Prayer is an interesting thing. It takes so many shapes and forms. I have proof.
Today I began reading my new devotional, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. She writes it as if Jesus is the one talking to the reader, not her, which makes sense when you learn that the book was born out of her listening to God. Sometime in her Christian walk, she realized that she was the one doing all the talking. So one day she just sat and listened, and she received a message from God. The book encompasses some of the messages that she has gotten. I was excited to start it.
However, I couldn’t really get into it today. My prayer seemed stale, and even though I read today’s piece over and over it wasn’t really sticking into my mind.
Part of my family went out walking even though it is gray and rainy, leaving me and my mom at home. Somehow we got to talking about my mom’s family. No big deal, right? Well, without going into detail, she has described her family as dysfunctional, and from what I know, it is. Talking about it can be somewhat emotional for my mom.
Just thinking about the lives some of her family members have led reduced her to tears. She went outside, and I got into the shower assuming the conversation was finished.
At the risk of sounding a little weird and new-age (or maybe just weird), praying in the shower can be really cool. There’s just something about being completely exposed while talking to the one who made you. You can hide nothing.
I tried to pray for my mom while I was in there, but just like this morning, the words were sort of stuck. So I used a modification of a technique I’ve never really used before. The technique is called Praying in Color — my church introduced me to it last year when we studied prayer during Lent. You write someone’s name on a piece of paper and then pray for them as you draw or color a design around it. It helps you focus while allowing you more freedom than words sometimes give you.
But you clearly can’t use paper in the shower. (Ew — soggy paper bits.) So I wrote my mom’s name in the condensation on the walls, drew a circle around it, and began writing. I wrote “peace•joy•love” all around my mom’s circle while visualizing the presence of God around her. Then I drew arrows pointing to the circle labeled “memories” and “sadness” or “pain” (I can’t remember exactly which, but it was along those lines). Finally I wrote a big “IMPENETRABLE” above the circle. The arrows stayed out and did not break into the circle.
Then I did another one for both of us. I wrote “Me and Mom” and drew a square around it, then labeled the four corners “patience,” “understanding,” “communication,” and “tolerance.”
I knew I had to erase them or they would show up when the next person showered, but I didn’t want to just wipe them out. So, feeling a little silly (I am a Baptist after all), I placed one hand on each of the drawing and said to God, “Though I erase these from the walls, I know they will not erase from your mind.” Then I wiped off all the condensation.