A prayer resource

Sometimes it is not easy to know how to pray. Sometimes we don't feel like praying. Sometimes we have prayed the same thing so many times, we are not sure if we're still doing the right thing! What do we do at times like this? Is there a way to place ourselves before God, to simply set the intention of our hearts towards Him and His good purposes in our lives? 

I find myself thinking of a sunflower, that so naturally seeks out the light and turns inexorably to face the sun. This movement is one of freedom, of being drawn towards the light rather than working to achieve this orientation. And so for us, I wonder what simple practices would help to posture ourselves towards the reality of God and His loving intentions for every part of our lives?

Below I suggest one such prayer practice. It is one that I have find extremely helpful as a means of consciously turning my being towards the light and love of God. I offer it here as something you might like to try ... do let me know the ways you find it helpful!

Prayer of intention

The prayer below offers five 'phases' each with the purpose of presenting our beings to God. It is a means of deliberately choosing the orientation of that aspect of ourselves. The suggested wording is to prompt you to express your own desire to turn this part of yourself Godward. 

The phases are:

1. Body

In my body, Lord, I turn to You. May every choice I make be making room for Your intended goodness to me in my body. May the choices I make of what to eat, when to rest, how to exercise, who to sit with, and where to go all be moving me towards Your great goodness. May my physical presence with others be an expression of Your good presence to them.

2. Mind

Lord, I turn every thought towards You and make You the anchor of my thinking. May Your truth inform all of my thoughts; may You be forming the mind of Christ in me as I consider, reflect, seek perspective, and form opinions. May You bring to mind those things that require my attention and fill my mind with new and creative thoughts or solutions that make room for Your goodness to flow.

3. Will, desires, choices

Lord, I bring to You every choice I will make today, the big decisions and the small choices. May You be causing the desires of my heart to be fixed on You and Your kingdom life, so that every choice I make is in line with Your intended goodness. Gather up all my scattered longings and disordered desires so that I long for You and Your kingdom, and all other desires flow from this place. May my choices orientate me towards You today.

4. Emotion

Lord, I turn my feelings towards You and fix myself on the hope I find in You. May the way I feel today about people, circumstances, news, surprises, and even about myself be shot through with the hope that is mine in Jesus. I turn myself towards You, that I would feel about things the way You do. I allow myself, in every joy and trial, to know myself to be embraced and received by You.

5. Spirit

Lord, my spirit is one with Your Spirit today. I waken myself up today, to be discerning of Your Spirit's actions in and around me. I open my eyes to see You, open my ears to hear You. I want to be awake and aware of You, of Your goodness and Your loving presence in the world today. 

May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done in and through me today. Amen.