Monday, July 28, 2014

Where Prayer Converts to Worship (Prayer Summer 2014)

My backyard

I was born in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. To me the U.P. with its vast forests, lakes, many waterfalls, and Lake Superior and Lake Michigan shoreline is beautiful. More than beautiful, I see this as a "creation," fashioned by God.

This world is a creation of God. I look on the world and think of God. Seeing this way, I find God's handiwork everywhere. All I need to do is walk into my backyard or the park across the street to experience God's reflected glory. 

This deeply affects how I pray. I see and experience God as greater, and myself as a beloved creation of our great God.

When possible I pray outside, or at least looking through a window upon the creation. Often, at night when it is dark and before I go to sleep, I step outside and look up. I do this even in the coldest weather! My praying at this point becomes mostly giving praise and glory and expressed wonder to the One responsible for all this.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

I ride my bike to Lake Erie and sit on a bench with my journal and Bible next to me. As I am surrounded by the sights and sounds of water, fields, trees and varieties of birds I pray it all in, mind-body-spirit-soul. Praying in this environment heals my troubled heart, cures my self-obsession, and restores my focus. 

Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.
Revelation 14:7

True lovers of God's creation find beauty wherever they look. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is no more stunning than my backyard. I learned this from praying everywhere, and from a book like Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

If possible, pray outside today. This is where prayer converts to worship.