“The Water of Prayer” by Rachel Coltharp.
Prayer, the act of talking to our Creator, is something I did not understand for years. I thought prayer was something done in certain places — prayer rooms, church buildings, our living room. I thought it was something done at certain times — prayer time at church, prayer meetings at church, altar services after a church service. I thought it was only done in one way — with a loud voice and the use of repetitive words, much like chanting. But I was wrong.
Prayer, the communication of my soul with the almighty God of the universe cannot be confined to just a few places, just a few times, in a limited way. Prayer is like life-giving water that sometimes beats down on the earth in torrents, washing clean the land and rivers of the pollutants that have covered it.
Sometimes water comes in soft and gentle showers that bathe the earth, enriching the plants and soil so that it may produce for the season. Other times the water comes in a light, almost imperceptible, mist which coats the plants with dew and gives them what they need for that day. All of these kinds of hydration are necessary. All are sent by God. All are profitable.
So it is with my prayer. Sometimes I feel my prayers rising up like a storm inside of me. With thundering and fervor they fly from my lips toward the heavens. These are fueled with emotional passion, with spiritual fever, and with intense delivery. Sometimes they are battle prayers, as I fight for the souls of my family and others. Sometimes they are prayers of pain and agony, for life can be hard and brutal. They are full of the thunder of my heart and flashing of my emotions. And God loves these prayers.
Sometimes my prayer feels like the seasonal rain, here because it is time for them. They are on a schedule. It is the hour of prayer. These don’t always involve a lot of emotional draw. I am not praying because I feel the need but because it is time. These are sustaining prayers! I find it is the times I’ve buried my face in the carpet and prayed that keep me through the times when all I can do is lay on my face on the carpet. It is the everyday prayers that keep me nourished through each season. And God loves these prayers.
Then there are the light, gentle mist prayers, which are spoken throughout the day. As we leave our home, we pray, “Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to live in this house. Help me to always remember it is Your house. You just let me live here.” Before we eat, we say, “Thank You, Lord, for providing food for us. Help us to make wise choices with what we put into our bodies so we may stay healthy to best serve Your kingdom.”
As we wake, we pray, “Thank You, Lord, for this day, help me to be Your hands, Your feet, and Your voice to everyone I come in contact with.” When we go out to collect the things we need, we plead, “Lord help us to shine Your light today to everyone we meet. “ When we close the day, we implore, “Thank you Lord for another day. We ask for your angels to surround us as we sleep.” These simple, short, gentle prayers give my soul and mind direction for the hour, for the day.
I’m so thankful that I have come to understand that prayer is not confined to a place, a time, or just one method of delivery. Prayer, like the water that cleans, feeds, and heals the earth, cleans, feeds, and heals me too. Every day, in many ways. And God loves my prayers.
(Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries – firstname.lastname@example.org)