Pray the Word

Monday, September 26, 2016

{Affiliate Links Used.}

Have you ever felt at a loss as to how or what to pray? Do the words not come to mind? Years ago, I read Beth Moore's Praying God's Word, in which she encourages us to use Scripture as our words in prayer. The book's aim is to breakdown strongholds in our lives, but really, praying God's Word back to Him is an excellent idea no matter the circumstances. So here are some resources and information if you would like to use Scripture in your prayer life.

One great place to start is at His Mercy Is New. Candace has tons of resources for praying God's Word.

How Praying God's Word Can Change You
Ten Benefits to Praying God's Word
12 Months of Praying the Scriptures
Praying the Psalms

Here's a quick look at how I pray through a passage. Recently, I read Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Left Out, Less Than, and Lonely and the author Lysa TerKeurst suggested using Psalm 91 and praying through it as you deal with rejection in your life. So I have been writing out the psalm in sections (in black...See below.) and then personalizing my prayers for each section. This exercise has really helped me work through some of the issues I have been having. Not only am I focusing on Scripture, but I am also using it to pray precisely. It cuts down on me kind of "babbling" to God and gives my prayers so much more meaning. It has been such a precious time with Him, and I have drawn nearer to Him as I pray back and meditate on His words.


Since many of the Psalms were originally prayers, the longest book of the Bible may be a great place to start. Here are a few psalms you can use when you are experiencing certain circumstances in life...

When others rise up against you- Psalm 3
When you are walking through dark times- Psalm 23
When you fear others- Psalm 27
When you need hope- Psalm 42
When you have sinned- Psalm 51
When you hunger for God- Psalm 63
When you need reassurance that His love endures- Psalm 103
When you need help- Psalms 121
When you need to know you are precious- Psalm 139

So grab some index cards or maybe even a journal and write down a few verses to get started. Pray the words back to Him. It will be so worth it!

Prayer {Think On These Things}

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

{Affiliate Links Used.}

I used to think that prayer is what changes our circumstances, but I have learned over the years that prayer is changing me. For years, I have battled anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, because of my genetic make-up, personality, and past, I will continue the fight against fear for the rest of my life. Prayer has become my battle ax against the menacing thoughts that consume me on a regular basis. I have trained myself to pray before blowing things out of proportion thinking the world will end soon. Recently, in two totally different circumstances, I prayed, "Lord, please deal with this issue." And while He may not have dealt with it in the way I would have, His solutions turned out to be exactly what I needed. Then there are times when prayer isn't about asking for solutions, things, or a change in circumstances. Sometimes prayer is praise or quiet moments with Him listening to what He has to say. So why not join me in the month of October as we look at prayer. What is it? How do we go about it? How can it change us? Get out a pen and a journal as we write out the following verses and "Think on These Things"...


If you would like all the Think on These Things verses or want to know more about it, click here.

Instagram
During the month I try to post my thoughts on the verses on Instagram. If you would like to follow me you can find me here. Also, if you are posting your own thoughts there please use the hashtag #thinkonthesethings. I would love to read how God speaks to you!!

There are many ways you can use these verses. You can read and meditate on them. You can write them out as you meditate on them. You can read them and then write about them in a journal or journaling Bible. Here are some of the items I use...

A single column journaling Bible...

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (TruTone, Chestnut, Leaves Design)
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black)
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Brown, Flap with Strap)

Some highlighters {These are my absolute favorites!}...

Eco Highlighter Pencils - Set of 5 Colors

Black pens...

Black Ink Pen Set

I love these journals that lay flat...easier to write in!
Studio Oh! Deconstructed Journals


SOAP and the Bible

Monday, September 19, 2016

{Affiliate Links Used.}


It's a simple system of Bible study that has been around for awhile. I like to add it to my repertoire of different ways to focus on a few verses at a time.  S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. Four ways to journal about the verses you are focusing on for the day.

Scripture-In this section you simply write out the verses you are focusing on. Hand copying God's Word really helps you to focus on what the words are saying. To read more about the benefits of copying down Scripture, click here.

Observation-You then move on to writing down details about what you notice in the verses. Are there words you don't understand the meaning to? (Maybe you need to look them up.) Can you make some connections between the details? (For example, I have been noticing the connection between humility and wisdom in some of the verses I have been studying.) Is there something you missed when you have read these verses before?

Application-This is where you write about how these verses could apply to your life. What truth is there in them you could use? Can you apply them to a situation you are currently going through? How is God speaking to you?

Prayer- Finally, take a moment to write a prayer based on the verses to God. Maybe you need to praise Him for what He has done. Or it could be that you need to ask Him to help you apply what you have just learned. (REMEMBER: The Bible is like paint...it does you no good unless you apply it.)


While the SOAP idea is simple, the act of taking the time to journal about the verses helps you go deeper with His Word.  Taking the time to slow down and not only read, but also write about what you have read will give you more understanding.


Verse Mapping

Monday, September 12, 2016

{Affiliate Links Used.}

Lately, I have been doing verse mapping when I do my "Think on These Things" Scripture writing challenge each morning. What is verse mapping? In its simplest form it is writing down the verses, defining some of the words, and then journaling about what you have learned. So let's take a look at how I go about it...


I do the easy part first and write out the verse (or sometimes it is a few verses). Then I either pull out a dictionary or use Blue Letter Bible (an app I downloaded to my phone) to define the words that jump out at me. Finally, after doing that I journal about what I have learned. Three steps. Pretty straightforward and easy, but I love how this method helps me really focus on what is being said in the verses.



While a simple dictionary works, I have been loving using the concordance on the Blue Letter Bible app. Here's a look at how it works:


The first thing you want to do is search for your verses (step 1) after downloading the app. There are several translations available so pick the one that you like working with. Then you need to tap the verse you are mapping. It will take you to the next screen (step 2). Halfway down you will see the concordance. Tap on that and then...



You will be taken to the screen (step 3) that has the verse broken down into chunks. Tap on the Hebrew or Greek word closest to the one you are trying to define. (Please note: sometimes it isn't word for word and you will have to pick the phrase that is closest to what you are looking for.) Then you will go to the screen (step 4) with the definitions. I tend to look through these and pick out only one or two to write down.

Verse mapping is just another way to dive deeper into God's Word. Why not give it a try and see if it helps you gain more understanding of what God is trying to communicate to you?!




Hand Copying God's Word

Monday, September 5, 2016

{Affiliate Links Used.}

I am a get-it-done-and-move-on type of girl who struggles with slowing down. This attribute is great if you have a plethora of tasks set before you, but it's a detriment during your quiet time with God. So this past year I have been trying something new on a regular basis...writing out God's Word...hand copying so that I can slow down and let the words and ideas soak in. If you haven't tried this before I would highly encourage you to do so! You will be amazed at what you have missed by reading that sticks out when you write it down. So today I would love to give you some resources on how to get started in writing out His Word.

Here is a general post on the subject:


So where do you start? How do you choose which passages to hand copy? There are really two ways to go about it...by topic or by the book. Let's take a look at some resources for both:

By Topic

There are several Scripture writing plans out there. I actually have one here on my blog called "Think on These Things". Each month I gather together verses related to the topic I have chosen for others and myself to write out. If you would like you can follow me on Instagram where I post about the verses each morning. Here's a look at this month's verses in which we are focusing on our hearts...


I love this method, because by the end of the month we have an overview of the topic and have gone a bit deeper with it. You don't have to do the month we are currently in, but rather you can pick one of the topics. We have done forgiveness, peace, the importance of words, love, joy, etc. Click on over to this page to see all the topics.

By the Book

Another way to do Scripture writing is to write out a whole book of the Bible. I would first start small. If I remember correctly, one of the first books I wrote out was James. However, this year I finished writing out the ENTIRE book of Psalms! It was quite the adventure, but so worth it! Here are some posts about it...

Writing the Psalms
Writing the Psalms: Thoughts on the Journey

Do you need a schedule to keep you on track with writing out a book? My friend, Candace, over at His Mercy is New has several schedules for different books of the Bible. You can find them here. She also has a schedule for purchase for the book of Psalms. Click here to take a look.

And finally, below you will find a few items I use for Scripture writing. The Studio Oh! deconstructed journals are great for writing out whole books. You can probably get several books in one journal. Just to give you an idea, it took only two of these journals to write out the book of Psalms all 150 chapters!



Going Deeper With God

Monday, August 29, 2016


{Affiliate links used.}

Over the years, it has has been a comfort in sorrow, a guide to daily living, and the words to my prayers. I can honestly say that in my darkest hours it was the one thing that pulled me through...the words I repeated over and over in my head when the depression loomed large or the anxiety screamed at me.  I have come back to it again and again. Morning after morning. You would think after thirty-eight years of looking at it I would tire of the mere sight of it. That hasn't been the case. His Word has endured in my life for almost four decades. I am not about to give it up!

Sure, there have been seasons when I spent less time in it...the crazy college years...the sleepless infant-filled nights. But for the most part it has always been by my side. I have left it to collect dust at times while there have been other seasons I have woken up and it was the first thing I reached for (yes, even before the coffee!). There are smudges...wrinkles from dropping it in the snow...creases in the places in it I have visited time and again. It is well-used and well-loved.

So how do you maintain a love for His word over the years? How do you keep going when you have heard the stories one too many times of the giant and the stones in the sling or the crossing of a sea on dry ground? How do you get started when His Word may be new to you? Join me in September and October as I explore how to delve into God's Word. Maybe you need ideas on how to get started. Or maybe like me you need fresh ideas on how to do deeper with God and His Word. It is my hope and prayer that you will find some helpful methods over the next two months you can use in your time with Scripture. Here's a look at what I will be writing about...

{Please note: This links won't work until the posts go live.}

SOAP 

So will you join me as we look at these ideas? Stop by for the next seven Mondays, and we will take a look at how to go deep with God's Word.



The Heart of the Matter {Think On These Things}

Saturday, August 20, 2016

{Affiliate links used.}

It lurks just below the surface. Most of the time we don't even know it is there; we don't see the power behind it. Regardless of the fact that we are unaware, our hearts motivate our entire being. Our heart talks to us. It lies to us. It forms our words. It compels us to act. It carries joy, love, and peace, but it also harbors bitterness, hatred, and deceit. Years ago, I stumbled upon a book entitled Enemies of the Heart which changed my perspective on how I live my life. Frankly, we can't change anything about our lives unless our hearts change. We can't control our tongue or even our actions unless our hearts are in the right place. So will you join me in September as we search out our hearts, realize their power, and begin the process of change. May your heart never be the same!



{As a side note: Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley is an incredible book! He goes through four destructive powers that our hearts have that can destroy not only us, but those around us. What I love about this book is he also gives four new habits (one for each destructive force) that we can do to change our hearts, words, and actions. I have read this book several times over, read it to by boys, and even used it as a basis for teaching teens. If you are looking for one resource to learn more about the heart, this is it.}



You can download the file here.

If you would like all the Think on These Things verses or want to know more about it, click here.

Instagram
During the month I try to post my thoughts on the verses on Instagram. If you would like to follow me you can find me here. Also, if you are posting your own thoughts there please use the hashtag #thinkonthesethings. I would love to read how God speaks to you!!

Resources
There are many ways you can use these verses. You can read and meditate on them. You can write them out as you meditate on them. You can read them and then write about them in a journal or journaling Bible. Here are some of the items I use...

A single column journaling Bible...

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (TruTone, Chestnut, Leaves Design)
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black)
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Brown, Flap with Strap)

Some highlighters {These are my absolute favorites!}...

Eco Highlighter Pencils - Set of 5 Colors

Black pens...

Black Ink Pen Set

I love these journals that lay flat...easier to write in!