downloadable PDF: Women of Faith Resources July 2021
Quotes for July
“Thinking back to when it’s warm outside. Oh, why couldn’t Christmas be in July?” ~ Haley Mary Artzab
“If ant hills are high in July, the coming winter will be hard.” ~ American Folklore
“I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on summer humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.” ~ Ann Voskamp
Our Virtue for July: Prayer
The virtue for July is prayer. We may not think of prayer as a virtue, but it is because it requires effort, constancy, and it changes our way of being. Prayer is something that is so simple yet, sometimes, we have such a hard time finding time to pray. Learning to pray is as easy as learning to talk to a friend. When we spend time praying, it becomes more natural. Prayer is all about getting to know God and letting God become a real part of our daily life as we face the challenges that come onto our pathways.
In the Gospel, Jesus gave us hope and trust that God hears our prayers. We pray because we need God’s grace. Prayer is as essential as breathing. We can’t have friendship or a relationship with God if we do not speak with God nor listen to God. Sometimes we get bored in prayer because we focus on our own problems or ourselves. Other times, we get so caught up in the business of life that we need to stop and just think about what God is doing with our lives. Also, we cannot forget to pray for those we love the most. People depend on our prayers.
We really can pray anywhere and at any time: in the car or bus on the way to work, while walking outside, in a special prayer corner in our home, or in a church. We can read prayers that the Church gives us, that we find in a prayer book or online. We can talk to God, Jesus, or the Spirit of God in the same way that we would chat with a friend.
In the Gospels, Jesus gives us hope that God hears our prayers. Daily prayer offers us the hope and love that we need. Praying with others, a spouse, our children, or a good friend can be a special moment – one that brings joy, comfort, and peace.
Some synonyms or qualifiers of prayer are: blessing, devotion, psalm, hymn, litany, meditation, contemplation, reflection, song of praise, thankfulness.
Scriptures on Prayer
As we pray with these Scriptures, we place ourselves into the Scripture passage. We are encouraged to go to the citations below to read them in context.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Colossians 4:2 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
Ways to Be Faithful to Prayer
As we move into this summer season, we seek ways to be faithful to prayer in our daily lives:
- As Corrie Ten Boom says “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it.”
- Create a special corner or space in your home for your time for prayer.
- Read periodical articles or books on prayer.
- When you are alone, make it a habit to stop once every hour or so to say a word to God.
- Find time to go away to a retreat house for some days of prayer.
- Walk alone in a beautiful park or botanical gardens.
- Find documentaries online on prayer.
- Create and/or letter your favorite saying on prayer and place it where you can see it every day.
- Pray with classical music and or hymns.
- Buy a special journal where you will record “what you hear inside of you” as you pray.
- What else might you do to nurture your life of prayer?
The following articles can nurture our sense of prayer in our daily life. You are invited to reflect on the contents as you read.
The Importance of Prayer: The Confident Mom -This Mom knows about the importance of prayer as bringing light into darkness and giving her positive breakthroughs in difficult times.
Life as Prayer: The Development of Evelyn Underhill’s Spirituality by Todd E. Johnson – This article relates how Evelyn Underhill, a known practitioner in spirituality, understands prayer and how prayer changes her understanding of the life of the Spirit. (I recommend reading books or articles by Evelyn Underhill.)
Authors to explore online or in your favorite bookstore to deepen an understanding of prayer and/or spirituality: Ilia Delio, Richard Rohr, and the “Praying With” series put out by St. Mary’s Press.
Music that Nurtures Prayer
The music listed below can guide and enhance our experience of prayer.
50 Hymns Beautiful Selection – Piano and Guitar Instrumental Blessed Assurance by Lifebreakthrough.
Art that Depicts Prayer
Spend some time in prayer as you gaze on the artwork below. Let the images enter your heart to guide your daily lived experience of PRAYER. All images depict: “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.”
When was the last time you observed a child at prayer. What can we learn from a child at prayer?
“The Lord, Himself, has taught us how to pray.” Spend some time reflecting on this quoted affirmation. When, where, and how did the Lord, Himself, teach you how to pray?
If someone were to ask you: “How can I pray for you today?” what would you respond?
Websites that Spark Prayer
Links to more sites on prayer than you would ever need!
Women of Faith SSA greet our readers in a special way. Know you are always in our prayers.