Bubbles of prayer

Praying as I drove, I felt my heart bursting with affection for the names that popped into my mind. LeeAnne—Lord, heal her. Be with her, inspire her, comfort her… Our pastors, Lord, thank You for them and the way they love You. Anoint them and inspire them… Another friend who I won’t name here… heal her marriage. Bring about change. Give her hope…

And suddenly the tears were flowing.

My heart went from one desperate need to another. As the requests flowed and my heart and mind aligned in prayer, I felt like each prayer was a little bubble floating upwards. Released from my heart and directed towards God. But that’s not what made the tears flow.

I could imagine God on the receiving end of these prayer bubbles, watching each one rise towards Him and then gently cradling it in His hands before tucking it away. He treat4ed each one with tender care, like rare and special and fragile artifacts.

They are. Sometimes I think I’m too careless with my prayers. It’s like I’m pitching a baseball in God’s general direction. Plenty of energy and speed but no time to aim. Many of them go wild. And then, there are times when I realize how important these prayers are. When I recognize them as God’s love in my heart, giving me supernatural affection for the people He has placed in my life.

When the prayers I pray come from my heart, which comes from God’s heart, and go back to God’s heart, there’s something special that happens. The prayers change me. The love overflows and rubs off onto my own life.

Because God told us to love as He loves. To put others before ourselves. To pray in accordance with God’s will. To believe that God loves His children so much that Jesus came to redeem us.

So as I send up these beautiful, shimmering bubbles of prayer, I am in are of the God who cares that much. The One who waits to hold those needs close to His heart and cradles them with His gentle love and attention, treating each of them as a fragile and precious thing. Allowing us to have a part in this, by using prayer to generate these objects of true beauty.

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Dear Precious Lord, thank You for letting us be part of this beautiful act of creation. Receive our needs with gentleness and mercy, and help us to entrust You with them. Also, Lord, help us to always remember just what a beautiful gift prayer can be. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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I’d love to pray for you today. Leave a message in the comments and I’ll start releasing some beautiful, shimmering bubbles of prayer on your behalf. God is waiting, and He is listening.

Kelly Stanley

Kelly O’Dell Stanley is the author of Praying Upside Down and Designed to Pray. A graphic designer who writes (or is it a writer who designs?), she is also a redhead who’s pretty good at controlling her temper, a believer in doing everything to excess, and a professional wrestler of doubt and faith. She blogs at kellyostanley.com and calls small-town Indiana her home.

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