Many years ago when I was in Sunday School as an 8 year old, I learned to memorize the Lord’s Prayer. It was just an activity that we all did but never really had any significance for me until in my late twenties when my life started to take shape. I started to think about God in a much different light and the fact that I could just talk to Him when I felt the need.
Of course I have learned more of the value and power of prayer since those early days, how God walks with us all the time, how he talks to us when we least expect it, how when I feel I can’t do anything to solve a crisis or situation in the world, I can pray, the most powerful tool there is.
There is a series of novels called the ‘Beloved Mitford Series’ by Jan Karon which is about a priest and his very real but comical life in a small town parish; when Father Tim finds himself in a sticky situation, he always prays the prayer ‘that never fails’, the Lord’s Prayer. We all have that prayer at our disposal. I’ve learned that prayers are a journey which can be wonderful to travel on.
There are many songs to inspire us to pray. One of my favourites is ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ which I hum or sing as I walk, looking at all that God has created for me to enjoy, beautiful gardens, mountains, birds etc. Here are the words:
Turn your eyes, upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grown strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
I find repeating this over and over starts to fill me with wonder and anticipation that there are more wonderful events to come or happen in my life. It helps also to stay positive when a mantra is sung or said while walking. During this anxious time for everyone with the pandemic always at our doorstep, prayer is a most powerful activity to stave off anxiety or depression. There is such wonderful hope in prayer.
Author Emily Dickenson said, hope is a gift given. I believe that we as Christians, are a people of hope. Philippians 4: verses 6 and 7 says, do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, I would like to comment on my most recent prayer activity which is walking a labyrinth. It is a wonderful activity where I can release any anxieties I may be feeling on the way around, receive blessings from God in the centre and return with a new perspective and insight.
Thanks be to God for this wonderful prayer activity.