So, I think at times we do things out of habit that for some people might seem very interesting, however; to us, it is just part of a routine we’ve incorporated into our daily lives. As I get to know my friends and family more, parts of who they are spiritually are revealed to me that I am able to learn from and admire. For me, this is true as it pertains to prayer.
In spending time with friends through prayer, I’m able to see how some friends choose to kneel and pray. I remember seeing this image in movies that include a scene of someone praying all by themselves in a large cathedral. I am also able to recall services where the entire congregation knelt to pray all together. I remember how powerful it felt as the whole church chose to be unified and maintain the same physical posture out of reverence for God while bringing their request before his throne. It’s inspiring when I find out that there are friends in my life who still continue this practice.
One of my very first quiet times as a newlywed wife was on 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18. We are told to pray continually or without ceasing. The words without ceasing help me have an understanding of the importance of prayer being at the center of my journey with Christ. I feel like there is a certain urgency God’s word is telling me I need to have about praying in every situation and really even every moment possible. I think that that it is so important to remember this when our lives get super hectic and busy or when we are in the grind of trying to get mundane everyday tasks
completed. One mom and wife shared with me that some of her best prayers are over the kitchen sink. Yes, let’s not forget to pray while folding laundry, mopping the floor, and cleaning that nasty toilet. God has been so gracious in using even my rushed prayers driving to work to help slow me down and steady my heart as I get ready to serve my students throughout the day. Right before a performance or in the middle of rehearsal with all the loud music and my adrenaline rushing, I will say a quick prayer. In the middle of the night when my head is spinning prayer has a way of focusing my heart and mind back on Christ.
In communicating with friends and family about this topic of the posture of prayer, it is interesting to hear what position they generally choose to get into physically before praying. Some choose to be cross-legged or in child’s pose. These positions resonate with me because when I take yoga these poses are often used in my classes. I started using my Shavasana as a time to pray. Hearing about how others pray in poses traditionally used in yoga inspires me to use more of my times of stillness in different yoga poses as times of prayer. I am definitely encouraged to find more ways to use my yoga practice as a time of prayer to speak to and hear from God.
These days I find myself going on prayer walks and occasionally even a prayer jog. Having God’s majestic yet serene nature surrounding me reassures me that I am in his presence, and it's in his presence where I feel safest to say everything how I feel it! It’s in that moment that I have some of my longest conversations with God, and end up running a bit longer too.
Ephesians 6:18 also emphasizes that prayer should take place at all times or on all occasions. When I think about my prayer life, I feel that God is asking that he has all of my heart at all times. The most important part of my prayer life isn’t what physical position I assume as I pray. I have to continually ask God to subdue my heart so that it is surrendered in a posture of humility. As I plead with God and share how I see things and think they should be different, I need to stop and also pray Psalm 139:23-24 which says “Search me God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Having a heart posture of humility allows me to be surrendered to experiencing the journey God wants to take me on which in the end has such sweet and irreplaceable lessons that I would only be able to truly understand and appreciate as I’ve spent time casting my cares on him.
We can look at the relationship Jesus had with his heavenly Father as an example of how we can deepen our communication with God. Prayer walks are something I've incorporated into my times with God. Recently those times have been quite raw and I've been finding myself needing to step away from my daily responsibilities more often to go on prayer walks to talk to and hear from the Lord. "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" Luke 5: 16. When looking at Jesus and his heart before God during the most vulnerable time in his life in the garden of Gethsemane, we can see how Jesus was totally honest with God as he wrestled emotionally with his assignment to be sacrificed on the cross. Jesus was able to be completely honest with God while still having a heart of humility.
God understands our humanity. We don't have to wait for our hearts to be humble enough to come before our heavenly Father. God is able to meet us where we are and help us get where we need to be. So absolutely, I strive to have a heart of humility while praying, so that I am at peace with whatever verdict God gives me on the situations in my life. This is why I pray Psalm 139: 23-24 daily. I also have to reassure myself that when I choose to go to God in prayer, I am acknowledging that I am less than the almighty God who is all powerful, and that takes humility to admit. Even though my heart is imperfect as I pray, God's grace and love are able to cover a multitude of my sins and hear my cry.
In my YouTube video titled "Equipped with Everything," I mentioned how we can say it how we feel it because God can handle it! I designed a t-shirt that says this in hopes to spread the message that God wants us to come to him with all our emotions. You can take a look at that t-shirt as well as the other shirts I've designed in the store of this website 😊 God can handle all our worries, fears, pain, meltdowns, temper tantrums, rage, doubts, burdens, the points at which we start to feel numb after enduring long seasons of suffering, sadness, depression, pride, and sin. God isn't going to censor, silence, or cancel us for saying exactly what is on our mind and heart. God just wants our heart ❤ Please share this blog encouraging others to communicate their whole heart to the one true God, who has all power.