Creative Ways to Pray c2-head***

Creative Ways to Pray

by Marsha Mundy
(Bethel, Ohio)

I have a heart for prayer. It started many years ago when I discovered that God really wants an intimate relationship with the people He created. When I first started speaking to God, it felt awkward. If anyone would have been looking in my window I'm sure they would have thought that I was half-crazy. Sometimes I would sing to God, other times I would dance in His presence, often I would kneel before my favorite chair, but most of the time I would just speak my concerns out loud as I went about my daily routine.

I began reading every book about prayer that I could find. It seemed that many folks tried to concoct a formula for prayer. If you followed certain steps, said the correct words or always prayed scripture then your prayers would be heard and answered. Some said that fasting was the best way to get prayers answered, others claimed that repeating the same prayer over and over would do the trick. What I discovered after reading all the formulas was that there was no formula for prayer. What worked for one person may not work for everyone. What some perceived to be the correct way to approach God was correct for them, but it just didn't work for me.

The most intimate times that I've shared with God are those when His Spirit directed my prayers. God made each one of us unique for a reason and He wants us to be ourselves with Him. He is a God of diversity, a God of surprises and a God who wants to reveal himself to us.

I will share some of the creative ways that I have prayed to give you a jump start to your own prayer life. If we don't try new avenues in prayer, we can get into a rut and then our prayers can lose their power. As righteous children of the King, our prayers should always be powerful and effective.

Most recently I learned a different way to pray and it has enhanced my time with God in a colorful way. Praying in color isn't anything new, my mother did this type of praying for years and it wasn't until after she died that I realized what she was doing. She was an artist and it came natural for her to draw her prayer concerns using markers, colored pencils and pens. As praises and concerns are colored on the paper, your focus is on the ones named, and God, who looks at our hearts, hears those prayers as surely as he hears the ones voiced with thys and thous.

I have prayed using prayer lists with the concerns of others spelled out, I have prayed while waiting in line, driving down the road or as I do mindless household chores. One thing that I've noticed is that prayer is a two-way communication. I express concerns or a need and then just wait for the Lord to give me a response. Often I receive a peace that my prayer has been heard. Sometimes God's Spirit may impress on my spirit to pray a different way for someone in need. Instead of asking for physical healing, I may need to ask God to meet a spiritual need.

God has awakened me in the middle of the night with such a strong desire to pray for someone specifically that I had to get up and pray on their behalf. Maybe God can keep our attention more focused when it's the middle of the night and we won't be easily distracted.

There have been times when I had no particular concerns on my mind, but I just needed to spend time alone with God. Those are the most memorable prayer times. I have to share one that stands out in my mind. I just wanted to tell God how much I love Him. I was thinking that maybe He was tired of listening to me ask for this and that all the time. You know, help me with this, heal so-and-so of that ailment, give-me, give-me, give-me. (That would get old to me)!

I got a mental image of myself climbing onto God's lap. I couldn't see His face, but He held me like we would a little child. I crawled up very close to Him to hug His neck and then I put my mouth right next to His ear and whispered, "I love you." When I think of my own children and grandchildren, some of the most precious times for me have been when they just wanted to sit on my lap or give me a hug. I'm sure that God feels the same way, we are, after all, His precious children.

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