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About Asheritah Ciuciu

Asheritah Ciuciu is the author of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus and Comfort Food: Overcoming Food Addiction with the Word of God. Asheritah grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and then studied English and Women's Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares vulnerably from her own life experiences on OneThingAlone.com. She is married to Flaviu, a web programmer and artist, and together they raise their spunky daughter in northeast Ohio.

Asheritah Ciuciu

Asheritah Ciuciu
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Asheritah Ciuciu is the author of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus and Comfort Food: Overcoming Food Addiction with the Word of God. Asheritah grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and then studied English and Women's Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares vulnerably from her own life experiences on OneThingAlone.com. She is married to Flaviu, a web programmer and artist, and together they raise their spunky daughter in northeast Ohio.

5 Smart Ways to Organize Your Prayer Life

#prayer #journaling #organization

 

Have you ever told someone you’d pray for them and then forgot?

 

Or maybe you’ve been meaning to pray more for your husband or children, but you just don’t get around to it?

 

It’s easy for our prayer lives to get buried under the pressing things in life. The laundry pile, the incoming emails, the daily task of figuring our what’s for dinner. I’m not the only one, right?

 

But once we put in a little effort into organizing our prayer lives, we’ll find it easier to pray about the important things in life… instead of letting the urgent steal our attention. 

 

Here are 5 smart ways we can organize our prayer lives:

 

1. Prayer Journal

 

If you find your mind wandering during prayer, try writing down your conversations with God, as if you were writing Him a letter. 

 

I started this habit of writing in my prayer journal as a young teenager, and not only did it help me focus my attention on talking with God, it’s also become a testimony of God’s faithfulness over the years. Looking back now, I can see how He moved in those situations that seemed so impossible, and how He answered the requests that seemed to insignificant for His attention.

 

If you want to start a prayer journal, you can grab any notebook you have lying around. But if you like pretty things, check out Dayspring’s collection of journals and notebooks. They have such a wide array of prayer journals available, and I always stock up on prayer journals to give away as gifts. 

 

Like this flowery “Dear God” journal that includes meaningful Scripture and has a lay-flat binding, to make writing easier.

 

dear god

 

…Or this artisan leather journal, which is perfect for those hard-to-buy-for men and teenagers:

 

artisan prayer journal

 

Get away for a few minutes and write what’s on your heart. It will get the worrisome thoughts out of your mind and onto paper, and you’ll be glad you did.

 

2. Prayer List Notebook

 

If you’re less of a writer and more of a list-maker (like my husband), you’ll appreciate the simplicity of prayer lists.

 

Simply divide your journal into sections and bullet point what’s on your heart. Then you can go through and pray over those concerns, and write down answers right next to them.

 

Or you can use a Prayer & Answer journal like this one from Dayspring:

 

prayers and answers2

 

prayers and answers

 

This method helps keep you focused on the important things and also appeals to the left side of our brains, as we can make sure that we cover the essentials in prayer. But the answer section engages our emotions as well, when we look back and see how God has answered our prayers, all on one page.

 

Simple and smart, right?

 

3. Prayer Binder

 

For those of us whose lives aren’t as put-together, a prayer binder may work better. In fact, this is the method I use to organize my prayer life right now.

 

I’ve seen this done many different ways, but basically I combine the prayer journal and prayer lists in one place.

 

Get a Binder

 

Any binder will do, but I prefer the mini binders because they’re easier to carry with me. I can just stick it in my purse and pray when I’m waiting in the car or waiting in the doctor’s office.

 

I use a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 three-ring binder, kind of like this one:

 

prayer binder

 

Create Different Sections

 

  • I have a section that’s for journaling my prayers. When I have something on my heart, I’ll write it out to the Lord in a letter.

 

  • Then I have a section where I list prayer requests, and at the top of each page I’ll write the category (family, friends, finances, etc), and underneath I’ll bullet-point the requests.

 

  • And then I have sections for adoration, confession, and thanksgiving. I enjoy having a section just for adoration and worship, and I write down the things I’m praising God for, the gifts I’m thankful for, and the attributes I want to worship Him for. This has become such an enriching part of my prayer experience as I shift your attention from “give me” to  “thank You.”

 

Fill It Up

 

When you use a binder, you can insert other prayer prompts in there, like newsletter from Christian organizations, missionary prayer cards, printable prayer calendars for husbands and children, and so one.

 

It’s a great way for people who have a lot of moving parts to their lives organize their prayer life.

 

4. Prayer & Planner In One

 

This is such a genius idea, I wish I would have thought of it!

 

If you’re a planner-type person, include prayer sections in your planner so it seamlessly flows together. So when you look for a planner, find one that has a place for notes or a place to freewrite, and use that to list your prayer requests as they come up.

 

You won’t have to keep track of another notebook and you’ll be prompted to pray every time you plan.

 

How easy is that?

 

I love this simple bullet journal from InkWell Press for exactly this purpose (it just might be on my wish list):

 

hardcoverjournal_greenpeacock_ef0fafd3-a27a-477a-ac4c-1529001a7ba6_1024x1024

journal_inside_pages_9ce6c2b9-8e01-43c9-b8b1-f5ec42ed08a5_1024x1024

 

This one even has four different colored sections, so you can keep track of different parts of your life that need planning as well as prayer. Love it!

 

5. Devotional + Prayer Journal in One

 

I just recently discovered this journal, and it’s so good I had to share it with you because it’s the perfect way to seamlssly integrate your prayer life into your quiet time. 

 

Sometimes I get into a rut where I do a lot of Bible study, but don’t have time to prayer. And other times I spend a lot of time praying, but don’t get to dig into the Bible.

 

What I love about Crystal Brother’s Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal is that it integrates the two into one, so we’re prompted to do both things when we get away for a few minutes with the Lord.

 

Here’s what it looks like on the inside:

 

homemakers-journal-sample-pages-600x375

 

And even better, this journal is printable, so you can just print off additional pages as needed, for as long as you want!

 

What a smart way to organize prayer and Bible study together!

 

If you feel like your prayer life is a mess, you'll want to read these 5 smart ways to organize your prayer life.

 

This post contains affiliate links and this giveaway is sponsored by Dayspring. See our full disclosure policy here.


31 Inspiring Quotes about the Importance of Quiet Time

#quiet time #quotes

Ever wonder what others have said about quiet time or how important it is to them?

Here are 31 inspiring quotes I have gathered to share with you. Which one is your favorite? Write it down on a sticky note and stick it in a place where you see it often. It will be a reminder of the importance of Bible study and use that to motivate you in your pursuit of growth with God.

Prayer

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Brother Lawrence

“Satan does not care how many people read about prayer if only he can keep them from praying." Paul E. Billheimer

“If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.” C. H. Spurgeon

“Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part.” Andrew Murray

“It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believingly, continue in prayer until we obtain an answer.” George Müller

“Wishing will never be a substitute for prayer.” Ed Cole

“Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet.” E. M. Bounds

“Prayer can never be in excess.” C. H. Spurgeon

“Our prayers lay the track down on which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.” Watchman Nee

“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude; an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.” Arthur W. Pink

“The battle of prayer is against two things in the earthlies: wandering thoughts, and lack of intimacy with God’s character as revealed in His word. Neither can be cured at once, but they can be cured by discipline.” Oswald Chambers

Stillness

“Shut the world out, withdraw from all worldly thoughts and occupations, and shut yourself in alone with God, to pray to Him in secret. Let this be your chief object in prayer, to realize the presence of your heavenly Father.” Andrew Murray

“Often times God wants us to sit before Him in quietness. He doesn’t want us to do all the talking. As Is. 30:15 says “In quiet and confidence will be your strength.” Charles Stanley

“Whether the desire for prayer is on you or not, get to your closet at the set time; shut yourself in with God; wait upon Him; seek His face; realize Him; pray.” R. F. Horton

“The amount of time we spend with Jesus, meditating on His Word and His majesty, seeking His face, establishes our fruitfulness in the kingdom.” Charles Stanley

“A man who is intimate with God will never be intimidated by men.” Leonard Ravenhill

“If we would pray aright, the first thing we should do is to see to it that we really get an audience with God, that we really get into His very presence. Before a word of petition is offered, we should have the definite consciousness that we are talking to God, and should believe that He is listening and is going to grant the thing that we ask of Him.” R. A. Torrey

“The essence of meditation is a period of time set aside to contemplate the Lord, listen to Him, and allow Him to permeate our spirits.” Charles Stanley

“I ought to pray before seeing any one…Christ arose before day and went into a solitary place. David says: ‘Early will I seek thee’…I feel it is far better to begin with God–to see His face first, to get my soul near Him before it is near another.” Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Busyness

“When prayer has become secondary, or incidental, it has lost its power. Those who are conspicuously men of prayer are those who use prayer as they use food, or air, or light, or money.” M. E. Andross

“Ten minutes spent in the presence of Christ every day, aye, two minutes, will make the whole day different.” Henry Drummond

“We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.” R. A. Torrey

“The main lesson about prayer is just this: Do it! Do it! Do it! You want to be taught to pray. My answer is pray and never faint, and then you shall never fail.” John Laidlaw

“Closet communion needs time for the revelation of God’s presence. It is vain to say, ‘I have too much work to do to find time.’ You must find time or forfeit blessing. God knows how to save for you the time you sacredly keep for communion with Him.” A. T. Pierson

“Time spent alone with God is not wasted. It changes us; it changes our surroundings; and every Christian who would live the life that counts, and who would have power for service must take time to pray.” M. E. Andross

“If we don’t maintain a quiet time each day, it’s not really because we are too busy; it’s because we do not feel it is important enough… Late nights kill the quiet time… Quiet time is not just a helpful idea, it is absolutely necessary to spiritual growth.” George Sweeting

“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” Corrie ten Boom

God’s best for you is closely linked with this daily meeting with Him. The barometer of one’s Christian life is the Quiet Time. Do you have a Quiet Time, or have you let it slip? Be the man of God who takes time to be holy, speaks oft with his Lord, abides in Him only, and feeds on His Word. God grant that this may be true of you. You cannot tell me you have surrendered to God, that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life, or that you know the fullness of the Holy Spirit unless you have your manna in the morning. May your prayer be: Help me, O Lord, Thy Word to read,/Upon the living Bread to feed,/Seeking Thy Spirit’s quickening lead/That I may please Thee in all things.” Stephen F. Olford

Ideas to Try

“Through a mutual friend, I had the opportunity of spending several seasons of extended time with Ruth Bell Graham, and she described to us how important the Quiet Time was to her. One day, when I was asking her about it, she said, 'Robert, do you have the notebook habit?' I didn’t know what the notebook habit was, so I said no, I didn’t think I did. So she told me about her little loose-leaf notebook made of leather. She said that she kept wearing it out, but she knew a leather crafter who kept repairing it for her. There she would record the thoughts God gave her each day as she studied her Bible. That very day I drove down to Ashville near her home and found a stationary shop and bought a notebook, and it’s been a lifesaver to me ever since. All these years, I’ve used a journal as part of my Quiet Time, and I owe it to that conversation in North Carolina.” Rob Morgan

Charles and John Wesley’s mother Susanna Wesley, who had nineteen children, found a creative way to make time for Quiet Time: In the middle of her busy day, she would sit down in a chair and pull her apron up over her head. When the apron went up, the children knew mom was praying and reading her Bible and they left her alone.

“If you are not keeping a spiritual journal or diary, you need to. If the God of the universe tells you something, you should write it down. When God speaks to you in your quiet time, immediately write down what He said before you have time to forget. Then record your prayer response. I write down the verse of Scripture He uses and what God has said to me about Himself from that verse. I write down the prayer response I am making; so I have in place the encounter with God, what God said, and how I responded to Him. I also write out what I need to do to adjust my life to God so I can begin to experience Him relating to me in this way.” Henry Blackaby

Why not share your favorite quote with your friends? Simply highlight the quote and share it to your preferred social media site. My prayer is that these quotes will inspire you in your pursuit of quiet time with God and remind us of how important it is in our daily lives.


6 Simple Ways to Practice Stillness in God’s Presence

I’ve recently received several emails from readers with variations of this question:

I want to be still in God’s presence, but it’s so hard! I can’t seem to stop the buzzing thoughts in my head, and it’s frustrating!

or

I like the idea of spending 5 minutes in stillness before God, but I cannot just not think about anything. Any time I try to quiet my mind, I start singing a song or thinking of a Bible verse. Am I doing it wrong?

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to worship God when we’re coming to Him with open and sincere hearts. And I think different methods will work in different seasons of life. I know for me, personally, it was hard to quiet my mind enough to find stillness, but it’s something I cherish now.

I think it’s important to remember that the goal is not a zen-like meditative state where our minds disconnect from our bodies. That’s not in any way biblical. Rather, the goal is to allow the peace of God to rule in our minds and hearts by submitting all we are to Him, and allowing His stillness to refresh our souls. In this fast-paced world, we rarely get to experience stillness and peace, but so many Scriptures speak to the importance of resting in God’s presence.

Here are some ideas that might help:

Begin with a few minutes of praise and prayer.

Recite verses about God’s goodness, sing praise songs that lift your heart toward heaven and orient your mind on God. Then pour out your heart and tell God about all the things going on in your life, and lay them at the feet of Jesus. Picture yourself physically taking one burden after another, and with both hands placing them at His feet, and letting them lay there. Then rest.

Meditate on a passage.

When I have a hard time quieting my mind, I like to meditate on Psalm 46:10 (“Be still and know that I am God”). Focus on one word at a time, letting your mind linger on that one word for a few seconds before moving on to the next word. (Here’s another passage you may find helpful.) Gradually increase the time frame between each word, until you’ve reached the end and your mind is at rest.6 steps to being still in God's presence

Use your imagination.

I find it helpful to imagine God seated on His throne, using passages like Revelation 4-6 to inform my imagination. As I see Him high and lifted up, I kneel down and bow my face to the ground, picturing myself in the heavenly throne room, joining the angels and the elders in singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” and then being still in His presence. Other times I imagine myself crawling into Abba Father’s lap and laying my head on His shoulder, much like my two-year-old does when she just needs a hug.

Jot down distracting thoughts.

Sometimes, when I’m trying to quiet down my mind, I start to remember all sorts of things like birthday gift ideas, spring cleaning tasks, and meal plans. If that happens to you, grab the pen, write it down, and then return your attention to the Lord. Release those thoughts, knowing you can come back to them later.

 

Recite a prayer of stillness.

Asking God to help calm your mind like Jesus calmed the storming sea. Acknowledge your racing thoughts and ask the Holy Spirit to rule over them and help your mind rest in His presence. Here’s a prayer for stillness I wrote a few months ago that I still use today.

Start small.

Begin with 30 seconds or a minute of stillness. Then build up to 5 or 10 minutes. It’s in this place of quiet communion that we quiet ourselves enough to hear what the Spirit would say to us in His still, small voice, words that we often miss in the rush of everyday life. And while 30 seconds may not seem like much, as you begin to incorporate this practice of stillness into your spiritual life, you’ll find it gets easier as the years go by.

The greatest blessing connected with stillness is that we can hear eternity; we can hear the voice of the Eternal One as He speaks to our conscience. (O. Hallesby)

Those are some of the ways I’ve begun to practice stillness and rest in my quiet time. I’ve found such refreshment and joy in just a few moments of stillness with God, and as a busy mom, that’s what often helps me get through the rest of my chaotic day.

I hope these suggestions help. What methods have you used that have helped you be still before God?


This post originally appeared on OneThingAlone.com. Get all One Thing Alone blog posts by email and a free eCourse called "Quiet Time for Busy Women" - click here.

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