This week I'm happy to introduce a guest blogger. Angie and I met a while back and she has helped me with research on a book coming out in the fall. I hope you enjoy getting to know Angie Breidenbach and her new book Gems of Wisdom. Take it away, Angie!!
So How Do You Pray Anyway?
I used to think prayer had to be very formal. You know, the folded hands and bowed head. Could God hear me if I didn't follow all the rules? Why did He want to listen to me anyway?
Do you ever feel like that? Like God's just too big way up there in the sky to listen to little me?
Then He did something really spectacular. He answered a whisper. And He caught my attention.
I started trying different ways of praying. Sometimes they were a few words, a song, or even a laugh full of gusto. But the more I started to mentally direct my thoughts into a prayerful attitude, the more I began to see the answers.
The answers were not a surprise to God, but they sure were to me. I wanted to learn how to recognize when God was answering my prayers so I started to journal them on one side of a page and then when I knew I had an answer, I wrote it on the opposite side. I kept this notebook for several years. In fact, I found it under some other books recently and started looking through the unanswered prayers. Do you know what happened? I began filling in blank after blank after blank. God had been faithfully answering me. He surprised me again. I decided He's totally in the job of surprise.
Now I pray in any way that's appropriate for the moment. Sometimes that even includes getting down on the floor, allowing the tears to come, and letting the Holy Spirit take my silent prayers up to the ear of God. I felt like all the ashes in my heart were snuffing out my sense of purpose, people I needed to forgive, and the dreams I thought I should chase. When I let the Holy Spirit swirl through all those ashes, I saw Him pulling them all up into the throne room of God. I felt like He'd cleaned out all that old dead stuff and relit my flame of joy.
I wrote about allowing His Spirit to swirl through me in Chapter 6 instead of giving into the pirates of martyrdom, anger, and unforgiveness:
Are you willing to let go and let God take it from here?
Hold your hands up to Him. Open your palms and blow your worries, fears, and pain away. Toss God the blackened pieces of wooden unforgiveness.
Watch Him catch it all.
Watch a slow smile spread across His features.
Hear Him say, “I can take it from here. It is in my power. It is in my plan. I love you.”
Did you know?
God is smiling on you!
You're invited to the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life official book launch party
May 7th 11am-2pm, Garden of Read'n, Missoula, MT.
About the book:
In Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-Filled Life you'll embark on a treasure hunt for God's unique gems of wisdom. Be empowered, learn to influence through your own life lessons, and preserve important relationships. Gems of Wisdom invites the reader on a treasure hunt to find important life concepts represented by the beautiful stones God created. Excellent for Bible study and book clubs as well as individual study.
About the author:
Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009, a multi-award winning inspirational speaker and the author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life from Journey Press, the Creative Cooking Series including the new release of Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance and the new Kindle release, Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela also teaches online classes and coaches one-on-one in courageous confidence, personal growth, and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and life coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, MT. She volunteered as the American Christian Fiction Writer's publicity officer for two years. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom's brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. Angela is married with a combined family of six grown children and two grand children. Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life releases May 2011 from Journey Press, a Sheaf House imprint.
Angela Breidenbach, Speaker/Author