Friday, September 22, 2017

My Rotating Audio Prayer List

When we were missionaries in Colombia my husband and I tried to take time each day to pray in depth together. We both wanted to get some exercise, too, so we loaded our youngest into a stroller and walked around and around our neighborhood, praying outloud with each other.

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At one point he came down with mononucleosis and couldn't walk with me for about a month, so I did our prayer walks alone--although I prayed silently. Stepping out of our gated community became synonymous with prayer for me and I would often find myself praying as I walked some where before I even realized I was praying. Oh to be like that always!

When we moved back to the states my husband started keeping office hours, so, if the weather cooperated, I could walk the mile to the office with him and then back praying by myself. But I found that whenever I was alone my mind would often wander and I would waste some of that precious time I could have spent in prayer.

That's when I got the idea to make an audio prayer list. Besides, I had that old MP3 player that I didn't use for anything! So I wrote down lists of people, places, and ministries that I wanted to pray for and recorded them in sections of 14 or 16 names. I would say the name and then pray silently for about 30 seconds and then say the next name.

This way when I went for my walk, I would listen. I knew I only had 30 seconds to pray for this topic before the next one would come, so I used those seconds well.




Since we have the privilege of traveling as part of our ministry, I believe I have the responsibility to pray for the places and people we meet along the way. So I have more things to pray for than I could get through in a 30 or even 45 minute walk. I wanted to pray for my family members every day, so I copied that list multiple times and interspersed it with the other lists.

 Now every day I pray for my family first and then two other prayer lists. Because there are many lists now, my prayer list "rotates." I don't always pray for the same people on the same day of the week, but I get through most of the list in a week and pray for my family every day.

I recently had to reboot my phone. Although I followed all the directions to save everything, most of my audio prayer lists were lost, so I have been re-recording them. This involves coming up with the categories and lists of about 16 names for each one. Then I record them watching the time while I do it so each one gets about 30 seconds. I started putting on soft instrumental hymns in the background and find I enjoy that very much. Another change I've made is to say "End _____ list," and then let the music play a few more seconds as I gradually fade it out. This way there is time to think, perhaps continue to pray, and transition to the next list that comes up. I've been taking walks that are longer than the family list plus two, so I use the time after that to pray for things that are currently on my mind and I enjoy that, too.

This "system" has worked well for me for several years now. I'm always looking for ways to improve my prayer life, so I don't expect to stay with this forever. But perhaps it will help you whether you exercise or not while praying. I have a friend who listens to her prayer list when she drives!

Let me know the best way for you to pray!
aroundthetableblog(at)gmail(dot)com


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For more of my ideas on prayer, 
click here for 7 qualities to pray for, 
here for ideas on giving thanks vs. being thankful, and here for ways to teach prayer through example.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Family--It's What I Do

I was recently the guest poster on a friend's blog. She asked me to write about "something that embodies who you are, what your blog is and who Christ is in you." It wasn't till I started writing that I realized how that all comes together in my life. 
Summer is a godly single woman who seeks to be all she can in Christ and encourage other women to do the same. I hope you enjoy what I wrote and check out her blog to read her writing as well.

When we were newlyweds, I remember listening to two sets of new grandparents try to outdo each other about how long they had each held that new grand baby. “I just held her for 45 minutes!” “Well, I got to hold her on Tuesday for two hours straight!” I turned to my husband and said, “We are never living in the same city as both sets of parents!”

That was a safe bet, my parents were in California and my husband’s in Chicago and we were headed to South America as missionaries
Fast forward thirty-five years: All six of us live in a small city in Iowa. Also in town are my youngest daughter and son, his wife and daughter—soon to be two daughters! That’s an age range of 0 to 91!
When we moved back to the states after twenty-four years on the mission field we came to a ministry based out of the college where my father-in-law was a Professor Emeritus in a city only fifty miles from...to continue reading click here



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For More Ideas and Inspiration:
Check out the book Around the Table: Connecting With Your Family at Mealtimes


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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Budding Photographer

Taking pictures is so much more fun now than it was before digital cameras. You get to see them right away, you can take tons and it doesn't cost any more than taking a few, you can pick which ones you want to print or post and delete the "shabbies" as they were known in my husband's family.



Before we went to the mission field my husband worked in a camera store and had a side job of wedding photography. That gene has been passed on to our kids and our youngest, Christina, is starting to do photo shoots. We got to be one of her "clients" to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. 



It was really fun to walk around downtown on a quiet Saturday afternoon and find fun places and poses for the pictures. She had a lot of great ideas. 



At one point we were trying to take a picture in the middle of the old street car tracks, but cars kept coming up the road. We finally gave up and walked to the side when one car slowed down, opened his window and said, "That's a great shot! Don't give up!" We're glad now we didn't!



Christina posted these photos and more on her blog with a quote from First Corinthians 13 as a tribute to our marriage.


















It's an honor to have your children see you as an example of love and marriage. Not that we've been perfect partners, but we do strive to follow the principles God has set up to make a marriage work.



So often we think we marry someone to make us happy, and I probably thought that to a degree before we married (and, to be honest, have acted like I thought that at times since) but we don't. We marry someone to serve them, to love them, and to serve others together. 



Jim and I are grateful for the example we have in our parents' marriages--married now 67 and 62 years!



And we pray for our children's marriages--and have prayed for them since they were babies--to honor God in the same way.



To see the rest of the pictures Christina posted, go to her blog post at My Cup of Ginger Tea.




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To never miss an Around the Table blog post, simply sign up in the space on the right side of the blog, below the picture of the book. Each week you will receive one email that looks like this:





It's as easy as that. No searching for the blog, waiting for your browser, or missing a post. Sign up today!

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For More Ideas and Inspiration:
Check out the book Around the Table: Connecting With Your Family at Mealtimes


Linking with these great blogs. 

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