THE TERM creatures of habit isn’t just a catchy phrase. Its truth is gaining credence in the world of science as well as in our everyday world of observation. As noted, each time we engage a thought, a particular neural pattern deepens. The more frequently a behavior or feeling is repeated, the more likely it is to be repeated again. No wonder Christians through the centuries have employed chant, prayer beads, and other forms of repetitive prayer.
Mark 11:24 underscores the need for this kind of prayer: “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
State your prayers as affirmations:
- God is my Light and my Salvation (rather than “Be my light …”).
- The Lord of life walks with me (rather than “Please walk with me”).
- Healing Presence, you bring me strength (rather than “Please bring me strength”).
- I am a channel of God’s loving-kindness (rather than “Help me be a channel …”).
We are the gatekeepers of our own minds, monitoring what enters and what exits. Though much enters our minds whether we want it or not, we still have a choice about how to deal with that “content.” Even in the case of traumatic events, once we give proper attention to feelings and wounds, participating in the healing work of God, we can choose to move on. To oversimplify, … our minds are like blank chalkboards, and we hold both the chalk and the eraser.
- Linda Douty
Praying in the Messiness of Life
From pages 50-51 of Praying in the Messiness of Life: 7 Ways to Renew Your Relationship with God by Linda Douty. Copyright © 2011 by Linda Douty. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What prayers of affirmation have you prayed? Is this a comfortable way for you to pray? Why or why not? Share your thoughts.
All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.
John 7:10, NRSV
This Week: pray for farmers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
Did You Know?
SOULFeast is The Upper Room’s spiritual formation event for children, youth, and adults who seek deepening spirituality across a spectrum of experiences that nourish the soul. Learn more.
This week we remember Bede (May 25).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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