Flowering Prayers

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flowers of prayer
source: Fatma M. via Flickr

In what now seems like another lifetime, I worked outside the home. In my very own little office, with a big old iMac and a filing cabinet and my trusty space heater for when it felt like 45 degrees inside.

Filed under “other related tasks,” I was occasionally asked to read a trade book and see if I thought it could translate into a Bible study. Strangely, one of these was Second Calling, which is about women in their 40s and beyond. When I “retired” from LifeWay, I was 27 years old.

As I’ve read a couple hundred books since then, I don’t remember much about Dale Hanson Bourke’s treatise, except that I really liked it, enough to buy a copy for my mother. But I do remember her talking about prayer.

She said she often had issues focusing when it comes to prayer. Do you? I certainly do. I don’t know if it’s exhaustion, trying to remember 100000 things at a time, or what, but my mind tends to wander endlessly when I pray.

But Bourke shared an image of her prayer life that has stuck with me. She said she imagined sitting with Jesus in a field somewhere and handing Him flowers and rocks. The flowers represented the praises and thanks from her. The rocks are the requests and troubles.

“In my basket are flowers that I give to Jesus with words of thanks and praise. … I picture Jesus smiling as I hand him the flowers. Then I pull off my backpack and take out the rocks. I give him my burdens that are weighing me down.  I give him the tiny, sharp stones that are irritating me. … I visualize handing these all over to Jesus.”

I just loved that idea, and I still do, and found myself trying to hone my mind on something similar this morning. Giving Him those things that were in my arms. Some are flowers – sweet praises, thankfulness overflowing. Some are stones or weeds – petitions for myself and others. Desire for understanding and knowledge.

It’s one way that helps me to pray with my full mind. Do you have any techniques for this you can share?

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