My Prayer Life: From Stale to Inspired – Encouragement for Today – September 9, 2020

Amber BoltonSeptember 9, 2020

My Prayer Life: From Stale to Inspired
AMBER BOLTON of the Inspire Bible Tour

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"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart." Colossians 4:2 (NLT) 

There I was, sitting across from Him at the local coffee shop. The conversation had gone stale, or maybe I had just stopped listening. I don't know when I started doubting His responses or why I looked away when He tried to share grace and kindness.

There were a million other places I wanted to be instead of sitting here across from Him. I'd rather be with friends talking about how great He is, or at work sharing about the gifts He lavished on me. I'd rather be designing a great "look" on our shared Instagram page than actually trying to make the curated picture become reality.

That "Him" was God.

The conversation was prayer. The gifts He lavished were grace, forgiveness and freedom.

But my conversations with God had grown stale and tired. I felt like we had grown apart. He never moved. He was always steady. Always looking me in the eye. It was I who wandered, I who made it appear my faith was okay on the outside while doubting His truth on the inside.

When you have been having the same conversations over and over, things can start to get stale. That was my prayer life. Nearly three decades ago, God and I began to talk across the metaphorical table. But something changed.

That something was me.

Perhaps this is you, too. Do you find your prayer life growing stale sometimes? Do you forget what you've prayed about in the past? Does prayer feel like a daily task to mark off your list? Is it filled with anticipation, worship and awe or obligation and indifference?

This was me. Wondering all of these questions, I knew I needed a change of heart. I needed a fresh perspective on prayer to get back to the purpose of meeting with God.

When I started Bible journaling, I found that change of heart. Not only did it revive my prayer life, but it helped me find the devotion, alertness and thankfulness Colossians 4:2 speaks about: "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart."

I have been reading the Bible all my life, but this visual way to worship in the margin helped me write the living and active Word of God on my heart. It felt natural to write out my prayers using color and creativity in the margins of my Bible. God was giving me a fresh perspective through colored pencils and stickers - and my creative heart came alive.

God and I began to have conversations again. Not over coffee, but in paint strokes, patterned tape and other expressions of my faith, prayers and gratitude.

Prayer is our breath, our words, our actions, our listening ear. It's also the stroke of a pen and the vibrant colors we use to describe and worship God. What a joy to be in awe of God in the midst of creativity.

Prayer is all about connection with God. It's engaging with the Creator of the Universe, and sometimes it's done with artful expression. My stale prayer life radically changed as I used creativity to express and capture my moments with God.

Prayer is no longer silence over espresso; it's alive and active through art in the margin of my Bible. Maybe like me, you need to try something new and different to bring freshness back into your prayers. Whether that's Bible journaling or something else that God shows you, don't be afraid to explore ways to make your walk with God even more beautiful. After all, He's a God of doing new things.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for drawing us near and speaking to us through Your life-giving Word and through prayer as we "sit across the table from You." May our prayers be alert and thankful as we express our devotion to You. We are undeserving of Your lavish and enduring love. Brush off the cobwebs of our prayers and rejuvenate us through Your Word today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (NLT)

Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." (NLT)

Discover the Bible that inspires creativity in response to Scripture - the bestselling Inspire Bible. Special features in this third all-new edition, the Inspire PRAYER Bible, include wider margins with even more space to Bible journal or create; 400 beautiful full- and partial-page Scripture line-art illustrations to color; 32 colorful and gorgeously designed see-through vellum pages featuring prayers; and 142 journaling prompts to inspire personalized prayer.

Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram for inspiration and to stay informed about upcoming Bible journaling workshops and Bible study events.

Download a free coloring page and sample pages from the all-new Inspire PRAYER Bible.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Inspire PRAYER Bible. Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners, then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, September 14, 2020.}

Take out some markers or crayons and a sheet of paper and write out a verse or a prayer creatively. Visit @theinspirebible on Instagram for inspiration. Could getting creative in the margins of your Bible help rejuvenate your time in the Word or in prayer?

What is one thing you can do today to strengthen your prayer life? Let us know in the comments.

© 2020 by Amber Bolton. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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