Val just turned in her book on prayer (releasing Fall 2021!), so today, we’re grateful to share some words with you from guest, Dr. Nora.
I grew up in a Christian church and always knew about the importance of prayer. I went through different stages of my prayer life, from not knowing how to pray, to feeling more confident about praying and even praying aloud. However, with the chaos of everyday life, I would be tired and pray for whatever I could remember when I was tired at night. I did not have intentional prayers, they were basic and superficial prayers.
Then in November of 2019, I saw an IG post on the VMP Prayer Journal. I remember looking at the picture as my curiosity grew. The beautiful coil and aesthetics caught my attention first, but the prompts really made me realize how much I was excluding from my prayers. I proceeded to visit the online shop to see pictures and read the product description. I realized that this was a very intentional tool that could provide not only the prayer guidance I needed, but I would be able to reflect and document different areas of life I could pray for. I felt a spark of hope because I wanted to be held accountable for praying for others. I did some research to learn more. First, I watched videos made by Val and realized there were so many other products and a whole community.
I was completely blown away with everything and purchased my spiral prayer journal to start in January of 2020. In the meantime, I joined the VMP Society, read Val’s books, and started Fresh Start for Moms. My heart felt so full because I not only found literature that spoke to my heart, but it was practical. I started to see motherhood differently and brainstormed in a notebook what I would write in my prayer journal when it would arrive. By the time my prayer journal arrived, I was ready to start the year.
Since I have started my prayer journal, I have been on the best prayer journey ever. I have felt more equipped to steward my children, and I am much more organized and intentional with my prayer life. I know what and who I am praying for. I have a place to write down who to pray for without forgetting. I am able to keep track of answered prayers and I know that prayer can happen at any moment as long as I keep the Lord on my mind. I feel so much more appreciative and grateful for the prayers that have been answered and my faith grows as I continue to pray and get closer to the Lord. It has helped me to calm my anxiety, come to Him first and lay it all down at His feet. Surrendering myself to the Lord has been the most humbling yet powerful experience I have ever had.
I always keep my prayer journal on my desk where I work, so I can visually see it for little prayers throughout the day. I do some pre-writing before the month begins and then I pray for one page per day. Throughout the month, I add loved ones to pray for and I love to make it a living document that is not finalized. Instead, it’s open for additions, and constant reflection.
On January 30th I had the miracle baby that I had been praying for, for four years. During that month, and the months afterward, I was strengthened by the Lord to have faith in Him and keep a “steady hand” as I went into labor and subsequently took care of my newborn. I am so blessed to have my prayer journal to help me get closer to the Lord as I aspire to walk with Him. I can honestly confirm that prayer changes people and miracles can come true. I really feel like the Lord picked this time for me to get closer to Him during this very challenging season that we are all facing.
Nora is a daughter of God, wife, and mother of three. She was born into a Christian family who always put God first. Her grandmother was her prayer warrior example who taught her how prayer should be part of everyday life. Nora was born in Nicaragua but moved to the United States at the age of four. She is fluent in English and Spanish and pursued all her education in English literature until she obtained her doctoral degree. She is currently teaching college English courses and is very active in mentoring Latin students obtain a college degree. She enjoys family strolls, a nice cup of tea, beautiful stationery and getting organized with her planners. Her VMP prayer journal has been very instrumental to establish rhythms in her daily faith walk with the Lord. You can find her @dr_alvaplans on IG where she helps other women and mothers who are academic moms stay organized as they juggle motherhood.