How are you doing spiritually? Do you tend to your spiritual life multiple times daily? Is it something you have not considered much at all before reading this paragraph? Or perhaps, like many of us, you fall somewhere in between. Spirituality means different things to different people, but in general it is the word we use to talk about our connection to God, and our lived experience of faith.
Tending our spirituality may look like a walk in the park, admiring God’s creation and our place in it. Or perhaps it may look like routine prayer, starting and ending our day and our meals by connecting to God. For some, it may be listening to music, others running, and others reading scripture or devotional books. There are so many ways in which to tend our spirituality, to invite God’s presence into our lives and uplift our own faith and wellbeing. For the next few weeks, I will offer some practices aimed towards tending our spiritual selves. Some of these may work well for you, others may fall flat. But the invitation is always there, calling us to experience God in new ways, opening us to all that God has in store.
This week’s practice I invite you to “Prayer Stops”. In this practice, you choose one thing or time, that whenever it happens, you take that trigger as a reminder to pray, even very briefly. Some examples of what a prayer stop might be are stopping at a stop sign or red light, seeing a bird (or squirrel, or deer, etc.), brushing your teeth, using the microwave, or anything else you choose!
Prayer stops should be things you know you will do or encounter at least once on any given day. You can choose where your stop is expected (like brushing your teeth) or unexpected (like seeing a squirrel). Try it out for a week and see what it is like for you. The longer you do it, the better you will get at remembering it, and the better prayer will become a well incorporated part of your spiritual life.
If spontaneous prayer is intimidating or uncomfortable for you, may I remind you that prayers do not have to be long, or well thought out, or perfect. Many of my prayers throughout the day are among the lines of “Thanks God”, “Be with me, Lord”, “Help me to be patient”, “God you are so good”, etc. Short and Sweet. Other times, my prayers are whatever is most familiar to my heart, and on my mind, like “Our Father in heaven…” or like a few lines of a hymn stuck in my head. Whatever your prayers are, they are enough, and they will be yet another way to take a deep breath in our busy lives, and invite God in.
I hope you enjoy the practice of prayer stops. I do. And I hope you continue to read next week as we explore another spiritual practice.