“As down in the sunless retreats of the ocean
Sweet flowers are springing no mortal can see,
So deep in my soul the still prayer of devotion,
Unheard by the world, rises silent to Thee.”
Prayer. What does that word say to you? For some, it means religion; chanted words that have little relevance. For others it’s “Thank you for this food…” or “Now I lay me down to sleep…”
For me, something inside me shifts at the mention of the word “prayer”. Every cell in my body seems to perk up at the thought. My very DNA comes to attention. Why? We (me and all my molecules), get to be with our Creator. We get to touch the Divine.
So far, in this series, we have discussed various items of spiritual armor. If I were really on my “A” game, I would make sure that, each day, I was equipped with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the words of God.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
…and then comes…
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Simply put: pray all the time, in all kinds of ways, about everything, and for everybody.
Why do you suppose Paul added this item into the armor of God, but didn’t assign it a specific article or weapon? I mean he could have called it the glove of prayer. Hmm. Spear of prayer? Tunic of prayer? Okay, I’m being silly.
In Paul’s day, Roman soldiers often wore a long, heavy cloak. It protected the armor from rain and wind-blown sand. It usually bore an emblem of Rome or a symbol of Caesar.
I like to think of prayer as a cloak. It covers everything. Maybe I left home without my breastplate of righteousness, or I dropped my shield of faith. That’s okay. I’m covered. Prayer will get me through.
In fact, I don’t really need anything else. Okay, back up. Let’s not go nuts. I need other things. I need it all. Some days I just don’t feel strong or well-armed. But I always have that connection. My heart is tattooed with the signature of my King. All I have to do is stop and whisper a few words and I am right back where I need to be. Prayer wraps me in Love and reminds me that I am important, protected, and I have a mission.
For those of you who associate prayer with a stuffy religious practice, think of if as affirmations or positive self-talk. Now imagine that your words and thoughts are a direct connection to the Universe or an Energy larger than yourself. It may be hard to get your head around this, but we are all connected. Every person, every creature, every atom, every spark is connected to you and your willingness to be open. Imagine the possibilities! Imagine what might happen to your fear and sadness when confronted with that kind of power!
For me, prayer opens a door to feelings of peace, Love, safety, joy, anticipation, and miracles.
For all my biblical friends, here are some affirmations for you.
By the way, prayer is simply you opening up. It doesn’t have to be fancy. There are no “right” words.
I will leave you with a sample.
Thank you for everything good in my life.
When I have problems, I know it will work out.
I know I am not alone.
Today I will be strong.
Today I will help someone.
Today is gonna be awesome!