When You Want To Pray And Don’t Know How // Share The Brew With Ellen Chauvin


Today I am excited to introduce you to one of my new blogging friends, Ellen Chauvin. I met Ellen in the Bloggers: Learning, Growing, Encouraging Facebook Group (formerly Better Blogs). I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and reading her beautifully, inspiring blog. I am so thankful she agreed to share her heart with you all. Please make sure to visit Ellen’s blog. You will be blessed!

Think about the most important person in your life. Do you spent a great deal of time with them? Perhaps it’s your best friend, spouse, parent or child. They are top priority to you. It’s easy for you to find time to spend with them.

That’s how our quiet times should be: Top Priority. But what exactly is a Quiet Time or Devotional Time? And how do you begin?


This post was going to be on prayer, and how deep it can take you in your relationship with God. Then I thought “Who am I to advise anyone on prayer?” There are oh, so many more experts out there. If you Google Quiet Time, you will have 70 million choices. SEVENTY MILLION.

Obviously, I don’t have all the answers on how to have a rich, deep prayer life. No, I’m still searching for that myself. I lose my train of thought, my mind wanders, my to-do list takes over. Then, before I know it, my hour of prayer and scripture reading is over. I have to get ready for work.

Why then, do I continue day after day? Why don’t I just sleep that extra hour, and try to slip praying in some other time? I think it’s because I hope that I will eventually learn how to take the peace of this quiet time into my day. Because a little bit of Jesus goes a long way, and sometimes my days seem to stretch to infinity and back.

Because a little bit of Jesus goes a long way.[tweetthis]Because a little bit of Jesus goes a long way. @eechauvin via @BarbieSwihart[/tweetthis]

Many times I have grand intentions. I continue my worship and prayer time while driving to work. I sing along with the radio, praising away, and then WHAM! It’s like I have a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Suddenly I’m screaming at the car in front of me who is going AGONIZINGLY SLOW. Never mind the fact that I was speeding because I was jamming to Third Day’s Agnus Dei.

All that peace from my time with God, all those great ideas of wanting to be more Christlike, gone. Out the window! I know that prayer changes people. I know that it has changed me. But sometimes, the change doesn’t seem to stick. However, I will continue day in and day out with the hope that in seeking Him, I will be changed, bit by bit, from glory to glory.

We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 – HCSB)

I have many books on prayer. When I got serious about my relationship with Christ, I knew that prayer was a top priority. I just didn’t know how. I grew up in the church, and around people who knew how to pray. I think it was assumed that if you grew up in church, you would know how to pray. Not so. Not for me, anyway! (If that’s the way you grew up, please know this: prayer is simply talking with God like a friend. Sit down with Him, tell Him what’s on your mind and your heart. Cry out to Him, and then listen for Him to respond.)

I began reading everything I could on prayer. One day, I found a book that said “Stop reading about prayer and praying and PRAY!” Well, there you go. Just pray. Just start. Begin right where you are. If you’ve never had time set aside for prayer and scripture reading, don’t think you’re going to begin with a marathon prayer session. A marathoner trains for months to run the race. He builds up endurance and discipline. You will need to do the same. Just get started. Get up ten minutes early tomorrow. Next week, add five more minutes. And five more the week after that. Start where you are, and build a habit.

Anyone (at least 70 million people) can tell you the how to’s of prayer. This has all been my two cents worth. But THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: just get started. God’s waiting for you. If you currently have a regular prayer time and it’s feeling dry or stale, keep going, keep praying. Don’t give up! God is always present. God hears you. He will meet you. He will wait for you. And times of refreshing will come from the Lord (Acts 3:19).

Ellen Chauvin_RoundEllen is an ordinary wife and grandmother,  who loves the Lord and His Word. She does ordinary things like work, grocery shop, and laundry. She is a reader, writer and nature lover. Ellen is passionate about scripture, and enjoys sharing the truth of God’s word. You can find her blogging at Ordinary…with a Splash of Flash! where she shares how her ordinary life is made extraordinary – with splashes of flash from God! Ellen lives in South Louisiana with her husband John (her personal blog photographer!) and their goofy cat Callie. Follow Ellen on Facebook and Twitter.


Seeking beauty in the ordinary and embracing life to the fullest. Thank you for stopping by and come again soon!

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34 Responses

  1. Stop reading about praying, and pray. Yeah, exactly.

    Nevill Shute, in his wonderful novel “Round The Bend”, describes a life of prayer as being one in which each act, each individual task at work, is brought before God with the intention to do it as well as possible, and to receive God’s help in so doing.

    That way, one’s prayer does from digital on-off, so to speak…to constant analog.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted..The Price Of Infidelity {Wedded Wednesday}

  2. Chris says:

    Ellen, my new friend. I enjoyed your post. I confess I gulped when you said, “If you Google Quiet Time, you will have 70 million choices. SEVENTY MILLION.” That’s a lot of voices out there. Anyone can get confused, frustrated and wonder what to do. Just do it is great advice. God is near. He who formed the ear, hears. He who designed the lips, speaks and He who set our spirit in us loves us with an ever lasting love. He enjoys our time together and is pleased when we come before Him to gather our manna for today. It takes “Give us our daily bread” to a whole new level. Blessings to you from Chris~
    Chris recently posted..Where is The Lord?

  3. Dawn says:

    Oh, I so relate , especially with the driving. My car rides are usually one long confession Time with the lord! Grew post! Love your practical approach to prayer.
    Dawn recently posted..Grace Upon Grace (#LentChallenge)

  4. Dawn says:

    Ps that was GREAT post…on phone with feisty spell check. Living dangerously!
    Dawn recently posted..Grace Upon Grace (#LentChallenge)

  5. Tara says:

    Ellen, so true! It really is about just sitting down and praying. I never thought I was very good at it either. But there is something so holy about praying…especially for all Gods people. Hard to believe but for the last five years I have prayed through my Facebook friends list as a Lenten discipline. Talk about an eye opening experience! Let’s try and infuse our lives with more prayer!

    • Tara, what an awesome idea! I love your term “infuse” our lives with more prayer. Makes me think of a tea bag soaked through with hot water…just plain water and plain tea before, but when infused it becomes a warm comforting cup of tea! Thanks so much for your comments and for stopping by! I appreciate you!
      Ellen Chauvin recently posted..When You Want to Pray and Don’t Know How

  6. Ellen,
    What a great reminder to simply pray…and you’re so right about how one doesn’t run a marathon right away and neither does one change immediately to conform to Christ in our responses…I know for me it has been a painfully slow process but after decades, I can see change… SO very thankful for God’s grace…there’s the set aside time to pray and then there’s the praying throughout the day in breath prayers and in how I live…Many blessings to you 🙂
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..Ten Tips for cultivating simplicity (& Grace)

  7. I loved your post, I have never googled Quiet Time. My favorite author on prayer is Becky Tirabassi, She has prayed an hour a day for over thirty years, I use her journal system to record my prayers. I do think we just have to do it. Tracie Miles in her book, Your Life Still Counts says, just never say Amen. The best part is when I do not know how to pray we have the Holy Spirit praying for us. Blessings my friend. Diana
    Diana Rockwell recently posted..Dream

  8. Betsy says:

    Beautiful, Ellen, just beautiful! What an inspiring post. You made me feel like you can see inside of my head when you describe how sometimes it seems like prayer doesn’t stick as you go about your day. But I’ll keep persevering along with you, friend. I pray that these words will encourage many.

    Thanks for hosting my sweet friend, Barbie!

    Tweeting this later! It’s too good to just stay here!
    Betsy recently posted..More Spring in our Step and in our Hearts

    • Aw, Betsy! Thanks so much! You bring me such encouragement with your words! And I think the reason scriptures tell us to pray without ceasing, is because of those days we have, or those sandpaper people, that make us forget what we were just praying. That’s why we need to carry our prayers with us all through the day. Now, if I could just practice doing this…
      Ellen Chauvin recently posted..When You Want to Pray and Don’t Know How

  9. Oh Ellen, thank you for being so honest and transparent. I can identify with that! My parents were such prayer warriors and now that they are gone, I miss knowing they are praying for me and my family. But, they passed the torch to their daughters and I am now responsible for standing in the gap, for praying for the salvation of my nephews, for praying my grandchildren through difficult tests and trials, that God will send His mate for each of them, that my children will be the parents God desires them to be, etc. What a privilege it is to be able to do that! And yet, I’m so like you in that I am remiss in doing so faithfully. I praise Him that He does hear my heart and knows of my desire to spend time with Him on my knees when most times I am still on my feet. Thanks again for this “canceled” post.

    • Oh, Libby. Passing the torch…that’s a blog post I’ve been unable to write, but I know so much what you mean! It’s our responsibility now to pray for our children and grand children. So very thankful that we have the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness in prayer! Thank you for your encouraging comments!
      Ellen Chauvin recently posted..When You Want to Pray and Don’t Know How

  10. Carmen Horne says:

    Oh thank you friend for reminding me to stop talking about it and do it! I am speaking this weekend on “Prayer Changes Everything”. You have given me much to think about. You are a blessing to me. Thank you Barbie for featuring this sweet girl!
    Carmen Horne recently posted..4 Things To Learn When Your Weapons Are Rusty

  11. Tammy says:

    Yes, begin right where you are. I love that because our loving Jesus never moves. He is waiting for us and knows each of our hearts. Thank you for your encouraging words. Blessings, Tammy
    Tammy recently posted..YES LORD

  12. It can be so hard to pray. So hard not to get distracted. So hard to find quiet time. But we need to keep at it. Keep trying. Keep praying, even if it’s snippets of prayer! It’s better to make the effort than to not try at all.
    Barbara Ann Gareis recently posted..Rejected

  13. Wonderful post, Ellen! So true that we just have to start. Start small and work you way up to where prayer is infused in your life and your attitude. Great encouragement !!
    Kathryn Shirey recently posted..Praying With the Saints

  14. Ellen, it is so wonderful to see your here at Barbie’s place today. You have those Jekyl and Hyde moments too? Thank goodness I’m not the only one. 😉 You are so right that a little bit of Jesus DOES go a long way and I’m so thankful that he uses that time to mold me, even when it is a slow process. Keep sharing your light, dear friend. You are making a difference!
    Abby McDonald recently posted..4 Things to Learn When Your Tools Are Rusty {Renewal Through Christ Series}

  15. I know it stays we’re to pour into our children as we come and go and sit and stand – and I think praying to God is like that -when we weave it through our day – when we go to him throughout the day – we weave more of Him into our story. It does make a difference to start the day with intentional prayer – just him and me – and the more I pray – and the more I weave Him through my day – the more I have a real relationship with Him! Your post is a liberating post – in that it takes the struggle out – and airs it, shakes it out – and we can talk then about how to mend it whole! So love your insight and heart!

  16. Kristine says:

    My prayer time is that one hour first thing in the morning, too. It’s definitely a challenge! I make it up ok, but often spend more time reading and less praying:) We are a work in progress, aren’t we? Blessings, friend!

  17. Wanda says:

    Ellen, like you I have my fair share of books on the way to pray because someone I felt like everyone else knew how to do it better than me. But as you pointed out all of the studying up on praying can lead to a lot reading but very little praying time. I like your advice to simply get started. Far too often I think we over complicate the act of praying.
    Wanda recently posted..Of this be sure

  18. Lou Meinerz says:

    Loved today’s blog and the STOP portion, too comical but at the same time so true…we need to stop making excuses and just STOP and PRAY, have that heart to heart with our Abba Father at any point in the day or all day. I get so qrapped up in my list so I tihk on my list I must write PRAY, I’m sure that will draw me back to Him more often. Thanks my friend and also so nice to meet Barbie via your blog!

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