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The Power of Written Prayer
Finding Focus and Connection Through Scripted Words
If you're anything like me, you've probably experienced those moments when you sit down to pray, eager to connect with God, only to find your mind wandering to other memories and plans like a curious moth. You want to pour your heart out in conversation, but the words seem to escape you, and the smallest of distractions pulls you away. You're not alone in the struggle; it's something a lot of us battle with on our spiritual journeys, but I've discovered a beautiful solution that has brought new life and depth to my prayer life: the power of written prayer.
Now, you might saying, “Why would I want to read someone else's words when I'm trying to communicate my deepest thoughts and feelings to God? Isn't that a bit like reading off a script in a play? Where’s the transparency and spiritual effort?” On the contrary, I have found that using written prayers is not the result of spiritual laziness or a sign of dishonesty but is more like having a guide to help me navigate the labyrinth of my thoughts and feelings and to keep me focused on the conversation at hand.
Still not convinced? Think about it this way: When you sing a worship song, do you mean the words you are singing? I sure hope so, and it's the same with written prayers. These prayers have been crafted by individuals who have, at some point, experienced the same struggles and yearnings as you. They've taken the time to put into words what our hearts might be trying to say. Just like we genuinely mean the words in our favorite songs, we can sincerely mean the words in a written prayer.
Using written prayers doesn't mean we are relinquishing our personal connection. It’s just an invitation to let our hearts line up with words that mirror our feelings and desires. As we pray the words, they become a bridge that can bring focus and clarity to our thoughts. I consider it a collaboration between my own emotions and the wisdom of those who've walked similar paths before me.
Written prayer is a collaboration between my own emotions and the wisdom of those who've walked similar paths before me.
I try to remind myself that prayer isn't about impressing anyone with fancy words. It's about the yearning of my heart, the openness of my spirit, and the authenticity of my desire to connect. Just like I cherish and mean the words in a song, I can cherish and mean the words in a written prayer.
Our faith journeys are deeply personal, filled with twists and turns, moments of clarity, and periods of doubt. Faith is a journey that involves the vulnerability of our hearts, whether we use our own words or the words of someone else. Embracing written prayer as tool that can illuminate our paths and enhance our connection is a wonderful way to train our brains to focus on what really matters.
My prayer collection ranges from words written by long dead authors to collections of verses from the Bible. If you’re interested in praying written prayers, take a look back at some of my previous posts on prayer. I’m looking forward to adding more to the mix. I hope you will find your heart embracing the depth that they can add to your conversations with God in the same way they have for me.
Dear God, you are happiness itself. The source of all that makes me joyful. You are my creator, sustainer, provider, and protector. You have sustained me and supported me, saved me and kept me. You are able to meet all of my needs in every situation. I want to live near to you. I don’t want to be complacent and resigned to who I am today, but I want to grow more and more into who you made me to be; in love, in grace, in patience, in kindness, in self-control. If others insult me, allow me to love them. When people reject me, help me to remain confident in my position as your child. Please Lord, keep me walking in the path of everlasting joy in which you live. If I should turn my heart away from you, remind me of your love and patience, your forgiveness and grace. Thank you for being ever present, and ever faithful. May your love sustain me even today.