I was with some of the guys the other day. We flitted from one subject to another. One of those “flits” was about this prayer journey we’re on and how it wasn’t the easiest thing for us to follow.
I had to ask myself why I seem to be at ease praying in front of (or with) other folks. …But when I’m by myself, my mind floats all over the place. It’s like I’m “trying hard” to pray. I didn’t have to “try hard” to talk with the guys. I didn’t even have to “try hard” to pray with the guys
Different folks through the years have shared pointers with me about praying. Some have been great. Others….well, let’s just say they feel like “trying harder”.
Through this 40 day journey, I want to share a few of those suggestions that have helped me. I’ll try to share one a week. Feel free to take ‘em or leave ‘em.
Today’s is a suggestion that I never would have seen if I hadn’t been married to a Second Grade Teacher. In Kerry’s 2nd Grade classroom, there’s a little corner in the back of the room between the filing cabinet and the wall. She’s calls it the POP. (No – it has nothing to do with computers and where they store emails!) In Kerry’s room, the “POP” stands for the “Place of Peace”. When you go back there and sit, you find yourself face to face with one of the best pictures of Jesus that I’ve seen. I don’t know where Kerry found it. It’s just one of those warm, inviting, rugged, smiling pictures of Jesus that draws you to him. You kinda want to sit there and look… think about him… even talk with him.
And that’s just what those 2nd graders do. Granted, sometimes Kerry has to tell a kid to go spend some time in the POP. But, I love the stories about kids who actually ask permission if they can go back there. Kerry will often slip back just to hear some of the kids discussing their situations with Jesus. Sometimes, Kerry’s the one who informs the class she’s going to the POP. I love listening to Kerry’s stories of how kids return from the POP and how they process what happened there.
I think a “POP” is a helpful thing to consider – something that reminds you that you’re not alone in this prayer thing. In fact, prayer is anything but alone. That’s the bottom line. You’re talking with someone – even if you can’t see him. He’s there with you – and it just might help to picture him as “warm, inviting, rugged, and smiling”. As you picture him, hold on to the fact that he understands what you’re going through because he faced the same challenges… and he loves you… and he’s going to help. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
One last thing – when I first saw Kerry’s POP I thought back to my own 2nd grade experiences of “sitting in the corner”. Isn’t it nice to realize that God was there in those “corner” moments of our lives? Even if I missed it back then, I know he was always there to listen and help. He’s still there… offering to transform those “corners” into “POP”s.