Monday, September 13, 2010

prayer triggers

Sara and I were visiting a small group this last Wednesday and during the "questions for the pastor" time that I usually encourage someone asked me to describe my prayer life. This is a great and difficult question to answer. Not difficult becasue I don't have plenty to share, but difficult in describing this on-going God conversation that I work at maintaining. It's like asking me how I love my wife. I hardly know where to begin - I could talk for hours (about Sara and prayer).

So I talked about my private prayer room attached to my church office that I've fixed up like a little chapel and the years of prayer journaling that I've done and how I try to begin a conversation with God and hold that awareness with him all day, and how I have many prayer books of prayers that I like to read, etc... Bottom line, I pray a lot and I am learning to pray all the time. But there was part of this prayer journey that I think is very helpful (especially for ADD personalities like myself). I constantly use visual or experiential triggers to pray. Here are some and what I pray when I see them...most are adaptations of Scriptures:

When I see the sun set or rise I say, "from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord shall be praised"

When I brush my teeth (and tongue) I pray, "may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight oh Lord."

When I notice how hard I'm breathing during a long run I pray, "Jesus take me home now" Just kidding, I pray, "As a deer pants for water so my soul pants for the living God"

When I see a bottle of wine, I pray "Thank you Lord for you shed blood for me on the cross and the communion of sitting at your table"

When I put on shoes, I pray "may my feet be fitted with the gospel of peace" or "how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news" and I ask for God to take me to places of good news.

I also have business cards with staff, elders and small group names on them and I use them to pray throughout the day.

When I get an e-mail the first thing I do is say a simple prayer for the person sending the message

When I watch cars file into church on Sunday mornings I pray for each family to be filled and blessed.

When my two boys were young we all carried crosses in our pockets and prayed for each other as we felt them during the day.

Well, I could go on, but part of my prayer life is simply finding every day things in my world that trigger my heart and mind toward Jesus. Are there any you'd like to share?


Anonymous said...

Thanks Pastor. I think that is a great blog to start off the week. Those are nice examples of everday ways to keep prayer in action throughout the entire day. The contrast of Darkenss & Light is referenced quite often in The Bible. An example I can share of my prayer practice is that each morning I rise & the sky begins to brighten slightly more every few minutes, I ask our Lord that just a bit of my darkness flees from me & a bit more of His Light enters my soul. My hope is that each day Jesus is adding more Grace into my soul, my relationship with him grows stronger each day and I'm able to go out for the day and share that much more of the Grace & Spirit. Thanks again for sharing your blog and for all that you let our Lord do through you at Eastview. We are all truly blessed to have you leading us. I'm inspired more and more each week.

Dawn said...

I've been a believer for a long, long time and have never seen this type of reminder.. thank you!

I have been in a drought for several months. Prayer has seemed like a one-sided conversation... only from God's side. I said the occasional "thank you" and a few one-sentence requests, but couldn't get farther. I definitely felt the Spirit prompting me here & there and was thankful that I could still recognize it. I absolutely know/knew that it was not God moving away from me, but that it was me stuck in a fog... but no longer!

Saturday I began to feel the fog lifting. Sunday I found tears rolling down my face during the first song, as I realized I really meant what I was singing. I was able to focus on the intent of the sermon instead of only hearing the words. Colossians 3 is my new focus, and

Thank you for these visual cues. I can't wait to find more! Colossians 3:1-4 in the NIV and the Message. I'll be working on setting my mind "on things above."

Michelle said...

We greatly appreciated you both coming to our group...loved the encouragement, fellowship, conviction and teaching! Thanks for giving us your time.

Mike Baker said...

thanks michelle, we love visiting with small groups and had a blast with you guys too. And then there was the pie! :-)