later we figured out we should be a couple. I started to swoon a year after we were married and I found out he thought I was pretty with bedhead and unbrushed teeth.
I tend toward using my phone to check out. I’m just going to say that out loud and let it be a thing.
I believe I’m saved by grace alone and you’re saved by grace alone, through Jesus Christ. It’s a openhanded free and beautiful gift from our Savior willing to sacrifice everything for us. He values our face and our voice so much that He wants to spend eternity with both. He’d rather lose His life than lose us forever.
I have found myself using the term fearless lately to describe the women in my life. Most days I am privileged to hear women’s stories. Men have great stories too, but today I would like to celebrate the fearlessness of women in particular. I hear wide and varied stories:
A few days ago, I was sitting at my desk returning various emails and updating various web-type things when my phone vibrated. I picked it up expecting a text from one of my children that they had forgotten their lunch or at the very least a text from a friend with a funny gif.