Thursday, July 16, 2015

Prayer

For our #wholemama linkup this week we are talking about prayer. A simple definition might be just talking to God, but I believe prayer is much more than that. For as long as I can remember prayer has been important to me. In the past I have journaled some of my prayers, and recently I have taken that up again.




My desire to pray more regularly has grown stronger through the years. The ecourse on prayer that Jamie Bagley led earlier this year was very helpful, and I would like to put together an ebook with the prayers I wrote at that time. I have good intentions to pause periodically during the day to pray, but I often forget or let other things steal my time. It's a work in progress.


Monday evening after I read and commented on a few blog posts, I had intended to go upstairs to spend time in prayer before bed. I thought I'd play a little Spider Solitaire first as a break. Well, over half an hour later, after much yawning and playing #onemoregame to try to win, I finally stopped. By that time I was really sleepy, but I did grab my prayer journal to write in as I sat in bed and prayed. Here is a portion of that prayer:

I want to always be in prayer, able to communicate
with God at any time, to pray as I go about the day.
Please help me to recognize the ordinary moments and
realize that my prayer can be said out loud, or thought,
or written, or even through various types of art without
words. Lord, draw me close to You and enable me to be
aware of how I can pray throughout the day. Help me
to desire You and to know You better and love you more.
Help me to always find my peace in You. Thank you, Lord,
that You hear and answer prayer. Please help me to trust
and love You more, to love myself and my family, and to
reach out to others and love them, too. I love you, Lord.



(photography by gayl)

When I woke up the next morning I was thinking about what to write for the #wholemama blog post. I wanted it to be real, authentic and personal so others could relate. I sat down in my chair by the window and thanked God for the sunshine of the morning. I continued...


Things look brighter with the sunshine. I pray that my life
would bring sunshine and brighten the days of those around
me. I am only one person and I am not always the strong one
or the happy one, but even through my weakness You can
demonstrate your power. May I be a willing vessel. 
I want my life to honor You, God. Forgive me when I fail.
Give me joy and peace that I might share with others.


After having breakfast I went outside hoping to find some inspiration as I took photos, walked and prayed. I came across a large crack in the driveway where several different kinds of plants were growing. I marveled and thanked God for the variety right in that small area.


(photography by gayl)

I continued walking down the driveway thinking about prayer, still looking for inspiration. I noticed the proliferation of all the greenery everywhere, and I wondered about what purpose there was for all the growth. Then I thought about how the weeds take over when left to themselves along with lots of rain and sunshine. Even the helpful plants spread out everywhere when they are not given attention. Still I am thankful for the growth and the harvest we have received.


(photography by gayl)

At the start of my walk there was a nice breeze making it pleasant in the shade. It was getting quite warm in the sun, so I trudged back up the driveway thinking it might be cooler on the porch. Sitting on the swing I continued thinking about prayer, still wondering how to coherently put my thoughts together.


(photography by gayl)

One thing I have learned is that you cannot force yourself to feel a connection to God.


You can try to do all the right things you've been told regarding how to pray, but there really is no perfect formula. I may not always feel God's presence but I pray because I need to.


God wants me to pray and in the Bible we are told to “pray without ceasing.” I've wondered what that really looks like. Obviously we can't go find a quiet place and stay there all the time praying constantly. No one is able to do that.


What exactly does "pray without ceasing" look like?


I like to think of it as having an open line of communication with God. He is always with me so I should be able to talk with Him any time. We can have a conversation with Him no matter where we are.


I mentioned earlier that I was wondering how to coherently put my thoughts together. Maybe I don't really need to. When we come to God in prayer it need not be in a nice little package. We might have random thoughts just as I did while wandering around outdoors.  


When the words don't come readily and we're not sure how to pray, the Holy Spirit can make sense of it for us. We may express our feelings through art or music or some other form, but I believe God sees and understands. 


(photography by gayl)

What about you? What does prayer mean to you? Do you have creative ways to find time for prayer?

Join us at #wholemama to read what others have to say. You'll also find an encouraging video of Esther Emery and Sarah Bessey talking about the "holiness of our days."


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