Another week has flown by here at “Becoming Today”. I hope it has been as rewarding for you as it has been for me. In this edition we’ll review the knowledge gained over the last several days and how to apply it to our future.
This week we are focusing on the concept of prayer. What is it? How to correctly use it and what to expect from it. We began with a definition and centered our discussions around three questions,
Prayer in the Bible is an evolving means of interacting with God, most frequently through a spontaneous, individual, unorganized form of petitioning and/or giving thanks. It is also at times glorifying God through praise.
1. Why should we pray? We should pray because we have needs. Great and small. Prayer should be our first strategy when seeking results.
2. To whom should we pray? God. Simple one word answer for the one undoubtable Source of all goodness, Grace and Mercy.
3. How should we pray? We should pray sincerely, regularly, continually, in humidity, faith, trust, obedience and with gratitude, thanks and praise.
What we pray for and/or should pray for changes continually. That’s why our discussions now will center on How to Develop Your Prayer Life,
Practice makes perfect. The old adage holds true especially when considering our daily commitments to ourselves. Just like your workout routine, think of prayer as an added form of exercise, in which the results are guaranteed.
Now for exercise to be effective, we know it has to be done earnestly and regularly. That’s why the first step in developing our prayer life is to continuously engage in it.
Psalm 86:3 tells us “For unto You I cry all day long.” King David, motivated by his great desire and monumental need was motivated to remain focused on his connection through prayer.
As part of our regular practice of prayer, it should be done in gratitude. Always with an attitude of thanksgiving and openly expressing our thanks for the outcome. Not when “it” arrives or when it is proven true, but as we ask for it. Give gratitude as you seek showing confidence in your belief that good shall overcome.
However do not do so pridefully. We should always pray in humility. Ask and gracefully receive.. When we humble ourselves before God we are not only glorifying Him, but also reminding ourselves of how powerful God’s mercy, grace and unconditional love are.
Then you must also pray in faith. As explained in Hebrews 11:1 “… faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.
That goes hand in hand with trust. Trusting that God will deliver. Deliver on His promises and ceaseless unconditional love.
Therefore we should trust our belief and have faith in God to earnestly discipline ourselves to asking Him to supply our needs in prayer. In requesting this in sincerity with gratitude and humility, faith allows us to perceive the knowledge that our requests or petitions will be heard and that if what we ask for is in accord with the Lord, that His will will be done, delivering us through His promise, grace and mercy.
Of major importance in developing our prayer life is to be actively seeking to be in God’s presence. It is there we find peace and calm, the answers to our needs and the source of our strength.
These are all traits necessary for helping us to identify our purpose in “Becoming”. It is through inspiration, guidance and seeking of wisdom that Promises are revealed to us. In understanding and accepting these understandings in how we are able to comprehend and accept our path. The reason why we are here and what that means for us at this given time. Our paths will never be straight, they will twist and turn, but they are still leaving to one destination. The reason we were created.
What yours is, I can not say, because it is uniquely yours. We can guide, encourage and assist one another, but in order to put ‘your’ plan in motion, you will need to seek direction from the Source then pray for wisdom to acknowledge and receive it.
In Jeremiah 29:11 we read the words of the Lord, “For I know the plans I have for you.” They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Finding and accepting a Purpose Driven Life is not a new concept, but that’s because it is a time-tested proven commodity. Living a life on purpose in accordance with God’s will is ultimately the greatest reward.
Pastor Rick Warren wrote, “you’ll find the answers to three of life’s most important questions:
- The Question of Existence: Why am I alive?
- The Question of Significance: Does my life matter?
- The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?”
Also in his study he notes, “Before you were born, God already planned your life. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live–here on earth, and forever in eternity”.
Warren also wrote that as you begin to explore you will discover the five benefits of knowing your purpose:
- It will explain the meaning of your life.
- It will simplify your life.
- It will focus your life.
- It will increase your motivation.
- It will prepare you for eternity.
All of which to me, seem very “Becoming”.
So now what? Dive into your strength. You are only limited by your own thoughts. Create a shift in your thinking; allow yourself to live the life you want. Ask for ( and receive) the support of the highest power.
Developing your prayer life empowers you. When we do we are strengthened lifting our minds, hearts and spirits. So I urge you to take a prayerful intercession. Asking the Lord to help reveal your life’s purpose will be healing, calming, strengthening, building, growing and most of all “Becoming”.
Thorough self examination, meditation, contemplation and prayers are the places where we can begin to formulate the answers we seek. In order to continue building momentum, which I believe should always be focused on moving both forward and upward, let’s revisit our earlier discussions to be better prepared and equipped for the trip ahead.
Finding the freedom to renew, rejuvenate and revitalize yourself begins with an understanding of all that being free means. Here is an abbreviated version of my
8 Steps to Freedom:
- Check and Protect your Self Esteem
Your self-worth has everything to do with the ability to free yourself. Challenge your negative thinking.Be aware that long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though they are not. Often these false perceptions are just opinions devoid of any truth. Then make sure you are not getting involved in patterns of self delusion or accepting falsehoods as the truth.
- Live Authentically and Expectantly
Always be expecting, and expecting nothing less than the best. Let your inner light be your guide. Connect with the Spirit through quiet reflection, meditation or prayer. Seek the wisdom of your heart-center when you are faced with important choices and decisions.
Be your highest self. Remember who you are intended to be.
Let go of habits, routines and people that no longer serve you. Release guilt and anxiety. Surround yourself with those who love you, believe in you, and only want the best for you.
Speak your truth. Find your voice. Use your words. Express yourself. Do not limit yourself. The truth will set you free.
Learn to trust your intuition. Follow your heart, your spirit and the mind will follow. I knew for decades, those hunches were right. Plus when I did listen I was either very successful or well protected, whatever the need of the moment was. At the same time though, society would try to mock “women’s intuition”. Well you know what? “They” only attack what they fear.
Recognize connections. There is an invisible web of connection between people, events and even the places in your life. This is how God nudges and guides you towards your destiny.I know and have given testimony many times, in many ways as to how I have been led throughout my life. I only ask that it continues and truly it is.
Live courageously. What would you do if you were not afraid? Take risks. Step out of your comfort zone. What happens when you make a decision, it either works or it doesn’t. Go ahead I dare you to, just like I did myself!
Celebrate Life. Live it. Feel it. Be it. Honor yourself by living every day to the fullest.
It was only through conquering my fears and doubts, accepting help and challenges plus surrendering all that I could that I realized I am now and will continue to be living my truly authentic life. It’s all part of “Becoming” and has delivered me to a place where I can finally honestly, boldly proclaim:
“I love Life. I love the Lord. I love myself”.
- Empower Yourself and Learning to Say “NO”
Dive into your strength. You’re only limited by your own thoughts. Create a shift in your thinking; empower yourself to live the life you want. Ask for ( and receive) the support of your higher power.
Accept that you can and should say “NO”. For women this is often hard. We are not being selfish, if we have to put someone off for a while. Nancy Reagan tried to teach us all to just say “NO” to drugs plus how many times have you had to tell him, “NO”!
- Practice Forgiveness
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go.This is a vital part of “Becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.
It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.
- Be Grateful
See the good in everything and everyone. Cherish beauty, kindness, love, and joy. I believe everyday should be Thanksgiving. I am constantly giving gratitude for all things including the lessons we sometimes don’t want or think we need.
Being grateful puts us in a better state. One of bliss, joy and abundance. When you decide to adopt and commit to an attitude of gratitude, God listens and rewards you.
- Realize Reactions Resonate
As one of my favorite quotes from Chuck Swindoll reminds us, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
So begin by accepting the fact that you are co-Creator. You are more than capable of choosing the right actions when pushed, promised or promoted. Accept Personal Responsibility. In order to fully accept your reality, you must take ownership of any role you may have played, good or bad, in leading you to where you are. When you do, then you can work on decisions for the next steps.
- Love Thy Self
Be free to love yourself. When you do, then you are free to love others. Be vulnerable. Opening yourself to growth. To me it seems the best way to heal is by learning a lesson from the situation, then using it to be “Becoming”. Channel your thoughts, intentions, desires and energies into focusing on growth and building that momentum that moves both forward and upward.
Do not get stuck in the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” mentality. Hanging onto to what should have happened, what could have happened, or what you wished would have happened, give yourself motivation to get over it. Release it and heal. Or keep a grip on it and be paralyzed; immobilized by feelings of pain and bad memories.
Always Be “Becoming”
Let your emotions flow freely. Do not keep things bottled up. Burying your feelings not only causes the pain to remain, oftentimes it can increase and have negative physical effects on our bodies ( and minds) as well. You are not the only one who has ever been afraid to face a negative or painful emotion, just realize you need to do it. Face your fears, breathe and let them pass through you. Do not allow them to define you.
If you need help or suggestions on how to do this step, see our earlier post on “Developing Your Casting Plan”.
While we’ve been accentuating the positive much of the past few days, our efforts do cause us to examine the uncomfortable as well. That’s why today we need to approach our dark sides.
See Your Shadow
Since most of us are at least initially unwilling to see or accept anything unattractive or negative about ourselves, most often we are likely to see the shadows of others befor our own. However opening up to the willingness and responsibility of exploring our dark sides has many powerful benefits including having a clearer focus, a better defined vision, improved relationships, a more accepting and acknowledging attitude, greater creativity, and a more awakened spirit.
All are tools empowering us along our paths towards “Becoming”. So quit putting it off and realize you must embrace yourself and accept your dark side. No more denying or hiding. You have a dark side. I have a dark side. We all have dark sides. The time has come now for us to admit it and free ourselves from it’s negative power and side effects.
Acknowledging your dark side does not mean you have to embrace it.
Develop Your Joy
Joy is power, a strength and a reward that exists within each of us. It’s our individual responsibility to nurture it , co-create it and share it.
It is through how we choose to react to obstacles, circumstances and life in general as to how we do or do not experience joy. No one can truly take it away from you. Only you can prevent yourself from experiencing it.
Joy is extremely important to overcoming tests and trials as well as on our path of “Becoming” as it is through joy that we lead ourselves out of the darkness with Peace. Joy is one of the tools we are equipped with, to aid us in finding our answers, soulutions, authentic lives and to “Becoming” our destiny.
When you have improved the vision of who you are, then you can shift towards where you want to be. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Dreams do come true. Trust yourself, do what you love and love who you are while doing it. Embrace your times of imperfection with grace and forgiveness and empower yourself to conquer any self limiting aspects.
To live an empowered life open yourself to a “Becoming”. Be purposeful in living for great expectations, realizations and continued growth. Empowerment means that you are stronger, bolder, more secure. Better able to deal with those distractions, circumstances and moments of stress. Deciding to empower yourself allows for you to make superior decisions, including having the conscious determination to be “Becoming”. By that action you are committing to continue evolving to the next higher level.
Yes you will still encounter delays, obstacles and troubles. However accepting the responsibility for your own empowerment, by focusing on who you are and where you want to be, allows for you to live a life that is truly authentic, more rewarding and of significance.
And if you encounter resistance, hold yourself with Grace. Haters will always hate. Gossips will run their mouths and the fearful will try to scare you. Hold your head high, shoulders back and nurture yourself in your new empowered confidence and in who you are “Becoming Today”.
Fill in the blank:
“You are” what? That question is one you must answer for ourselves. Our first steps along this recurring journey are always being in touch with who we are, where we are and where we want to be “Becoming”.
You are … wondering why this topic today? Well it’s because I need some reinforcement in my own definition. So being open to inspiration and gratefully acknowledging the gift of Grace, it was quite apparent I needed to look past some distractions, remain on course and continue trusting that for every delay, disappointment and obstacle God has already overcome them for me, for I are….
Since I ( and hopefully you) are “Becoming” our destiny, who we are truly intended to be then If I truthfully fill in the blank, there are many answers, solutions and outcomes.
“You are ________.”
… not meant to just get by.
… strong enough.
Consistency counts. Regular exercise improves our immunity. Strengthens us for what challenges, difficulties or obstacles may lay ahead. Regular prayer emboldens our Spirit, ensures a clear connection and revitalizes the very essence of our being, all necessary steps along this path we call “Becoming Today”.
I pray you have a safe and rejuvenating extended (U.S.) holiday weekend. When you choose to join us on Monday we’ll resume our shared journey along this path by beginning to comprehend and embrace our destiny.