The Connection of Mess and Prayer
Last week we wrote about the word mess with the Whole Mama link-up. I wrote about how the messes in our lives have a way of shaping us, as we choose where to look and what gifts to search for and what paths to take. I shared about how I believe there is beauty in each unique expression of creation, even, (and sometimes especially,) when it is chaotic.
This week, the subject has turned to prayer. I want to point out the connection between mess and prayer, because they are linked. Prayer is what it looks like when I gather up the mess: the tangles of my questions, doubts, beliefs, hopes, successes and failures, and drop them in a haphazard pile at Jesus' feet.
"Here, Jesus. I can't seem to sort this out on my own. Will you take it?"
It's quite the interesting prayer life. I am always conscious of living before the face of God. I've never not known the Presence. I've never needed to hide anything from God. Everything is on the table. My prayer-without-ceasing is most often a wordless prayer. But when I do attempt words, it frequently begins with that jumbled up mess.
It's hard, because I want to believe in God's goodness, but the story I'm in hasn't let the light pour in as steadily as I've been looking for. I haven't made peace with this, and no amount of human words will get me there anytime fast.
Yet somehow in tension with that, I know this: Jesus is trustworthy. Love is trustworthy. And nobody has ever tried harder to prove their love than he has. It's a love that threads through every layer of my life, weaving silver flecks of hope into all the dark and difficult spaces. It's a love I hope to convey to my children, holding it out with an open hand for them to take when needed. It's a love I need to accept as well, even when I feel unlovely.
This is why I keep showing up to prayer. I tried to give it up. I actually held out for over a month. There are some things that call me back to them in spite of everything: things like music, and poetry... and... then there is prayer.
A few months ago, I taught an ecourse on prayer through the book of hours. I designed it both to help people establish a habit of prayer and to write their own prayers for observance throughout the day. It is my goal to teach it again before the year is out, but I might need a few extra tons of intercession to make that happen. I'm stretched pretty soul-thin right now. However, I do have a Mini Prayer Book that I created for one full day of praying through the hours, and I want very much to share it with all of you participating in Whole Mama. Because I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS to scrape together a little bit of time to just step into a moment of quiet shalom. I want to help ease that burden. This is my love bomb to all of you, linked below:
Feel free to pass it along to any of your friends you think might benefit from it. Share the love. Spread the hope.