Pray Where You Are

Prayer Therapy
For many years I’ve been collecting a book series on spirituality called “Elf-Help Books” by Abbey Press. The series contains over forty mini-books on a variety of topics, each one accompanied by charming illustrations by R.W. Alley. Titles include: Trust-in-God Therapy, Stress Therapy, Forgiveness Therapy, Keep Life Simple Therapy, Be–Good-To-Your-Marriage Therapy, and many more. The books are beautiful in their simplicity. 35 to 40 short statements to help you reflect on each topic. Click here for more information on how to order Elf-Help books.

One of my favorites is Prayer Therapy, written by Keith McClellan, O.S.B. In the foreword he writes: “Real prayer is organic—it grows out of your own life, personality, needs, and rhythms. Each day and every moment are filled with opportunities for prayer. If we seize these moments, we open ourselves to the greatest enrichment—and most effective therapy—possible. Prayer isn’t for specialists. Prayer is for you and for me.”

I love this idea that we all have access to a rich prayer life if we only embrace it. Prayer is not reserved for only the most holy. It does not take place only in churches. It does not have to consist of poetic words. Prayer is simply a connection to God in whatever form that may take for each one of us. As Fr. McClellan suggests: “Pray where you are. God is everywhere.” In line at the grocery store. In classrooms. On a busy street. Deep in the woods. High on the mountaintop. In the depths of the valley.

You can bring any emotion or thought to prayer. God loves you and knows you best, and He wants to hear it ALL. Bring your gratitude to God. Your sorrow. Your anger. Your confusion. There may be times when you can’t even find words for what you’re feeling. Let your sigh become a prayer. Or your tears. Or a shrug of your shoulders. Or a clenched and shaken fist. God knows what your heart is experiencing and is listening and loving you.

If you pray where you are often enough, you’ll find it becomes a part of you. A “second-nature” response to every situation. This living, ongoing conversation with God will enrich your life in countless ways. Answers will come. Peace will come. Contentment will remain.

Fr. McClellan closes his book with this beautiful thought: “To pray is to breathe. Do it deeply and you will be filled with life.” AMEN!


13 thoughts on “Pray Where You Are

  1. Sometimes I forget to “formally” pray. However, I do talk to God all day long and all that I do. My conversations with God are my prayer wether I’m thanking Him for a clean bill of health, begging for mercy and forgiveness, or just saying “Good morning God,” i’m still praying actively. I absolutely love the concept of praying where you are; grocery store, school, mountain top or deep Valley. You have such a beautiful way of relaying how everyone’s prayer life is different and that the way we pray, as long as we do it, is okay! Thank you Sheri, for another insightful and beautiful posting.


  2. This is beautiful, Kathleen. Daily conversation with God is my favorite kind of prayer because it’s quick and can become an automatic response if we do it regularly enough. Then we don’t have to feel bad if we fall asleep trying to say our night time prayers! 🙂


  3. Dear Sheri,
    Just an amazing reflection for a day like today. Loved looking out at the snow falling.. could have gotten upset with the inches accumulating..but instead..prayed where I was and so enjoyed the peaceful moments of the day. Thank you so much for reminding me to “pray” where I was.


  4. Pingback: Finding the Sacred in the Details of Marriage | Hearing God's Whisper

  5. Such a great reminder to me to just pray where I am…physically AND mentally. Sometimes just a sigh can be a prayer because as you said, God knows.


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