Creative PrayingCommissioner Debrah Bell encourages readers to use creativity to find new life in prayer.
Creativity and the desire to create are gifts from The Creator. When we use creativity in ways that bring honor and glory to the Creator, we experience great joy. My main outlet for creativity is using words. Yours may be painting, drawing, singing, dancing or playing an instrument. One expression of creativity we can all do is pray. It does not take much effort to pray and because it is so simple, we often forget that prayer is a wonderful gift from God. Think, when you pray, you are communicating with God – our amazing Maker and Creator. Do not let prayer become a rote or meaningless ritual. Be creative when you pray!
In my book, The Lord is My Shepherd – Think, I write about the different ways God interacts with me. This helps me understand “Who” the Lord is in my life and perhaps also in the lives of others. One of the first things I ask of my readers is to think about the names they use for God. What are the names you list? My list includes Creator or Maker. It also includes a name I once heard in a public prayer, The Uncreated One. When I first heard that name used, I was shocked to think of all-powerful God as being “UN” anything. Using “The Uncreated One” as a name for God felt like a heresy; however, that description of God did its job – it made me think. Calling God The Uncreated One touches on one of the greatest theological conundrums: who created God? God gave Moses a name, and we translate it as I AM. The Uncreated One and I AM are close cousins in words that try to help us grasp the “Who” of God. God is Eternal and has no beginning or end. When we think about the “Who” of God, we begin a journey that challenges our most precious perceptions and eventually leads us to our knees in humble praise of our Creator.
When you talk to or about God, what are the words or the names you use? When we use those words and names differently and only for God, they help us enter into the Presence of God with reverence and expectation.
Sometimes it helps to use a familiar pattern of prayer as a beginning. Many people use the prayer pattern given by Jesus to His disciples that begins with “Our Father” and other people use Psalm 23 as their prayer. If you were to use either Psalm 23 or the Lord’s Prayer as your pattern, your prayer would address or describe God and define your relationship. Look at the words “Our Father.” The word “our” is a plural possessive word that indicates a collective. Think about who is included in the word “our” when you use it in this prayer. Do you mean your family, church, neighborhood, town, nation and world? Do you use the word “our” to include all humans past, present and future? Can you include all of creation since God is Creator of all? The word “our” indicates relationship.
What do you mean when you use the Word “Father” in this prayer? The word “Father” links with the words “Creator and Maker” but indicates a more familiar relationship.
Use your words to explain what you want to say about the words: Our and Father. Here are my words: I join with all creation to express my praise to the One who loves me to express my love for The ONE who has taken care of me.
When you think about alternate meaning of the words contained in the prayers you recite, it will give new life to those prayers. This is creative praying, and you can do it.
Try out the words: “The Lord is my Shepherd.” The One and only God, Lord of all, amazingly is my Caretaker.
If you could not use the word Shepherd and the analogy of sheep, what would you use instead? I might say, “The Unique and First Architect is my Designer and Maintainer. He has everything under control.”
Praise The Lord as you pray by praying with creativity. Think about the words you use and add new life into your praying. Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing. That means our every breath, thought and action is a prayer. Pray as you dance, sing, speak, build, work, play and relate to the world around you. God is amazing and worthy of our praise.
Remember: in your mind and on paper, capitalize the words and names you use for God. Take another look at your prayer patterns and try something different. Think about the familiar words you use and try other words in their place. Your prayers will be creative and, in your creativity, you will find new life in your prayers. That will bring honor and glory to God. Use different expressions on your face and in your body language to help add another dimension to your prayers. Don’t forget to Praise The Lord!
“Sing songs of praise to the Name that belongs to the True God! Let your voices ring out in songs of praise to Him, the One who rides through the deserted places. His name is the Eternal; celebrate in His glorious presence.”Psalm 68:4 (The Voice)