Getting Started Made Simple

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Photo Credit: John Ramsey Moss

But, how do I start my MPC? Where do I begin?  

In the four years I have owned my Mother’s Prayer Companion, I have personally gifted it to more than a dozen friends. I have shared my testimony of how it has transformed my life with dozens more. And for the past year, I have passionately worked to spread the MPC’s mission of empowering mamas to pray for their families. I am continually in awe of all the women I’ve encountered who have grabbed a hold of this mission and are so deeply committed to being a prayer warrior for their families.

Along the way of this exciting MPC journey, I continue to meet women who own the MPC and want to be more intentional in their prayer life. Yet there seems to be one question I hear more than any other: How do I do this?

This recurring question from so many of you, our fellow prayer companions, has caused me to pause. In our previous blogs, we’ve shared so much of our why with you, but this week we’re shifting our focus. Basically, I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled blog to bring you a “How to” blog instead.  In this week’s blog, I’d like to share three simple steps to get you started on your journey with the MPC.

The truth is there are countless ways to use your MPC to pray more intentionally for your family. I’m constantly inspired and encouraged to implement a new idea or “way” to pray with my MPC through the beautiful stories of other moms. For the sake of time today, I’m going to share three steps I’ve taken that have enhanced my own experience of praying with the MPC. My way most certainly doesn’t have to become your way. My hope is that after you read this blog, you too will be inspired and encouraged to dive in and get started! Maybe you’re opening a brand new MPC you’ve recently purchased, or maybe you’re finally picking up that book that has sat unused on the shelf for months.

Your walk praying with the MPC will look differently than mine, and that’s exactly how it should be. The MPC is meant for you to personalize and make your own, and to give you space to be authentically you.  

Step 1: The first step might seem pretty simple - because it’s to simply open it. Ha! Pull that beautiful binder off the shelf, or take it out of the drawer - and open it up. Touch the pages, skim through the prayers, study the flow. Get to know your prayer companion.

I also highly encourage you to watch the MPC 101 Videos as part of this first step. These videos were designed for you. They were created to feel like you are sitting with the creator and author of the MPC, Jenny Klement, as she unfolds the beauty of this journal. Her messages are so authentic and powerful, yet simple and practical at the same time. Jenny explains how the MPC came to be and the inspiration behind its creation. I invite you to set aside seven minutes for yourself every day for the next week to learn about your MPC.

Step 2: The second step to successfully dive into your book is to free yourself! Begin by telling yourself there is no wrong way to pray. Free yourself from the fear of failure. Free yourself from the lie that maybe somehow you’re doing this wrong. In my life, when perfectionism strikes, it often leaves me paralyzed. And instead of choosing to do something, I end up do nothing as a result of my own fear of failure. I have heard so many women comment on how “pretty” the book is, how they don’t want to “mess it up”, or “make a mistake”. The process of filling out the book feels so daunting for these women, that most of them tuck their copy away for another time when they can “do it right”.

Ladies, please be encouraged and know that there is no right way, because there is no wrong way.

When you free yourself from the lie of “messing up”, then you open yourself to the Holy Spirit and the true gift of praying with the MPC. It’s not about having it filled out completely or perfectly. It’s simply about starting somewhere. There is something so powerful about just writing the names of your loved ones are on their pages. You can print pictures straight from your computer - no need to have them done in a photo center. It’s these little things, that once you’ve done them, will help you feel ready to begin.

Step 3: The third step to getting into your MPC is to just start praying. I personally pray whenever and wherever I can. A friend reminded me that as moms we have to pray in the nooks and crannies of our day. Since I’m a mother of four young children, sometimes I pray it in the evening before I fall asleep. Other times I pray with it sitting in my prayer chair alongside my Bible and other spiritual readings. There are other times I grab my MPC before running errands, and I pray with it while I’m waiting in a carline or in a doctor’s office.

You can make this experience of praying intentionally for your family all your own. When I sit down to pray with my MPC, I ask God to show me who He wants me to pray for at that moment. Other times, I know exactly who I need to pray for, and most often, I am praying for myself.

Lord, grant my husband a new wife and let it be me. And depending on the day I’m having, I sometimes have to pray, Lord, grant my children a new mother and let it be me.

For other moms, their quiet time with their MPC looks completely different from mine. Sometimes they read through all the prayer pages in one sitting. Others only read one prayer page and focus their time on praying for just one person in their family. It’s important to note here that while the MPC is often referred to as a journal, you do not need to be “journaling” in it each time you open it up. You’re often not writing anything down at all--you’re just reading, reflecting and praying.

Each year I buy a set of inserts and replenish the pages of my MPC. I save the older ones in another binder, and then fill new pages out for each member of my family and for myself. I choose to do this around the start of a new school year, but it could also be done during a family summer vacation or before the start of a new calendar year. So in my world, I’m only journaling in my MPC about once a year. Often new intentions arise and I might pencil them in here or there, but for the most part when I go to “get in my book” I’m just opening it up to one prayer page and praying that specific page. But here again, other moms I know write in their MPC all the time.

Remember, there is not a wrong way to pray, especially if that prayer includes the MPC. The MPC was created to empower you to roll up your sleeves and pray on your knees and fight for your families. It was meant to deepen your relationship with God your Father, to open your eyes to the unique gifts He has given you in each one of your family members, and to offer you a sacred place to pour out your heart to Him for their needs. As you open that book, you are opening up a new place for Him to come and dwell.

And that’s it, friends. I pray these little nuggets I’ve shared are useful to you as you embark upon (or continue along) your MPC journey.  I pray these three simple steps will lead you to a much richer and freer experience within the pages of your MPC. I encourage you to get started today! First, get to know your book. Second, free yourself from making a mistake. Finally, find a way, find your way, to just pray it.

God is calling you deeper, and I’m so thankful you have found yourself here. Know that as a ministry we are praying for you daily--I am praying for you. God is transforming so many lives through the gift of moms praying the MPC, and we know He wants to transform yours too!  

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

Stef Blackwell

Stef Blackwell and her husband are raising their four kids and living the dream deep in the heart of suburbia, Flower Mound, TX. She’s a raging choleric and high functioning introvert, which some have said is impossible. But alas, here she lives to tell her tale. Her greatest strength is bossing people around; her greatest weakness is she bosses people around - and Jesus loves her just the way she is - today. She looks for the one mama who is standing alone and strives to bring them into the fold. God has given her a passion for marriage, motherhood, and living missionally.