Confession: I kind of suck at praying.
I’ve certainly had times in my life when I’ve had more regular prayer practices…but it’s often hit-or-miss and has never been quite what I had hoped it would be.
So, almost each month when I meet with my spiritual director, and he asks, “So, what are your prayers like recently…?” I sit there for a few minutes…silent…realizing that I haven’t been praying (or at least I think I haven’t – in the traditional sense). See, for as much as I want to encourage alternative spiritual practices in the church, as much as I want to create alt.worship spaces for people to experience God in different ways…when I think about my own individual spiritual practices, I think of them pretty traditionally.
No, I don’t really have “daily devotionals” (I previously quit quiet-times in 2003). I’m certainly not always in a constant state of prayer. And my contemplative prayer practices? Yah. Not so much.
But as I was talking to my spiritual director this past month…and as he noticed the change in my energy as I talked about my art, I realized that when I’m doing art, it’s really a form of prayer.
I often try to help people realize that when they are doing things they love, that’s a way that they can experience God and pray. But, for some reason, I was not giving myself that same freedom and permission. I have no idea why.
So, when I’m doing my art, and I’m losing myself in it (which is what it feels like), then I can realize and acknowledge that it is a form of prayer for me. And that realization also helps me approach it with more intentionality and reverence.
So, nothing especially revelatory here – but I think it’s a good habit to ask ourselves from time to time: where do we experience joy and energy throughout our days and our weeks? For it is in those prayerful places and activities and people that we are experiencing the love of God.