When Our Movement is Stifled

1 Corinthians 10:31

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Who, what, why, where, when and how? Our prayers are often strewn with the great questions that we long to know the answers for. Who will save me? What have I done wrong? Why is the world full of hate? How do you let this happen? When are you going to answer my prayers? Where are you? These are the prayers of desperation, the prayers called out when you are most needed, Lord. Nevertheless, each person will express them differently. Take them and make them their own.

Expression; the action of making known one’s thoughts and feelings. Is this not prayer? Making God aware of our thoughts and feelings, knowing He already knows but may never provide the answers we are searching for. Expression has never been about the hows but about the whys and the whats.

Are we inhibiting ourselves in prayer then? Do we inhibit our children’s prayer? I recently read an article on handprints and the fashion to make them into something else (I’m guilty of this!) You may have seen them on Pinterest or on social media and if you search the internet you will find thousands of ideas. To simply explain it, you take the child’s hand or foot, you paint it and print into onto your chosen surface. From there you decorate around it, maybe making it into an angel, or santa’s sleigh. It’s harmless and I think to some extent it is. But maybe we should take a moment to reflect on this action. What does a child see when they see a handprint? Maybe they see an angel or maybe they see a handprint. A messy, not quite perfect handprint, that is perfect to them and, if you allow yourself to see it, to you. When we think about what we see, we miss the importance of what they see; to what God sees. God takes the messy and sees perfect.

People have told me that my prayer life isn’t good enough. That how I pray isn’t good enough. It hurt and I couldn’t see how I had got it wrong. How can you ever get prayer wrong? I became fearful that God was only in the stillness, that I would have to stifle my movements to connect to the God I love. And how as a busy Mum, wife and volunteer could I find this stillness in order for me to be better.

Prayer is like potty training (never thought I’d say that). You are connecting to God through the messy times (which there are many), through the joys (and stickers) and through the many hours of training to be better (that is as a parent as it is as much a learning curve for you as it is the child). You need patience and at times you have to face fears. You are not alone and yet sometimes it feels like it. All have been through it, yet no two journeys are the same. And God sticks with you through those tears (there will be some), the laughs and the triumphs. He is there in our movements. But He is also there in the stillness and you need those times of stillness to rest, grow, and prepare to face the messiness of a new day.

And so I promised to explore some different types of prayer. Prayer is messy and unique. Prayer may be about the stillness, the quiet in order to connect deep, but that doesn’t rule it out in the dancing, cleaning, and busyness of our world. Find a balance of movement and stillness that means that not only you are content, but in that you have connected. Let yourself be creative. God gave us a world that draws us in to explore. He gave us the gift of senses. God calls us to glorify Him in whatever we do, be that messy handprint or a perfect picture of stillness.

The final blog in this series will explore how prayer connects to our health and if you would like to share ways you are rediscovering prayer I would love to hear them.

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