Wednesday, June 20

24-7 Prayer Musings

We're about 50 hours into our week of prayer. Here are my current musings:

1. Sometimes it's easier for me to be honest by banging out wordless prayers on a djembe or on guitar strings than it is for me to mutter things aloud to God.

2. Maybe some folks who aren't as sensory-oriented sometimes perceive prayer rooms as claustrophobic and weird? I'm trying to gauge the varied responses I've gotten from church people as to why (or why not) they've given the prayer-room a try.

3. I think that the (tiny percentage of) people who already have disciplined prayer lives find prayer rooms insulting. ("Why do I need to come pray in your silly room when I can pray at home like I always do?") But I'm sure that the root of this response is the sneaky streak of individualism that we've allowed into Western Christianity as if it's gospel truth. We really need each other, even in learning to pray.

3.5. A 24-7 Prayer room is a nice welcome mat to people who feel as if they are just terrible at prayer. The freedom experienced inevitably cheers them on that they, too, are capable of authentic and enjoyable prayer.

4. I think prayer rooms give people who are starved for community a tiny whiff of what it feels like to be transparent before others.

5. I wonder if the way we often do anonymous confessions in prayer rooms takes away from being able to truly confess our sins face-to-face, and so be healed. Or maybe it's one step in that direction, for most people.

6. It is a rare joy to have an undistracted space to commune with the Living God.

7. Reading the prayers of others on a wall reminds us that we're not alone.

8. Prayer is a discipline, but it doesn't have to feel like punishment. 24-7 Prayer rooms have renewed a desire for me to pray because they've connected prayer with creativity and childlikeness, even. I'm allowed to finger-paint my prayers, Ma!

9. It feels good to shout to God sometimes. Not necessarily in praise, but in bare frustration and honesty. I've really needed this prayer room to give me permission to do so this week.


10,000 white doves said...

I enjoy your musings.
Occasionally, I will yell in frustration to the Lord when I am driving in the car, alone. I can't believe I am old enough to drive in a car alone!

Jenelle said...

I think the car is my favorite prayer house, too. It is especially nice whilst the windows are down in the night hours.