Good morning, y’all! It’s a rainy morning here in North Mississippi (also known as the perfect sleep in morning) and I still managed to wake up before my alarm. WHY!? One day I’m actually going to sleep until 6:30 and it will be a SWEET day. Today I’m using those extra few minutes to my advantage to sit here with you before I dive into work for a couple of hours. I’ve got an early lunch date with my girl Caitlin and then I’m hanging out with the Kubler fam for a little while this afternoon. Until then, I’ve got wedding clips with my name written all over them. I LOVE MY JOB. Seriously, we are so blessed. Sometimes I cannot even begin to comprehend that this is our real life. GOD GIVES SO MUCH GRACE.
Back to why I’m here. For the past several weeks I’ve been doing Kay Arthur’s study Lord, Teach Me How to Pray. About a month ago I had a prayer meeting with several ladies from our church and I talked about how my walk with the Lord had been tough lately. I felt so dry. I couldn’t “hear” God and I was just really discouraged about not knowing why He felt so far away. My friend Ashley encouraged me to change up my quiet time and she suggested a Kay Arthur study called Lord, I Want to Know You. A couple of days later I headed to Lifeway ready to pick it up, and they couldn’t find any of them. A girl walked around with me for a little while helping me search because she knew they had several in stock, but we never found them. Y’all... I know God intentionally didn’t allow us to find those copies because I needed this study on prayer so badly. He has really started to teach me about HOW I can pray more effectively and WHY it is important to pray certain things. Prayer has always been the spiritual discipline that I’ve struggled with most and the Lord has been so faithful to gently guide me and teach me as I learn new things about communicating with Him. I’m beginning to see studying the Bible in a whole new light and it has been so life-changing for my quiet time. I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you so that you can start doing it, too! (And if you already do this... why didn’t you tell me earlier!?)
At the very beginning of this study Kay talks about how she “marks” her Bible for lots of different things. Each topic has it’s own marking that she uses throughout her Bible. I’ll be honest... at first I kind of laughed. I had literally never thought to draw a pitchfork to represent the Devil in my Bible. Ha! But, the more I practiced with her through different passages, the more I saw how incredibly helpful it was to my study. After every passage she instructed me to mark through, she would then ask something like, “What did you learn from marking all the references to ___?” It has opened my eyes SO MUCH to the deep wisdom that is in the Bible. There is so much to study. There is so much to dig into. THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN.
You can literally choose anything and everything to mark. So far in this study, I’ve marked prayer (underline with an orange pen), sin (red S above any word relating to sin), passover (a little half curve above the word), and several others. It has seriously been so eye-opening for me. I’m able to pick apart different passages and see how certain things go together. For example, in Matthew 26:36-44 Jesus is in the garden Gethesmane praying before He is betrayed by Judas. He prayed, went back to the sleeping disciples, prayed, went back to the sleeping disciples, prayed... He was persistent in prayer. He prayed again and again and again. Visually seeing all my markings for prayer helped me to see how much Jesus actually prayed.
I’ve learned so much from this study and I am so overwhelmed by how much the Lord loves me. If you happen to be in a similar spiritual situation as I was, I want to encourage you to keep pressing through. I was encouraged at our prayer meeting to just keep being faithful and consistent in the Word and in prayer because sometimes God uses these times to test our faithfulness to Him. He has been so gracious to teach me, love me, and speak to me these past few weeks. Sister, He LOVES YOU and He will not forsake you. Seek Him.
I can’t wait to tell you more about what I’m learning. I think explaining it all to you will help me to better grasp it all and plant it firmly in my head and my heart. I want it so badly.