As I ended out the old year, I listened to a free webinar given by Renovaré called ‘Don’t Just do Something, Pray!’ It was originally recorded in September, but I just got around to it. So glad I did. It was hosted by Carolyn Arends and featured Lisa Koons and Pete Greig. They tackled some difficult issues with grace, humility, and wisdom. There is much to think about and put into practice and I’m so glad they have archived the webinar. If you are interested in listening, you can find it here: https://renovare.org/events/dont-just-do-something-pray
Anyone who knows me well, knows that prayer is vital to me. I’m not talking about the insipid, “my thoughts and prayers go to you” that are spouted by so many civic leaders in times of crisis. Because if prayer is really part of your DNA, you will eventually take action and not just spout platitudes.
No, my method of prayer is PUSH. Pray Until Something Happens. I took God at His word years ago and go to the mat with things on my heart and mind. I do not hold back in feelings and expressions. I’ve sometimes prayed in groups and have shocked some folks with how blunt I am. I remember a friend saying, “Did you really say that to God?” And I replied, “Do you think he doesn’t already know?” Why would I lie to God if I’m trying to pour out my heart about a situation?
God is big enough to take your feelings, your anger, and your frustration. I sometimes picture a toddler having a meltdown, sitting on a loving parent’s lap. A child will pound on the chest of an adult, screaming and crying while the parent soothes and calms the child until they can speak about the issue as best as the child can understand. I picture myself as that child and God as the loving Father I never knew growing up. Once I pour everything out, we can start a real conversation. The Lord created those emotions and wants them expressed in healthy ways. Pushing them down to look holy is pointless.
But sometimes, I just want to sit with God in meditation. Just silently sit and experience God. Thanks to this webinar, I’ve found a wonderful tool that helps me with that because frankly, my mind wanders. It’s called the Lectio 365 app for either Apple or Android phones. Based on an ancient practice called Lectio Divina, this app guides you in prayer and meditation daily. I started yesterday and I’m making it my new daily practice to start each day. It takes about ten minutes to still yourself and pray through.
Data has shown that one of the most online searched topics during COVID has been prayer. If you’re looking to learn about prayer, start with this. You can find it here: https://www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional
Happy New Year.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.