There is no magic formula for prayer
Prayers can be whispered, shouted, written, uttered, mumbled or cried out. Prayers can be journaled and they can be shared. The most important thing about prayer is that you do it. Speaking to God (prayer) and hearing from God (reading your Bible) are the two ways of communicating with Him. I'll come back to this again at the end of this post, but for now…
After I returned from China, October 2015, I finished reading the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. While reading this book, I realized I had not been acknowledging all the answered prayers in my life over the last few years, and wanted to make a change. I have since gifted the book to several of my friends who needed God to move in their lives in a big way.
At the beginning of 2016 I started saving my favorite memory verses onto pictures of the person I was praying for, I call them “Prayer Memes”
This is the very first prayer meme I made. It was right after Haley (my 2nd born child) left for the USAF. I wasn't super worried about her, but I am a mom. My prayer for her was for safety first and foremost.
She will probably kill me for sharing this photo, but I loved her face in this one and the day I took it we had spent together with the kids playing and just enjoying one another. I think the filter makes her hair look a lovely shade of grey even though it's the most beautiful shade of blond.
I made this meme after I snapped a shot of my three youngest kids exploring the woods together. Living in a large family, arguments happen. This meme was a reminder for me to pray for unity in my family and for my children to have an unbreakable sibling bond.
I made this meme from a photo I snuck at the Tennessee Theater during a showing of Shen Yun. I had a little disagreement with my husband that morning and regretted some of my words. I am always praying that God would guide the words of my mouth.
This meme was from a photo I took driving through town after I had been sort of discouraged about the state of affairs in the world. You know, sometimes you can just get a little down after scrolling through all the negative news everyone shares on Facebook. (whyyyyyy do people share all the bad news?) This was a reminder to me that He has overcome the world.
As I have headed into my forties, the grey hairs have increased! I have struggled with several health issues in my forties that have gotten me down. Sometimes I start wondering if I will live to old age! This verse really comforts me when I have anxiety about my health.
I took this photo of my Macey (1st born) in Xi'An. We were riding bikes on the city wall. It was just so amazing to me. My dream for a decade or longer has been to travel all over China. I have studied all things Chinese for years. I've read books, watched movies, met people and learned to speak Mandarin. At several points during our trip I found myself calling on the Lord for various reasons, the things He showed me have been far beyond my wildest dreams. I love the smile on her face and the memory of the laughter and tears we shared together. I pray that He will show her great and mighty things for the rest of her life.
Walking through the woods is one of the times when I feel closest to God. I really enjoy taking a long walk to just talk with Him. At times when I am alone with Him I do crave Him with all my being!
I've been blessed to have six wonderful arrows from the Lord. I never want to let a day pass without thanking Him for the treasures He has given me.
I made this one kinda blurry to hide some of my wrinkles … ha ha! That He would keep my mouth is my number one prayer. Whether it be speaking my opinion when it isn't asked for, yelling at the kids, or saying something rude or sarcastic to my spouse (yeah, I've done that), or getting angry when driving, I want the Lord to help me set a watch over my mouth!
This is a photo of Macey (my oldest) with my (self proclaimed) Chinese daughter Li Pei San. We spent time with her and her grandma and auntie in Guangzhou back in October 2015. I gave her a copy of Jesus Calling along with a few other gifts. I pray that the bits and pieces of Christ that I have been able to share with her will lead her to Him.
It is so hard not to conform to this world, but my therapist gave me this verse. She asked me to pray open ended prayers and not to limit God. I added this verse to a photo I took going down the Li River in China.
As I walked through the Forbidden City Palace in Beijing my heart was really moved. Just the history of that place was overwhelming to me. Not only history, but knowing how many Chinese people haven't heard the gospel, how many have died not knowing. Even though there are some “approved” churches in China there are many more underground churches with members who live in fear of being found and persecuted. I met so many wonderful people in China and pray daily for their salvation.
The sheer number of people we saw in China was truly beyond belief. You hear about how overpopulated the country is but seeing it is something different. There were many times when I prayed for the Chinese people. You know, God gives us all different things He wants us to pray about, different people to care for; He gave me China. Even though the trip was stressful at times, I just felt so overwhelmed with emotion the entire time I was there. I know God has more for me to do in China.
One of the best parts about making these Prayer Memes is that it reminds me that God is faithful. That He answers my prayers, and sometimes I hadn't even noticed, but with my prayer memes I recognize when God is answering my prayers. It also helps me remember not to follow my heart as the world would have me do.
I make these memes on the YouVersion.com Bible app. It's easy to do. Simply sign up for an account (on your smartphone) then search for your favorite verses. After you find the one you want to use simply tap the verse, causing it to be underlined.
Now touch the icon on the right that looks like an image of a mountain inside the orange circle. This will open up your option for backgrounds.
If you want to use one of your own photos simply click the blank space with the square icon containing an image of a mountain. This will open up your camera roll. Then you can begin to edit your photo by changing the font, size, color, etc. (Below I have used a photo of my Chinese grandma… I pray for her salvation daily).
I take the time to have these printed for my prayer closet, but I also share them to my Pinterest Board “Prayers” which used to be a secret board, but to share this method of remembering prayer, I made my board public. Follow my prayer board below.
Back to the beginning, like I said, there is no magic formula for prayer, but Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. First he pointed out that prayer is private, it's not for show. Secondly, he tells us to pray TO the Father and FROM the heart, he tells us to enter our closet (just remember not to make it a “supply” closet by only ever asking for a list of “things”):
This prayer is the ultimate model for our prayer life.
9 Jesus acknowledges that God is his Father, where God resides and His name is holy
10 He also acknowledges that His Kingdom will come. Jesus further states that the Father's will would be done on heaven and earth
11 He asks for his daily needs (daily…not weekly, monthly, yearly… Jesus wasn't selfish!)
12 He confesses and asks for forgiveness, while expressing the need to forgive others
13 Lastly, Jesus ask for God's protection and direction and closes by stating the facts. He acknowledges that it is God and He alone who answers our prayers, who owns everything, who has all the power and gets all the glory.
Now, you may be wondering why all my Prayer Memes are all my family photos? Well, they're not! I have several friends and extended family members that I pray for as well, however, I did not want to invade their privacy by sharing what I am praying for along with their personal photo! I have a long list of people I pray for. If you ask me to pray for you, you can bet that your name and prayer request are on the wall of my prayer closet.
Originally, when I began praying like this, I had no intention of sharing my idea with others, besides maybe a few close friends that I pray with (hi Shannon, other Shannon, Stephanie, and Samantha) however, I started to feel like these #prayermemes would help other people to have more victory in their prayer life and also would be a way to share His love with others.
If you would like to be friends on the Bible App, just send me a friend request, find my profile “Rebecca Huff” or just email me yours to [email protected] and I'd be glad to add you! If you share your creations hashtag them #prayermemes and tag me so I can see!