The Fashions and Colors of Prayer
by Lisa Benefield
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1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.
Praying without ceasing seems like an impossible task. If we pray without ceasing, there is no way we will have time for our jobs, our families and all of the other responsibilities we have, right? I have found this to be easier than I thought. I have been struggling lately about finding enough prayer time. God answered that struggle with a boring job.
I am fortunate enough to have a job that does not require my full mental focus. That is a nice way to say that I have a rather mundane job. But, that is a good thing. I spend my day praying as I do my work. I spend the day in the Lordís presence. I pray without ceasing. Let me explain.
My work is as a presser in a dry cleaner. It is doing the same thing repeatedly all day. I sometimes use the radio to distract myself from the monotony of my labor. Recently, instead of getting through the day distracted, I have started praying through the day. What a difference this is making for me. I do not go home at the end of the day as tired mentally as I used to. I also feel closer to my God.
I pray using the different styles of clothing as prompts. When a wedding dress ends up in my work to do, I pray for the woman who will be wearing this. I pray that she might know that this is the right person for her to marry. If I know someone getting married, I pray for them as well. I usually pray that the people getting married would found their marriage on serving Christ and others. I ask the Lord to bless their financial prosperity. I pray the extended family, the in-laws, would all be a support and encouragement to the couple. Also, when I press a wedding dress, I am prompted to pray for marriages that I know might be struggling. I pray for my parents who have been married forty years. I pray for my own marriage.
One of the deacons at our church loves to wear Hawaiian shirts. When I have these to press, I pray for this man and the other leaders at our church that they would desire to follow God above all, that they would have wisdom to lead our church and a heart to help others. I pray for this manís health, he has diabetes. This leads me to pray for his elderly mother and other older people I know who are having a difficult time as they age.
One of our friends likes to wear checked button-down shirts. I pray for him and his wife when I make these types of shirts wrinkle free. They are raising three young children under the age of seven. Being a parent is not an easy job. Then I am prompted to pray for his contracting business to grow as well as the contracting/construction jobs of many others that attend our church. This prompts me to pray for those I know that are looking for employment. I pray for our struggling economy.
Our assistant pastorís wife favors a few certain colors. When a blouse or skirt of one of these colors comes through my line, I pray for this woman as she leads the childrenís ministry at church. I pray for her grown children that have told her they do not believe Christ is the answer to their lives. I pray for her to grow closer to Jesus, daily seeking His will. I pray for her as she is pursuing her Masterís degree. I cannot pray for this woman without also praying for the children of our church and their families.
We attend church with a woman that loves the styles of decades long past. She looks great in them. I pray for her when I receive these types of clothing in my stack. I specifically pray that her light would shine before men that they may see her good works and glorify her Father in heaven. I pray this for the other women at church. I pray for other women in church that our needs for relationships would be fulfilled in Jesus. I pray that we might all seek out to know others better and that we would not be so absorbed in our own problems.
One of our friends is a nurse. I pray for her strength and physical well-being as she does her job whenever scrubs come my way to press. I ask that in a moment of crisis, God would grant her a calmness and a peace to make the right care giving decisions. I pray for her to be confident in her knowledge and ability to help others. I pray for her to be a compassionate caregiver during the course of her work.
I am rather enjoying spending my day before my Fatherís throne bringing petitions to Him. It seems the more I pray, the more I am aware of my need to pray. I realize I am helpless and cannot stand on my own. I realize my need to pray without ceasing.
Each day holds different prayers, depending on the workload I am given. I am finding that praying through my day at work makes me more in tune to those around me and how they might need God to work in their lives. It is exciting to me how God has turned a mindless job into a ministry of prayer, showing me the fashions and colors of prayer.
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