Thinking. Prayer but no words
I've never been a person who can just sit down and pray easily. For years I kept notebooks full of my written-down prayers because it helped me to focus when I used a pen. (I think best when writing!)
Recently, however, I began to read through a few of my old books and got a bit discouraged. I seem to have been praying the same things for the last 15 years and it doesn't feel like a lot has changed. Maybe it has, but it's not obvious to me, anyway. So I wondered if perhaps I need to pray a different way for a bit - find a different way to express myself to God.
This week the answer came to me when I was reading a book by Henri Nouwen. From something he said about his inner room, all of a sudden, the words of Jesus about prayer, "go into your room and shut the door" came alive.
I don't have a 'room' as such I can go into, but I've been told a number of times that I'm very good at visualisations and relaxations. Being a bit of a stress head, I've certainly done enough of them in my time, and I suddenly realised that I could create an inner room to enter for prayer.
I hardly had to think about it - the room appeared, and the visual symbols to help me focus on God, Christ and the cross and the Holy Spirit, and then a chair in front of a window became part of it as well. I can bring people I'm praying for into the room, sit them in front of the window, and pray for them by visualising the changes in them I would like God to make in their lives.
It's a wordless, very visual kind of prayer, and it's not something I've done before. It's quite new and interesting and very powerful - to me at least. I'm sure I'll go back to my wordy notebooks at some stage, but in the meantime, I'm meeting God in a different location than I usually do.