Prayer can be rich when it's simple and spontaneous. In fact, we can pray
anywhere, at any time. It doesn't require lofty language in a sacred space. All
we need to do is see our ordinary moments as the perfect occasions for
communicating with God, then speak from our heart.
Take a few minutes to explore this gallery for some plain and simple ways to
pray your way through an ordinary day
While driving to work, to school,
or chauffeuring your kids, use familiar landmarks to remind you to thank God,
ask God, seek God, and listen to God
God loves the delightful things he
has created; and when we enjoy them, he enjoys them with and through us. Savor
it; as the Bible says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good!"
God loves animals even more than
we do. In fact, our relationship with them in many ways mirrors our
relationship with God. As we are with the creatures under our care, so God is
with us. Thank him for your pet, and that you can trust God as they trust you.
Use pictures as an opportunity to
thank God for the precious people in your life. Ask for God's blessing on them
to fulfill their destinies. Ask God to heal relationship rifts, and to help you
heal from the grief of loved ones lost.
As you tend to your cleaning
responsibilities, ask God to tend to his by cleaning out your heart of anything
that would compromise His blessed best.
Our words create things and tear
things down. Pray that your words today would honor God, and that the things
you say might cooperate with what God wants to accomplish in your corner of the
God loves music: it's all over the
Bible. Happy songs, sad songs, love songs, and cause songs all reflect
aspects of God's heart. Sing your prayer as a celebration, an appeal, a
complaint, a yearning or hope expressed to God.
The scriptures are our precedent
for living, and what was true thousands of years ago remains true and relevant
today. When you echo ancient words you connect with the wider human experience
and with our never-changing God. Pick a passage like Psalm 23 or Romans 8 and
read it slowly. Your words make it a prayer – a familiar prayer – to God.
Creation is a window into God's
heart. In the woods, by the sea, beside a stream, or in a garden we find
aspects of God's nature reflected to us in tangible ways. As you walk, talk
with God about what you see; then listen. God will respond!
We are small and seemingly
insignificant in this vast universe. Yet praying as we look out across the
galaxies gives God a chance to show us how special, powerful, and specific his
love can be. On a dark night, share with God your "biggest
challenges." In that context, God will grant you peace that he is big
enough to care for you!
In fact, pray loud! There's a
great tradition of speaking up – even shouting – to God. Try it. Go off somewhere
where no one – no one else but God – can hear you. Speak aloud to God. Let your
words ring out so that you can hear them. If you're really bold, give a shout
of the things welling up in your heart. The Bible says it: "Shout to the
Having someone to pray with is a
powerful spiritual principle. God cares about relationships and honors in a
special way the agreement of his children. Share your private concerns
confidentially with a friend, then together take those concerns to God. In the
comfort of two will come the power of three!
God cares about the world and the
pain and suffering affecting all people. Learning the news may make you want to
wring your hands, but answer that instinct by leveraging the opportunity to ask
for God's intervention in the specific crises at hand.
Use the rhythms and cadence to
prompt prayer routines and patterns. With every other step on a walk, for
instance, recount the name of a friend who needs prayer, or a gift your
thankful for, or a fear you need to release. Pushing your body creates a
parallel for pushing your soul.
Our days are filled with rushed
activity. Finding a few moments to sit still can be a great catalyst for prayer.
Try sitting still and being silent, allowing your thoughts to move toward God.
The Bible says, "In quietness and trust is your strength." In
quietness you express a healthy passivity, releasing activity to God, inviting
Fasting can be a great spiritual
discipline to help us focus on prayer, but feasts can help us pray as well. There's
a long tradition of feasts and worship. Use either an ordinary meal or a
special occasion to create a kind of edible prayer, perhaps saying, "Lord,
we eat this in your honor..."
Every day is designated with some
special meaning. Check an almanac to find what today recognizes, then use that
as a platform for prayer. Perhaps today is the birthday of someone you know or
the anniversary of an important event. Use any of these remembrances to focus
and prompt your prayer for the day.
Whether through a journal, a
hand-written letter, an email, a "Tweet" or blog post, or a card
given to a friend, putting prayer into written words is a powerful, ancient –
and enduring – practice. Write your prayers, then over time go back and review
what you've written and consider how God has responded over time.
God can handle our feelings. The
stories of great souls always include accounts of their emotional connection
with God. We are passionate creatures and God welcomes our anger, sorrow,
frustration, fear, and celebration. In fact, he wants it! We're to love God
with all our heart. God can handle your emotions. Use them as a booster rocket
for prayer. Laugh out a prayer. Weep out a prayer. Connecting with God at this
level is the very best place to find
"Triggers" are memory
tools that help direct our minds. We can strategically help our prayer
practices by placing triggers in our day to remind us to pray in the middle of
our ordinary activity. A Post It on your bathroom mirror, an hourly alarm on
your watch, a small stone carried in your front pocket, it can be anything. Get
creative and deliberate to place these hallmarks along the regular paths you
walk. God will meet you there.
God is down to earth, here and
now. He comes to meet us, where we live, to prepare us to meet him, where he
lives. Communicate with him now, simply, directly, personally.
“I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord” But is this
it? Is our dream to walk with the Lord? Probably not. But maybe, just maybe,
God is telling us in this poem that it should be. That our heart’s desire
should first be Him and we should desire His presence by our side. Why is this,
because He’s God who wants to come first in our lives for the sake of it? No.
It’s because He knows we need Him. He wants us to know it too.
“Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to
me, and the other to the Lord” These are the good times. Things are going
well, sometimes really well. These are the most special moments of our lives,
times we feel close God, the birth of our child, the promotion at work, the news
that we don’t have cancer, times when we know God is there and we don’t
hesitate to thank Him.
When the last scene of my life flashed before
me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times
along the path of my life there was only ONE set of footprints. I also noticed
that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of my life”. This is
where we feel God’s absence in our lives. Times are tough and we call out to
Him but the silence is too loud. We feel alone, abandoned, overwhelmed and yes
angry that God would decide to split now of all times.
“This really bothered me and so I questioned
the Lord about it: Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk
with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times
in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I
needed you most, you would leave me.” Here, some of that anger comes out.
The author assumes the prints belong to her, and she carried the burden alone
and now questions God. What I love most is that God doesn’t seem to be the
least bit bothered by the fact she is angry with Him or questioning Him. He
understands her doubts and answers them.
The Lord replied: “My child, my precious child. I love you and I would
never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only
one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you” Here is where the
truth comes out. Our walk with the Lord always breeds truth and the truth sets
us free. He carries us. He holds us. His Love is not dependent on whether we
love Him back. He allows these trials but doesn’t abandon us during them.
Suffering is a mystery but it’s also Holy. He is there. He always has been. We
must, however, believe this. Everything that contradicts this is just a
feeling, not faith.
This poem also shatters our pride.
This is where the healing finally occurs! Sometimes we may feel that we have
gotten through a struggle on our own, that when we overcome adversity it’s
because we fought hard, we worked hard, we suffered through it and we tend to
pat ourselves on the back for being a strong person and having overcome it all
by yourself. They Lord most tenderly and lovingly says to us here... “no you
didn’t”. We got through it because the Lord held us up. He didn’t let us drown,
in fact in this poem, He doesn’t even let the waters touch our feet. He carried
us through it all.
We all wish to be carried at
times, to be taken care of, to give it to someone else to handle. Great news!
We have someone who wants to do just that!