Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Private Prayer - An Introduction

Dear Father,

The power of Your love can save souls. The power of Your grace can transform lives. I will mediate on Your love so that my cup overflows. I will be transformed by the renewal of my mind through the study of Your word, which is the truth about who I am, whose I am, and why I'm here. Through the partnership of Your grace and my humility, with the power of Your Spirit within me, may I walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called.


Prayer journal entry May 4th and 8th (above), 2015.

I write my early morning prayers freehand, slowly and carefully. Tediously is a better descriptor. Not that I want to. It's that I suffer from 'Essential Tremor'. I think that's what it is. Nothing else seems to fit how I would describe my symptoms, which just collectively celebrated their 11th birthday. Whoopee!

I know not why it started, nor do I know how to stop it. My hand is fine when I use it to text, drive, and drink. (Gotcha!) Yes, of course, at different times. But when I write freehand, which I prefer over typing actually, I steady the forefinger and thumb of my right hand with a firm grasp of the same digits on the left.

The resulting penmanship looks pretty neat, if I don't say so myself. The pace rots, not rocks, however, at a grueling two pages per hour, estimated to be a similar rate at which cavemen chiseled environmental observations on stones ("Buffalo antelope on plain. Grunt.").

So if it's so difficult, so tedious, why do I do it? When I write freehand, I stir the words in my head and, as much as I can, my heart, like Campbell's Alphabet Soup that's too hot. Doesn't seem like much, does it. Thinking in writing is what I'd like to think I'm doing.

I noticed I think differently when I type. I like how my thoughts are less random, less trying to impress, and more concerned about what's authentic, what's moving in the moment to me. I guess I'll get used to this keyboarding stuff. I'll have to; I want to share my thoughts with you, if you'll let me.

Looking back at that prayer from May 8, 2015, I'd change a few things. For example, the ultimate thrust of "all truth" in Scripture is all about His eternal plan for the church. Not who I am and whose I am, although that's part of it. Kind of the wrong perspective, that's all. Let my focus ever be on Him!

Look a little closer and I hope you'll see my references to Scriptures dancing in my head, singing to my heart. Some of the obvious ones are the cup overflowing from Psalm 23. An abundance of meditation passages are found throughout Psalms, such as Psalm 119. Being transformed by the renewal of my mind is from one my favorite verses, Romans 12:2. The study of His word is my reference to verses like 2 Timothy 2:15 and Hebrews 4:12. The manner of my walk takes me back to Ephesians 4.

I love it all, truly I do. If only this world wasn't so darn distracting, difficult, and tedious, like my 'Essential Tremor'.


Dwight said...

I am conservative with my words of prayer in this journal since my freehand writing takes time and effort. My written prayers within its covers are focused on the relationship between me and my Father. However, I frequently pray throughout the day for others and their circumstances with thanksgiving, praise and supplication. But those prayers, like my confessions, are private. Except, of course, the confession that Jesus is the Christ.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Ann Marie Ackermann said...

Writing out prayers is an interesting idea. I wonder how common it is -- I suspect most people don't do it. This might be an area where people would enjoy hearing more from you.