The biggest key to my weight loss was one simple thing - PRAYER! Near the beginning of my journey I started prayer walks. I live in our church house which is in the same parking lot of the church. At night after the kids go to bed I will do my prayer walk. I love it! I haven't been out in a while since it has been so cold, but I have a walk video that I use instead. I turn the sound completely off so I can still spend that time with the Lord.
I cannot describe to you in words how awesome this time was/is for me. My walks with the Lord have transformed my life in every area - including food. I love what Thomas Brooks (a Puritan Pastor) said about prayer: "He comes to kiss me when I am engaged in private prayerful praying." This might sound a little strange, but it sounds to me like he knew something about prayer that we don't experience too often. Prayer is such a powerful tool, but one we often neglect. Prayer is more than taking requests to God, but it is an exercise that binds your heart to God's heart.
If you were to pass by the church as I am walking there is no telling what you may find. I could be described as:
- A crazy lady who talks to herself.
- A lady in need because I get caught up and raise my hands in the air. Actually a cop stopped by one night because he thought I needed help. He looked really confused when I told him what I was doing, but went on his way.
- A clumsy lady because I sit down right in the middle of the lot quite often to listen to God.
- An aimless wanderer because sometimes I get off path and go out into the fields near by.
- An off key singer because there have been times that I just break out into song not caring much about what it sounds like.
- Or a woman running from a bear because I will finish a thought and take off running. Craziness I know!
If there is one key to any struggle in life it is first and foremost prayer and the Word of God. I studied the Word and prayed, but hadn't tapped into the depth of prayer that I found this summer. Here are a few things that I focus on when praying.
1) I always start off with confession. I am not able to approach the Lord with an impure heart. I can't tell you how many times I confessed things only to find that there was still something hindering our communion. When this happened I would push through in prayer seeking God anyways. He reveals Himself so differently every time that there may be times He is just seeing how committed we are to prayer. Can I tell you that the blessing always came when I was persistent in prayer. It might be at the end of my prayer time, but it would come. I have been reminded many nights of how Jacob wrestled with God, but in the end was blessed.
2) Praying the things that He put on my heart. So many times we come to Him with a long list of things that we have put together. I have found that when I pray the things God puts on my heart things happen. Not because of me in any way, but because I was praying His will. There were many times He did not reveal anything to me so I would ask Him to show me things He would have me to pray about. Lists are not wrong, but ask God what He would have you pray. You might be surprised that He does share His heart.
3) Talk to God as a best friend. Share with Him your thoughts, struggles, joys, and concerns. He wants to listen to you.
4) Listen. Listening is so important. God does speak, but most of the time we don't ever listen to hear what He is telling our hearts. I have to be careful here because you have to be able to discern between your hearts voice and God's voice. If you think you are hearing from God but it doesn't line up with Scripture than it is not God. God will never tell you anything contrary to His will or His word. Every night I walk I ask Him what He would have for me the next day. I also seek His direction for the blog and projects that I am planning. I want Him to be apart of my everyday routine and life! I don't want to waste time doing things that I shouldn't be doing. So I listen to see what He has to say. I know it sounds crazy, but He speaks to my heart giving me a peace about what it is He has for me to do.
How do you start:
Here is a handout I made up for our ladies Bible study group. Prayer walking is so simple, safe, and has great results.
The biggest result of my weight loss journey has been prayer! Not only did I lose 35 pounds I also grew so in love with my Savior in the process.
Get out those shoes and start walking. It is good for the heart in more ways than one! :)