I’ve been trying to go on prayer walks on Mondays. Mondays have become my day off and I’ve been trying to set aside time to go out into the woods and just pray. The last two weeks I haven’t been able to. Last week it was raining and that’s not a good idea to be out in the woods during times like that. That and I caught a cold too which isn’t all too good. Then this last Monday, I wanted to go out and walk in the woods but my knee and ankle were killing. Sadly, I made the decision that my bones might know a bit better than I and I choose not to go.
Instead, I took time to sit and pray. And that’s harder than walking and praying. As I walk and pray, I’m able to look around at God’s grandeur. I’m able to see His works and sing off key This is My Father’s World. I’m able to keep focused on my prayers by looking at what’s around me.
Not so when I’m sitting in my chair, head bowed, hands folded, eyes closed. I’m still. And I know that we’re supposed to be still and know that he’s God. But that’s hard. It’s hard. Because I have to really stay focused. And being ADD, I have a hard time staying focused.
In my prayer walks, I can spend up to an hour just in prayer alone as I walk the trails around me. It’s amazing thing, to pray for an hour. I never thought I could do that. Sometimes I just talk. Other times I just listen. Time goes by so fast. Each step I take I feel the prayer.
When I sit, time slows down. It seems like I’m struggling to carry a conversation. It feels like I just can’t pray like I do on my prayer walks.
And then I feel bad. I beat myself up. I feel like as a spiritual leader, I just don’t cut the mustard (how you can cut mustard is beyond me, but I just can’t cut it though). I feel like I’m failing some how because I can’t sit still and pray.
And I’m thinking I’m not the only one.
Prayer is the fundamental part of being healthy spiritually. There are times where we speak. There are other times where we listen. It’s the listening part that’s the hardest. I think it’s easier to listen while on a prayer walk because there’s so much to listen to. The birds chirping, the wind blowing, the leaves rustling in said blowing wind, the crunch of the leaves and grass beneath my feet, the bugs buzzing. It’s all there.
Yet, what I’m realizing is that sometimes, sometimes that’s the noise that keeps me from listening. Sometimes it’s helpful in hearing God in the world. Other times it gets in the way of my focusing on praying to my savior.
It’s in the silence that I hear his voice. In the silent, in the holy place, in His presence, I hear His voice whispering words of comfort, support, encouragement and direction.
What will come this Monday? Another prayer walk or time in silence? Or both?
What about you? How are your prayers? How’re you with the silent moments?