PRAYER IS A POWERFUL CONNECTION TO GOD
A simple definition might be just talking to God, but I believe it is much more than that. Prayer is a powerful connection to our awesome God. For as long as I can remember prayer has been important to me. In the past I have journaled some of my prayers, and that has been helpful. Nowadays I often write a haiku prayer in my daily devotional journal as I read the Psalms. Occasionally I will write a longer prayer in a journal.
My desire to pray more regularly has grown stronger through the years. An e-course on prayer that Jamie Bagley led a few years ago was very helpful. I would like to eventually publish a book with some of the prayers and poems I have written with the goal of encouraging others.
In my previous post I shared how I have good intentions to pause periodically during the day to pray. It really is a work in progress as my relationship with Christ deepens through reading the Bible and learning to trust Him more and more.
HOW DISTRACTIONS CAN USE UP OUR PRAYER TIME
One 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 pretty 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, thought, 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. Amen.
WRITING ABOUT PRAYER
When I woke up the next morning I was thinking about what to write for a blog post on prayer. 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. Then I continued in my journal…
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 am not always the strong or the happy one.
Yet 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.
MY WALK CONTINUES
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 what purpose there was for so much 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.
At the start of my walk there was a nice breeze making it pleasant in the shade, but in the sun, it was getting quite warm. I trudged back up the driveway thinking it might be cooler on the porch.
NO PERFECT FORMULA FOR HOW WE PRAY
Sitting on the swing I continued thinking about prayer, still wondering how to coherently put my thoughts together.
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 about 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. Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, God has instructed us in the Bible to pray without ceasing. Obviously, we can’t go find a quiet place and stay there all the time praying constantly. But there are many ways to commune with God throughout the day, as I shared in that post.
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. No matter what form it takes, prayer is a powerful connection to our awesome God.
For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.Romans 8:26b NKJV
*Portions of this post were previously published on my former blog.