A Dwindling Prayer Life| By Jasmine Beard

“Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray Thee Lord, my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray Thee Lord, my soul to take

If I should live for other days

I pray Thee Lord, to guide my ways

Amen”

This was my first encounter with prayer. When I was a little girl, my aunt bought me a stuffed animal that had a recording of this prayer in it when you pressed its paw.

Every night I would hop into bed, tuck my head underneath my covers and whisper this prayer to God. God was not someone I really knew or even knew much about, but I believed. I believed He existed, and I really enjoyed saying this prayer to Him each night.

Years went on, and I slowly forgot about my stuffed animal and the little prayer I said to God each night. As I approached teenage years, my prayers were as if I was wishing at a wishing well, rather than having an intimate conversation with my Heavenly Father.

This all changed when I was confronted with my sin and the love of Jesus Christ at a summer camp at the age of 15. I opened up and told God the whole truth – how I had sinned and how I was so in need of a redeemer like Him. He was gracious and gladly welcomed me into a relationship with Him as He does for all of His wayward children. I dove deep into His word and deep into conversation with Him.

But over the years, I would go through highs, lows, and even lulls in my prayer life with God.

In 2018, I found that I was fed up with the highs and lows of my prayer life and dove into simply asking God, “what is prayer?”

Webster defines it as, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.”

As you can imagine, this definition did not help me much. I was looking for a Holy Ghost answer, something that would knock me over and leave my prayer life never the same.

To my surprise, God showed me what prayer is not.

Firstly, Prayer is not regurgitation.

We learn this from Jesus himself in Matthew 6:7-8 (NLT)

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.

8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!     

Secondly, I learned that Prayer cannot be paired with unbelief,

“I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” Matthew 11:24-24 (NLT)

Lastly, I learned that Prayer is not for show,

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6 (NLT)

After the Holy Spirit showed me what prayer is not, He compared a believer’s prayer life to intimacy within a marriage. He showed me that just like a marriage cannot thrive or be sustained without intimacy, neither can a Christian’s life/walk with God thrive or be sustained with the absence of prayer.

We are already one with God, but prayer is the continuation and sustainability of our marriage with God. I do not know about you, but I would not want to be in a relationship or marriage with a man who does not talk to me.

Just like intimacy in marriage must be paired with vulnerability and exposure, so should our prayer life be with God. We must learn to get naked before the Lord. Take off the masks, the church lingo, religious speech, and lies before Him.

Our Heavenly Father sees all things and knows all things. We do not have to cover up our heart, our hurts, questions, or disappointments when we come to talk to Him. He actually welcomes all of our concerns and longs to change our way of thinking, our hearts, and our circumstances.

Maybe you find that your prayer life is in one of the three categories I mentioned above. Trust me; I have been there. However, this is not where your conversation with God has to stay.

Today, I want to encourage you to just get real with God about everything. Do not be afraid or allow the enemy to tell you that God does not care about your situation. Your Heavenly Father longs for intimacy and closeness with you. He is not looking for you to have the right things to say, but for you to leave nothing unexposed before Him.

“The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalms 145:18 (NLT)


When Fear Steals Your Voice| By Tori Savoy

As I sit writing this very blog, I am amazed by how God brought me here. The 25 years that I have been alive, He has spent molding me and preparing me for this very purpose.

Seeing God move through Unveiling Eden has been one of the best experiences. However, so much had to happen in my heart leading up to me joining this team.

I think back to 12-year-old me, writing late at night in my room. I have notebook after notebook filled with words from God, poetry, and even fictional stories. However, each entry was signed by a pen name I created because I was too afraid to ever claim my writing as my own.

Gloria Kingsley (glory to the King) was much more confident, much more talented in my mind. When God spoke to my heart that He was going to use my writing to touch people all over the world, I quickly came up with this name to hide behind. I told myself the name was out of humbleness to put the focus solely on God, but truly it was fear in my heart. Fear of what others would think of me and the words I said. Fear of criticism of my abilities to write or speak.

More often than not, God’s plans for us are scary. It takes a lot of faith and preparations.

God really had to strip me of my fears and show me how to find my voice.

I am always reminded of Moses. He was not well-spoken and begged God to send someone more qualified to free the Israelites.

“But Moses pleaded with the LORD, ‘O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.’

Then the LORD asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.’” Exodus 4:10-12 (NLT)

Although He will use our talents in the process, God does not look for people who are perfect. All He asks is for obedience.

Anytime that I have shared my experiences or a word that the Lord has given me, God has used it to reach at least one person.

However, each time I am going to share an important experience, my heart is flooded with fear. The devil knows the power our voice will have when it testifies of God’s goodness. He will do everything in his power to stifle your voice and make you feel unqualified.

Apostles such as Peter and Paul were very outspoken despite the pending threat of imprisonment and even death. Because of them, the name of Jesus was made known to more people than we can imagine.

In the Old Testament, Esther spoke out to save her people from persecution, when it could have ended in her own death.

Because your voice has power, it will always have opposition. However, your faith and obedience to God’s leading will be rewarded.

Your encounters with God are not meant to shape just your life. They can also impact those around you who may be going through something similar.

We should not hoard all of God’s goodness in our hearts but go proclaim it to everyone around us. When the woman at the well met Jesus, she dropped everything she was doing to go spread the word to all she knew.

“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”” John‬ ‭4:28-29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Years ago, I would let fear keep me from proclaiming God’s name. But today, His strength is enough to follow the path He has for me.

Maybe you have talents God wants to use or a story He would like you to share. Do not let the devil tell you that your voice does not matter or your story is insignificant. Turn your eyes to the one who created your mouth, and He will do the rest.