Spending time on spiritual matters is often a challenge for me. I've tried different methods to remind me to read my scriptures, say my prayers, and focus on my Savior. I did great when I was single. But then I got married, had children, and yada yada yada. Try as I might, it was difficult for me to find the time, the place, the motivation to make my walk with God a priority. Something always came up.
But one thing that has helped and has stuck with me is my prayer basket. No, it's not a basket full of writ prayers. Instead, it's the things I need to ensure my prayer and scripture study not only takes place, but that it is focused, uninterrupted, and an uplifting experience. The adversary doesn't want any of us to focus on spiritual matters. He wants us to be busy, to have a life of imbalance. But that's not what our Heavenly Father wants for us. He wants us to spend time with Him, to learn of His Son, to reveal to us answers to the desires and prayers of our hearts. For me, in order to have this one-on-one time with my God, I simply cannot have any distractions--no kids, no spouse, no TV, no nothing.
And that's where my prayer basket helps me out. Here's what's in my prayer basket:
- A basket--Can't have a prayer basket without one of these. :) I got my basket on sale at a local craft store for $4. I liked it best because the price fit my budget, and the basket, which is oblong in shape, fit nicely on my bedstand.
- Lesson manuals, devotionals
- Magazine--my church has a monthly magazine with uplifting messages
- Uplifting book--right now I'm reading What a Husband Needs From His Wife: Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually by Melanie Chitwood
- Journal book--no matter what I'm reading, I jot down thoughts of what I've read. This helps me focus on what I'm reading and the feelings that come as I read. And by writing this down, I can look back on my journal and read how I felt at the time
- Pen, highlighter--for writing in my journal and highlighting scripture verses that stand out
- Stationary--so I can jot a note to a friend or whomever may come to mind
- Socks--in case my feet get cold
- Cough drops--these are really coming in handy right now because my allergies and sinuses have been suffering
- Tissues--I've had my fair share of tears from something that has touched me, especially as I write in my journal the things I felt during my scripture reading
- Music--once in a while, I like to listen to some uplifting music while writing in my journal, reading a book, or simply unwinding. I've got two CDs in my prayer basket at the moment--Blink by Plumb, and Precious Moments With the Savior by Kim Bolton.
- Place of Prayer--this is my bed. I have a lamp on my nightstand that provides good lighting, and it's the only place where I can sit and be with God without interruptions of life. Anywhere else in the house is full of distractions--TV, laundry, dishes, and I'm certainly not going to hang out in the bathroom either! So the bedroom it is.
- Time--my best time for my walk with God is at night before bed. Some folks like doing it first thing in the morning before everyone else gets up, which is a great way to start off the day. But that just doesn't work for me. I like doing it at night. It allows me to unwind, and I end my day resting peacefully and a lot closer to my Heavenly Father.
- Cat--she's actually not a part of my prayer basket, but she is my baby. She always knows when it's bedtime, or at least thinks she knows. When I head to the bedroom late at night, she follows me right in, like she did when I took the picture of my prayer basket.
What way works best for you and your walk with God? Please feel free to leave a comment below. I'd love to know what your suggestions are.