In 1987, I purchased a huge (I mean huge) University of Michigan shirt that I wore as pajamas. I loved the roominess, the weight of the cotton, jersey material, and of course, the Wolverines are my favorite college sports team. Over the years, the material began to become thinner and thinner, so much so that I could practically see right through that frayed T-shirt. In fact, when I finally decided it was time to part ways with my beloved T-shirt, I realized it was over 25 years old! They were not my only pajamas, mind you, but that old shirt was tried and true.
The Clothes of Pity
The Clothes of Pity
slumped in this silo
the clothes of pity
tattered and frayed
adorn the slimy walls
my soul weeps
these clothes of pity
my catatonic prayer
one last sigh
to rejoice in the light
my soul to take
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Christ makes all things new
There is another kind of clothes I am embarrassed to say that I also wear that are sometimes difficult to throw away too. I am speaking of the clothes of pity. After losing my coveted job in 2009 and quite frankly many times over the course of my life, I wore the clothes of pity all too fashionable. God spared my family from financial ruin and He has blessed me countless ways over my life, yet many times I would slip back into those clothes of pity forgetting how often He has blessed me. Why? Because human beings would rather take an easy route of trying to stay in control rather than allowing God to bring us into the fullness of our purpose to glorify Him. We throw back on what is readily available – our old, comfortable, standby clothes, even though the threads have become thin and frayed. Sometimes our family and friends may even comment, yet we continue to strut right along wearing those pitiful clothes. That comfortable cotton jersey of tried and true sin is what we know, and thankfully, Christ is there with a new set of clothes for each one of us. I continue in faith to throw out the old and have faith in the new clothes Christ wants me to wear.
“Lord, help me to pay attention to Your ongoing work in my life. Transform my spirit, my heart, my mind, my body, O Lord, and bring me peace. Dress me Lord in Your new clothes of love and mercy so others may know that new clothes in Christ are waiting for them too. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen”
Life, for many of us, is crazy busy. We each have our “to do” lists for family, work, and church/community. Many people have long work commutes or perhaps extended family and elder care responsibilities too, not to mention after-school activities, or maybe finishing a college degree at night.
How do we set aside or create prayer time so we can focus in on our relationship with God?
Since my business keeps me in the car driving to and from appointments, I often pray while driving. If you pass me on the highway, I am probably not singing along to the radio (my kids would prefer I not sing. Ha!). No, more than likely God and I are talking. It’s another reason why I carry my prayer journal with me. If I am between appointments or waiting for an appointment, I can write about things I want to explore in God’s Word. I can express what is going on at that moment in my life for quiet reflection later. I may even encounter someone or a situation that needs prayer and I can add it to my prayer list on the back page of my journal.
My main time with God though is early in the morning at my desk. In fact, I have a door hanger like the ones at hotels. It hangs on my office door knob and it’s an owl that hoots, “Please do not disturb.” That is a sign to everyone that I am spending quiet time writing. In the evening I may spend the time in my bedroom, sitting in the gliding rocker my mother’s rocker had gifted to me. It’s another comforting spot to read, reflect and pray. My cottage in northern Michigan near Lake Michigan is also a haven for spending quality time on prayer and writing. I am grateful that God has provided me such a beautiful and peaceful luxury.
So where and when is best for you?
Perhaps when the kids are napping? When you are at the park, taking your daily walk? Maybe it is rising a half hour earlier and skipping reading a section of the morning newspaper to reading a few Bible verses or a daily devotion to getting you started with a prayer and writing.
Remember, God is available 24/7.
It doesn’t have to be a particular time of day or night.
There doesn’t have to be a particular amount of time.
You don’t have to be in a particular position.
There doesn’t have to be a particular reason.
Just draw closer to God.
And most importantly, just listen.
God wants to have a relationship with you.
Praying the Scripture:
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” Psalm 50:15
“This is the confidence (I) have in approaching God: that if (I) ask anything according to His will, He will hear me. And if (I know) that He hears (me) whatever (I) ask – (I) will know that (I) have what (I) asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
Prayer Writing Prompt:
The easiest step and the hardest step are the first steps. What is keeping me from getting started in drawing closer to God?
A sense of defeat before starting?
Uncertainty of the path ahead?
Pride, stubbornness, laziness, procrastination…Or this is really a radical idea, a prayer journal?
I hope you will continue to follow The Prayers Journal Blog. I have much more to share with you of the purpose and blessings of keeping a daily prayer journal. (Click the pop-up button “Follow” in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.)
May I pray for you?
Email me at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com