“Help” is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn’t matter how you pray–with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, “Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.”
I’ve been thinking a lot these past few days.
Working in our yard is a wonderful time to let unfiltered thoughts flow through my mind. I’ve discovered I don’t overthink when I’m moving rock and rebuilding walls.
Songs tend to get stuck in my head when I’m outside. Yesterday the song playing over and over in my mind was Garth Brooks’ song, Unanswered Prayers.
This song always makes me remember the things I’ve prayed the hardest for and felt fell on deaf ears. Where was God and how could my prayer go answered?
Now, I smile and shake my head, thanking God for all those answered prayers. As I see the different scenarios play back, the “what ifs” congregate in my head, creating feelings of sadness, regret, insight, and, above all, gratitude.
I’m learning the best prayers may not be those I’ve memorized. Not that long ago I realized the words I said by rote were not the real words of the prayer. I had to chuckle. I knew I did that with some songs–singing words that were not even close to what the real lyrics. I never imagined I’d done the same with prayers.
I still start my day with the prayers my mom taught me 60 plus years ago. These days I say each word slowly, appreciating the meaning of the prayer as I remember her patience with me as I learned each word.
Lately I’ve been searching for new prayers, gathering them to share as well as using them as guides in hopes they can help me begin to write my own prayers to share.
Lucky for me, God seems to be encouraging me because I’ve found some of the best prayers are short and simple.
“Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.”
― Jan Karon, At Home in Mitford