Leonie is hosting the next Loveliness Fair; today's theme is the loveliness of prayer.
Prayer means different things to different people, and that's as it should be - for we all have a unique and personal relationship with God. And though I believe God knows what we hold in our hearts, sometimes it's nice to say it out loud. Not just for His sake, but for ours. :)
Prayer might be private - a few words before sleep or deep thoughts in the shower. A prayer might be shared - a family's grace before a meal, a whole church filled with musical praise.
Sometimes prayer is comprised of carefully chosen and arranged words - words we've known by heart since we were little. Words that bring us comfort and roll off our tongue when we need them. While other times, prayer is simply our own words - tumbling or straggling out - just us talking with God, as we would talk to a friend - to someone we love.
And sometimes, prayer is just a breath, a thought, a moment of grace, when we feel the presence of God and say thank you.
The beauty of prayer is, we can do it anywhere - in the car, in the shower, in the woods, in bed. I like to think God wants it this way. He longs to hear our thoughts any and all times of day. And whatever we have to say, his ears are always ours for as long as we need them.
And for me, that is part of the loveliness of prayer - that it is available to us any time of day or night, whenever we need it. I love the way it changes according to our needs, or our mood, or even the time of year. And what's more, there are so many beautiful ways to do it.
It is my fond wish to bring more prayer into my life, personally, as well as for my family. I had hoped to write a post about our evolving prayer habits and how we practice and process our faith at home, but for now, I would very much like to share with you a passage from a lovely book I am reading, The Family Cloister: Benedictine Wisdom for the Home:
"Wise families develop a habit of prayer and worship through the year. No matter what the season, we fill our lives with prayer and worship. Just as we regulate the temperature in our home through the year, we adjust our devotional life as a family through the year. We find that in every season we're participating in spiritual life together with God as a family.
During the winter, family prayers warm the home and heart. Light a candle every Sunday in the evening and gather in a circle around the candle to sing, pray and celebrate God's gift of light and warmth.
During the spring, prayer brings new life to the family. Plant new devotional habits into your family life. Let the sunshine of Christ's love shine upon your family, enabling these habits to grow into fruitful daily practices.
During the summer, our life of prayer bears the sweet fruit of godliness. Share creative ways of knowing God. Go on prayer walks together. Draw pictures of favorite Bible stories and hang them up in the family art gallery. Sing songs of praise to God for the goodness of his creation, such as the Irish blessing hymn, "Morning has broken."
During the autumn, God's fruit is harvested for all to enjoy. As you return to the fall schedule after the summer, return to the familiar patterns of spiritual disciplines, such as morning prayer and family devotions. Find practical ways to serve one another in the day as an outward sign of God's fruitful way of life."
Such delicious food for thought! This passage really resonated with me, as our Catholic faith teaches us the lovely rhythm of the liturgical year. Prayer is exciting! We can express it in many different ways.
Thank you Leonie for hosting the Loveliness of Prayer. I have learned so much from these ladies about so many things - as always, I am eager to hear their words and learn from them today.