February 6, 2011

Week One Cultivating a Heart of Prayer

Welcome to week one of our newest on-line study, Cultivating a Heart of Prayer!

I am so excited to start our journey today! Be sure to read through to the bottom because there is a fun giveaway today.

Please know that as I have been preparing, I have been praying for you. Your words of encouragement and your excitement to begin this study have blessed me beyond measure. We have over 2400 women from across the globe signed up. How AWESOME is that!!!! Oh, how I wish we could all sit together in one place and see each other’s smiling faces. But this is how God has chosen to bring us together, and I know He will be at work in and among us!!

We are about to embark on a four week journey to learn to cultivate a heart of prayer. My prayer, sweet friends, is that as we come together and commit our whole hearts to this study, God will stretch us and grow us in such a way that not a single one of us will ever pray the same again!

We will have homework each week. Do not be overwhelmed…you have one week to complete the questions. Remember, it is the time you spend with God in His Word that will teach, bless, and transform you.

To register for the study and for announcements of future on-line studies, please leave a comment on my blog with your first name and e-mail address or e-mail me at Deuteronomysix@aol.com.

I encourage you to subscribe to the study via my blog. When you do, you will receive each week’s lesson in your in-box. If this link does not work, you may also subscribe by clicking on the “Subscribe via e-mail” link located at the top of my sidebar. However, you will not be able to see the videos or comments unless you visit my blog directly.

Below please find this week’s lesson and homework.

Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. Your time reading and studying is when God will do His greatest work!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I know how often I fail to give You first priority. I allow the busyness in my life to push You aside. Yet, I also know how I long to be with You, to hear Your voice, and to know Your Presence. Will You reveal the places in my heart that keep me from hearing You speak? Make my heart tender to see my faults and my sins. Touch the places in my heart that are strangled by thorns, free them, and allow me to grow deeper in my relationship with You. Lord help me to be still and know that You are God. Give me a heart of worship. Please help me to truly KNOW how wide and high and deep and long is Your love. Father, I invite You this day to cultivate in me a heart of prayer. Fill me to the fullness of You. I love You, Lord, and thank You in advance for all You will do in my life as I open Your Word, study, and pray. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

1. Did you pray as a child? If yes, how did your family incorporate prayer? If no, why did you not pray as a child?

2. Do you pray now? If so, is it different from when you were a child? Describe your current prayer life. If you do not pray as an adult, why is that?

3. Read the following verses. How do these verses align with your thoughts on prayer and how you currently pray.

a. Colossians 4:2

b. James 5:16

c. Psalm 46:10

d. Ephesians 6:11, 17-18

e. John 15:7

4. Let’s begin with an all familiar story from Luke Chapter 10. But as you read it, ask the Lord to speak a fresh Word to you. Jot down what you hear Him speak to you. Ask Him to show you new truths and how these truths apply to your life. Ask Him how they can help you cultivate a heart of prayer. Read Luke 10:38-42.

Jesus says, “Martha, Martha….You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Martha simply wanted Jesus to tell Mary to help in the kitchen. But instead of giving her what she wanted, Jesus gently rebuked Martha. As you read His words, how did they make you feel? What did they speak to your heart about your life’s priorities?

5 What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better?”

6 Jesus did not want Martha to change who she was; He simply wanted her to make a change in her priorities. Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus before she did anything else. We all face distractions or barriers to our time alone with God. Put a check by the one(s) with which you struggle.

a. busyness: always on the go

b. too many responsibilities: job, mom, wife, volunteer…not enough time in the day

c. trials/hardships: feeling like you cannot count on God due to your circumstances

d. pride: not feeling like you need time with God

e. tiredness/weariness: cannot wake up early

f. depression: feel hopeless, God can’t help anyway

g. unworthiness: Feel God has more important things to worry about than you

7. Prayerfully examine your priorities. A helpful way to do this is to look at your daily schedule and ask yourself what takes precedent in your day/what do you spend most of your time doing during the day. What do you do with any “free” time you have? Where does Jesus come into your daily activities?

8. Wake up every morning and before you even set you feet on the floor, take 2-3 minutes to greet the Lord and praise Him. Praise Him for who He is. Below are some Words and character traits to help you begin.

King of kings, Lord of lords, Abba Father, Faithful and True, Lamb of God, Bread of Life, Living Water, Savior, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Holy One, Comforter, Son of God, Good Shepherd, Alpha and Omega, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Defender, Strong Tower, Rock, Salvation, King of Glory, Strength of my heart and my Portion forever, Lover of My Soul, Rock of Ages, Emmanuel, Messiah, The Word, Name Above All Names, The True Vine, Teacher, Light of the World, the Resurrection and the Life, the Great “I Am,” the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever!!!

As you praise God each morning, ask Him for the ability to experience Him through your praise in very real and personal ways. Please come back and share on the blog how God used your time of praise. I will select a winner from the comments to receive a $20 gift card to Target!!

Today we have lots of introspective questions. Please sit before God with an honest and open heart. Hear what He has to speak to you. Don’t shut Him out if you don’t like what you see or hear as you examine your priorities. He is ready and waiting to help you reprioritize. He is waiting for you to come to Him.

Blessings to you today!!

Comments

  1. Thank you, Wendy.

    Marisha

  2. Oh, wow! Can't wait to get started!

    Thanks, Sister!

  3. Chosenone7 says:

    Good morning Wendy, as I anticipate this study, I consider it an opportunity to "radically and gloriously encounter God, knowing Him better and loving Him more" Thank you….be blessed this week. Grace and peace…Linda B.(Columbus OH)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I'm so excited to embark on another spiritual journey with you. Thank you and God Bless.
    Sue (themadunichs@milwpc.com)

  5. Thank you for starting a new study! I have been anxiously awaiting :)
    Sarah
    sarahbianchi@gmail.com

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am so excited to be part of this study!! Cannot wait to get started on this journey with each of you. Jane from SC

  7. Lelia Nelson says:

    I too am so excited about this new bible study..learning more about pray. anointed3a@yahoo.com Lelia

  8. WOW–just finished the new study and it sure it home with me. I have pray-pray-pray for my brother who did pass and the first thing I said was–"WELL WE DID'NT GET THAT MIRACLE WITH BUTCH'S NAME ON IT" and now we are praying once again for my mom, and hoping it will be the miracle with her name "Lucille'. Your words and prayers help to set my thoughts at ease.
    Thank You Wendy
    Pam

  9. I so need this study. I feel as though I have drifted a bit from God. I don't feel his presence as strong as I did. I am very sick with rheumatoid arthritis and a lot of days I feel too bad to even read my bible so I have let the sickness cause me to feel distant to God right now. I love him with my whole heart but it is hard to focus when the pain is so real…Kathy Mills from Illinois

  10. I am so excited to learn to have a better prayer life. I know that things would be better if you prayed about them more and sooner than I do. Thank you for sharing.

    Stephandchad@live.com

  11. Could I please register for the study? It sounds like a wonderful study!
    Suzi
    suzi@mncomm.com
    Thank-you!

  12. The Brown-Eyed Mom says:

    Thank you, Melissa Taylor, for steering me here! daniellequinn024@gmail.com

    Danielle

  13. Thank you
    Nancy
    njstith@gmail.com

  14. I am excited!
    My desire is to wait patiently and listen for God to speak.

  15. Ladybugcoach73@gmail.com
    Very exciting to see a study on prayer. Sign me up!

    Chris

  16. I am excited to do this.

    Amy
    amyat05@yahoo.com

  17. This is JUST what I need at JUST the right time. Thank you so much. I would love, love to sign up.

    Sheri
    Sheri_Daily@att.net

  18. I believe this is what I need!!! Please sign me up!!
    Stacy
    ssejmd2002@hotmail.com

  19. Schweers' Mom says:

    Excited to study online alongside so many women! I have a "group" of gals on Facebook that will also be participating – hopefully having coffee and chatting about the lessons. I signed up via the blog, but have not received anything in my inbox. I'm going to try again and see if it will work this time.

    Lori

  20. Would love to join your study. I so enjoyed your last study.

    Darlene
    dthompson729@ymail.com

  21. Thankful for the study. : )

  22. I am so looking forward to this study. I'm ready to get started. Thank you so much for leading us.
    Kathy in Texas
    kearley75860@yahoo.com

  23. How exciting! I would love to register for this study and any future ones. Thanks!
    Lauree

    lauree_solberg@yahoo.com

  24. Celeste – celjacqt@gmail.com

  25. Dawsyn's Mom says:

    Sign me up please.

    Marvel
    marvelmc@telus.net

  26. Anonymous says:

    Natasha Ramsey
    nramsey2012@yahoo.com

  27. Thank-you so much! I am excited to grow in prayer!!!

  28. d47e2b88-32df-11e0-a652-000bcdcb471e says:

    I love your beginning and look forward to learning more about prayer and my connection to God…thank you, thank you, thank God for you…

    Donna B
    nowmrsdonnab@aol.com

  29. Anonymous says:

    Perfect timing for this study : )

    nelonzoo@yahoo.com

    Thank you, Coneen : )

  30. Wendy – thank you for doing this study. This is an area of my life I would love to see a difference in.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I am prayerfully looking forward to what God has in store for me during this study.

    Thank you for being a servant of God.
    lstott@jasperisd.net

  32. Michele – chele1979@aol.com

    I am very excited for this study! My heart is heavy and in need of some inspiration & prayer.
    Thank you!

  33. lucy porzio says:

    I am excited this is the first time im following a study online I did not get a chance to do the last one . Spiritually I was at a stand still. Im totally encouraged Thank you Wendy.

    Lucy Porzio Luvmykids221@msn.com

  34. Anita - Soaring Eagle says:

    Like the rest of the comments, I too am excited and THANKFUL to be doing this study. Lately I have been "feeling" my "prayer life" hurting and I don't know why or why I feel this. God's timing is perfect; that is why I am here today to do this study.:)

  35. Thank you for this study. I lost my mother on December 27th after – praying in full faith – for her healing. She was only 64. She has been my closest friend (except my husband) since I can ever remember. I so need this Bible study as I feel very "closed-hearted" right now. Thank you – Eva (evahggns@yahoo.com)

  36. Thank you Wendy, what perfect timing! I am so excited to get started and learn more about prayer.

    Kim in NC
    sola4ever@aol.com

  37. Looking forward to cultivating this heart of prayer. Thank you for your leadership.

  38. I saw this on Melissa's site. I would like to participate in your study. Thank you for making this available.

  39. Thank you for doing this study. I struggle with prayer; have a hard time with my mind wanting to jump around and not focus!
    I appreciate you including me.
    Terry tlpetty218@gmail.com

  40. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for starting this bible study, looks like just what I need this week. Thanks, Amanda
    mjmagmcim@Hotmail.com

  41. I am so excited for this study! Thank you for your time and your words. I struggle with slowing down, appreciating, and just being quiet in a time of prayer. I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks bring and what God is ready to teach me!

    Allison
    allisonsullivan10@gmail.com

  42. Please sign me up!
    birthmarkdoula@gmail.com
    Thanks!

  43. Tracy Snellenberger says:

    I would like to sign up for the 4 week study.
    Thanks!
    Tracy
    tlsnell@frontier.com

  44. Brenda & Bob says:

    I would LOVE to sign up for this study as well.

    Brenda

    bnbreif@yahoo.com

  45. Anonymous says:

    (I started a comment, and then I think I accidentally deleted it…so I'll try again!) Thank you, Wendy, for all the time and effort that you are putting into this study, with a burden to see others grow in the area of prayer. I am so like Martha…busy bustling around. I long to be like Mary…sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus. I SO NEED this study on prayer! I can already tell that it will bless me and grow me! As you suggested, I was praising God today for who He is…one of these being…the Maker of Heaven and Earth. I was driving down the street, watching the snow fall this way and that way across the windshield of my car. Huge flakes. A beautiful sight. I so often take the beauty that surrounds me for granted. Today, I "soaked it all in!" Thank you, Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth, for giving me eyes to see your Creation and to truly appreciate it.
    Sue

  46. Cultivating my heart…more of Him…less of me.
    Yes Lord! I so appreciate your heart Wendy:)

    Donna foxspots@gmail.com

  47. Anonymous says:

    I too, like the other comments need this Bible Study…my heart has been heavy & I have felt like my prayers are not being heard yet alone answered…I am excited and thirsty for God's Word & can't wait to see what He will do next in my life…thank you Wendy for your hard work & my God continue to bless you…

    Sign me up!!!
    Kellie
    johnsonk@jccal.org

  48. I am so excited about this study. I look forward to growing in my prayer life. This study is right on time for me and I am ready to dig in. I will be participating.

  49. Anonymous says:

    When I take the time first to praise God for who He is and what He can do instead of presenting my requests, then my requests take a back seat and they don't seem so important any more. God knows all and is in control and my focus should always be on Him, not me. Praise turns into worship.
    Jane V.W.B.

  50. in the first 2 minutes of your video, you touched base on the exact same struggles i've had with prayer and understanding it!!! believing in full faith and praying, yet not understanding why God doesn't heal that person or doesn't fulfill that need… i too have so much more to learn about prayer and am so excited to embark on this four week journey with you as i learn! thanks for the opportunity!
    -candace

  51. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Wendy for sharing this on-line bible study on prayer. I'm so greatful to the Lord to be part of it, and it is so exciting.
    I'm Erica from Italy, eryjo8@hotmail.com

  52. Anonymous says:

    Wendy As I answered my questions today I thought of how prior to January 2009 I did not pray except when I needed something or was called on to pray in church. Last year I began a prayer journal and it has been exciting to see answers to some of the prayers and yes not all are answered the way I want – for healing some went on to be with God – but He DID heal them just His way not mine.
    I did find that if I did not get up an hour earlier in the morning I never found time to spend with Him. In my journal this has kept me on track as I pray – First I write the word PRAISE and then begin to praise Him for who He is, like using some of the words you wrote down. Then comes ADMIT where I confess my sin and if none come to mind I say "Search my heart O God and show me my sins" and guess what He does! Then comes THANKS where I thank Him for whatever – maybe just loving me, for my husband, my family, something He did for me the day before, etc. and the finally REQUESTS and I write down who I am praying for and their need. This has kept me on track and is totally awesome! But God has to be put first in your day and your day goes so much better, your attitude is better and I sure others see a difference in you too. Jane from SC

  53. Anonymous says:

    Please register me for the online study thank you. Andrea

    andreatosha@bex.net

  54. Pam Tidrow says:

    Wow. I feel so blessed to have started this journey with you all. Reading Psalm 46:10 started a ticking in my brain that only continued as I further studied. "Be still." God is honestly saying to me, "Stop moving for a while! Drop some of the silly things you spend your time on. Make time for Me!" Reading Luke 10:38-42, I opened my heart and was truly surprised by what I felt. I've become so incredibly selfish. Not necessarily with other people, but with God. He who made me certainly deserves more time than updating my facebook status or playing with my pets. So I've decided to schedule at least 1 hour of time each day for God. That's not much, but it's a start.

  55. So very excited about doing this Bible Study, I can never get enough of my Lord and Savior. Thank you and may God richly bless you for sharing this study with so many of us.

    chargaile@gmail.com

  56. I am really enjoying this study all ready and can't wait to get into the homework. I can really relate to what you said about your daughter, I have a daughter who is 19. We have only weekends together because see is in her first year of college and I treasure every moment we have together. I am going into this pray study knowing that my heavenly father wants to spend time with me like I do with my children. That's for that reminder.

    Trudy from NC

  57. Anonymous says:

    God's timing is perfect! Prayer is such an important part of our lives, and one that could use improvement on my part. Thank you for doing this Bible study and allowing us to be a part of it. God Bless!
    Jill
    jcsessums@earthlink.net

  58. Anonymous says:

    Wow!! God knew what I needed!! I am so thankful you are doing this as this is a struggle for me!! Thank you!!!
    Diane
    dianecnrd@yahoo.com

  59. Cindy Damato says:

    Looking forward to it! Thank you.
    cindy_damato@optonline.net

  60. Definitely an area I want to focus on. Count me in! carilyne at msn dot com
    Carrie

  61. Anonymous says:

    "Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Oh, how God spoke to my heart anew that the time we spend sitting at the Lord's feet cannot be taken away from us, but so many other things in our lives can: family members, friends, jobs, finances, security, love, or any other thing that this world offers. Every minute we spend with God: praying, studying, worshiping, etc. cannot be taken away.

    I also loved the quote about prayer being radically and gloriously encountering God; knowing Him better and loving Him more. I think so often we approach prayer with such wrong motives. It has been amazing how God has transformed my prayer time with Him into a "being" instead of a doing. If in prayer we aren't being radically transformed from spending time with Him, are we really "being" with Him. In life everyone we interact with changes, challenges, encourages, transforms us in some way. We we truly interact with people, we can't help but be changed. I think that this is how God wants our relationships with Him to be as well.

    Do we spend enough time with God to truly be changed? Are we focused on seeing what God is doing, or ask Him to show us. Are we constantly presenting our requests trying to get God to do things from our perspective, instead of asking Him to show us His reasoning for allowing such situations to occur?

    Just some thoughts that came to mind as I sat down and did the study tonight. Hoping God uses them to challenge you as well.
    Kelli

  62. Lancaster says:

    I want to register for the study. I just did this weeks homework and it was amazing. It was just what I needed. God is amazing and His timing is impeccable!
    Ashley
    LancasterA83@gmail.com

  63. sdgodfrey says:

    Count me in also. Sherri, sdgodfrey at fewpb dot net

  64. Anonymous says:

    I too can say, "God's timing is perfect." He brings me back when I get too busy to spend real time with Him. I do enjoy and am blessed by on-line Bible Studies and the comments which bring us together as sister. I pray God's richest blessings on each and everyone and especially Wendy as she leads.
    Fannie from Kansas
    fgoldsmith@cox.net

  65. I know this is going to be an amazing study. I love to pray. Thanks Wendy.

  66. Anonymous says:

    This is my very study with yall! (since I'm from the South). MY QUESTION: Do I do the homework first and then watch the video, or video first and then homework?

  67. Anonymous says:

    Sound interesting, sign me up.
    Ifquilt@aol.com
    Ingrid Flores

  68. Thank you so much, Wendy, for taking the time to present this study and include me! I have been working on the homework and already my eyes and heart have become more aware – I feel like Martha and wish and desire to be like Mary! I am slowly going through the questions and reading and rereading the verses, letting God's words soak into me. God Bless You and all the other Wonderful People participating in this study!

  69. Anonymous says:

    This is right what I needed.
    Thank you!

    estherhankim@gmail.com
    Esther Kim

  70. Wendy Blight says:

    Hi Girls,

    Oh my gracious!! Your comments have warmed my heart all day long. I just LOVE your enthusiasm and the obvious desire of your hearts to go deeper still with God in prayer. He will do a mighty work in and through our time together because He promises in His Word that when we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him!!

    In answer to "Anonymous'" question, please watch the video first and then do the homework. Can't wait to see what you girls have to share this week!!

    Wendy

  71. Anonymous says:

    Wendy your bible study came at just the right time..God knows where to send his message and who to send it through..RJ

  72. Thanks a lot, wendy. Praying for you..

  73. Count me in!
    Sara
    sara@okstatealumni.org

  74. This study reminded me of many what I am not doing when it comes to prayer, such as thanking God for what he has done and letting my mind wonder especially doing lengthy congregational prayers.

    Like other people, I do struggle with John 15:7. Is this verse telling me that by being a Christian and memorizing Bible verses will God fulfill my requests? What if what I desire is bad? What about those like my mom who did not get her prayers answered before she died.

    This study also helped me to see that drinking 2 cups of coffee with sugar first thing in the morning is my highest priority. This with the Lord's help is something I need to work on.

  75. Wendy, thank you so much for this study. I try to pray everyday. A few years ago, I started praying a prayer of just praise and thanksgiving nothing else. I do pray other prayers of requests and thanks and praise but my day goes so much better when I try to remember all the things I can thank God for and then praise him also. It helps me focus on God's love and mercy.

  76. Jill Beran says:

    Wendy, I'm excited to take part in your study this time – I've worked through others but always after you've had them online, so looking forward to being part of the community! Anyway I've heard this quote twice in the last two weeks and wanted to share it with you – supports the need for this topic of study!

    "The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray." Samuel Chadwick

    May we make him tremble in the days ahead, Jill

  77. I'm excited about this study for the next four weeks. Please send the homework to my email box at laurammk1@hotmail.com

    Thanks Wendy! May God richly bless us as we draw closer to Him through our daily conversations with HIm! Laura Merrick

  78. kalea_kane says:

    Wendy, I am so excited about this study. This is truly an answer to prayer. I have been so drawn to deepening my study and prayer life. I can hardly wait!

    I'll be honest, I do praise God in the morning, but I do it in the shower. Is that okay? My husband doesn't have to wake up until two hours after I do, and although waking up to praise is a wonderful thing, I am not sure how good that will be for his sleep.

    Thank you so much for doing this.

    Kelly :)

  79. Gwen's Blog says:

    Hi Wendy:
    First, thank you for praying for me (us). Knowing someone is praying is very heart felt.
    Today's message and questions brought some hard thinking and acknowledging that change is needed in my life. God spoke through these study verses that HE is the priority and the rest will fall into place. Thank you for getting me started on changing my habits and attitudes though a need to give it all to God through the Holy Spirit. I needed this kick in the posterior. Know that you are being prayed for also!
    Blessings,
    Gwen

  80. Robin
    robinrab@sbcglobal.net
    This is my birthday present to myself!

  81. Prayer is crucial to our relationship with God, when we don't pray we are essentially ignoring our Abba Father. We must obey the word of God that says Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17. I must confess that a very short time ago I was sitting with a friend telling her how my prayer life stunk. It really did and it was an area I knew I had to deal with. Now I can say that my prayer life is improving and I fall more in love with Jesus as I commune with Him daily. Praise Him. I look forward to studying with you all.

  82. 2-3 minutes? The time that feels much longer when customer service asks to hold please…..well, I realized that is precious time that passes much MUCH faster when waiting for my Leader to direct my day………amazing:)

  83. I have been away from church for a very long time…I miss it very much. Your study, I believe will be my way back. Prayer has always been a love of mine…I love to hear His voice. It's been a long time since this has occurred in my life. Thank you for this opportunity to revive my prayer life.
    Irma in San Diego

  84. Really excited about this online study, I know it will be of great blessings to all the women who sign up now or through out the weeks to come. Blessings to all!!

  85. This is going to be a great study Wendy!
    Leah
    leahough@gmail.com

  86. I am looking forward to starting this study. I am beginning a new journey in life. My husband has just retired on Friday form 24 years in the Air Force. We begin this new walk with a college freshman, a high school Sophomore, and a 6th grader. I need to learn to put it all in Jesus' care. We have been out of church for almost a year – having trouble finding a non-mormon church in Utah. Thank you for this study. I need it.

  87. OOps, forgot my e-mail – akmomma@comcast.net

  88. Wendy-
    My daughter was diagnosed at age 14 with a rare bone cancer, osteosarcoma. I have met the most amazing families in this journey. I have prayed so many times over my own daughter for her life as she has a low prognosis. I have been praying for the past 4 years desperately for her.
    And, I wonder when I have prayed so fervently for the other families and kids we have met on this journey why did God not answer those family's prayers as the kids died.

    And sometimes, I feel since this is such a big prayer request that I am not able to pray for my own needs, or my son who is now having mental health issues which maybe so significant in his life.

    It is a very difficult prayer walk I am in. I pray constantly to God through Jesus. But, I need to be able to relax and let God take control of my life allowing me to enjoy this quiet prayer time with my God.

    Susie

  89. Anonymous says:

    I look forward to starting this journey.

    Thank you,
    Debbie dgruber14@hotmail.com

  90. robinjones says:

    Wendy–

    I love to pray. I am a reformed Martha. This past year, I asked to become a Mary. Let me tell you, the Lord came through in a big way. I love to praise him by personalizing Praise and Worship Songs. It is like I am singing from my heart to his. For example,

    How Great is OUR God becomes How great are you God, I sing to you. How great are you God…

    As I change the personal pronouns to from our and us to I and Me and to You…It is an awe inspiring song time. I get chills when I do it. Sometimes, tears spontaneously fall down my cheeks. I feel the presence of the Lord.

  91. Oh, how I needed to see the story in John 10 through a new set of eyes! Thank you for giving it a new meaning in my life! I LOVE Bible studies for that purpose! Thank you, Wendy for your devotion to prayer & your heart to pass it on to all of us!

  92. Dear Wendy,
    We are all so blessed by your heart- the way you love the Lord and follow His calling and teach us. I am filled with gratitude on how God is blessing each of us thorugh you and our sharing in this "small" group.

    Sue, I am a California girl who is in Chicago for work. As we flew into the city, I was in awe with the snow and understood what it looks like to be cleansed with hyssop and to be made white as snow. It's with that visual that I am looking forward in great anticipation to follow Robin Jones footsteps to be a "reformed Martha"!

    I find that so many people ask me to pray for certain things and sometimes I get overwhelmed, like I have a prayer to-do list and I fall short. In fact, I can get so overwhelmed that I forget to pray altogether for them, then the guilt weighs heavily on my heart.

    Praising this morning before my meetings begin has been the clean slate I needed. I am the most blessed girl- with an incredible husband, daughter, friends… and now this group of awesome women.

    I'm now ready to be a light in a group of mainly non-believers. I am thrilled to travel these roads with each of you. God bless each of you abundantly today!

  93. This is my first online study and I'm excited about getting started and seeing where God takes me and shows me about my praying heart.

    I try to read all the comments because I don't want to miss something that could really help me out but it gets hard some times. One comment that caught my attention was from Jane in SC…thank you for sharing about your prayer journal. I think that is something that I would like to try. :)
    Elosia

  94. Oh, thank you Wendy! Your questions have touched a place in me that I have not gone in a long time. Many times I did not like the answers I have to put down…its hard to see how pride and other things push us away of getting closer to our Heavenly Father.

    After doing some questions last night and this morning…I read this by Samuel Chadwick (posted by Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience)

    "Hurry is the death of prayer"

    Wow…I think he is trying to tell me something.
    I can't wait to see how the Lord reveals Himself in this study.

    Julie

  95. Desert Mermaid says:

    Such a good beginning, loved the video, worked through some of the questions on my lunch hour, then I got to the 'win a $20 Target gift cert' and my heart just sank. I'm here because I don't know how to pray, because I want to, because I've been told it's the only way to come to know God — and boom! It's already a competition, who God gives the 'best' message or advice to gets to go buy a treat at Target and I'll feel inadequate all over again. No thanks. What place do giveaways and gift cards have in teaching people how to pray or to improve prayer? I'm not going to worry about it, just try to really delve into the lessons and see if my original goals can still be improved upon.

    Toni Brown
    antoniafufu@yahoo.com

  96. Carollee! says:

    Thank you Wendy! When i watched your video i loved the part about you and your daugther. This past summer i spent so much time with my youngest son who is 16. I loved those times. When you put into words about god feeling that way really made me think and feel different about the time i spend with him. As i was doing the questions about spending time with GOD i found out that my biggest setback was feeling unworthly. I want to improve my talks with GOD everyday. I love your studies and thank you so much for letting me share and be a part of them!

  97. Desert Mermaid says:

    Wendy, I wanted to come back to this same forum and apologize for my earlier comment. I realized almost immediately that it was just me, reacting out of my base of insecurity or lack of confidence. I felt heartbroken, in a flash, like 'how can anyone who doesn't know how to pray even know if God is there, or saying anything?' I want SO MUCH to have the sort of … comfort level that so many who have commented here seem to have when it comes to prayer, and I completely mistook something simple and generous like a gift card as a 'measuring stick' I couldn't stand against. I'm so sorry I put that up as a comment because it was such a totally subjective response to something I know you meant for fun. My comment was about me and NOT NOT NOT you, and anyway there was already so much of value and help for me that I wasn't going to let that little 'you stink and aren't worthy' devil impede me.

    Toni Brown

  98. Anonymous says:

    I'm excited to do this. My prayer life is in need of a boost! I feel my heart is right and I get the Bible study done, but the prayer time is often lacking.

    Just a thought – is there anyway to post the questions as an attachment so we can print them off to work on them?

  99. Anonymous says:

    One of my favorite passages is the account of Martha and Mary. A friend of mine did a drawing in pencil showing Mary at Jesus feet and the only thing you can see of Jesus is his lap and his nail scarred hand reaching out to her as she is seated on the floor. I have this picture over my special chair in my bedroom to remind me how important it is to pray and worship Him My desire is to be a woman of prayer and i know when i worship Him i feel refreshed even though things are going on in my life and those around me. Thanks for doing this study it has been a topic much on my heart Ruthie

  100. robinjones says:

    @Desert Mermaid–Sweet sister,it is so very hard to embark on a journey of faith. Prayer is something so abstract that our human minds have a hard time wrapping themselves around it. I will tell you, for sure, that there is no formula other than a broken, contrite heart who wishes to get to know the God of the universe. I remember the first time that I ever thought that God was listening– That he actually heard my prayer and responded. It was an incredible moment. I pray that through this study that you will see God reveal himself to you in amazing ways. I know he will. Because–God does things when we pray that he doesn't do when we don't pray. You just wait on the Lord. He'll show up.

  101. robinjones says:

    @Noelle– Be careful of the Less Martha More Mary prayer. He will take you up on it. It's been quite a journey this year, but so worth it.

    Hosana, Hosana in the Highest. Holy, Holy Lord!

  102. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else notice that following the reading (Luke 10:38-42) is where Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray?? Jesus did absolutely nothing apart from the Father…prayer is vital. God we desperately need you!!!
    Jacki in Ut.

  103. Anonymous says:

    My prayer time is not where I like for it to be..So thank you for this bible study….

  104. I really need this study! Thanks, Wendy.

    April
    thusfar1@gmail.com

  105. This is so encouraging. I enjoyed delving into my "homework" and really taking a look at my prayer life, how it has changed and where it needs to go. So many of us get stuck in the rut that prayer is just a "wish list" to God instead of heartfelt fellowship and communication with Him on every level, especially praise and thanksgiving. Already ready for lesson 2!

  106. Anonymous says:

    Psalm 46:10 — "Be still and know that I am God."

    God touched my heart with this verse. I've known it for a long time, but God knew I needed a fresh perspective on it's meaning. My husband and I are struggling with our 20-year-old son, who is a prodigal. He is breaking our hearts at the moment and we can do nothing but seek God's help on his behalf.

    As I read this verse, I thought I would look up the Hebrew definition for the would "still." This is what I found –

    "Sink; become helpless; relax; let go; let him/her go."

    I just saw myself completely sinking into God's lap and letting go of all my anxiety, control, worry, and efforts to figure it all out. I need to let go of my son and let God have full control of his future. My tendency will certainly be to pick it all up again, but I know what God would have me to do — relax and sink back down — nestle down into His lap. Please pray for me as I meditate and live out this verse.

    Thank you, Wendy, for your teaching and encouragement. I'm believing God for some growth in the area of prayer. I do need to be more devoted to prayer — not just requests, but adoration, praise and thanksgiving — and to watch expectantly for God's answer! KK

  107. Wow, I thought there would have been more than 107 posts by now. I just wanted to say I had read a devotion a few days ago, talking about the power of habits and I wrote a prayer asking God to help me devote my morning prayers for me (since I rarely pray for myself it seems or rather when I do I feel extremely guilty) and my evening prayers for my friends/family & their requests. Then throughout the day I would pray for things I witnessed (for example, rude woman at the store, or the unfriendly cashier). I had honestly forgotten the theme of this online Bible study, rather very excited for it to begin, because I have a hard time committing to small groups. BTW, one of my friends from FB also signed up. : ) So, as I did my homework today, I realized how this BS was on prayer and I was in such awe! I can really relate to the verses, especially after my past devotion a few days ago, so obviously God wanted me to devote more time to prayer. It's so great. Colossioans 4:2 reinforced my written prayer to God, looking for opportunities to pray for others; or James 5:16 really has me believing in miracles like never before. At my church, we have members speak of horrific things that happened to them in their lives (illnesses) and after their small groups, church members, family, friends and whomever else prayed for them their situations changed completely, they were healed. One woman mentioned that Mark 9 described to a 't' what it was like for her son to experience a seizure. I read Mark 9 remembering a school mate when she'd have seizures, I was just amazed. I am so amazed, even after being a Christian for more than ten years, about the truths in the Bible. Each time I read them, I am more amazed. I remember growing up and as a small child attending church with my uncle and everyone always had prayer requests and I never did, so I thought was a bad thing…I remember making horrible stuff up about my dad so I could fit in. One day the teachers showed empathy towards my uncle and he was furious I had made up those lies. I can relate to Martha so well and it's an eye opener now as I read that earlier today and I felt God telling me that it's okay to abandon my 'chores', because he is so much more important!

  108. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this wonderful study on prayer.

  109. Thanks Wendy!

    Lupe (California)
    Hecanpartthesea@yahoo.com

  110. I would love to be a part of this study!

    faithfalk@gmail.com

    Faith ~ Texas

  111. Excited about the study.

    Diane
    dsc@etex.net

  112. Debbie Ward says:

    This study is going to be a great companion to the one in my women's group at my church, Discerning the Voice of God. Can't wait to dive more into this and truly spend more time with the Lord. Thanks for your teaching.

  113. I have been looking forward to this study since it was announced. I have learned that I need to get up early in order to have quiet time with God and His word. If I don't, my day is not complete. Sometimes I struggle with how to pray. As I read the story of Mary and Martha again, I "happened" to read further into chapter 11 where the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. This was not part of the study but I think God was reminding me how I should pray. Thank you for the study and I look forward to developing a more prayerful life. (asmedlin@aol.com)

  114. I'm a little late starting, but I'm excited! My prayers go out to all the women on this awesome journey :)

    Pamela

    pam.e.kaye@gmail.com

  115. Wow I am amazed at how God gives you what you need exactly when you need it. This morning I got up early, turned on the video and when you shared your feelings about your friend passing, the tears started flowing. And I'm not much of a crier.

    My step son (22) is battling cancer – melanoma. Our options are running out but we remain hopeful. However, I do find myself with those same questions – Why does he have to be sick? Why isn't he being healed? Are my prayers not good enough? Although God did not specifically speak to me the words he spoke to you (I am Soverign), perhaps in a way through you he was reminding me of his power and position.

    I love the first part of James 15: 7 (remain…)but I am still struggling with the last phrase "ask whatever you wish and it will be given unto you". I'm guessing I need to spend more time in prayer and really ask God my questions and then be still and listen with an open heart for his response.

    What a wonderful start to my day – thank you Wendy!

  116. Thank you Wendy for this study and the time you put into it!! Your dedication to reaching out to others and to teaching what you know is inspiring. I often find when I spend time with God in the early a.m. before getting out of bed that my heart turns from one filled with anxiety to one of peace and comfort. Over the yrs. I have slowly loosened the tight grip I had on controling my life and trusting my Lord and Savior to guide and direct me. He knows everything about me even down to the number of hairs on my head. It is such a sense of relief to let go and trust God!!! Thank you Wendy!!

  117. Molly Mandeville Fryer says:

    Would love to take part in this study on prayer.
    Molly
    sewhappy10000@yahoo.com
    Thanks

  118. Don't need help with this one…..this is something I've done every morning of my life since I was a little girl! And most of the names listed below are on a poster that's prominently displayed in my upstairs hallway! And I've come to learn that when you ask God to help you "FIND TIME" to praise Him? He will come thru in very unexpected ways!! But that's another 6 pages….hahaha!

  119. Kids, laundry, food, chores, etc., have all interfered with my prayer life…of course, they haven't affected other areas of my life, such as Facebook, shopping, reading a book, etc. God has really been showing me a lot lately about priorities, and worshiping Him. I am thrilled to be a part of this study; it is exactly what I need right now. God's timing is always perfect, isn't it? Praise Him!

  120. I have been so hungry for a devotion that would refocus my relationship with Christ and when I came across this one, I devoured it whole! I’m a lifelong Christian and I even work in a Christian church! It still amazed me how I can allow myself to get bogged down in doing things to serve God, that I end up not spending time with Him outside of the church or staff devotion. Like Tracy said above “Kids, laundry, food, chores, etc., have all interfered with my prayer life…of course, they haven't affected other areas of my life, such as Facebook, shopping, reading a book, etc.” I still find time to play my game on my iPhone, read a book, or watch a movie with my husband. Down time isn’t a bad thing, but I’ve turned it into an idol, placing it before and instead of time with God.
    As I read through the Bible verses you provided there were two in particular that cut me to the heart. This is what I walked away with…

    James 5:16: I rarely tell others when I need prayer, probably the people pleaser in me not wanting to be a burden, but it’s like having a broken arm and trying to set it myself instead of letting a Dr. do it for me. I want to do things on my own and in my own way and that’s not what God invites us to do with prayer! He knows we need help with our struggles and He lovingly provides us with a support network to tap into…but we have to let down our guard, let people in, so that we can begin healing. Otherwise, we find ourselves battling in circles around the same hurts (I’m totally guilty of that!!).

    Psalm 46:10: Psalm 46 is probably one of my favorite passages of the Bible that has brought so much comfort to me during dark times when I simply didn’t want to exist anymore. Before I read that passage again, I asked God to reveal it to me in a whole new way, after all I’ve read it at least a million times. It was odd to me then to picture myself sitting at a red light sending a tweet. At first I was confused, thought maybe I had gotten myself distracted, but God was speaking to me. “Isn’t that what your prayer life has turned into? I quick tweet when you have a moment to spare, no attempt to have a full conversation?” It’s so true! I send up a quick prayer and move on with my day, not taking the time to sit at the feet of my creator, the one thing that matters!

    I can’t figure out how my prayer time with God went from pouring over requests from family and friends, spending 30 minutes or more with God like two friends at a coffee shop catching up on each other’s lives, to carelessly throwing God a 10 second prayer. I know the length of the prayer isn’t what matters (“do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matt 6:7) but it’s the attitude. The sad thing is, I’ve missed my time with God so much, but haven’t done anything about it! I ask Him to help me spend more time with Him and He graciously provides me with ample opportunity…that I have ignored!

    I need God’s direction back in my life and I won’t know what that direction is until I actually spend intentional time with Him. Getting reacquainted like long lost friends; except, I’ve been the one that’s been lost. I look forward to drawing closer to God through this study.

  121. Wendy

    This study has come at a dry spell in my life. I have struggled with prayer my whole life even though I grew up with it I hated the whole repetitiveness of the prayers. As I grew older I didn’t know what to pray for. Everything I asked for seemed to be small and trivial. Then I went out into the world and made a bunch of choices that have led to a very difficult life. It hasn’t been easy to come to Him time after time and ask for forgiveness one on one so I can’t imagine sharing my sins with my sisters/brothers in Christ.

    Right now I am at a point where I am steeped in sin and need to ask for forgiveness but am paralyzed and can’t do it. I long to unburden my soul but can’t until I know that this cup will be taken away from me and right now I’m not so sure. My faith is not strong enough to do it alone yet I have no one to reach out to but Him and am fearful like the wayward child who is trying to come back after having done so much wrong. I long to plead ‘Oh Father, please forgive me for I have sinned and fallen short of the mark but I’m still struggling in the area of sin that has claimed me; I need your help, your grace and mercy, your strength where I am weak’ but I can’t, I’m too ashamed, too far entrenched in this mire and muck to pull myself out of this spot and back on solid ground with Him alone.

    I know He is right there waiting but I just can’t make myself reach out and take the first step. Hopefully by the time we reach the end of this class I will have come to a place where I can do what needs to be done.

  122. Wendy, thank you. I love how you are asking us to refocus on to who God is. I have been so tired trying to work and do schooling and family needs… You know to many different responsibilities. But just taking a deep breath and thanking God for being the ABBA FATHER, To me that is a picture of me just crawling up in my daddy's big lap and Him wrapping His arms around me. And moving to the comforter He just says come and rest in me and calm for a short time then you can go again and meet the needs of others.
    It is so great to leave the cares of the world and come back and focus on the Father and be refreshed. Thanks Kathy

  123. A few weeks ago we studied about Mary & Martha in our community bible study. When I read it this time God really impressed upon me that it is our "choice" to sit at His feet and listen. Like some of the other ladies have said, I have time to Facebook & watch TV but am I choosing to make time for Jesus. It really struck me that I am not "too busy" but I am being "too lazy". Looking forward to next week:) Jaclyn

  124. What can I say, it's God's timing we are all here together. Excellent first week!

    robinsdream@hotmail.com

  125. I am joining a couple of days late but I am really interested in going through this with you and everyone else.
    Nina Rivenbark
    vrnina@yahoo.com

  126. Felt God nudging in the "you are upset ABOUT MANY THINGS" How easy it is for me to be distracted by all the daily things and plans needing to be attended to, yet I know from when I have been faithful in my prayer time in the past that if I take those 2-3 mins to pray, praise, and give thanksgiving my day(s) will go so much better because I know the Lord is blessing my every step.
    Thanks for doing a study to remind me of the importance of talking with my Savior.

  127. Dear Wendy,
    Thank you for leading this path of prayer. Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. That we will devote our hearts and time to prayer so we may see a changed life one of fullness and blessing that only comes with dedication to Christ. Blessings, Lisa

  128. well, i tried to post a comment, but it went away somewhere. now i cant remember everything i wanted to say…

    Basically though, I am greatful to be a part of this group of ladies and know that i am not alone in my struggles.

    I too am struggling with the pain of rheumetoid arthritis, along with lupus and fibromyalga. I needed to be reminded that this is not by any means an "its okay that i dont" excuse for neglecting my time with the One being who can actually do something about it or with it.

    thank you wendy for being so faithful in creating and leading these studies. God is truly using you.

  129. Thank you for this study, Wendy. Having come to Jesus in my adult life, I am not really certain on how to pray, or how to feel comfortable with it. And I know I don't make enough time for it. I have enjoyed taking the time to praise and worship God this week. It helps me start my day with pure joy and hope.

    The more I do it, the more I feel God's presence around me. It was so overwhelming today that I sobbed from the joy of it. looking forward to more!

  130. I am always so discouraged because I always have the best intentions to get up early and spend time with God, but something always gets in the way whether it is one of my 5 young kids or just the inability to get up because I stayed up too late working or getting stuff done. I feel liberated, though, because I came up with a new plan – taking the last 15 minutes of my day and focusing on Him and the following day just as I would in the morning. This will actually work since there are seldom interruptions that late at night. Why I didn't come up with this before I have no idea, other than God finally opened my eyes to the fact that spending time with Him anytime is a time that He, and utimately I, will treasure. Thanks Wendy for this study that has allowed me to quiet myself long enough to be able to hear His new plan for me!

  131. Wendy, thank you so much for this study – after listening today – ABIDE – a 5 letter word that I haven't been doing – I say that I am having a dry season right now but it is because of me not picking up my Bible and getting closer to Jesus -no one has done this but me – thanks for the new word – I want to be closer to Him.

    Cindy

  132. This is the very area of my life where i always struggle on,¨my prayer life¨ I really have a hard time praying…always on the go,always on the rush…oh my!!!!sometimes i think that God was dissappointed with me,because i always set Him aside..Thank you very much because this is what I really need.what we study is very true of me,my personality,I love God and i love to seek Him but i had the wrong priorities.Thank You very much Wendy,I praise and thank God for your life.

  133. I would like to do this study with you all.

    Sarah
    sarah.j.paul@hotmail.com

  134. I would like to join you also!

    Johanneke
    wfcjohanneke@hotmail.com

  135. Thank U Wendy for the first lesson in Cultivating a heart of prayer. I try hard to be in prayer all the time. I don't like repeating my prayers so this lesson is so good for me. Also to praise the lord before I put my feet on the floor in the mornings is so owsome. I praise himin the evenings after work. I like to praising him in the morning. Thank You Wendy

  136. Hi Wendy, It's good everyone is getting something out of this-it must be neat for everyone.
    I haven't had a exciting time doing the study on prayer as i hoped was excited about it till now. And this is not the first time. I always hit a brick wall-I do not get anything out of this except guilt, condmenation,etc.. I really think you are wrong in saying that He is longing to speak to us-apparently not to me. I don't like playing these games with Him. Apparently, He is not interested in communing to me.I'm 42 years old now and been waiting and waiting to hear anything from Him since my youth. I really have given up. and on Him. Let me know when you have the next study. I'm definitely skipping this one. Till then, see ya.

  137. Hi again Wendy,
    You can take me off of your e-mail list-i think it's best i don't do any more bible studies. I got really turned off doing this study on prayer. Like i said i don't like playing these games with Him-nothing since my youth and still nothing at 42 years old. It's good He's done alot in your life-not everyone gets a good life like yours and not blessed as you are and alot of people i know. Keep keeping on. so, again, please take me off of your e-mail list-i really don't want to do any more bible studies. See ya.

  138. Hi Wendy,
    i have a question for you-a friend of mine who is doing this study also. Believed she is not saved due to she believes she committed the unforgivable sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit-by more than once she pretty much swore some filthy swear words to the God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I did not know what to tell her the truth-that she isn't saved due to if she was a child of God she wouldn't be doing that. Do you agree with me? she has been doing this when she gets so mad due to she was a victim of rape and has alot of anger. she pretty much has given up on God and on herself. I hate to tell her she is not saved,but, i want to tell her the truth-what do u think i should tell her? I believe if a person does this she or he truly are not saved don't you agree?

  139. Wendy,
    I -sorry. I don't want you to take me off your e-mail list. I still want to do this prayer bible study. It just seems that I'm hitting a brick wall and i so desperately need to hear from my abba father and my Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. I don't know what i'm doing wrong. It seems everyone has a relationship and an intimate/personable one with Him and I so desperately want one with Him also for I need to. Please help-what am i doing wrong? I even think maybe i'm not saved an that's why He's not communing with me?!

  140. Bone cancer Survival Rate says:

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  141. Tanya Baclig says:

    I would love to do this study,
    Tanya Baclig
    Tbaclig@me.com
    Thank you!

  142. I, like so many others, really need this study. I am praying that God will speak to me through this time softening my damaged heart. I want to devote myself to prayer, but on my own…….I don’t!

    • Jan, I love knowing that you are doing this study right now. May God richly bless your time in His Word. We are doing another study right now that is active and on-line, “Living So That: Our Call to Action.” Stop by and visit the post for today, http://www.wendyblight.com, so you can the taste of another study.

  143. perfect timing. much needed.
    thank you

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