I’ve got some barely prayers these days. The kind that barely get out and up and toward God. They are little and reaching and hardly in a quiet place; they compete in the noise of my mind and my life. They are looking out the window, in the shower, picking up small legos on my hands and knees with my pregnant belly sinking closer than I’d like to the floor….making it hard to grab those last few ones deep beneath the couch.
They are in the sighs of my daily grind.
I need a perspective change…maybe I should stay as low as my belly is getting to the ground. It’s humbling and good training. Ann Voskcamp says this about our daily life, our training toward godly thinking: “Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the the essence of transformation.”
Practice and training and barely prayers. They all go together….I need to practice a barely prayer that asks God to change me. To transform me. To, as Paul puts it: present my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….(Romans 12:1-2)
These barely prayers I have been praying are for mind renewal when I remember to think of my daily life as a training ground, as a practice to make room for God and to make room for heart change. They are training my heart from bitterness to thankfulness; from burden to privilege: 3 loads of laundry again, another night by myself with kids, again, into: my love work is to give a clean, safe place to my children…..to read them stories that speak of truth and noble character and the goodness of our King.
Some of these barely prayers look like:
-God, help me give thanks in the smallest things, to make room for you.
-Make me into who you want me to be.
-Give me strength and grace to find you in the places I don’t think you are (the kitchen sink, the pot of soup, the scrubbing floors, the folding laundry, the lego search)
-Thank you. Thank you for my kids laughter. Thank you for Lego creations and imaginations everywhere. Thank you for eggs and toast.
-Open my eyes to find you today.
-God, I feel alone and empty. Fill me.
-Help my unbelief.
-You have a plan for suffering. The crucifixion had purposes. Help me in my doubt.
-Lord, remove my cynicism. Replace it with grace.
Barely prayers are still prayers. They still acknowledge our need to look to the hills for help from God (Psalm 122), the maker of the highest, most majestic places. The maker of change in our hearts. The maker of the daily graces and good gifts that are here - that I want to see. Like snow igloos and Daddy's engineering.....