My Prayer Life: From Stale to Inspired
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Colossians 4:2
There I was, sitting across from Him at the local coffee shop. The conversation had gone stale, or maybe I had just stopped listening. I don’t know when I started doubting His responses or why I looked away when He tried to share grace and kindness.
There were a million other places I wanted to be instead of sitting here across from Him. I’d rather be with friends talking about how great He is, or at work sharing about the gifts He lavished on me. I’d rather be designing a great “look” on our shared Instagram page than actually trying to make the curated picture become reality.
That “Him” was God.
The conversation was prayer. The gifts He lavished were grace, forgiveness and freedom.
But my conversations with God had grown stale and tired. I felt like we had grown apart. He never moved. He was always steady. Always looking me in the eye. It was I who wandered, I who made it appear my faith was okay on the outside while doubting His truth on the inside.
When you have been having the same conversations over and over, things can start to get stale. That was my prayer life. Nearly three decades ago, God and I began to talk across the metaphorical table. But something changed.
That something was me.
Perhaps this is you, too. Do you find your prayer life growing stale sometimes? Do you forget what you’ve prayed about in the past? Does prayer feel like a daily task to mark off your list? Is it filled with anticipation, worship and awe or obligation and indifference?
This was me. Wondering all of these questions, I knew I needed a change of heart. I needed a fresh perspective on prayer to get back to the purpose of meeting with God.
When I started Bible journaling, I found that change of heart. Not only did it revive my prayer life, but it helped me find the devotion, alertness and thankfulness Colossians 4:2 speaks about: “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”
I have been reading the Bible all my life, but this visual way to worship in the margin helped me write the living and active Word of God on my heart. It felt natural to write out my prayers using color and creativity in the margins of my Bible. God was giving me a fresh perspective through colored pencils and stickers — and my creative heart came alive.
God and I began to have conversations again. Not over coffee, but in paint strokes, patterned tape and other expressions of my faith, prayers and gratitude.
Prayer is our breath, our words, our actions, our listening ear. It’s also the stroke of a pen and the vibrant colors we use to describe and worship God. What a joy to be in awe of God in the midst of creativity.
Prayer is all about connection with God. It’s engaging with the Creator of the Universe, and sometimes it’s done with artful expression. My stale prayer life radically changed as I used creativity to express and capture my moments with God.
Prayer is no longer silence over espresso; it’s alive and active through art in the margin of my Bible. Maybe like me, you need to try something new and different to bring freshness back into your prayers. Whether that’s Bible journaling or something else that God shows you, don’t be afraid to explore ways to make your walk with God even more beautiful. After all, He’s a God of doing new things.
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for drawing us near and speaking to us through Your life-giving Word and through prayer as we “sit across the table from You.” May our prayers be alert and thankful as we express our devotion to You. We are undeserving of Your lavish and enduring love. Brush off the cobwebs of our prayers and rejuvenate us through Your Word today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Take out some markers or crayons and a sheet of paper and write out a verse or a prayer creatively.
Could getting creative in the margins of your Bible help rejuvenate your time in the Word or in prayer?
What is one thing you can do today to strengthen your prayer life?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”