A Heart of Dakota Life
#5 – Be in constant prayer and keep a prayer journal to simplify and love your homeschool life!
We use Heart of Dakota to homeschool, and we find that already goes a long way to help our family simplify and love our homeschool life! However, big and little things can still undermine our homeschooling success. So, in this “A Heart of Dakota Life” series, we’re exploring ways to simplify and love our homeschool life. First, we learned the importance of not ‘going it alone.’ Next, we recognized how important it is to enlist help. Then, we planned how we could homeschool so we fully enjoy the comforts of our home. Finally, we talked about mindfully setting aside a balanced amount of time to teach. This brings us to our fifth way to simplify and love our homeschool life, and that is to be in constant prayer and to keep a prayer journal.
Homeschooling is a blessing, but there still will be times your emotions threaten to get the best of you.
Homeschooling is a blessing! But, there still will be times when your emotions threaten to get the best of you. This may or may not have anything to do with homeschooling. Just this past week when my nephew went to Mayo Clinic, I felt anguish. As my husband drove in blizzard conditions, I felt fear. When my son could not locate his Storytime cards again, I felt frustration. As my son took his college final worth 85% of his grade, I felt anxious. When I learned a homeschool mom’s baby would likely pass away soon, I felt deep sorrow. As I watched my Mom drive away alone on icy roads without my Dad (who passed away), I felt bitter. When my cell phone rang with another fake message, I was angry. Take inventory of your emotions this past week. I bet you’ve had your share too!
One of the best ways to combat runaway emotions is to pray.
We live in a world that says it’s okay to let our emotions run wild. But, that is not really what God says. When we feel runaway emotions, we should recognize we’ve stepped onto a potential battlefield, and our best defense is to talk to God. We don’t have to wait until ‘prayer time.’ Rather, we can immediately pray for help! I have found that simply stopping, praying to ask for help, and then choosing to mindfully leave it in God’s hands helps me go on. God does not desire for us to be out of control or to be burdened and unable to go on. However, He does want us to talk to Him, to have a relationship with Him, and to trust Him. Praying, preferably sooner rather than later, is one of the best ways to combat potential runaway emotions.
One of the best ways to combat recurring emotional hardships is to keep a prayer journal.
We all have hardships in life, and some of them are recurring or ongoing. I have found one of the best ways to combat these hardships is to keep a prayer journal. Now, my prayer journal is very pretty on the outside, but I don’t have rules of perfection for the inside. Sometimes I write in long-flowing lovely cursive, and other times I write in largely illegible writing. It doesn’t matter. God knows what it says. My prayer journal is eclectic. I write Scripture, quiet time notes, and prayers. Many times, my prayers are just a list of people and phrases of concerns. However you choose to keep a prayer journal, it is one of the best ways to combat recurring hardships. You will see God’s hand over time and grow to trust and love Him more and more.
George Muller’s Constant Prayers and Prayer Journal
George Muller was a Christian who devoted himself to prayer. He had a constant conversation with God through prayer. His life’s work with children in orphanages is a reflection of how prayer helped him through hardships. George kept a prayer journal as well, and he found it to be an incredible blessing to him throughout his life…
I have found it a great blessing to treasure up in the memory, the answers God graciously gives me in answer to prayer. I’ve always kept a record to strengthen the memory. I advise the keeping of a little memorandum book. On one side – say the left-hand side – put down the petition, and the date when you began to offer it. Let the opposite page be left blank to put down the answer in each case, and you will soon find how many answers you get, and thus you will be encouraged more and more, your faith will be strengthened; and especially you will see what a lovely, bountiful and gracious Being God is; your heart will go out more and more in love to God, and you will say – it is my Heavenly Father Who has been so kind, I will trust in Him, I will confide in Him through His Son.
I draw inspiration from reading George Muller’s quotes about prayer. I will share some of my favorites of his below…
The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in the Lord.
All believers are called upon, in the simple confidence of faith, to cast all their burdens upon him, to trust in him for everything, and not only to make everything a subject of prayer, but to expect answers to their petitions which they have asked according to his will, and in the name of the Lord Jesus.
I believe God has heard my prayers. He will make it manifest in His own good time that He has heard me. I have recorded my petitions that when God has answered them, His name will be glorified.
On the ground of our own goodness we cannot expect to have our prayers answered. But Jesus is worthy, and for His sake, we may have our prayers answered. There is nothing too choice, too costly, or too great for God to give Him. He is worthy. He is the spotless , holy Child, who under all circumstances acted according to the mind of God. And if we trust in Him, if we hide in Him, if we put Him forward and ourselves in the background, depend on Him and plead His name, we may expect to have our prayers answered.
The greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more will it be seen to the glory of God how much can be done by prayer and faith.
I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up. And the answers are always coming.
Never give up praying until the answer comes.
When negative thoughts or emotions threaten to get the best of you, recognize homeschooling is probably not at the root of them, and have a plan of attack at the ready!
Whether you see yourself as an emotional person or not, difficulties within a plan to include Christ in your life will arise. In fact, it will be more likely to arise when you teach your children to love the Lord. God desires our lives to be full of joy, and He does not want our focus to be emotional or constantly negative. In contrast, we can have a plan in place before hardships arise. We can plan to pray, and we can have a prayer journal to remind us of God’s faithfulness. When negative thoughts or emotions threaten to get the best of you during homeschooling, have a plan of attack ready! The best battle plan includes constant daily prayer or conversation with God. The best long term plan includes recognizing God’s faithful answering of your prayers, and a prayer journal is one way to record that.
Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Colossians 4:2: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.