Adventures AWAKE

A pithy little blog encouraging creative adventures of the Christian spirit

Crisis March 16, 2010

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”

~ Dick Clark, CEO/Merck Manufacturing

Want an adventure? Pray in a new way: With a friend, on your face, in a journal, outside, out loud, using promises of Scripture, in silence, in a song. Here’s a thought: Ask God how. (I’ve been doing that a lot around here, lately). Then, share  your experience — good, bad or indifferent — with someone. It will encourage your prayer life and theirs!

Ephesians 6:13-18 (The Message)     Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

 

A wish and a prayer May 20, 2009

Prayer is an art. To find the balance of it is grace.

Do I realize who I’m talking to? Do I let Him get a word in edge-wise? Do I ask too much? — not enough? My prayer-life is ongoing — which is good! I take God out the door with me, talking to Him throughout the day. But if I’m honest, I’ve recently come to realize  that’s not enough for me or for Him. I must admit, I’ve been here before but confession heals the soul — right? If I want depth in my spiritual life, I need time with The Spirit. It’s time to take time.wishes-dandylion

Have you ever considered the difference between a wish and a prayer? That is the crux of what has frustrated me lately; I’ve realized that my prayers have drifted into a state of ineffect because of my own laziness. When I pray, I’ve really been wishing. Wishes still leave me with a burden, I find.

I read somewhere recently that if I’m praying with worldly expectations — if I my prayers are to enhance my five senses or my intellect — then they are prayers of worldly expectation. Those prayers can sometimes result in good things but typically don’t lead to lasting spiritual growth. Think again about the concept of having a wish answered. It’s the difference between praying a prayer like, “God please heal me of this pain,” and “God, I know you love me. Help me to see you in this, to learn from this experience. I’ve done all I can and surrender now to you.” See the difference? It’s about the attitude I have — the posture I take.

It seems so simple. And, it is! What’s tough is keeping my mind alert enough — not taking the privilege of prayer so lightly — that I keep myself and my wants in perspective compared to God and His plans. Beyond that, I need to carve out purposeful time to listen and rest in His response. Simple but not easy.

…I wish it were easy.

 

Want an adventure? Stop. Make a list of your prayer needs. Have you been wishing or praying for these things? Now, pray. Rest in His good plan for you.

 

More Proof: Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten May 7, 2009

It totally makes sense that the Creator likes the creative, don’t you think? So why haven’t we been taught such a simple creative tool as Crayolas (crayons or markers) can expand and express deep things of God? It seems so obvious! For years, my most rewarding experiences painting have flowed from some deep meaning God has given me for the image on the canvas. I also remember a roommate in college who used to constantly doodle on the cover of our phone book. It never occurred to me to look for deeper meaning in her impromptu art. But, oh, what I may have learned if it had !  When it comes to connecting with God this way, it is less about the quality of the “art” and more about getting whatever is in my heart down on paper. one-person-prayer4prayingincolor3

If like me you struggle to stay prayerfully focused somedays, you’ll enjoy the practical power of a book someone told me about: Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. In her book, MacBeth opens up this new dimension of prayer — exploring how we can integrate drawing, doodling, scribbling– whatever you want to call it — into our conversations with God. No excuses, either, Sybil MacBeth is a math teacher, not an artist (she said it, I didn’t). If she can do it, we can do it. Imagine the color this will bring to your prayer life and your journal!

This is SO fun — it feels like I’ve been given “Divine permission” to play on paper. Yet, it goes much deeper than play. It is important spiritual work. On those days when my attention span is being constantly tugged at, this practice centers me on something real and weighty. Trying this, I’ve found it to be equal parts stream-of-consciousness: entreaty: meditation: praise: silence in God’s presence — all equalling a rich encounter with the Holy Spirit. It allows me to “work out” with line, color, and image (sometimes even words) whatever is needed in order to put my prayer in God’s scrapbook of needs.

        I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it ~ Mark 10:15

 

Want an adventure?  The grown-up thing is so over-rated 🙂 Let your heart out of the crayon box. Using crayons (or pens, colored pencils, markers — whatever you like) create a prayer! It can be about a person(s), a need, a Scripture. Take some time. Don’t stop until you feel the “amen” rise from within. If God has  a refrigerator in heaven, no doubt it is covered with kids’ art. Let’s add to His collection.