Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying

5 Ways to PrayThis week it is all about prayer on nicplynel.  Monday was how God used spring to help me see his paths, Tuesday compared seeds to prayers, and today, well obviously by the super cool new little graphic thing I figured out how to make (thank you Kerri and canva.com) I am going to cover five different ways to pray.  These are the main ones I use on a daily basis, weekly basis, you know…whenever I need to talk to God.

So lets get started… here is our art for today:

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Lord, Listen to your Children Praying by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

This is why we pray!  Because our God IS listening.

1. Silent Self Prayers  I love a good silent, meditative prayer.  These are so easy to do anytime, anywhere, anyhow.  Because it is just like a phone call to God inside your head.  Just talking.  No special flowery words.  No structure.  Just chatting.  But I do think having a special place to pray helps.  You know where I pray the best?  Two places:  my art studio table where I also do my Bible study and in the car.  The first makes complete sense–I always feel compelled to talk to God from the depths of my heart after reading His words.  It feels like the most natural response in the world.  But the car…who knew?  Right?  But if I am alone, and it is quiet, my heart automatically reaches out to God.  I truly believe He loves to hear our thoughts.

2.  Journaling/Lists  Writing down prayers can be so therapeutic.  Journaling isn’t keeping track of my day–it isn’t a log for me.  I am a list maker, so for me it is mostly a collection of them.  It is where I put all things heavy on my heart and mind, or the list of gratitude for blessings big and small.  I started a long time ago with listing 5 things a day to be thankful for–even if it was that I didn’t burn my toast.  And then I started making a list of people that needed prayers.  And then I started…

3.  Artwork  It began with doodles around my lists, then morphed into needing to put a layer of color behind the list, then I wanted to write out favorite Bible verses.  This is actually a big movement right now.  Praying in Color is a book that is out about just doodles.  Zentangling is glorified meditative doodling–with really fun results.  Shanna Noel has made Illustrated Faith a huge movement–they draw/use stickers/etc in journaling Bibles.  I am hoping to start teaching some workshops at some point.  Everyone loves to color–why not pray and do it at the same time!

Or maybe my artwork helps you pray.  I love getting comments back that a piece was exactly what you needed here on the blog and on Etsy.  That is why I sell the prints.  That is why I post them here.  We are praying at the same time through them.    **see #5  🙂

4.  Music  We hear music constantly these days.  The girls and I have been studying composers and discussed how people either had to play it themselves, sing or hum if they wanted a soundtrack to their day.  And now, it is incredibly easy to have it as filler noise.  But so many Christian songs have such heartfelt lyrics.  Sometimes a prayer can just be slowing down, really listening to one song, and repeating the chorus with them.  Many are meant to be worship full.  Prayer is feeling the words and lifting  them to God.  So for this prayer the course is set, we just have to ride along, and let it fill our heart.  Need ideas?  Check out my music series here.  Or just click music series in the tag cloud.

5.  Corporate Prayer  There is a comfort in reciting a well-known prayer.  To know that generations before you have said that prayer.  To know that people right now are sending up the same words to God.  There is comfort in knowing the same blessing will be invoked.  There is peace in a ritual confession.  Many voices lifting prayers together brings unity and connection.  Whether you find a small group of people to say your own prayers, or you are in church with a mass of people praying as one.  My family says the same table prayer most nights–the same prayer I know my parents in Iowa are saying, my sister in Ohio is saying, and many of my other family members across the nation are reciting, the same one my great grandparents used.  For me–I am not just reciting it like a drone.  I am sharing a tradition, a connection with my family that touches my heart. How powerful is that to know hundreds of people are in the same prayer?   God can’t miss that one!  Check back with me and I can connect you to resources for written prayers.

Oh, there are so many ways to pray.  I could go on and on and on.  But this is enough for today.  I will continue my prayer discussion tomorrow.

Until then…know that I lifted a prayer for each of you today:  that you will be blessed with the love and peace of Jesus.  That you will find rest or strength in Him, whichever you need today.  That I am thankful for your presence here.






Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.

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