About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. I really appreciate the way you started this piece with your deep roots in Minnesota Lutheranism. My own kids have that story, and now my grandkids come running into Sunday school every week where both their dad and their mum grew up. Prayer is also a deep and abiding relationship, in spite of all the other things we try to make of it.

  2. Anna,
    I love the line up of guitars…how adorable 🙂 Like you praying is like breathing to me. I remember sitting around the dinner table and I was praying and I spoke my heart to God about a particular situation in our family. My daughter blurted out, mid prayer, “Mom, you just can’t say that to God.” Mind you I wasn’t blaspheming His name, I was just saying how a situation “stinks.” “You can’t say, ‘stinks’ to God,” my daughter insisted. Maybe it wasn’t the best word to use, but it gave me a teachable moment that we don’t have to “pretty up” our prayers with Thou’s and shalt’s and only pious words. God REALLY cares about what’s on our hearts….even the not so pretty. We can come before Him reverently, but honestly. He wants us to talk with Him not at Him. He wants a relationship and hearts that are real….not just trotting out our dog and pony shows. Yes, praise, honor, repentance, and reverence are all part of prayer, but so it honesty. I believe God honors all words spoken from the heart. Even short ones like, “Jesus, help.” When we hear someone really pray from the heart for the first time, it can be a game changer. Loved this post.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. For so many reasons, thank you for this. We are going through a big change as a family and are clinging to God for guidance. It’s a comfort to be reminded He is here with us, and listening. God bless you!

    • Andrea,

      Praying for a discerning heart from God to know His will for you lives. May God send His peace, & comfort to your souls. I pray you sense God with you always giving you hugs & guiding you through this dark valley.

      Blessings 🙂

  4. I can’t even think anymore. I feel like I’m empty and numb. I trust God with my whole heart but cannot see where to move forward with so much on my shoulders caring about everyone else and needing so much care myself. Will someone pls pray for me…I can’t get many words strung together and just spend days upon days listening to worship and looking for God. I used to beat myself up when I was younger that I couldn’t get words to pray sometimes but I know He hears each whisper and one word I can muster. He always shows up but each time I feel like this is never going to end. I love these blogs and literally wait for them to come through each day! Thank u to everyone at incourage….you make the fellowship and love of God feel so nearby xx

    • J, praying for you to feel Gods presence with you and may He deliver you from whatever it is that is troubling you right now. I ask these things in Jesus ‘ name, Amen

    • J –
      I too find myself in layers of worry and uncertainty. I too, have no words to pray. Yet – reading your words of fret and confusion – oddly speaks to me, reminding me I am not alone, and there are others out there who walk a similar path… let us trust God for each other…

      • Aw Sandy! None of us is exempt by sheer virtue of being human. Since putting up this post I continue to be blessed as I listen and FIND God speaking in many ways. My prayer is that you will also lean into Him and his provision inspite of moments of emptiness and concern. He IS faithful…we can trust Him! Bless you heart and precious soul xx

  5. My mom grew up Lutheran as well in ND. My aunts and uncles still attend Lutheran style. I love your post, and I’m thankful for heart felt prayers also. Do you have the Moms in Prayer program in your area? If not you may want to explore their website and start one! I’m a leader in Central Florida and it was a big faith jump to start a small group, but we’ve been active for five years now. We have always had three women including me, and we may have 4-5 this year! Wherever two or more are gathered….momsinprayer.org
    Love, Jenn

  6. Anna,

    You were blessed to grow up in a praying family. People think praying is hard. The belief is that they must pray for long hours, with fancy words. Nothing can be further from the truth. Bonnie Gray in her book “Whispers of Rest” states that we can do breath prayers. Simply breath in & say one word “Jesus”. Breath out & say “help me.” It can be that simple. God wants simple honest prayers that come from the heart. He wants us to become like children in our praying. The movie War Room is a great example of how to pray. Find a “prayer closet” write out requests & start praying. You will be amazed when you see the results. Often times I will light a candle, turn off lights, get in shower & that is my prayer closet. It is quiet, dark & I can release all my problems from the day to the Lord. A guide to start praying might be to use the ACTS model. Adoration or just telling God how great he is. Confession- we must confess our sins & ask forgiveness. Thanksgiving-thank Him for ALL He has given you. He gave His only son to die a horrible death in our place. Supplication-making requests known. It doesn’t have to be long or in any order necessarily just talk to Him like you would a friend.

    Blessings 🙂

  7. We can pray no matter the state of our hearts or our standing – God loves hearing from us in any given moment! I LOVE this!!! So true. Great reminder of the essence of our King, Our God, our FATHER! How lucky are we to have Him by our side to talk to, hear from, lean on and to be loved by! Great, great post!!!!!

  8. I talk to Him so much and in such a conversational way that I started to worry maybe I wasn’t being reverent enough. So I started praying that I was being reverent in our chats. haha! No seriously.

  9. “Over the years, the ways we pray change, but the One to whom our prayers rise remains the same.” Amen and amen, and reason to praise Him all the more!

    It’s so lovely observing how you’re teaching your babies; that prayer is their automatic “go-to” and can take place anytime (and all the time).

    Prayer changes the pray-er, doesn’t it? As we walk in relationship with God, sharing our hearts and hurts, He is growing us and transforming us along the way. So beautiful…as is your post today :).

  10. I have always prayed through the years, especially when I became a parent and now with my twenty something kids. Even with a degree in Child Development, I felt I wasn’t prepared for parenthood, but wonderful conversations with God we survived. Through, parent conferences, IEP meeting, and sporting events, we would ask for his protect over us and thanking Him afterwards. I have always encouraged my kids to ask God for help before exams, and then thank Him before you turn it in. Last year, my oldest son, asked me to prayer for him the day of his annual review at work. (This was the first review for him in a job position.)
    God was and has been there for our family even in the sudden death of my husband and their dad from a fatal heart attack. God has kept that family bond together, helping us through the grief all these years. My prayer time during this season of unemployment begins with early morning walks or hikes as I vented my grief, frustration, joys for a wonderful day. He walks and hikes with me to start the day. Sometimes with a friend often times not. But know God is present gives me strength to be the best for him.

  11. Anna,
    This was beautifully pieced together, thank-you for sharing those special moments with us. I believe that God understands that we all pray in our own unique, and personal way, and that He hears us all the same. But if we think of the impact of what we pray for to all that follows, sometimes it might not be the right thing. With that said, no matter what, He will be watching over us and guiding us through whatever the outcome is every step of the way.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  12. This is beautiful, Anna. I’m so very thankful God gives us access to His ear. The most comforting thing on earth to me is prayer. ♥

  13. I have been so discouraged about the family situation of my middle child and her family. This made me realize that I hadn’t turned to problem/situation over to our Lord. This message and the comments that followed have been a blessing and a huge reminder to pray without ceasing and tell our worries to the only One who can help. Help in His wsy, not ours. The situation is in His Hsndd, not ours!

  14. Anna, my friend, this is gorgeous! May we all teach our children and each other to pray this way.