Prayer Snapshots

Prayer Snapshots

The stage of life in which I find myself is one in which morning prayer is best done lying in my bed. It seems like my children have some sixth sense about Daddy or Mommy getting up. It may not help that we have wood floors that creak, but when I head downstairs to read my Bible and pray I often have a guest. So one of my favorite prayer strategies recently has been to pray in bed before I rise. Pray for my family. Pray for my day. Pray for my ministry and those people who have shared prayer requests. It seems like I have the birds for company as they sing their morning songs outside in our backyard.

I also find great joy in the simple bedtime prayers I share with my kids. One rhythm we have is to pray before bed. For the longest time I “cheated” with Abby and just used the Lord’s prayer. I love that she can now recite it mostly on her own. The other way I like to pray is to give them prompts; “Dear God, thank you for…”, and let Abby and Chris finish the prayer. This isn’t always the deepest, but it is precious to hear my kids thank God for family, friends, toys, and joys. Then, I might offer the prompt, “God, please help…”. It is amazing the things my kids produce on their own. Sometimes it will be a request they overheard Cathy and me discussing, or this week Abby has been praying for safe travels for my family that will be visiting before Easter. Sometimes I underappreciate and underestimate the value of these beautiful simple prayers and the memories and habits that are being shared. Someday I would like to be like my friend Dan who kept a prayer journal with his kids. That way the kids could see how God was answering their prayers!  #parentinggoals

Personally, the prayer times that fuel my tank the most are walking prayers. There is something about combining the peaceful presence of God with the restoration found in His creation. Walking with the Lord, as Adam did in the cool of the day. Sometimes I even picture God beside me talking to Him as I would a dear friend. For Christmas my father-in-law gave me a nice pair of binoculars. I am now finding I want to take them everywhere with me. I pull them out at church so I can admire the birds, now that spring has sprung. God’s creation is so wonderful and there is such a benefit to being outdoors and praying. I hope you can find some excuse, like new binoculars, to go outside this week and pray while you are at it.

I offer you these snapshots, not to suggest I have it all together, “look at how Steve prays.” No.  I simply want to tell real stories. Paint authentic pictures of what prayer looks like in my life. I hope these encourage you to look for times, even while you lay in bed, to pray.  Pray as you commute in your car. Pray as you workout. Offer yourself grace when you forget. I certainly fall short of “pray without ceasing”, but I am working towards being more prayerful. I am trying to make prayer my first instinct. Please join me in praying more this month!

Steve Poole
Director of Youth & Young Adults

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