By Melissa McLaughlin
Have you ever been driving along the highway, cruising at a nice steady speed, not a care in the world, smooth sailing, commuter’s bliss, when all of a sudden the traffic slows to a crawl and then to a stop? The frustration sets in almost immediately. Looking at your watch. Thinking about your to-do-list, mentally sorting through your agenda for the day, all the places you need to be, all the things you need to do. In a flash your anxiety level skyrockets from “all is well” to “when will this be over”.
What can we do when life slows us down?
Most days include these unexpected, unwanted moments of slowness, when our internal life clocks have been re-set without our permission. It may be while driving, it may be while working, it may be while caring for people or managing things in our homes. Often these times of slowness are more than just momentary. It may be a job change or loss of job, an illness or health change, the needs of a family member or friend that require your time.
Where do we turn when life slows us down?
Recently, the rhythm of my life was set to a slower pace. Due to a series of health setbacks combined with home repairs and family events, some losses, some joyous, I was left with a slowing down of my desired pace and life agenda.
Naturally, my first response, much like when driving, was frustration. I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything, like I was walking in slow motion, pushing through quicksand, slogging through deep waters. I felt the world moving ahead at its usual breakneck speed while I watched from the sidelines. With gentle prodding, I sensed the Lord inviting me to slow down my spirit, keep in step with Him and use the time for prayer instead of pressure.
What can we pray when life slows us down?
Here are three simple ideas for prayer when you find yourself in a place of slowness.
1.Help me sense Your Presence, dear Lord.
Heavenly Father, may I use this pause in my life as a sacred pause, a holy moment, a soulful calming, to be still with You and remember that You are God. Help me stand in awe and wonder at the deep, rich, fullness of who You are and what that means.
Holy Spirit, I invite you to awaken my soul to Your Presence with me in all things. Let me take comfort and joy in Your closeness with me wherever I may be.
Lord Jesus, help me fix my thoughts on You that You may be high and lifted up through the praises of my heart. Let me voice my praises and listen to the sound of Your name as I call out that name above all names, Jesus!
Loving Father, help me use this time to draw near to You, recalling Your greatness and the greatness of Your love for me.
2.Help me give thanks to You, my Loving Heavenly Father.
Sovereign Creator, You have created this day and have enabled me to be alive in it. Give me a heart of gratitude for who You are and all You have done for me in Christ Jesus. Holy Spirit, remind me right now of all the things I can be thankful for, from the greatest to the smallest blessings, they are all from You. Though I may not be thankful for any harmful or painful circumstances, I can thank You for being with me through it and for the Godly wisdom and good you can bring about in my life as a result of this difficult experience.
3.Holy Spirit, lead me to pray for others.
Holy Spirit, help me use this stillness as a time of prayer to lift up others and do Your great spiritual kingdom work. Please bring to my mind and heart those who You know need my prayers right now. Those who are grieving, those who are sick, those who are hospitalized or recovering at home, those who are hurting emotionally, those who are lonely, those who are out of work, those who need to know You or walk more closely with You and any others You bring to mind. Spirit of the Living God, pray through me this day, in this very moment of quietness. May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done through these sacred slowed down prayers, just as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ephesians 10:16-18 – In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
When we yield our moments of slowness to the Lord, they are transformed into golden moments of grandeur for His kingdom and for His glory! Have you recently experienced a time of slowing down? Are you currently moving at a crawl or has your life come to a stop? Ask the Lord to help you use this time of restriction to accomplish God’s agenda, God’s spiritual to-do-list, God’s prayer plan, according to God’s eternal time management methods. If you have additional “slow time” scriptures and prayers, please share! May God move in a mighty way, as we pause and meditate on the weight and magnitude of His glory and enjoy partaking in His kingdom work!
Highway Painting ©Tom McLaughlin