I used to pray only when I needed something or was in dire need of a life change. My relationship with God was a business deal and nothing more. I didn’t know how to pray.
When I began to study Jesus, his disciples, and the scriptures, I realized that prayer was my lifeline if I wanted to maintain a conversation with God. Since then, I’ve learned that I’m in constant conversation with God even when I’m not audible or uttering words.
Throughout scripture, we find that those who believed that Jesus could heal them held special conversations with him. Their requests teach us that our petition is always met with grace. God will meet us where we are, in the middle of anything or nothing, to meet our needs according to God’s will.
The more disciplined I remained in prayer the easier it became to remain in gratitude.
Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer by Jeannie Blackmer explores stories from scripture which present biblical characters and their earnest petitions to Jesus. These stories show how we can relate to prayers of worry, answered questions, and prayers requesting healing.
Blackmer unfolds conversations from David, Simon, the Canaanite woman, Peter, disciples who fed the multitudes, among other conversations to make them relatable to her reader. She challenges us to take on prayer in a new way with reflections and observations concluding each chapter. These are great opportunities to apply what we’ve learned into our real lives.
As a reviewer of this book, our special challenge was to pray for someone else. Did we notice how it changed our relationships? Did we notice any answered prayers in the life of another?
I prayed for different people in my life including my children, my family, and strangers. Focusing my time on praying for someone else changed the way I spoke with God. My voice softened and my demeanor changed. Suddenly, I searched for prayer outside of my life.
When I turned my prayers out toward others, I found I was less rushed, more passionate, and less apt to wrap it up quickly. I took my time as if offering a gift. Blackmer challenged me to reevaluate how I was talking to Jesus and when I was talking to Jesus.
Often a woman on the go, I find that I fit in prayers where I’m able. They’re quick and to the point. I will now sit with my petitions longer and will always include the indigenous, immigrant farm workers, farmers, and laborers without which our country could not function.
I challenge you to sit in prayer for another person and document how your outlook on prayer changes.
Comment below to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book. I will draw a name on Saturday and announce the winner then as well.
*Thank you to the Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. for allowing me to review this book and for providing a book for the giveaway this month.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blog About book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”