This summer has been really really different and challenging. I've always struggled with spending intentional time with God and having a consistent prayer life. This last year has been a real growing experience realizing that I can talk to God any time that I want, my eyes don't have to be closed and my head bowed for God to hear me. I have learned that when something comes into mind to pray about or someone mentions a prayer request, it's totally easiest to stop right there and just pray at that moment. I have spent more time in solitude with God this summer than ever before, and let me tell you it's amazing and hard. Do you know how much God can speak to you when you just shut up and listen? Do you also know how hard it is for me to turn off my own brain and agendas and let God speak?
Through my various solitude times, praying in the car, and conversations with others I really feel that God has laid intentional prayer in community on my heart. Some people find praying out loud or in groups uncomfortable, but I really love hearing people's hearts and cries to God out loud because it's amazing to realize that other people are struggling/learning/thankful for the same things that I am. I have really come to love other people saying 'Amen' or 'Yes, God' in agreement with other's audible prayers.
God has just confirmed over and over again to me that He is faithful. He will always pursue me when I forget about Him, and He will always have bigger and better plans for me than I have for myself. God commands a lot from us, but He promises to walk by us every step of the way. I have discovered that it is easiest to do what He desire for me if I'm in constant communication with Him. I mean, Jesus was intimately connected to the Father in the trinity, but he still went out alone and prayed and sought God's direction.
I have this vision for next year that includes meeting for prayer (maybe in the morning?) with the girls in my unit at school. I haven't really run this by them yet, but I definitely will soon. I just really want to be more intentional in prayer and I know what a blessing it can be to pray with others. I can see us all getting together and maybe not even sharing requests, but just praying for each other and our school and spending time together in God's presence. So i'll have to share my ideas with them, but I can really see God blessing this and having it become even bigger than just my vision.