May all who appeal to God publicly, as in yesterday’s National Day of Prayer or the World Day of Prayer on the first Friday in March, still sincerely honor Jesus’ counsel: “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen.”

Prayer is being soul-naked before God. If my words try to dress up my true self or if my prayers aren’t backed up with actions, they only separate me from the One to whom I pray as well as from those for and with whom I pray.

Mom has been my most faithful prayer supporter and partner throughout my life. When we were very young she started writing “messages” to each of her children. As we became adults she gave them to us and kept writing letters, now emails at least weekly. In her first message to me she wrote:

I pray for you and the other children so much. While I am young and have my own experiences fresh in my mind, I want to tell you, from time to time what comes to my mind as I work and pray. May these messages, if you some day read them, be used by God to help, strengthen, and encourage you when you are lonely or in trouble. You are just 4 years old now. Tonight you heard me read your Sunday School lesson about storing up treasures in heaven. We can do this by much prayer, by loving and helping others, and by giving of our money to the Lord. You said, “When I help you, Mommy?” Yes, the Lord will reward in heaven when we “store up these treasures.” Tonight you asked to pray the hymn, “Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us.” In whatever circumstances you may be, this prayer will give you joy, Margie.

Tomorrow Mom and I will pray over the phone over the week’s joys and sorrows as usual. Tonight Jim and I will pray for each of our (now 8 as we count spouses) children and two grandchildren as usual. We pray for others too, people in need whom God brings to our attention in many ways. We pray for each other and for ourselves, knowing “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Prayer can come alive in new ways with each new season of life according to each person’s needs. In yoga, centering and body prayer the Spirit takes me beyond words in adoration, humility and contemplation.  In journaling, writing out daily prayers of thanksgiving, confession and petition for his eyes alone, Jesus has become my best friend. In researching online I discovered Praying in Color and am eager to plunge back into visual arts.

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