by Stephanie Byrnes of PersistentHeart

persistentheartOk, it’s 6:30. I have 30 minutes until Ainsley wakes up. She’s going to want pancakes this morning. She asked for them last night, and I said I’d make them this morning. Coffee. I need coffee. Ok, Jesus. Let’s see. What do I need to pray for? You know my needs. They are so many. I need more patience with my children. Forgive me for my outburst at Sophie yesterday when she hit her sister. I didn’t model your love and discipline. I spoke out of anger. O, and Spirit, protect my husband’s mind from blows to his confidence at work. Remind him of his value. Father, bless my neighbors. Give me opportunities to serve them and know them, to show them your love. And while we are at it, could you just give me more time in the day? That’d be great, Father. This 24 hour thing really isn’t working for me.

It’s hard to say what my prayer life just a few months ago looked like because most mornings were like this. I sat at the Father’s feet, begging for help, searching for encouragement, while being overwhelmed at just how much I needed to pray for. The result? In the words of a friend, a lot of “quick and generic” prayers void of passion or true meditation.

Then one morning as I was going through my hurried routine, squeezing in as much quiet prayer time as possible, I ran across Luke 18 in my readings. This chapter holds the parable of the “Persistent Widow.” In the parable Jesus describes a widow who approached a judge day after day asking for justice against her enemy until finally the judge granted her request “so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!” (Luke 18:5).  Jesus went on to compare this to our cries to the Lord. “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (vs.7-8).

Upon reading, I was convicted at the lack of persistence in my prayer life. Was I crying out to the Lord day and night? Was I requesting justice in the same way the persistent widow did? Certainly not. I was praying on a whim, failing to pray for the areas closest to my heart consistently.

Thus the birth of PersistentHeart Prayer Journals.

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I created this journal originally for myself by assigning myself four categories per day to pray for weekly. Essentially, I made appointments in my prayer journal to focus intentionally on four pressing topics in my life daily, with persistency. Sundays I dedicated to stewardship, the lost, the global body of believers, and the local body of believers. Monday was reserved for my husband, for my role as a wife, for our marriage. Tuesday for my three girls and godly mothering. By making appointments in my prayer life throughout the week, I found myself not randomly popping out “quick and generic” prayers, but intentional and focused prayers. And by bringing the same topics to the Lord weekly, I created a persistence in my prayer life I had not known earlier.

This journal has transformed my prayer life so dramatically, allowing me to leave behind frazzled feelings during prayer, that I prayfully decided to offer this tool to others. In my PersistentHeart Etsy shop you can choose from a variety of personalized journal covers with your name and year on it, as well as four different custom topics you want to pray for each day of the week.

You can also visit the PersistentHeart blog where I describe ways the PersistentHeart Journals can be used to deepen your prayer life, as well as the power of prayer in general.

For Missional Motherhood readers, I’d like to bless one woman with a FREE PersistentHeart Prayer Journal ($35 value). Read below for the giveaway details.

*At Missional Motherhood, we love to offer our readers practical tools that equip them to know God intimately and make Him known in their homes. When Stephanie contacted us about doing a giveaway, we LOVED how perfectly PersistentHeart prayer journals fit with our July Prayer Series as well as our mission here at MM. In Praying Circles Around Your Children, Mark Batterson says this:

“You don’t become a praying parent by default. You do it by design, by desire, by discipline…Your prayers will live on in (your children’s) lives long after you die. Your prayers for your children are the greatest legacy you can leave.”

Moms, it’s time to get serious about our prayers. Our prayers, or lack there of, are literally shaping the futures of our families. God is calling us to an active roll in the spirit realm on behalf of our children, our families, and the world. If you would like to enter for the chance to win a free, personalized PersistentHeart prayer notebook, you can do so by “liking” Missional Motherhood on Facebook (if you have not done so already), sharing this post via Facebook or Twitter, and commenting below this blog post. The winner will be chosen Monday, August 4 at midnight by a random number generator based on the comments below. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to stay a while! ~ Lindsey

The winner of the giveaway is Sharli Allen, comment number one, as chosen by a random number generator. Thank you to all the participants, and we will do more fun giveaways in the future! If you still want a journal for yourself, you can visit the PersistentHeart Etsy shop. Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 9.55.46 PM

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