Beauty in Prayer

244320348506709206_jv7QWLtL_cLegs crossed, head bowed down, hands opened. Hearts being laid bare.

Honest.

Real.

Raw.

Heartfelt.

Amen’s being proclaimed in my heart.

I get to lead a small group of college girls every Thursday night. They come over, we eat, talk about life (and Downton Abby & the Bachelor…confession: I like the Bachelor. I know I know…) and then dive into God’s word and how to apply it to our lives. I love it. I mean, I absolutely love it. I look forward to it all week. These girls rock. This month we’re doing a study on prayer, specifically how to pray for our future husbands, but it’s more than that. How do we pray? How do we as women truly hope in the Lord?

We get vulnerable with each other. We seek Him together. And then we pray.

Last night we went around and each just told the Lord what was on our hearts. And man, it was powerful. I was almost left in tears by the beauty of the moment.

We were seeking the heart of God.

Thanksgiving was being poured out of our mouths. Praise was being proclaimed. Raw confession was being whispered. Cries for help were being uttered. God’s character, His truth, & His goodness were being declared. Pleas for His help, mercy, grace were being requested.

It was beautiful.

The Lord loves it when we talk with Him. He loves a heart that seeks Him. That’s what He desires, a heart that wants Him completely, more than anything else.

“You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart…” Jeremiah 29:13

“You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek.’”  Psalm 27:8

The essence of prayer is that we get to know God—and become more like Him as we pray with a heart surrendered. I was reminded of that truth last night, and it hit me: how beautiful is a heart that seeks our Lord. How beautiful is a mouth that gives Him praise. How beautiful is raw confession & a humble heart that says we can’t, but calls on God and asks Him to take over.

I know that as we sat there last night praying, God was delighted because we were seeking His face. We were giving Him glory. He loves a heart surrendered to Him, a heart that trusts Him and seeks Him. Even in the mess & weakness; through the tears—and how my heart was changed. I was reminded of God’s promises. I stopped trying to be in control, and be god of my life, and give it all over to the One True God. And my heart was so uplifted by hearing how the Lord was working in their lives.

Let’s seek the Lord today. Let’s run into His presence, pour out our hearts, lay our burdens down at His feet, pray with open hands, and rejoice that He indeed meets with us.

 

What is heavy on your heart today? What can you praise and thank the Lord for today?

 

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21 comments

  1. Alyssa,

    It is incredible how God uses you to bless other people’s lives. Every time I read one of your messages I can see how genuine they are. I pray so God continues on using you to bless people like me.
    By the way, by reading this I felt in my heart to start a home women meeting in my house. I pray so God open this opportunity for women to come in to my house and grow together in God’s way.
    Thanks,

    Laura

  2. Prayer is beautiful. Last year a group of friends and I would get together on sunday nights and just pray for our church, our lives, each other, our world, ect. We then decided that for 30 days we were going to just pray for God’s presence and we were going to do it the first 30 minutes of each day. I can’t even begin to explain the amazing things God did in that 30 days. there is a closeness that comes with spending the time in prayer with God and in times where I find myself “too busy” to spend some deep prayer time I feel like something is missing and I know that i haven’t prioritized my time well.

    So glad that you get such a wonderful time with the ladies. 🙂 Remember that Elizabeth and Zachariah never gave up praying for the baby they wanted. Luke 1 tells us that they were childless and past age of conceiving and then a few verses later an angel appears and says “your prayer has been heard” They didn’t give up praying even when it seemed impossible and God was able to do miraculous things for them. 🙂 Never be afraid to ask for miracle. God will answer with His will, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

  3. what bible studies do you recommend ?

    1. I’m doing A Woman’s Heart by Beth Moore right now and am really loving it:)

      1. I love that you turned this tniyrg experience into a humorous post! And yes, Toddlers & Tiaras can make anyone feel great about their mothering skills! Yikes! Glad you are doing better, my friend. XO

  4. This was a great reminder for me. I am a relatively new Christian and I often struggle with putting my busy school schedule above my time with the Lord. This fall I started exploring the wonders of prayer and kept a prayer journal and amazing things happen in my walk with Him. I have NEVER been so joyful in my life. I have NEVER experienced that kind of hope. It was so wonderful. I have been busy lately and haven’t been as focused on my prayer life, thank-you for the reminder! This post brightened my day considerably. Isn’t the Lord wonderful?

    1. Oh my sweet girl! We all have mommy moments that mofitry us!!! So just take what you can use and learn from and throw the rest away!!! I am sure he was trying to help so look at that and be thankful, but keep in mind, he saw y’all for a very short time, and he won’t be there when all is well and everyone is feeling better! Proud of you! Hang tough and trust your own instincts. No one knows those kids better than you!!! Love and hugs!!

  5. Lyss- Love this. Love our Thursday nights. AND I love you! You are such a blessing! 🙂

    1. Oh girl, I love you so much! And our thursday nights 🙂

  6. Heavy in my heart is my desire to be married but I praise him in this time of singleness I love that I’m able to serve him make him my everything. I know The Lord is preparing me and for that I am thankful!! Thank you Alyssa for sharing The Lord uses you to give us hope!!! God bless you!

  7. Thanks for this. I have really been struggling with wanting to be in a relationship and I know that god will give me that blessing in his timing. I appreciate your blog Alyssa. God definitely used it as a tool to tell me to focus on him and who he wants me to be in him.

  8. I am sitting here in my home country called Faroe Islands, reading this and I feel so inspired. I am starting this kind of small group for young girls the next month, and feel scared, but so excited at the same time because I feel that the Lord will do amazing things when we women stand together! Hope you will post more about your Thursday night group. You’re awesome.

  9. I bought the book u recimmended ‘praying for your fyture husbands for my girlfriends and i…ican’twait to read it…. i will update u. May God be glorified… thank u for ur uplifting blogs.

  10. Hi! I enjoyed reading this but I’m still struggling. How exactly do you pray? I know that everyone does it differently but are you supposed to feel something, because I feel kind of stupid like I’m talking to myself. I have been attending church for years and had on and off periods with really searching for God then giving up, because don’t feel any different or see the effect of my prayers. I could really use some advice right now :L But I wanted to say thank you for your blog, you seem like such a nice person and your blog has helped me though some difficult times:)

    1. I feel the exact same way! Its nice to hear i’m not the only one that feels this way. Is it possible everyones prayer life is just going to be different? Ive been a christian for many years but still feel like a new christian when it comes to my prayer time, if that makes sense..

      1. yeah! that makes complete sense. I was talking to my aunt about this and she said the same thing! I feel loads better reading your comment, I felt as though I missed the lesson that everyone else got about praying :L

    2. Hi Jessica! okay i’m no professional on this, and i have moments where I feel nothing too, but one thing that I noticed has realllyyyy increased my praying (the answers, the feelings, the understanding of it all together, etc) is that I started to praise God a lot more in my prayers. Even if I was upset, I would say “Praise You!” for being Creator, for being so miraculous, for being so smart and creative, for sending Jesus… for anything that I could think of! and suddenly my prayers became focused more on God and His amazingness and Who He is than on myself… and it was amazing how quickly everything changed. I always still ask Him my requests, I just make sure I thank Him and praise Him a lot too. At first I was just doing it because the Bible says you’re supposed to… but within a week I truly meant and believed everything I was saying and I wanted to praise Him more than I wanted anything.

      Have you ever tried journaling your prayers? I understand that saying them out loud can feel weird.. when I journal, I feel like it’s a lot more personal between me and God for some reason, and I always end up writing more than I would originally say out loud. Plus it’s super awesome to look back and see what prayers God has answered and how my prayers change throughout the week. Another thing, I stopped only begging Him to hear me… I thanked Him FOR hearing me.

      I’m not sure if this helped, but I hope it did! These things have helped me a lot with my prayer and understanding of how God communicates with us. God bless 🙂

      one quick tip I learned, when you’re having trouble with your prayers.. try praying like this a few times and see if it begins to come to you easier:
      ACTS:
      A- adoration.. Give God praise.
      C- confession.. Confess your sins
      T- thanksgiving.. Show appreciation for all God has given you.
      S- supplication.. Prayer requests for yourself and others.

  11. I never post comments on people’s blogs but I really felt inspired to share this with you (its even pretty irrelevant to this post..forgive me on that).
    You and Jeff have been an inspiration for me on the true meaning of marriage and becoming one..through your posts I really have felt like I see so much of how God intended marriage to be..the way you guys support each other and glorify God together is so beautiful. That’s what marriage is about..glorifying God in an even greater way than you were when you were single. There’s not many “spotlight” married couples that do this, so that’s why I think you guys are in a unique place to be bringing tremendous glory to His name. So keep doing what you are doing and don’t let satan and his tricky snares defeat you. Looking forward to see how much more God is going to use you guys to build His kingdom. Will be sending up lots of prayers for you, dear!
    With love,
    Heba

  12. I love this. I wish i could find a group to do bible study with. I’m in college and i just moved to WA (tacoma area) and i dont know ANYONE. :\

  13. Hi Alyssa!

    you are such an inspiration! thank you for taking the time to write and speak to us! God is doing wonderful things through you 🙂

    i have a question… how would you recommend studying the Bible? I do small Bible Studies on my own (I don’t have a church yet, but i am going to start looking) but lately I just can’t pay attention to them and have pretty much no motivation. It’s difficult because I truly do desire God and I want to learn everything there is to know about Him! I want very badly to love Him more and have a relationship with Him… and i’ve been losing that for no reason! how can I get past this and what way of studying do you recommend?

    I will be overly stoked if you respond to me hahaha.
    thankssss <3

  14. Hi Alyssa!
    I am so touched by your blogs that I decided to created one myself. Would you mind checking it out?

    hopealyssa.blog.com

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