The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
-- Matthew 6:9-13 The MSG --
That right there is the Lord's Prayer from The Message version. Read it again, if you would, please. Isn't it beautiful?
Last week it was the first two verses that whammied me upside the head and knocked me for a loop. I read them and walked away thinking to myself- Am I prayer-ignorant? Do I rely on formulas? Am I in a prayer rut? For a piece of a day, I allowed the devil to twist those verses and take a few pot shots at my prayer life. Then I stopped in my tracks and said an outloud, "Oh no, you don't!" And went off to a quiet place to talk with my Jesus.
I went to the laundry room.
I moved laundry from floor to washer, from washer to dryer and from dryer to folding in my hands to stacking in baskets.... and I talked with my Jesus. I told Him I was sorry for allowing the doubts to eat at me, for questioning my time with Him and thinking I needed to do something different. I felt like he was nudging me with a smile and saying, "Amy, if it isn't broke, don't fix it." Felt Him telling me to continue on with our communication and the prayer prompts that flow into mindful prayer times. That mommas who are prayer warriors aren't sitting in prayer closets all day long... that these mommas have seasons that they can't go to a weekly prayer meeting no matter how wonderful and important it is because what they are doing, saying and praying in the midst of folding laundry, sweeping floors, reciting times tables and administering spelling tests is very simply: enough.
"This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need."
Amen to that.
So I don't scrap the idea of the prayer journal but I don't let it become an albatross around my neck, one more thing I have to do in order to check it off my list. Instead, I carry it around with me and when I get a bit of a pocket of time.... I jot down a few things I'm praying for my children. I love to pray for my family as I fold their clothes, but it chops it up bad to pray and fold then write it down a bit then back to praying and folding. Ruins the rhythm that I am seeking so hard these days.
I pray breath prayers, arrow prayers, down on my knees to the ground prayers, I pray morning, noon and night prayers. I shout prayers in frustration. Whisper prayers in agony. Sing prayers in worship songs and laugh prayers in joy. I pray prayers of scripture and pray the common table prayer out loud with extended family. And at times, I prayer rote prayers when I don't have it in me to think. And still other times, I just sit in the quiet and simply be. Be quiet. Be with my Jesus. Practice being still in Him. That's prayerful too, I think.
And yet- I have times when I say to someone, "I'll pray about that for you." And I do not. Times when someone asks me to pray about something specific and I soon forget.
I fail much at this prayer warrior thing, so much so that I can't claim that title. I am often a prayer failure in my own mind. But I cannot forget how simple prayer can really be.
So though I may often fail at this prayer task, I will continue to keep on praying.
Linking to Walk With Him Wednesday with Ann