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Is Your Prayer Life Helping You to Live Your Best Life?

Have you longed, as I have, for a deeper prayer life—one with greater intimacy and alignment with God? Have you wanted to be able to hear God’s voice to regularly guide you, teach you, bless and correct you, and direct your steps? That’s what I desired but didn’t enjoy during my very busy years of practicing law, child-rearing, writing a book, remodeling and moving, and doing, doing, doing. It took the “quieter times” of the pandemic for me to find out how to really go deeper and hear God’s voice. 

In 1989 I had my first conscious experience of the power of the Holy Spirit that turned my life around, and I knew right away that I needed a prayer life. So I went to church the next day to worship, and then on Monday I did two key things. I bought a Bible, and I called Celeste, a woman who hosted a weekly Intercessory Prayer Group in her home and a weekly charismatic prayer group at church. I’d known her for about a year through a Moms’ Group at church, which I’d joined for social and childcare reasons, even though I was then just lukewarm. When I reached out that day, she invited me to come to Intercessory Prayer that very afternoon, and I became an enthusiastic regular at both kinds of prayer meetings.

She mentored me to learn praise songs, spontaneous praise, and prayers of petition– for the worldwide body of Christ, the world, the nation, our state and city, our kids’ schools, our local churches, our marriages, families, friends, and the special needs held in our hearts. These “asks” were predominantly extemporaneous prayers, in our own words, so it took me a while to move out of my comfort zone and contribute, but with Celeste and other members’ encouragement, I learned to do that.

The charismatic prayer meetings were like nothing I’d experienced. They began with a guitarist leading us through music booklets, starting with upbeat praise songs to clap or move to. Those gifted to do so would start to sing or speak in the prayer language the Holy Spirit gave them (aka “tongues”). We’d move on to quieter worship songs, at which time people would take their seats and be silent. Some would then read scripture as prompted in the quiet; others would speak prophetic words and share as the Holy Spirit moved them. Toward the end, we would lay hands on those wishing to receive healing prayer or a special blessing, and we’d close with The Lord’s Prayer.

Fast forward to 2020. I’d been praying and journaling each morning for decades. I’d read countless spiritual books and my Bible was well-worn and marked up. I’d moved, and I’d led new prayer groups. I’d attended annual Holy Spirit conferences, and I’d made three pilgrimages. In 2006 and 2007, I’d received training as a Spiritual Director, which included many kinds of prayer and healing experiences. But my life was one of constant busyness, a long task list that never got any shorter, striving, putting out fires in the family, juggling, and still praying but not hearing God’s voice very often (mostly when making quilts or at prayer meetings). And I wasn’t living aligned with key teachings. For example:

My perception of my identity didn’t match Ephesians 1:3-4, which says that we are lovable, wonderfully made, blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing, and chosen by our eternal Father to be holy and blameless before him. I still thought I wasn’t good enough and had to earn love.

I didn’t see my authority and dominion as a Kingdom citizen with all God’s family or as an heir to all God’s promises, as per Ephesians 2:1. The promises seemed to be just for people holier than me.

Many more of my life areas needed alignment: perceptions, beliefs, and actions related to my body, mind, spirit, heart, energy, time, purpose, calling, relationships, money, home and environment, work and rest.

Since 2020, I’ve experienced transformation in all those areas–not to perfection, obviously, but so far beyond where I was. I’m eager to share with others who’d like to go on this journey about how the transformation can come about.

I’ll be offering free resources on Developing a Deeper Prayer Life and Hearing from God. If you’d like to be notified of how to join in, please email info@radiantjoy.us with the subject, “Let Me Know about Developing a Deeper Prayer Life.” Please include your name, time zone, and your biggest questions about prayer and hearing from God.

Coming Soon: Watch for a blog post and YouTube video “Who God Says You Are,” about proclaiming the truth of your identity in Christ.

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