Happy New Year Beauts! ❤
I trust that you had a blessed and unique holiday season! I, for one had an extra week of a break; my intent was to declutter, reset and get settled.
2020 was a year of change, for everyone. The forest fires, the lockdown, the riots and murders, and more. The world was hurting, and continues to. This morning, I woke up and thought, Maybe I should stay in bed some more, it’s Sabbath afterall…
But God said, “Go to your friend’s Sabbath school and support what she has to say. I need you there.” With 15 minutes left before Sabbath School began, I got up, made my bed and got ready to “go” to Sabbath School. She sent me the link and I hopped right on.
I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never been part of this church’s Sabbath School; I was expecting only young adults to be on, but little did I know this was for the whole church! There were at least 30 people in attendance and most cameras were off. This is different, I thought. Should I have come? Maybe I should just have my own personal time with God instead… “No Ashley, I want you to stay right where you are.” – God was speaking to my heart as a mature voice was opening our time together with prayer.
My friend was introduced and she invited us to “wave” our bibles in the camera for a brief moment. So, what did I do? Exactly that. 🙂 As she began to speak, I nearly rolled my eyes. She asked us to open to Daniel 6. Right… here we go with the end times again. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good study and talk about the end times, but it wasn’t the “vibe” I was feeling for at the moment.
“…he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God as he had done previously.”
I flipped to the chapter, got my journal out and started making notes based off of what she was saying. There were strong thought-provoking questions. I took notes and had to share them with you, because I truly believe in prayer and I was taken aback to my first prayer room experience. Prayer is so powerful and I hope that this motivates you to take your concerns and conversations with God more seriously.
Daniel was being watched and King Nebuchadnezzar was not for this God he was worshipping and praying to. Remember, in Daniel 2, Mr. King sent an order to have everyone bow down to an idol he created. Chapter 6 tells us that among the other satraps (provincial governors at the time), Daniel had a special role. The others were determined to find fault in Daniel because, “he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him”; they wanted to find something wrong with his motives so that they could blame the God he served. Here are the questions she asked and some reflections and thoughts God impressed me with while listening…
When it’s time to pray, where do you go?
Daniel went to his room and opened his windows towards Jerusalem. I looked to my left and saw the little prayer/creative corner I had created since I painted my room in September. I’ve longed for a place and space for such special times with God, and finally it came around. There is power in making room (literally) for conversations with God about God. Perhaps you’re limited with space – what type of mindset or attitude is your mind at when it’s time to pray?
When you’re praying, where are you facing?
Daniel was facing Jerusalem, shamelessly even after a law was passed to NOT pray to any god or man for thirty days except to King Darius (Daniel 6:7). Regardless of what he was told, his conviction was the same – to be faithful and bold! I’ll be honest, there had been times in the past where I’d try to pray laying down, only to wake up the next morning. I’d been a dedicated prayer journaller in years past, and changed things up last year – but nothing compares to INTENTIONAL, TAG (Time Alone with God) Time; time with God with the purpose to praise and thank, confess or repent, and then ask for supplication and listen for His voice is matchless. Just before the end of the year, I started this prayer journal/binder method, and man… I was missing out!
There is SO much power in the posture of your heart when it comes to praying. Think about how you prepare yourself for a real conversation with your best friend vs a superficial conversation with someone you walk passed while walking your dog. HUGE difference, right? Ask yourself – where is my heart at when I’m talking to God? Am I asking with expectations of my own answers? or am I surrendered because I trust God’s answers are sure!?
How do you like to pray?
God speaks to us as individuals and as groups, but having a relationship with God depends on how you decide to communicate and connect with Him on the regular. Do you write? Do you sing? Do you like talking out loud? Do you walk and talk to God? Do you prefer kneeling? Do you need your eyes to be closed? There is no right or wrong way to pray, as long as your intent is to speak and pour out your heart to God. We are called to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (James 4:8), and why not? What is there to lose in drawing closer to God?
My friend ended her message with one of my favourite songs, “On My Knees” by Jaci Velasquez. As soon as I heard the intro, the tears could not be contained. “There are days when I feel I’m letting, soaring on the wind. For I’ve learned in laughter or in pain, how to survive – I get on my knees, I get on my knees. There I am before the Love that changes me.” Prayer changes things.
With this new year, it’s my prayer that you’re able to “reset” and “restart” your walk with God all over again. ❤
I pray for my Beaut who is reading this right now. I don’t know how their 2020 was, but You do. I want to surrender their desires and wants at the foot of the cross, and to trust that You will deliver and come through in Your time as you always do. Thank You for this time together in the Word. I praise You for my friend who invited me to that Sabbath school lesson, that this blog post could be shared with the world and Your Beaut reading this right now. We look forward to what You have in store for us. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
— LifeisaBeaut ❤
Photo Creds: Chantel White