To my surprise, I had not just doodled, I had prayed (I drew new shapes and names of each friend and focused on the person whose name stared at me from the paper). I had though OF each person as I drew but not ABOUT each person. I could just sit with them in a variation on stillness. I could hold them in prayer.
..when someone says "please pray for me, " they are not just saying "let's have lunch sometime." They are issuing an invitation into the depths of their lives and their humanity- and often with some urgency. And worry is not a substitute for prayer. Worry is a starting place, but not a staying place. Worry invites me into prayer. As a staying place, worry can be self-indulgent, paralyzing, draining, and controlling. When I take worry into prayer, it doesn't disappear, but it becomes smaller.
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Since words elude me when I need them most, I learned long ago that I cannot count on QUALITY time with God when I want to pray. I need QUANTITY and regularity. Quality is not something I can predict. My husband, Andy, and I might schedule an elaborate evening out with candles and a gourmet meal, but there is no guarantee that we'll have a wonderful time together - chopping onions peppers die by side in the kitchen, reading together on the couch, sitting on the front step watching our sons ride bikes, and making plans for our life together.
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