I used to believe that being strong was how well I was able to handle a tough situation. I thought being strong was how often you can bounce back after dealing with hurt or sadness. As a person that has experienced adversity, pain and grief… It feels good to say that I can handle it, I’m okay and I can get through it. But what happens when you get to a point where none of the pep talks you tell yourself seem to work. That’s when we must pray. Prayer changes things, right? Right. Prayer will work, right? Right. But prayer will only work when you put in the effort. When I say “you” put in the effort..I am talking about putting in the work to pray without ceasing, putting in the work to pray even when you honestly don’t have any words to say, putting in the work to pray even when you feel like you have back slid-den and there is no way God will hear your voice after you have messed up yet again! Regardless of all those real and true feelings that are completely normal, we still must put in the work and with tears in our eyes humble ourselves before God and say “This is Me God, I Need You.”
See, I had gotten to a point in my life where I was trying so hard to keep the strong woman appearance going on that I had totally forgotten that my strength did not come from me. There was absolutely nothing that was strong about me outside of what God put inside of me. But I had to remember the key part of that sentence… which is “what God put inside of me.” Not what I put inside of myself. BOOM! Sometimes God gives you a reality check when you act like you forget who is divinely over every thought, action and feeling and who ultimately gives strength and wisdom. “…Not by my own might, nor by my own power but by God’s spirit.” (Zechariah 4:6)
The moment I started to put in the work… The moment I start putting action behind my words…was the moment a shift happened! No longer did I want to say I was strong but I wanted to feel strong on the inside and the only way I could do that was by focusing on how to have true Intimacy with God.
I wrote in my prayer journal:
“God Show Me How! Show me how to be intimate with You. Show me how to wake up and put You first. Show me how to have a constant attitude of intercession. Show me how to feed my spirit. Show me how to read books that will help me grow and develop. Show me how to make intimacy with You #1 in my life! Show me how to pray out of humility. Show me how to pray without ceasing. This is Me God, asking for You to show me how.”
because of that prayer and my actions, just this past month I feel my inner strength growing like never before.
Seeing a real change through prayer doesn’t happen overnight it takes time and effort, but that’s when a habit will form. No matter what it is! You know the saying “Anything you do for 21 days becomes a habit”…I have heard this quote multiple times in my life but I just received confirmation of it a few days ago. You know what’s so funny about that when it comes to me praying, is the fact that I wasn’t even trying to do anything for 21 days. Honestly, I was just trying to at least do it a full week and not quit and give up by the weekend. I simply wanted to change my routine, refocus and change my priorities. I wanted a “New Normal”. But, now I see that the quote is so true because it has been over 21 days and it has become habit for me to wake up at 6:30am to fix our oldest son’s lunch, then go back to our room, turn the lights off and in the pitch black darkness get on my hands and knees and pray. When I pray I humble myself and say:
“This is Me God, I Need You. This is me surrendering. This is me asking for guidance. This is me wanting a change. This is me seeking you. This is me being vulnerable. This is me yearning for a deeper connection with you. This is me crying out for you to speak and this is me being quiet enough to listen. This- is- Me”.
When I’m on my hands and knees I’m not asking for God to bless me or do any miracles. I am asking for him to love me, keep me, hold me and direct me. I have waken up to pray like this every single day, even when I don’t feel like it and my body is so sleepy and tired, I push myself to get on the floor and PRAY.
This is my way of being intimate because I know now that Intimacy is the key to get through to God. Also, I know now that prayer is the lock to see a change in my life but what I didn’t know was making it something I do “daily” was the magic word, kind of like “Open Sesame.” Spending intimate time with God every single day regardless of what you have planned is vital for God to completely do a new thing in your life. No matter the distractions, get on your hands and knees and humble yourself before God every week day and every weekend. See just last Saturday, I had to push myself through a moment of not having quiet time but desiring to be intimate with God, so guess what I did… I picked up Mr. Busy Body so I can keep an eye on him, went into our closet, closed the door and got on my hands and knees and zoned out in prayer. I made the choice to ignore my 17-month old climbing up my back, pulling on my arms, making the sounds of the duck, cat and horse and throwing dirty clothes one by one on top of my head…through all of that I zoned out and had some intimate time with God saying yet again “This is Me.”
As a result of my intimate time with God, the shift that I feel right now feels sooo good! Have you ever just felt good on the inside and can’t really explain it? Nothing major has happened, nothing miraculous has occurred but deep down on the inside you just feel Amazing! That’s how I feel and I know it is because of the intimate time I am spending with God daily. I know that this feeling will only grow deeper the more and more I keep being Intimate with Him. That feeling is what I call “True Inner Strength.” It’s unbreakable, unmovable and unshakable. This inner strength has nothing to do with me but has everything to do with God on the inside of me. As the days, weeks and months pass by I know that the more and more I come to God on hands and knees saying “This is Me”. The inside feeling of total peace and amazement from God will be released onto others just by my presence. The Christ that lives in me will shine bright through every single thing I think and do. Every area of my life will be touched, restored, renewed and revitalized. This is what "Intimate Time" is doing for me and it can do the same for YOU.