How many times do you start that prayer each day? How does it sound? How do you feel after? Do you pray at all?
I have been thinking a alot about prayer lately. Especially during my 10 day blogging break. I will tell you that I am a prayerer. Is that a word? I have trained myself over the years to pray first. Before questioning, planning and freaking out. Now I will be completely honest with you, I don’t always succeed. But I do try.
I mostly pray outloud. You probably could have guessed that about my bold approach to life. I need to say it out loud. I am a very verbal person. (since the womb if you ask my mom) Probably why I majored in Communication in college. I can talk. I can listen too! And I love to discern and think about things. But when I pray I just let it all hang out. It seems easier to just acknowledge the request, praise or concern out loud like I was even on the phone with God. I just dial him up without a phone in my hand.
It used to be a struggle for me to pray. I thought there was a formula or that someone could pray better for something than I could. Now I have had so much practice in my house and van that it just comes. I think that is because I spend time with God on all things. Good, bad and the ugly. I also trust Him. I know I can’t figure out things as well as He can. And there is no way that I understand some things that happen. But I have faith He knows. He wants me to have a relationship with Him that brings me closer to what He has in store for me.
Every once in a while I can be walking down the hallway by my daughter’s room and I hear her praying outloud. She doesn’t know I am near. She has learned she can talk to God when she needs to. Not just over a meal or at bedtimes. God is there for her no matter what she is doing, facing or thinking. I am so happy to pass on this habit to my kids. Even when they get all crazy I pray for them outloud. Often you can hear me in my house (especially over summer break) spout of, “I am praying for the peace of the Lord for all of you.” Yes they often stop what they are doing and I add and for me too. They laugh and tell me crazy thoughts about God laughing at us rough housing in our living room. It grounds us. It brings together the connection of our current lives with our heavenly father watching over us.
I know that I am thankful for Facebook for helping me pray more. I truly do want to pray for others but it is sometimes hard to know what for. To see a post on Facebook gives me direction on how I can pray for a friend and I want to encourage them by letting them know they aren’t alone. I know that when I have had harder times in the past that were pre-Facebook, I felt supported by few because there wasn’t an outlet to connect us. Then when my Mom had breast cancer two years ago, Facebook and her Caring Bridge page kept me going. I was her PR Manager. I got to share with others, which then sparked an ongoing conversation with many people and it really helped me feel God’s presence during a storm. She will tell you it gave this Type A, Get ‘er Done kind of girl some control and purpose. And she is right. If I was in prayer and it was shared by the many that followed her site and her ongoing battle it was helpful in my own processing.
If you aren’t praying because you think there is a “right way to do it”, please release that. God is already in your head and knows it all. Really ALL of it. Even the stuff (judgements, criticisms, failures, etc.) that you think you have hidden from everyone. He knows. Just speak. I once told a friend that praying should be like going to the faucet during the day. Really think about it how many times do you touch a faucet during the day. What if, really what if, every single time you touched your TAP that you prayed. Tapping into God starts out of deciding to spend more time with him. So next time you head to wash your hands, brush your teeth, wash a dish or prepare your food for a meal TAP into prayer.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Off to pray over my mountain of laundry for my family. One last note… I used to HATE folding laundry! But now as I fold I spend time in prayer for each of my family members and I am thankful for our blessings. Give it a try. Makes it go faster too!