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PRAYING IN OUR CURRENT CRISIS pt. 2

2. Prayer Walking – Especially in this isolating time with people staying indoors more it is important to get some fresh air and exercise while maintaining social distance so we don’t spread infection. Your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being need to get out. The weather has finally gotten better so get out and get that blood pumping! Take a walk, jog, inline skate, run or bike and pray while you do it. 

As you walk you can use your senses to lead you in prayer. What do you SEE? 

Are there children, families, pets, seniors, businesses, emergency personnel or institutions you can pray for? 

Can you pray for local businesses that are being hurt by the pandemic?

What do you HEAR? Even if you’re isolating you can hear things….traffic, birds singing, children playing, people arguing — all those things could prompt you in prayer.

There is no shortage of places and people that need prayer so look and listen, and let your prayers flow. [maybe not so much touch, taste or smell in this isolating infectious time]

But no hold on! Of course use your other senses.

SMELL – do you smell flowers growing and how could that prompt you to pray? Could be thankfulness for the beauty of creation, or the idea that you or others need to grow and blossom in the gifts God has given you. Or…..let God prompt you creatively in prayer

TOUCH – the texture on tree bark, the softness of a puppy (okay so we have a new pup named Oberon. He’s a Golden Retriever and he’s so soft!), the pain on an injury of yours or others, or the ache of chronic pain, the need to hold the hand of a loved one even as you isolate. There are so many options!

TASTE – comfort food, bitter dark chocolate, sweetness, saltiness, or the refreshing of a cool drink of water after you’ve walked along way on a hot day. Use the taste to propel you into prayer.

3. Pray While Doing Household Chores – Household tasks tend not to take a lot of attention so I find when I’m doing them is an ideal time to pray or meditate on scripture. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring people and things to mind that you can pray for. Wash dishes and meditate, vacuum and pray, work in your garden and memorize verses. You get chores done and you pray — I use this approach regularly and it can be very calming and centering for prayer. Even pick one particular chore that you could integrate prayer into and make that a regular part of your daily or weekly routine

4. Journal – You may have always wanted to journal but haven’t had time. Or maybe you’ve never wanted to journal but think you should give it a shot. [a lot of people dislike the idea of journaling] Go for it!

Start simple and don’t pressure yourself. You can keep it short. Give yourself simple goals like writing something in your journal once a day or only on weekdays or on the days that have a “Y” in them [caught ya, that’s everyday]. Basically you set a pattern that will challenge you but not make it an obstacle you know you’ll break against. 

What can you journal?

Start each day writing out what you love about God. and don’t just focus on things God has given you but on His attributes and character as well. It’s a written worship time. Starting with worship sets the tone for your journal and also centres you on Jesus. And it’s a great way to start journaling each day. If you think of The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus mandates our prayers to start with recognizing and honouring God – “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name”( Matthew 6:8-13 ). And there are so many ways to journal:

Write out what you did yesterday.

Write about how you’re feeling this morning or afternoon.

Read your Bible and write out a verse or 3 that stand out for you.

Write a prayer list and then go back to it to pray daily. As your days go on you an make notes of answers to prayer or adjustments to your prayers

Write a list of things you’re thankful for. It could be a short list or a long one depending on the day. But as with honouring God it sets us up for prayer that is not just about us. 

Journal conversationally with God. Prayer is a conversation and that works verbally or in writing. Leave space and listen for God to speak to you. Most often you’ll hear a still small voice that speaks what God wants you to hear. 

5. Pray With Music – Someone once said, “to sing is to pray twice”. (Allllllllright, extra credit!)  But seriously, music engages our imagination, our rhythm, our emotions and can deepen our prayer experience. 

You might object, “But that’s worship NOT prayer! “

Don’t let anyone’s ideas hold you back…

I believe that separation isn’t legitimate, certainly I don’t find it helpful. Prayer is communicating with God. We do that also in music so worship can easily be a part of prayer. For some people they commune with God better when music is involved. If that’s you or if it might be, then do it! Don’t let anyone’s ideas hold you back from trying to pray with music. 

You can use whatever style of music suits you or any artist that helps you connect with God. And if you can ever get the house to yourself you can crank it up loud if you like!

So, as we continue in our social isolation or as restrictions loosen, remember that God is still there. 

God wants to connect with you. 

Try something new in prayer. 

Give yourself a chance to commune with God in a fresh way. Could be the fresh conversation you’ve been waiting for.

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