As one could imagine, if our quiet times are suffering due to the distractions of the digital age, it isn’t a stretch to assume that our prayer lives fall in the same category.
As I am pressing into these simple practices to settle my busy mind and encounter more peace and Presence during my daily time with God, I want to share another SIMPLE practice to center my prayer.
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
I find it quite endearing, actually, that Jesus’ disciples asked this question.
Note, they didn’t ask, “How do we heal? How do we teach? How do we recite the Torah?”
Nope. “Teach us to pray.”
Why this question? Well, Bible scholars have lots of ideas as to why, but I want to suggest something, too.
Look at Jesus instruction….
“But when you pray, go into your [most] private room and closing the door, pray to your Father who is in secret.” Matthew 6:6 Amplified
Jesus was so generous with His example to the disciples. He lived with them. Ate with them. Walked with them. Taught and healed followers in front of them.
But Jesus prayer life was apparently in a private room with the door closed. LOL. Or, as we see in Mark 1:39 in the early, dark morning hours away from the house. Alone.
They couldn’t SEE this part of His life. So naturally, they’d ask, right?
And so did I.
January has been slammed… I lead one retreat, hosted one conference and traveled to see family over the holiday weekend. My to-do list has felt as long as Psalm 119 and my prayer life has suffered for it. Instead of settling into a sweet conversation with God, I would interrupt my OWN stream of consciousness and write down SOMETHING ELSE that needed to be done. Or worse, I would just stop and do it.
So, let me share what I have done to help me gain control over this little problem. Again, this isn’t rocket science.
After the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he so generously gives them a template. A sneak peek into his early, dark alone time with God. See Matthew 6:9-12
This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Ok here goes. Grab a note card. And a pen.
Write. It. Down.
Remember yesterday? “Try writing it down several times. There is something about writing it down that goes a long way.” – Phillip, The Chosen
Let’s do the same with the Lord’s Prayer. Use it as a centering practice. Meditate on what it is saying. Heaven forbid this prayer become COMMON!
Let’s look, line by line – here’s is a sneak peak into my “closed door” space….
Our Father. Mmmmm Yes. Not just MY Father, but OURS. All believers. We are family. The collective body of Christ…Amazing.
Who IS. Yes. And Was. And IS TO COME. You are previous. Present. Future. Thank you, God.
In Heaven…. and RIGHT here with me now! You live inside of me and empower me for this day! Oh Lord, I need You. I praise You. Let’s bring heaven to earth today, together.
Hallowed be your NAME! OH! Your magnificent NAME! The Name above every name!! Yaweh! El Roi! Jehovah-Raah, My Shepherd. My Prince of Peace! Healer! El Elyon, my MOST HIGH GOD!…. And on and on I could go.
Do you see? Writing, reflecting, slowing, stopping, tasting, reading…. it ALL lends to adoration and praise. It is helping me SO MUCH to calm my mind back down to baseline. Like a mama patting a baby’s back, it is a rhythmic, calming practice for my soul.
So. I encourage you to try this. Keep this tool in your repertoire and use it as needed. Carry the card with you throughout the day. Let it guide you back into peace when the world tries to take it.
Because, spoiler alert – it will try.
Love you all…. xoxox B