This Sunday we begin a three week series on prayer.
When we think of prayer we might think of prayer in a traditional sense, hands folded and heads bowed for a few quiet moments. Or maybe we think of pastor-lead prayers during worship. The best-known prayer in the Christian tradition is the Lord’s Prayer and honestly, I believe that in every moment of every day, someone somewhere on the planet is praying the Lord ’s Prayer. Korean Christians use a form of prayer called Tongsung Kido, which means “cry out together loudly” and in this sort of prayer everyone gathered prays their own prayer out loud together and it sounds like a roaring wind. Buddhists hang festoons of prayer flags. I like the idea of sending up a flag as a means of prayer. Sort of like saying “Help God! I am over here and I am ready to surrender!” (If you sent up a flag today, what would it say?) Buddhists also use prayer wheels that they spin as a means of prayer. Here at WDMUMC, we have a labyrinth where people can walk and pray. A week ago our prayer team hosted a Taize service, a time of prayer and song and silence. Prayer shawls, prayer cards, prayer beads.
I am not well disciplined when it comes to prayer. Most of my prayers are done on the fly. When I am in coffee shops and restaurants, I pray for everyone in the room. I pray before worship and again before I preach. I think singing and writing are forms of prayer. And lately, in the early morning, I linger in bed for a while and I have discovered that I am praying without even realizing it. Often a message seems to be waiting for me, as though God has been waiting all night for me to wake up and listen. Maybe that is the best time to catch me before the very human rush of the day disconnects me from any sense of the divine.
I suspect there are as many ways to pray as there are people on the planet. There is no perfect posture or perfect words. I don’t think the way we pray is as important as our need to pray. All of us reaching out to God. And the even more amazing thing: God listens and responds.
What about you? What’s your prayer practice? One ambitious church made a list of 100 ways to pray. Do you have some suggestions?
Every blessing to you today. Stay warm.
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org
We worship at 8:30 (traditional) and 11 (casual) on Sunday mornings and we would love to worship with you.
This week at WDMUMC:
MidWeek Refuel Tonight! Suppers ready tonight at 5:30! There’s no charge–just a free will offering, with the proceeds going to feed hungry families and children in our neighborhood.