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  • Writer's pictureRev. Susan Eaton

When Words Don't Come

When I first saw the meme below, my thought was, "Accurate." As the pandemic lingers on and even raises its ugly head with yet another rise in cases (at least where I live), and our family continues to navigate ever-changing school schedules and church events, all while falling headlong into the holiday season, I have found that connecting with the Lord during my usual prayer time has been a bit more challenging.

Words typically flow easily for me, so one of my favorite ways to pray is to write in stream of consciousness style to the Lord. When I put pen to paper, something clicks with me, the words flow out, and I find that I'm better able to hear from the Lord as well. But lately, I've just felt stuck in the mud. I know God is present, but He's also felt distant, and I've begun to feel undone at times.

One method I like to use when words don't come, or when I am just so low or scattered that I don't even know where to begin is visualization. God gifted us with beautiful minds capable of picturing our thoughts when we are incapable of finding the right words. I use this when I'm scattered, when I need to calm down, or when I need to stop talking and be still in the presence of the Lord. The following is one of my common visualization practices:

Jesus and I are sitting next to each other under a large tree. I am leaning on Jesus with my head on his shoulder and his arm is around me. There's a lake in front of us and we're gazing out at the water. A hillside lies just beyond the lake covered in trees. It's a sunny day, but not hot, and we're sheltered by the shade of the large tree we're sitting under. We just sit together, looking at the water. I'm smiling and content and so is Jesus. I rest in the truth that he loves me, is not hurried, and is enjoying my presence and my love every bit as much as I am enjoying his.

I encourage you to give this a try. Whatever image or scene you imagine, stay there in the moment with Jesus. You can begin to tell him what is on your mind while you are in that safe place with him. This can be a powerful way to pray, but don't be discouraged if you don't feel you are "good" at it initially. Keep practicing. You will notice that you're able to stay in those quiet moments for longer periods of time, and you will come away refreshed and renewed from being in the presence of the Lord.

Remember, prayer is about connecting with the Lord. We don't have to have the right words all the time, or ANY words for that matter, to connect with God and benefit from His presence. May you find the space to be present with the God of Love today and find some peace.

*You can find more spiritual practices and help with prayer in our book "You're Gonna Be Okay" which is available in both ebook and paperback on Amazon.

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