Praying with purpose

One of the staples in growing up was PB & J – that is, when all else failed and there was nothing planned for dinner, one could always go back to a good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It fed the hunger of the body, with a little bit of sweetness added for the journey. Prayer for me is that staple – that PB & J along the journey – to feed my spirit and remind me of the sweetness of Jesus.

My life of prayer has often reflected my life of writing blogs and starting diets. I get going consistently, with much focus and intention – and then life happens and all good intentions seem to get pushed to the side again. But as I learned growing up in the country, you dust yourself off – let go of what was because it has passed- and keep on keeping on. I found this especially true as I am working on my Doctor of Ministry and exploring how our stories inform our spiritual connection with God and others, especially through the lens of the agricultural season. And since this is planting season in my neck of the woods, what better way than to start planting a new prayer habit in my life…. a prayer with a purpose.

So this summer, I planned on beginning a new prayer focus, thanks to Dr. Terry Teykl’s devotional, ” Praying the Lord’s Prayer at Noon.”  So each day at noon, beginning with Memorial Day Sunday, I plan to pray the 21-second prayer at noon.  According to Teykl, Richard Foster wrote that “for sheer power and majesty no prayer can equal the Paternoster, the “Our Father.” the Paternoster embraces the whole world, from the coming of the Kingdom to the daily bread. Large things, small things, material things, spiritual things, inward things and outward things – nothing is beyond the purview of The Lord’s Prayer.” In our fast paced, fast food society, concise can have much power in our lives.

But I needed more than 21 seconds.

So I decided to also take one line of the prayer as a specific focus throughout each week of the summer.  One line. One thought. To be One with the One who created my stubborn, forgetful, well meaning, human self.

So for this summer journey…. I welcome you along for the ride. Roll the window down and feel the Spirit blow through your hair… or where hair used to be. Don’t be discouraged if the smell of the landscape, especially in farm country, is less than desirable – God can bring good out of the smelliest things in our life. Instead find the beauty in the unexpected and find God in the surprises along the way.


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