On Prayer at 37,000 Feet

I settled into my seat, adjusted the seatbelt and pulled out a magazine. My annual October flight to Detroit started out like any other. In a few hours I would arrive at my sister's, and our fun-filled girlfriend weekend would begin. Facials, high tea and afternoon naps beckoned. And the thrill of atually wearing a fall sweater cannot be overstated for this Florida girl.

This time, however, as the flight attendant began speaking, God nudged me. I looked up from my magazine and really listened to the woman in the navy vest.

"In the event of the loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend." The perky brunette stood at the front of the cabin, demonstrating how to place a small, yellow tupperware bowl with an elastic band on it over her head. "Place the mask on yourself first, and then help those around you."

I shook my head. Hmmm. I would have automatically slapped those masks on my kids first.

Suddenly, God spoke.

You need to begin to pray for yourself. Regularly.

I got quiet on the inside. Pray for myself?

As our flight ascended into the clouds, I began to think about all of the people for whom I regularly prayed: my husband, children, grandchildren, daughter in law, siblings, uncles; the list went on. But when I thought about it, I realized there was no time set apart for me to just pray for me. It actually never occurred to me to pray for myself on a regular basis. I was in the habit of placing the oxygen mask on those around me first, and in so doing, neglecting my own life line. Obviously, that was about to change.

As women we are wives, mothers, friends, sisters; we work at home or from home or we hustle along with traffic to get to the office; we home school or we help with home work. Our lives are full, busy.

We can't afford not to cover ourselves with prayer - regularly.

Initially the only uninterrupted time I could find to pray for myself was in the shower, so that's where I started. That was many years ago, and it's still how I begin my day: immersed in prayer.

For the curious, next week I will share some personal prayer bullets I've developed that cover the absolute essentials. You'll be amazed at the difference that focused, specific prayer for yourself makes in your day-to-day life.

15 comments:

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Wow... Um... I'm so humbled. God's kickin my bum about now. Your blog is the 2nd God has used to tell me this.

Thank You Lord for smackin me into realization. I pray that I can focus on my needs and bring them to You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thanks Julie.

Sandy said...

Julie - I'm so happy to hear from you, friend! I'll be back to check ya out. This post meant a lot to me - praying for "me" is sometimes the last thing I think of!
You're doing so well w/your writing! Go girl! Love, S

Speaking from the Heart said...

Julie,

Have fun with your sister. I'm so jealous. You know, I have never thought to pray for myself. Thank you for the reminder.

Jean

Spring Fricks said...

I am so intrigued. I have never thought to pray for myself. Everyone else...yes. Me, not so much.

Chatty Kelly said...

Julie - I just love this post because it is SO true! I'll bet most women are just like you were. We are nurturers...caring for everyone but ourselves. Just loved this post. Thanks!

B His Girl said...

Wow! Isn't it amazing how clear His voice is at times? What a word you received! I look forward to the follow up. b

Edie said...

Wow, you really are a thoughtful person. While I certainly pray for others, I have always prayed for myself and my needs. hmmm, something for me to think about.

I'm looking forward to your prayer insights.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you!

Melanie said...

This is really good, Julie.
'Looking forward to more.
Melanie@Bella~Mella

Barb said...

This really made me think. You're so right - as wives, moms, nanas, mil's, even aunts, we always pray for the people we love most first.

Guess what I'm doing in the shower from now on. :-)

Thank you for visiting me tonight. And please, if you make the cheese olive puffs, I'd love to know what you and your family/friends thought of them.

Joyful said...

I have to admit that often my prayers are focused on me - especially if I'm going through a difficult time. I do spend time in prayer for others as well - and write down the names and needs of others so I don't forget. The analogy here with the oxygen masks is great.

Thanks Julie,
Blessings,
Joy

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm afraid I sometimes focus too much on "me" prayers. Honestly, I have no problems in praying for myself. It probably needs some tweaking, but I'm fully confident in my understanding that I need prayer, and I have no hesitation in voicing my thoughts to God.

I simply love to pray. God has cultivated that love in me over the years. I wish that I had more time for focus, concentrated prayer throughout the day. I still could do so much better.

Heading there now. Have a great week.

peace~elaine

Bev said...

Sent here by my sister after you left a comment on her post. I'll be back for more. :-)

KelliGirl said...

Julie,
I love this story. What a great analogy. How true that we need to pray for ourselves as well. Our personal relationship with Jesus is just that, personal. Imagine if you never told your husband anything about yourself...your thoughts, fears, hopes, wants, joys, etc. It certainly wouldn't be the best marriage.

Jesus wants OUR heart--all of it. As you said, praying for ourselves is lifegiving.

Well written as usual!

Blessings and prayers,
Kelli

Lynn Cowell said...

Julie,
I loved reading your article in the P31 magazine today. Isn't that so cool of God to give us something that works both ways: He is glorified and we are released!
I hope you are well - I remember that you were struggling with some health issues at She Speaks. Hope you are able to come again this year!
Lynn Cowell

Susie said...

The thought of prayer for myself rarely enters my mind unless I have a health issue. Thanks for the visual reminder using the masks. Love ya friend and love your writings as always!

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