CE@TUMC 1/13

They made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept. –Song of Solomon 1:6

Macbeth pray bookFor most of my life I found that it was much easier to not pray. I was way too busy. And, to be honest, things were going pretty well without it. Did I really need to pray?

Occasionally I set my alarm to wake up early and pray. More often than not I hit the snooze button and drift back to sleep mumbling, “Thanks, God, for this warm bed.” Is that praying?

Prayer is the way we spend time with God. People often describe prayer as conversation with God. Conversation includes both talking and listening. And that means WORDS.

Most of my days are overflowing with words at work (Please, God, help me make this deadline!), words with family (Please, God give me patience!) and other commitments. When night comes, my body is tired and my mind is dull. I don’t have many words left for conversation with anyone. Confessing my sins and praising God sound exhausting. (And, I might be a little embarrassed if I blew off God earlier that morning.) The best I can muster is, “Sorry, God. I’ll catch you tomorrow. Please keep my family safe tonight. Amen.” Is THAT praying?

Sybil MacBeth writes, “Our WORDS make great prayers. But WORDS don’t always seem to be there when we need them most. They are sneaky. WORDS play hide and seek. Just when we’re searching for the ones we want, they go missing like socks under the bed. On some days, ‘Thank you,’ ‘Help,’ ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘Please’ are the only prayer words we can find…But what do you DO, if you’re not using words? How do you pray for yourself or other people without words? How do you hear ‘the still small voice’ or the ‘gentle whisper’ of God?” (Praying in Color Kids’ Edition, Paraclete Press, 2012)

In her book and CD Ms. MacBeth demonstrates that really, all we need to pray are doodles and names for God. The children will be learning the simple technique of “praying in color”on January 13th at the Second Sunday Special. Adults are welcome to join us.

In her book Praying in the Messiness of Life Linda Douty suggests the following:

Breath Prayers – while breathing in say: “God of Wisdom” while breathing out: “Be my Guide.” Or, God of Comfort…calm my spirit. I trust you, Lord…and all is well.

Walking Prayers – with each step repeat: “Love, Joy and Peace are mine.”

I like to recite the Jesus Prayer, as a Breath or Walking Prayer like this:

Breathe in: Jesus Christ, Out: Son of God, In: Have mercy on me, Out: a sinner.

Busy parents and multi-taskers, rejoice! Praying can be as easy as doodling. It is as natural as breathing and walking. We are made to pray. Let us pray.


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