On prayer... (LINK UP)

I thread the glass beads between my tired fingers in my left hand. My right hand holds the pen to paper.

I scratch out prayers in the quiet morning over coffee.

God and I meet best in the early hours, my mind needing awakening and my bones still heavy from sleep. I suppose He’d meet me anytime, but I’m most sincere in the morning.

I’ve never done well with prayer. It’s always been a hurdle to jump, my brick wall in the marathon of faith. Putting me in a group of people who speak whispered prayers makes me uneasy, and I clam up tight and choose to be quiet.

If I speak my prayers, my language changes. I don’t sound like me, I feel weird in my skin.

So, I take to paper. Journal upon journal upon journal…lines filled with etched-in ink, aching cries, soaring gratitude, questions and more questions. It’s a history of my hemming-in, Him drawing near, yet letting me run. The journals remind me of His own pen and ink, writing out the grand stories of life and lives.

The glass beads that sit delicately in my hand…those are new. I got it after my return from Bolivia. It’s a small rosary, small orbs of rich purple, Christ crucified, pendants of His mother and St. Ann. I don’t know the Hail Mary, or the words of the Mysteries, but I pray Our Father at the cross and count out prayers. The beads help me remember, keep me from daydreaming, focus in on need.

Each bead makes its way around to the space between my index finger and thumb. I spin it slowly, words pouring out from the pen over and over. It’s a private liturgy here on the kitchen counter.

Needs of others, needs for me, moments of thanks. Lines on the page fill up with my black handwriting. Before I know it, three pages are filled, and I arrive at the last bead.

I think of Maria. I promised her I’d work on my Spanish. I had a small prayer for her translated into her language, and I work to memorize it as I spin the bead slowly. I think of her face, her kind eyes and wide smile. My heart aches, and tears breach the dam of my eyelids. I clench the rosary tight in my fist. God, in His grace, offers peace and the tears stop.

I repeat the Lord’s Prayer at the end, say my Amen, and drink the last sip of my now-cold coffee. Binding up the black journal, I rest the beads on the cover.

Until tomorrow morning, when the coffee is fresh again.

What about you? How do you pray?

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    I pray while I do my triathlon training, using the ACTS acrostic, a letter per set. The forward motion leaves me feeling like I'm physically pursuing God's presence whilepraying, a therefore a bit more focused.
    I'm struggling bitterly with loneliness. I find myself wrestling with worry that I'm always bothering folks, that my feeble attempts at community fall so sorely short.

    I pray daily, early in the morning while still in bed and at night before going to bed. I read the bible often, and I speak to God all the time throughout the day for strenght and guidance.

    This is a great idea, Nish. I find that writing keeps me more focused than praying silently or aloud. But I never thought about writing my prayers in a journal like this.

    I pray by writing those prayers down but also by talking and praising God all day. I thank Him for protection, guidance, and safe travel, for the ability to work, for my family, and for my sponsored child, Sarah. Prayer keeps me connected to God and Him to me in good times but also in bad. It is who I am.

    So many times I start to journal and for get all about it as time goes by, I feel a remorse over my thoughtless actions. I know that God loves to hear from me, I pray for myself to make a point of reminding me. I thank and pray for Nish Wesieth who has inspired me to give it another try. I often wish to travel to Africa to meet the child I sponsor, Neheng as time passes she is becoming a beautiful young lady, I thank God for the smile that appeared on her face in the last photo I received, my life without the opportunity to help her would have less meaning, I thank you Lord for reminding me how blessed I am.

    could you please pray for me coz I got arrested by the SIU police for taking a nap (3-4am) on campus in Carbondale because I was locked out from my place, I just planned to stay there for several hrs (because they kicked me out of the library where I planned to use their computer to study) and wait until my place got unlocked and go back in the morning...they want me to go to court...th...at's me...a...ns I can possibly be a criminal......I didn't do any damage at all....but they actually search me for weapon and put handcuffs on me without telling me before that I can't stay in that building...I can't focus on my studies because of that...I already booked the tickets to go back to HK on Oct 27 for my bros wedding, I plan to settle down in Florida when I come back but I may not be able to go on time....because of this court case...please asked bros and sis in Christ to pray for me so that this legal problem can be resolved asap without any bad consequence and I can focus on my studies again thanks bros and sis

    Sounds like my own thoughts written for me to read by a fellow Christ follower. I'm sure many others feel the same. Certain I could not have written as beautiful as Nish.

    I pray in a way consistent with how I would otherwise communicate.

    Especially over the past decade, God has shown Himself to be a worthy steward of my heart. He has shown that He wants to restore it and grow it, but He will do it only to the extent that I allow Him.

    Just as King David did, I know that I can come to him with anger, with confusion, with joy and with questions of any sort and I know He will not turn me away, even if it means I am questioning Him and His methods. Because I know that God is love, I know that He will not turn me away; His heart's desire is that we would know how much He loves us, so why would He turn His back? He jumps at the opportunity to dialogue through issues that I have with how He is doing things; He is not afraid of my questions, because He knows He has the answers.

    I know that He wants me to engage fully my heart and my mind. Just as I desire a wife who *chooses* me with eyes wide open, who is fully cognizant of the decision she is making with a will that is unbroken and a heart that knows itself, so does God desire us. He wants is wholly... and for that, we need to be whole.

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