Luke 5:15-16 (Luke 5:16 is probably my second most favorite scripture, maybe even my favorite now in life!)
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Is it not EVERYTHING!?! It is! I love it so much and I think of it often.
Food for thought:
Prayer is always a battle between two kingdoms. When you say “I pray for you,” you are saying, “I go to war for you.”
When I am in a painting space, whether my family is home or not, I put on music and I go to that place. Since I have given that to God and I waited on God in that aspect I feel like it flows from God now. Sometimes it is a direct message, a feeling, or just a painting that I know God sent – but it is my prayer language, my expression of and conversation with Him (all the work He has done, is doing and will do.) Art is my quiet lonely prayer place, my sanctuary in the din of life – that is true, but my life is a prayer. I am constantly, in my worst moments and in my best moments, connected. In that way I am able to “put a pin in it” and keep it in prayer, whatever it may be. The moment it is time, time to pray it once and for all, time to put it in God’s hands and KNOW that I am taking my hands off, when that moment hits I pray – draw, paint, write, sing, type, cry out – however I am moved to pray and then I let it go. If my mind is tempted to pick it up again I do so only in thanks that it is already done.
It’s a stark contrast from how I used to relate to God and my prayer life. I used to bookend my prayers with, like, a “let’s do this” blanking of the mind. I was scared to death He would see my uncontrollable thoughts and I tried futilely to hide myself, my innermost self, from my Father. I prayed in fear and longing and from a place of certain disappointment – who was I to even come to Him, to bother Him, to assume He would listen to me. What if in that one off moment I caught His attention and I used the wrong words, I was too informal or – worse – I was distracted as I tended to be.
Who was I? Who am I? WHO AM I? I will tell you who I am and I will use the words of Jesus Christ, my savior, to do it. Luke 11:2 “He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.” I am His child, His daughter, His creation, His joy and His love! When Jesus spoke to them, He speaks to us – we have that relationship, that right to call on our life giver, our God.
Now, I pray from a place of yes. Yes – it is done. Yes – He does have this. Yes – I am covered by the blood. I pray from a place of your prayer may not look like mine. My prayer may not sound like yours. This is my spirit and God’s language with me, this is my way and my exchange. Maybe your prayer sounds and looks like your neighbors, but it doesn’t HAVE to.
Just on a side note: over a year ago I began to service my church’s prayer email and I had to write out prayers. this task made me highly uncomfortable at first. I felt, though I had come to grasp my intimate relationship with God and our prayer time had evolved organically and was comfortable, again like I might fail. I spent a lot of time in prayer over that and one day I found myself having to write for a friend. I sat down, spoke to God from my heart about not feeling like I was good enough for the task and I was open. He answered with that first prayer. Every time I was called on to pray in that medium I got more comfortable with the forum and will letting God walk me through it. A time came when I was in the hospital and my friends family was there. When they realized that I was the girl who was sending the prayer emails they asked that I pray with them. I wish I could say that I just did, that it was easy. In reality I declined and agreed to pray silently. After I prayer they asked me again to pray, they even said “out loud” and their eyes begged. So, I did. It was uncomfortable at first but God moved in that moment. I realized that working the email was not just a service to my church, but it was growing me. (Life is so that way, you get what you need when you help others.) Since then I have certain formula the “organized” prayers seem to naturally follow and I will share it here:
- I call out to Him, by whichever name seems, feels or is said to be suitable.
- I give thanks and acknowledge His greatness.
- The meat of the prayer, the details if I have them. Not because He needs them, but for me to pour them out of my heart, off of my mind – all out for Him.
- I give thanks for the fact that this and all things were handled before I even prayer and that we are already provided for.
- A closing.