Kelly O'Dell Stanley
About the Author

Kelly O’Dell Stanley is a graphic designer, writer, and author of Praying Upside Down: A creative prayer experience to transform your time with God, which releases today. With 25 years of experience in advertising, three kids ranging from 21 to 14, and a husband of 24 years, she’s learned to...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. This is such a good word. Thank you for this helpful, practical reminder that prayer doesn’t need to feel stiff and formal but it can approach God with reverence and intimacy to simply want to be with him and give my everyday to Him. So appreciated this, Lisa-Jo

    • Thank you, Lisa-Jo! So grateful for the ways He welcomes us, no matter how we come. As long as we do.

  2. Boy, do I get this! I do however have a much better day when I’m in the Word. But, it doesn’t have to be in the Word and then immediately following the Word in prayer. With my boys, and the obscene early they want to get up, it isn’t realistic. But, I am praying throughout the day. Thank you for the sigh of relief.

    • Realizing that it doesn’t help to beat myself up—and that God is welcoming and forgiving me—made all the difference to me. Hang in there. It’s a tough time when your kids are young but God knows that, too :-).

  3. Bacon pie is just the best. And guilt isn’t an ingredient :-). Thanks for commenting.

  4. Thank you for writing this…I can relate and I appreciate your encouragement!

  5. My goodness. You nailed it. I am exactly in this place where not only prayer, but my entire relationship with God is being redefined, refined, changed. And it hurts most days. And it’s so uncomfortable because it’s “not what it used to be.” Not is it what I want it to be. But I hope, it is pleasing to Him and somehow, bringing me closer to Him.

    • Times of transformation like you describe are indeed painful. But I’m a firm believer that the end result makes the change sooooo worthwhile. Those are exciting times. And if you’re turning to Him for the change, if you’re willing to be open to Him, I guarantee you He is pleased.

  6. Kelly, this post, like your book is gold! It’s like you’ve released me from this belief that I have somehow failed God and somehow, somewhere along the line become a mediocre and lukewarm Christian. But I’ve noticed lately that my prayers seem to be in the form of emails or texts to a friend. As I write them, the prayer develops. It Is prayer because the other person is often blessed or at times, even “blown away.” (Their words). It’s not so different from a good marriage where we develop a comfortable love that is actually deeper than that new intense passion we felt in the beginning. Thanks for a great post… And a great book!

    • Mary, that is the highest praise I could ask for! To think that my writing could open up a new understanding, at any level, for anyone, is humbling and exciting. Like I’ve said a million times before, prayer is prayer—even if it’s by text. I know some of mine are, too. And I am certain your friends are blessed by it. xo

  7. Thanks for such encouragement – I so agree with you. If we indeed are serious and sincere about what we are praying about, He knows our heart. I have the hardest time lately to even think of the right words I want to say…but He already knows my heart…and I keep stumbling through the prayer. God I’m sure is just glad to have us in relationship with Him.

    • The amazing thing about God is He doesn’t require us to do it all ourselves—He helps us reach Him. How amazing is that?!

  8. WOW! As always you hit me over the head & what a great wake up call…just got back from an inspiring & wonderfully emotional trip to Israel with our church, and in being in His land & with his people, I was officially renewed…but, in returning home felt a little depressed and so inadequate, remembering when I first KNEW and how I don’t seem to be there as I was…you helped me so much with this message… Thank you, can’t wait to get my book!

    • Thanks, Charlotte. I’m sure coming home was a let-down. But even when we do less than our best, He never fails. And He never stops wanting us or helping us. We have ups and downs—you’ll have more ups, I’m sure of it! Thank you!

  9. Perfectly said. It’s all in the verbiage no matter how you slice it.

    • You should know… since you’re the one with the flash of inspiration that inspired the post! 🙂

  10. Kelly,
    I used to think I couldn’t pray effective prayers. Then after some reading I realized that prayer is simply talking to God. It should contain praise/thanksgiving for what He’s done/given us, and some requests for yourself and others. Now I’m finding myself praying more and more–not because I’m going through a difficult time, but it feels right.
    My prayer closet may be unusual. I light a candle in the bathroom and while taking a shower use that quiet time to pray about my day, friends, myself and also to thank Him for what He’s done and going to do!!
    Blessings 🙂

    • Sounds lovely. I agree—praise and thanksgiving are so important. I try to pray in the shower, too… but am often easily distracted by things like the logos on the shampoo bottles, the ring around my tub, or what have you :-). But every time I get sidetracked, I just start again a little later. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Love this, Kelly! Can so relate. After I lost my husband to cancer, I completely withdrew from spending time in prayer, until I realized one day that expressing my anger and hurt and sorrow to God was prayer. God HEARD my pain and groanings, and He understood. Thank you for the reminder that conversation with God is a form of prayer and he loves spending the time with us.

    • Amen amen amen! Exactly. God is big enough and compassionate enough to hear and understand. So glad you were able to see past the pain and still reach out for Him.