Thursday, July 7, 2011

GUEST POST: Cindy Bultema encourages us to bring intentional focus to our prayer time through a Prayer Guide.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy Bultema at a Speak Up with Confidence Seminar I went to a couple of weeks ago. Her smile and energy are contagious. The name of her blog is She Sparkles, and if you ever meet her you will know that truly she shines like a disco ball in an otherwise dark room! :) Her guest post is packed with GREAT ideas, and very useful (and practical) resources that you can click on, print off, and use yourself. Definitely a worthwhile read!! Enjoy, learn, and be inspired as you read about how she brings intentionality to her prayer life...

One of the things I am most passionate about in my life is PRAYER.

(Unfortunately, this hasn't always been the case. I didn't become a Christian until the age of 26. Finally after years of poor, self destructive choices I gave my life to Jesus in 1996! You can read more about it here.)

My heart for prayer really began to grow in 1999. I was asked to accept a job leading a ministry at my church. I knew that God would have to show up BIG TIME or it would be a huge disaster.

I read every book on prayer I could, studied prayer Bible passages, and most importantly, I began to pray. A lot! I cried out to the Lord, "Teach me how to PRAY!" And you know what?? God answered those prayers (in abundance)...and continues to grow me in my prayer life today! A powerful tool that has really shaped my prayer life is my Prayer Guide.


The Prayer Guide I use was designed by an amazing ministry called Walking with Him favorite part is that my Prayer Guide may be personalized with photos, prayers and mementos. It has become the story of my walk with God! Here are just a few examples of sections I have in my prayer guide.


For example, there is a section of the Prayer Guide on Thanking God. This part of my journal is filled with things I am grateful for (a picture of me getting baptized in 1999, family & friend pics, etc..). I also fill the pages with answers to prayers.

In the picture below you can see the SOLD sign when our house sold - in less than 2 months! - and lots of post-it notes of answered prayers. It is a perfect visual reminder of how good God is and His faithfulness in answering prayer!


I also have a whole section of my Prayer Guide where I pray for myself and others. The pages are filled with photos of family and friends (this is where I put the pictures I receive at Christmas). I usually sit with a stack of index cards and/or post-it notes, and pray specifically for others (and then slide the index card behind their picture). If a friend sends an e-mail and asks me to pray for something, I print it off, pray, and then slide it behind the picture.


This picture below shows my page for John. On the left I have a download of 31 Days of Praying for Your Husband. On the right are pics of me and John, and then post-it notes with specific prayers. (Can you see the top right post-it note?? It has prayers from my little Sarah. She loves to sit with me as I go through my Prayer Guide and help me pray for all of our family and friends! :))

Another example below. These are the pages I pray for my kids. I love being able to look at their precious faces as I pray for them! One resource I use when praying for my kids is 31 Biblical Virtues. You can see more prayers below from Sarah. Praying that her sister would be nice :)


I also have a section where I pray specifically for family/friends/acquaintances who do not know Jesus. What a blessing to watch God work in their lives ~ and then be able to move their picture from the "Far from God" section to the "Thank God" section when they come to know Jesus as their Savior!! Praise the Lord!! :)


I could go on and on...but it is easier to understand when you try the Prayer Guide yourself. Go ahead and give it a try. You just might love it!! :)

About the Author: Cindy Bultema lives in West Michigan with her husband John and their children Jake, Benjamin, Amanda and Sarah. Her number one ministry is that of wife and mom. She is also a writer, speaker, blogger and former Director of Children’s Ministries at a Grand Rapids area mega-church. You can find out more about Cindy Bultema at her blog, She Sparkles!

No comments: