Lisa-Jo Baker
About the Author

Lisa-Jo is the best-selling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood. Her newest book, The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You invites us to get a good look at our middles and gives us permission to embrace them.

(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
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa-Jo, I missed the beginning of this discussion, so I’m not exactly sure what the prayer cards are, but I do know that Satan will do anything he can to thwart our praying. He’s seething with something, too, and it’s not pretty: hatred. He hates God and us, and anything that connects us with Him. It’s so amazing that you are talking about this and the use of the word strategy. Our pastor just gave a lecture on this topic yesterday to our women’s ministry and gave us some strategies of one mighty prayer warrior–Martin Luther. And look were his prayers took the whole Church: one big holy Reformational revolution! The most effective and strategic prayer strategy I know is prayer-journaling (I even wrote a whole book about it! 🙂 ) If you doze off, journal: It will keep you awake! If you can’t concentrate and your mind wanders, journal: It will help you focus! If your prayers are confused, journal: It brings clarity! If you don’t know how to pray, journal: One thought leads to another and another, and words will flow amazingly! If you don’t know what to pray, journal: When you pray conversationally on paper, about anything and everything on your heart in everyday language, about your everyday experiences, you will never run out of things to say to God–ever! If you are in emotional pain, journal: Written prayer is God’s gift for cathartic expression! If you have no passion, journal: Writing slows you down and you will spend more intimate time in God’s presence. The more time you spend, the more passionate you will become! If you don’t feel close to God, journal: As you go back and re-read your prayers, you will be amazed at God’s faithfulness and He will reignite your passion! If you are discouraged, journal: You will see countless answers to prayer that you have either forgotten or didn’t realize you prayed in the first place, because you have WRITTEN them down! If you long to pray like the psalmist David, journal: David’s prayer journal is a biblical method of prayer that gives us a wonderful, tangible example to follow! If you wander how you will ultimately be able to pass your faith along to your children and progeny, journal: Long after you have gone, they will have a written record of who God is to you and His faithfulness to you in your *exact* words! If you have written down your prayers, no one can distort your legacy. Oh goodness, Lisa-Jo! I could go on and on and on! I’ve only just started to list the strategic benefits of written prayerI was once a prayerless, powerless Christian, because I simply could not pray aloud to God. But He put a pen in my hand and “told” me to write. My life and my relationship with Him have never been the same! He’s healed me of depression, alcoholism, and pain from abortion (to name some things). I credit this to His love, grace, and the power of prayer. And if I had not journaled, I would never have prayed! Im so glad you are encouraging a passion to pray. What a powerful strategy to draw close to the King and defeat the enemy!
    PS I loved meeting you at the Jumping Tandem Retreat in 2013. You are one special lady!

    • Crystal included a link for printable prayer cards. Check the March 2 Intro to the book study.

    • Loved this line, Lynn, “Written prayer is God’s gift for cathartic expression! ” – such a great way to describe it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This chapter was a bit of an eye-opener for me. I went through a time about a year and a half ago when I had completely lost my passion. I struggled to pray or to read the Bible and began to worry that I was completely losing my faith. I couldn’t understand why- I knew it couldn’t be God’s fault so I assumed it must be mine but I didn’t know what I had done, and although I got through that and my passion returned it continued to bother me. I wondered what had happened and worried that it might happen again.
    This makes sense of it for me. I was dealing with some difficult things at the time and I can see that it was Satan’s strategy to wear me down and his activity probably played a big part in it. Now I’m aware of that I feel I can come up with strategies to fight back and to maintain my passion.

  3. At this point in my prayer life, I am focused on maintaining (and growing). For many years I wasn’t someone who prayed at all but in the last 3 or so years I’ve found that praying does make a difference in my life. I’ve set an appointment with God first thing every morning. I’m not perfect about keeping my appointment and when I go through periods of missing this appointment because I feel I’m too busy to keep it for that day or that week, at times, I suffer. My connection with God grows weaker and I begin to lose my focus on what’s life giving. Writing down my prayers, however, hasn’t been a big part of my praying but I’m going to give it a try.

  4. I’m having a hard time figuring out what I’m supposed to write on the strategy cards. I mean, she says to craft a strategy and gives us the PRAY formula but I’m not sure I “get it.” So, I just wrote out a prayer for regaining passion and intimacy in my prayer life. I’ve been a prayer journal girl for almost 20 years, but even those prayers became rote and bland in recent times. Ineffective, too. I’ve begun praying aloud again, kind of following my heart each day, whether to write or speak or both. And I’ve turned a wall in my office into a prayer wall and moved a comfy armchair in there for prayer time. Passion is coming back.

    • I’m with you Kristy. I’m not sure what she means either about “crafting” a strategy. I wish she would have given an example. Maybe someone here could help us??

        • I love that you asked this 🙂 Lisa-Jo and I will plan to share what we’re writing on the cards during today’s live chat (we’ll have the replay link in Monday’s post if you can’t join us at noon EST). xoxo

          • Thank you, Crystal. I actually started reading this book a few months ago, and this is what actually stalled me! I was so thankful to see this book study, because I figured I could get some examples and feedback that would help me get through it! Awesome! I have loved the book so far, though, it’s so well written, and REAL! xoxo

        • Thanks, because I felt the same. So today I just started writing what I needed most in my life and in my family situation.

  5. I haven’t written anything down yet, but last night I prayed and prayed over this strategy while waiting for my daughter to finish dance class. I most definitely am in the “regain” camp for my passion to pray. And until reading this chapter, I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that I’ve lost so much of my passion in life – for prayer and for other things. What a great strategy with which to begin! I’m feeling fired up!!!

  6. I think we all could regain or gain more passion. We get busy we get comfortable and especially if all is going good. I think no matter where we find ourselves today… We need a fresh new passion because the enemy knows his days are short so if he can keep us from igniting a fresh passion to just pray then we have opened ourselves to trouble. I’m excited this book is amazing and I’m seeking a fresh calling to be add passion in my prayers.

  7. I love that our prayers don’t have to be loud. God knows our thoughts. Sometimes, I just whisper the name Jesus and I know that He hears me and loves me.

  8. I’m wanting to regain and grow in my prayer life. I pray throughout the day, but taking time for concentrated prayer (and for written prayer) has slipped out of my habits. And I need it back. I’m remembering sometimes all I need to do is simply ask Him.

    I’m looking forward to going through this book with y’all.

  9. I chose “prayer” as my focus for Lent, because it’s something that I’d like to cultivate! (I don’t think I’ve ever been passionate enough before to call this effort “regaining”) So this study comes at the perfect time. My passion has been lacking in every area (prayer included), so I was really drawn to the verse from Ezekiel that she referenced, and how *God* removes my heart of stone and replaces it with a new heart and a new spirit. So I used that as the basis for my prayer strategy, and filled in around it (“Father God, thank you for your promise of a new heart and a new spirit. Please forgive me hanging onto my heart of stone, and then complaining to you that I felt weighed down.”)

  10. My focus is to regain. I want to give God the firstfruits of my time. I know for many people, it is not possible to begin their day with prayer. We’ve got kids to get up and ready for school, jobs to get to, lunches to make, and so on and so on. I have gone throughout my day praying on the go, as many do, but i find in all the chaos of my day, my prayers feel one way. I feel like I am doing all the talking and asking and not much listening because I am on the go. I want to get alone and quiet and listen to what God is talking to me about. If that means getting up 30 minutes earlier (which my flesh revolts against) than I want to discipline myself to do that. What I loved most about this book so far was learning prayer strategy. P-praise, R-repentence, A-ask, Y-yes. I usually adopt an attitude of thankfulness and praise in my prayers but I haven’t learned to pray God’s promises through the asking. That is going to be a great tool for me. I have a lot of underlines and marks in this chapter so far but in ending, my favorite quote from Chapter 1 was on pg 34 “Nothing-NOTHING!-is too far gone that your God cannot resurrect it.” That is a great reminder of who our God is. AMEN!! (The blab was great this morning btw!)

  11. First off, Crystal, I am so glad to know that I was not the only one ugly crying over this chapter – just so much truth has already been spoken into my heart. I felt scared about embarking on this study because my prayer life lacks passion and I have let the enemy make me feel guilty about not praying fervently. Some of my strategies I am praying are for God to create a clean heart in me, one the He is stoking a fire in for prayer and for Him. To help me take prayer seriously and adjust my attitude towards prayer. And to hold on to His promise in Jeremiah 29: 12 that when I call upon Him and come and pray to Him, He will listen to me.

    For me, recognizing that this is a spiritual war and that the enemy is purposefully trying to bring me down, tear me down and draw me away from God, is eye-opening. There’s such freedom in knowing that God can fight those battles for us. And that He does. Every single time. So grateful for this book and the words Crystal and Lisa-Jo shared today – thank you!

  12. My focus is on maintaining and growing. After a long stretch of having lost my passion, it has been returning the past couple of years. I have written my prayers for years but they can sometimes become rote and rambling so looking at being more strategic. This is the prayer that I wrote for this:
    Lord, your love, compassion and faithfulness never cease. You give so freely. Father, thank you for the passion you have already been stirring. I want more. Give me a heart to know you; show me what it means to seek you with my whole heart. Circumcise my heart to love you with all my heart and soul. Forgive me for trying to do this in my own strength. I love what you have already done in me and will continue to grow within. I love you, Daddy God.

  13. I’m kind of regaining the passion for prayer and wanting to maintain it passionately. I love writing things so this will be perfect to write my prayers and bible verses that will remind me of what God is telling me. With the struggles in my family right now sometimes the pain hits me right in unexpected places like the grocery store. Today this happened and I was calling on Jesus name repeatedly. I came home and opened my bible and wrote some verses I feel the Lord is giving me to help at these times and I intend on keeping them in my car and in my purse to drag out when I need to refresh my memory of God’s specific words to me. Great talk on the blab today!

    • I love that after you were hit hard, Stephanie, you went home, read your Bible and wrote down your verses to remind yourself that the Lord is your help. That inspires me to do the same when life hits me hard. Thanks! I think that remembering to enter into prayer with expectation of God fulfilling His promises to me helps me to maintain my passion. So happy to be reading this book and working on my prayer life!

      • Yes, Katie you remind me that when we pray we should be faithful that God will fulfill His promises! Thanks for those words.

  14. Lisa-JO,
    I have to agree with Crystal that War Room is a great powerful movie. Loved it so much I brought it. My hubby cried through the movie! Such powerful performances!!
    My strategy is to pray using scripture to highlight what I’m asking God for! I know it will make the evil one mad that I can quote scripture-especially ones I memorize!

    Blessings 🙂

  15. ” I can’t afford to let my days slip by on auto pilot as if I have no way to affect changes in the outcome.” I love this. I often worry about my prayer life slipping into the mundane. I don’t want it to be a routine list of “please” and “thank you’s.” Although I believe God honor’s that effort, I want to know my Father on a personal level. I love the mornings when pages fly by and it feels like He’s right there in conversation with me. Great post!
    Happy Weekend!!!

  16. I start praying before I get out of bed. Set aside a few moments to write in my prayer journal. I’m a morning person and it’s better for me to spend a few minutes whether it’s sitting in the kitchen or in my bed . just to praise God. Throughout the day when worry hits I pray and say Jesus. It progress not perfection. I point verses on index cards topical … Like for strength and list verses. I also immediately pray when a trial comes up. I rebuke the problem, ask God for wisdom them do my part. Then let God handle the rest.
    The prayer cards are in the back of the book. Index cards can be used.

  17. I love how I can replay the chat and reflect. Another tool I have found to be wonderful are the “Prayer Cards” to keep my focus and help me to remember. I am writing key scripture and listing thanks, praise and petitions. My heart is pouring out and I am learning from others on this blog. Someone on the blog mentioned “Praying in Color”. I have researched “Praying in Color” and plan to try this with my confirmation students when we study the Lord’s Prayer. I love the fresh ideas to revitalize my spiritual life and keep me less distracted.