When everything is going well, you like to think that your first response will always be prayer. “I will pray for you.” It’s our response to most things. My approach to prayer over the past few years has been somewhat different. Instead of inviting God in a few spoken words, or many spoke words, I try to make my life a prayer. To make everything an encounter with God. To have him with me in everything. At the end of the day, I don’t get to cop out with “I didn’t have time today,” because he is with me in everything.
This started when I was on my first maternity leave. I wanted to have my “quiet time” but I was exhausted. So instead, I laid down on my bed, and prayed “Lord be with me as I nap.” And I took a nap with God. Yeah it sounds silly and like cupcake Christianity. But it was a great nap, and I woke up feeling so light and happy and grateful, who was I to say that God wasn’t in something that restorative and up-lifting.
It’s been a long journey, and don’t get me wrong, I still pray in the more traditional way too. But I don’t worry about prayer as much anymore.
So last night when my husband called me in a blind panic, when we rushed to drop the boys off at a friends house, when we went to the emergency room with our baby girl. No, my first instinct was not to pray about it. My first instincts were, calm Ben, calm M, keep the boys safe, call the Doctor. We had been in the ER for about an hour and a half before I realized I hadn’t prayed yet. And I had to smile.
Because I had friends speaking words for me.
Because I had friends being the hands and feet of Jesus, which tonight happened to look like pizza and a guest room.
Because even though I had said not one word to him, my heart is always turned towards him.
And so, without any words of my own, the whole journey from the gas station, to the frantic phone call, to Kim’s house, to the ER, had been full of God. Of his protection. Of his love. Of his peace. How else does a mom of a nine month old show such poise and presence on this kind of night?
So then I prayed.
Not “Please God,” not “Be with us now Oh Lord,” but “Hmm, thanks for having my back tonight.” And I went immediately back to watching my sleeping baby and stroking my husband’s hair. My words did not call to him, but my life did, and he will always answer.
And she is fine.