What does a jingle bell, click pen, stone, binder clip, paperclip, warm fuzzy, and quarter have to do with quiet prayer? On Sundays in Lent, Quiet Lent Prayer Practices will return with all new Handheld Prayers. Our Handheld prayer satchels will contain five small objects that fit in our hands and remind us in a small, everyday way of the many options we have when we open the conversation to God in prayer.
Here is a file containing the information card in each satchel: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/handheld-prayers-explanation-card-2019.pdf
JINGLE BELL/CLICK PEN: Praise
I find it helpful to begin my prayers by remembering who God is and what God has done for me. Hold your jingle bell in the palm of your hand and let it jingle. If you don’t have a jingle bell handy, you can click the top of a click pen until it sounds like applause. As you do this, offer to God in prayer all of the ways that make God wonderful to you. You might choose to start with Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Keep a jingle bell or click pen handy this week, and practice offering your praise to God in prayer.
One of the things that we can do when we pray is to get all the things that bother us off of our chest. When we admit to the wrong things that we have done, it is called confession. When I have done something wrong, it often feels like a rock is in the pit of my stomach. If I try to ignore that feeling, it still bothers me, like the feeling of a pebble in my shoe. Hold your stone in the palm of your hand. As you do this, offer to God in prayer all those things that are weighing you down. You might choose to start with 1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Keep a stone handy this week, and practice offering your confession to God in prayer.
BINDER CLIP: Intercession
One of the most popular ways to pray is to pray for someone else who is in need. This type of prayer is called intercession. When we pray of others, we are asking God to hold them close, so this week’s Handheld Prayer object is a binder clip or paperclip. Hold it in your hand and squeeze it open and shut as you tell God about all the people who you know need God to hold them close today. You might choose to start or end with Romans 8:26 “The Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” Keep your binder clip handy this week, and practice offering intercessions to God on behalf of others.
WARM FUZZY: Petition
When we pray for ourselves, offering our deepest hopes and fears to God, it is called petition. When I was a kid, we learned that offering someone a compliment was a “warm fuzzy,” while an insult was a “cold prickly.” Because we are asking for the comfort which comes only from God, petition is a warm fuzzy. Hold it in your hand and squeeze it as you tell God about what you need today. You might choose to start or end with Psalm 86:7 “I call on you and you answer me.” Keep your warm fuzzy handy this week, and practice telling God what you need.
Another popular way to pray is to offer people, places, and things for which we are thankful to God in prayer. But how do we get beyond the big, general categories and into everyday thankfulness? For this type of prayer, you have a quarter. It is not worth much, and gives us a good reminder that something does not have to be big or particularly precious in order to spark our thankfulness. Hold it in your hand or transfer it from hand to hand as you tell God about the little things for which you are thankful. You might choose to start or end with Psalm 107:1 “I give thanks to the Lord, for you are good; your steadfast love endures forever.” Every time that you hold a coin in your hand this week, practice giving thanks to God for the little things.