Devotional – February 15, 2021

by: Shamelia Simpson-McKenzie


Practical Prayers…


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

We continue to make The Case for Virtue. In Week 3 of our Daily Devotional we will focus on Virtue in Action; practical applications for Virtuous Women. Today’s Devotional, Practical Prayers will compliment She Prays published on Monday February 8, 2012.

Prayer is a blessed gift from God. I learned this truth after agonizing over what I needed to say to God in my time of prayer. After all, I understood that He already knew everything about me. During the earlier years of my walk with God, I struggled to understand how to pray, so I uttered these words God: I want to learn how to pray.

As faithful as God is; soon after I discovered the book that changed my life forever: The Power of the Praying Woman, by best-selling author: Stormie Omartian. In her book, Stormie clearly expressed many Biblical Truths about prayer; the profound lesson I learned is that God cares deeply about every aspect of our lives; He desires to support us in our daily living and is always ready and willing to hear what we have to say to Him.

At that time, there was so much that I believed was wrong in my life and needed God’s touch; with Stormie’s great book and the Biblical teachings about prayer, I committed to mastering the art of prayer. I know now that mastery is not the goal, but instead being humble and conscious that I need God at every hour, and that I should speak to Him about all things. as it is written:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

In putting Virtue in Action; emulating the Virtuous Woman, and adhering to Biblical teaching, I share some strategies for Practical Prayers.  Personally, I take  every issue I encounter to God; whether small or large and speak honestly with God about them. At times, I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what I need to be praying about . Here are some of the practical steps I take in making fervent and effectual prayers.

  1. I think about how I feel about the issues
  2. I write about it in my journal.
  3. I write a prayer to God in my journal; telling Him how I fell and ask for the help I need from Him.
  4. I listen carefully to how God is responding to my request; sometimes through Scriptural instructions, at other times through impressions on my heart.
  5. I write again in my journal expressing what I understand God to be saying to me and give Him thanks for the answer.
  6. I do not always immediate answers, but I know that God will attend to my prayers when the time in right, so I wait patiently on the Lord.

In Stormie’s book, The Power of the Praying Woman, there are 31 Chapters which speak to different aspects of a woman’s life that need to be covered in prayer. A woman who takes the time to read this book will find it one of the most rewarding investments she makes. Since 2005, which was the first time I read the book, I have read many other great books; yet, I always return to Stormie’s to refresh and rejuvenate my spirit as often as I need.

By now, the Lord knows my modus operandi; He knows that I need His counsel in all things. He knows my prayers are just a moment away and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is always ready to listen and respond to my petitions. The life I lived before answering God’s call was built by my ignorance, disobedience, worry and fear. The life I live now is built by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. I have learned to employ prayer and invite God to instruct, direct and inspire my actions and attitudes. While I do make mistakes, I have God’s correction and teaching to get me back on track.

My expression of how prayer has impacted my life is:

Prayer is the cement that holds the many building blocks of my life in place”

Shamelia Simpson-McKenzie

The Virtuous Woman inspires us to dare to pursue our purpose with passion and without fear because we have the privilege of taking everything to God in prayer as stated in Philippians 4:6. If this Scripture teaches us as women nothing else; it should convince us that we do not need to worry about anything; instead we should speak to God about it. He cares about all that concerns us and desires to support us.


Dear Heavenly Father,

You have blessed me with the wonderful gift of prayer; I have the privilege of approaching You with anything that is on my heart. As I embrace the standard of virtue” as an important standard by which I can live, I desire to make prayer a habit so that I can draw closer and closer to you.

Please teach me to make fervent and effectual prayers (St. James 5:16) so that my life can be built strong and firm on faith in You, the True and Living God. You are the Lover of My Soul; I want to trust that when I pray You hear me and will answer in according to Your loving kindness towards me.

May I know what to say and how to say it when I pray; cause Your Holy Spirit to make groanings on my behalf when I do not know what to say (Romans 8:26). Let my prayers be inspired by You so that my life will be designed exactly how You planned it for Your glory to be revealed.

In Jesus’s Name I pray…Amen