Is it too late to start praying with my family?

Five Finger Rule for PrayerI have not always been comfortable praying out loud. I grew up in a Christian home. I remember going to church every Sunday, saying bedtime prayers occasionally, and saying the blessing before dinner. But, I do not remember praying on a consistent basis as a family. It was not until graduate school, when a friend invited me to her Bible Study, that I learned to pray with others.
Recently, my friend, Becky, told me a story about when she was in high school. She remembers being asleep in her bed and feeling her mother’s hands on her in the middle of the night. She barely opened her eyes and said, “Mom! What are you doing?” Her mother calmly and simply replied, “I am praying for you.” This story moved me, and stirred in my heart a desire to become this kind of prayer warrior mother.
If praying out loud is not something you are familiar with, then praying as a family can be difficult. But, it is attainable and all it takes is practice. It is never too late to start! My children are still young, so at this point, I do the majority of the praying. My daughter is compassionate and is able to think of people in her life to pray for. However, this concept is not yet mastered in my son. The majority of his thanks are for his toys, and the majority of his prayers are for more toys. But, that is okay.
For each prayer, we talk about the Five Finger Rule of praying. Each prayer should have 5 parts –
1. Praise (For God and how awesome He is)
2. Thanks (for His provisions – health, food, weather, friends, family..)
3. Repenting (I am sorry that I sin) – I try to use myself in these – for example “Lord, I am sorry that I lost my temper and yelled at Abby today. Please forgive me” (fortunately for me, I have plenty of things that I am in need of forgiveness for on a consistent basis)
4. Praying for others
5. Praying for self

I like to hold my hand (five fingers) up while we pray. The kids have gotten into this habit as well. It is a great visual reminder.
Once you get the 5 finger prayers down, it is pretty easy to fill them in.

Here is an example:
“Dear Lord. You are mighty and powerful and You love us. Thank you for a good night’s sleep and this new day. Please forgive us for doing things that are not pleasing to you. Lord, I pray that you will send your angel armies to protect

__today. Please keep them safe while at school. And I pray that you would fill us all up with your love so that we can share that love with others. In Jesus’ Holy Name I pray. Amen”

We are the clay and You are the potter

This week, I had the priviledge of meeting with Karen Berry, the creator of PrayerBowls.  She is nothing short of incredible.  She embodies what a Godly woman entails.  She is beautiful on the inside and the out.

She told me her testimony and how PrayerBowls began.  As you can read in the “My Story” section of the PrayerBowl website, years ago Karen was very sick for a long time.  One day, a woman unknown to Karen approached her.  She told Karen of how she had prayed for her for a year.  The fact that this woman had such perseverance in her prayers for a stranger moved Karen to create these unique bowls.

I was moved by another part of Karen’s story as well. Karen told me about how she was sick for a long time.  Karen suffered with stomach issues for years.  She went to every specialist in Tampa and beyond.  She went to the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, holistic doctors, acupuncture and more in an attempt to heal her.  The medical issues came to a head after the birth of her son, at which point she was hospitalized.  She had a serious infection, and she was not allowed to see her daughter or her newborn son.  Things took a turn for the worse, as the doctors discovered that she had a blood clot.  Karen remembers this time specifically.  She remembers feeling so helpless, fearful, and broken.

More often than not, it is these times of desperation when we feel the presence of our Lord the most.  We have nothing else to cling to.  Only our Lord can save us.

Karen remembers lying in the hospital bed, wondering if that night would be her last on this earth.  She wondered if her babies would grow up without a mother.  She was not ready to die.  The imag
e that came to her mind (thank you Holy Spirit) was that of the Lord’s hands cupped together and holding a baby.  The hands of the Lord were cupped together in the shape of a bowl.  The Lord held Karen in His hands.  He carried her and He healed her.

“See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”  Isaiah 49:16

Now, looking back on that dark and scary time of her life, Karen can see how God used it for her good.  He uses us when we are broken to build us better. Karen is now healthy on the inside and the outside.  More importantly, God is using her to bring Himself glory.

My daily prayer is that people will not just see me, but instead, see Jesus in me.  I see Jesus in Karen.

“But now, O LORD, You are our Father, we are the clay and You are our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand”  Isaiah 64:8

PrayerBowls are meant to be a visual reminder of a gift that you can give to someone that far exceeds a physical gift.  A prayer for another is something that we are not only able to do for our Lord, but also called to do by our Lord.  To me, the greatest gift that I can give to someone else, and the greatest gift I can receive is a prayer.

“His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, and there is the hiding of His Power”  Habakuk 3:4


Praying for the Sick

praying for the sick

A couple of weeks ago, I visited my grandfather in the hospital. It has been such a long time since I’ve been to a hospital, and visiting was a heavy reminder of the immense blessing that I haven’t needed to visit a family member or friend in that sort of environment in such a long time.


It was also a huge reminder that there are so many families that face the immense challenge of caring for loved ones who are sick and so many children, teens, adults, and elderly people that fight for their lives every day. Health is something that I think we all take for granted; it’s not until we have a fever or are put in an environment where so many people around us are unhealthy that we are reminded what a blessing it is to not have to worry about our bodies and their ability to function properly.


I interned with the Make-A-Wish Foundation this summer, and the experience was amazing in so many ways. My internship reminded me on a daily basis that I am so lucky to be healthy and not battling a life-threatening illness, or watch a family member fight for his or her life on a daily basis. But it also reminded me that I am incredibly fortunate in that department. My experience with Make-A-Wish has reminded me to pray not only for the children I worked with who are battling diseases like cancer and cardiac conditions, but also for the doctors, nurses, families, and their strength and diligence to fight for complete healing and trusting in the Lord throughout this process.


Take some time out of your day today to pray for those you may or may not know who are fighting for their lives. The power of prayer is incredible, and you never know what kind of difference 5 minutes of your day can make.

“And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” -James 5:15



Mary Lee’s House

Prayer Bowls Mary Lee's House facility-clothes-room facility-exam facility-lobby facility-security

We are so excited to announce a new partnership with a local charity in Tampa – Mary Lee’s House. Mary Lee’s House is a nonprofit organization that is committed to protecting, respecting, and healing the children of abuse and neglect. Since opening their doors in November 2008, more than 8,200 children have been served and more than 15,000 services have been provided.

Services provided at Mary Lee’s House include:

– Prevention Services
– Training on recognizing and reporting child abuse
– Medical Assessments and Consultations
– Psychological Evaluations
– Specialized Interviews
– Family Psycho-social Assessments
– Developmental Screenings
– Depositions
– Forensic Interviews
– Closed Circuit Testimony to the courtroom
– General and Trauma counseling services
Mary Lee’s House relies 90% on private donations to make their work possible, and that is why PrayerBowls is excited to announce that for every Prayer Bowl purchased, we will donate $1 to Mary Lee’s House. In addition, we will provide an extra PrayerCard in addition to the PrayerCards included in the set that will have a prayer for the children that are involved in the work that Mary Lee’s House does in the community.
If you are interested in donating directly to Mary Lee’s House, click here.

Prayer Bowls in Tampa

prayer bowls

We are so excited about the Prayer Bowls feature in the Tampa Bay Times this past Thursday, which can be read here. Sarah Whitman, the Times correspondent who handled the story, did an amazing job and we are so thankful for her gift to write and to share our story in such a positive light.

In addition to our newspaper feature, we are also excited to share with you all the display in one of our retail locations, Occasions. As Caroline at Occasions puts it, “A favorite of all our customers, everyone adores these Prayer Bowls!”

Praying & Listening

When we pray, we present our thoughts and desires to God. We do this through a variety of mediums: silent prayer, meditation, journaling, praying aloud, etc. Most of the time, when we pray, we are grasping the talking to God component of praying, but we fail to talk with God. We talk at Him, not with Him. It is a one sided conversation most of the time, and this is obviously not beneficial.
Think about a one sided friendship you have had with someone in your life. Was that a healthy, fulfilling relationship? Did it foster growth, renewal, spirituality, and love? We have learned in our own earthly lives that one sided relationships do not work. So why do we expect a one sided verbal relationship with our Creator to work?

The reality is, we cannot expect anything to come from a one sided prayer life. We should be listening to the Lord as often as we are speaking to Him about our thoughts and desires while praying. This may sound confusing, but Romans 10:17 tells us plainly and simply how to do this: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” We listen to the Lord in our prayer lives by reading His word, not just talking to Him.

PrayerBowls Testimonials

prayer bowls testimonials

We love hearing feedback about our product from both our retail supplier and direct customers. If you have something to say about your experience with PrayerBowls, please let us know by either commenting on this post or by emailing us at

“Just wanted to let you know that PrayerBowls are an absolute HIT with our customers!!  They have been perfect for First Communions, Confirmations, new homes and Prayer Warriors are mostly what people are telling us they are buying them for… I had a lady in today who bought 2 today and she bought 3 at Christmas time and said she will be back for more as they are becoming her signature gift…  Thank you so much for making these, they are so thoughtful and beautiful!  I wish you much success!” JT Interiors, Potomac, MD


“I stopped in a few days before Valentine’s Day and purchased one of your Prayer Bowl’s as a Valentine’s Day present for my wife.  While I knew she’d like it I was shocked by just how much she loved it!  So much so that she posted it as one her favorite gifts on her Facebook page yesterday and most of her friends have been inquiring where I purchased it.” – Dan Kubanet, Tampa, FL (Retail Location: Occasions)


Prayer & Vocational Calling

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. | Romans 12:4-8 |

The word vocation elicits a few ideas in the mind – ideas of work, careers, talents, successes, etc. However, it is interesting to note that the Christian perspective defines the word vocation as what we are to be and do in the world and in the church.

Our personal vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. This could mean a multitude of things – our roles in our families, our age, our personalities, our interests, our fears, the list goes on and on. To discern our vocations, it is important that we are making every effort to be still in prayer, and listen to the Lord and how He is working in our lives. To discern our purpose in the world and in the church, knowing God must be at the center of our time. We must be fixed on the Lord to distinguish what is true and what is not. There are so many distractions to discerning our vocations – money, security, pride, and ambition are just a few of thousands. But the more we are in prayer, the easier it is to hear God’s voice concerning our vocations.

A common misconception with vocations is when they are interpreted to be equivalent to our careers. This is not the case. Our vocations can be lived out in different roles and in different seasons. For example, your purpose in the world and in the church as a child is not the same as your purpose as a teenager or as an adult. Age is not the only factor that separates vocations from careers. Every person plays a multitude of roles in their life – a son or daughter, a parent, a neighbor, a coworker. Your vocational calling covers all the bases of the roles in your life, it is the underlying basis of your behavior in each of these roles.

In addition to prayer, it is also important to know yourself when discerning vocation. The Bible reads in Romans 12 that our talents, passions, and spiritual gifts are strong indicators of our vocational callings. It is also important to pay attention to opportunities that come our way – reoccurring themes in our lives, opened doors, etc. Community input is also a necessity to discerning vocational calling. After all, fellowship exists for reasons like this – honest input from people in your life who point you toward the Lord.

Waiting on discernment from the Lord is not an easy thing to do, and that is why it is so important to be actively engaged in prayer and to constantly look toward Him for guidance.