Now what? During Lent we modified our prayer habits for the sake of getting right with God, but what happens after the relief of resurrection? Do we relapse?
After Easter, the mad rush to summer vacation sets in. Papers come due. Projects must be implemented. Spring’s messy mud gives way to enticing sun. Here at Ten Ways to Pray, I must spring-clean my way through each page, adding links and tidying up formats.
I could medicate the tedium with that farm-load of chocolate rabbits and marshmallow chickens, which roosts in our cupboards. I might maintain the Lenten meditation. But perhaps there’s something in between: lighter than Lent, more satisfying than sugar, still fuel for fellowshipping with God.
30-Day Prayer Challenge
One of the saints we looked at during Lent was Karl Barth. His perspective: “Our daily bread must also include playing.” So here’s my challenge. For 30 days, starting on Easter Monday, I’m going to play with prayer.
‘Wanna play, too? You know you do. You’re going to procrastinate from whatever else you should be doing anyway. You might as well procrastinate with prayer. Plus, I made us a pretty chart with perfectly-placed doves around it for a guide (it took a while; don’t let it go to waste).
Every day, there’s a theme.
Create an image or a haiku that captures the theme for you.
Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll post it here and on the Facebook page and give you credit.*
Submit daily or pick and choose.
It’ll be praying, just without the toil!
I did this last month with my friend June at June Steckler art. She ran an image challenge around the basics of fine art, about which I know very little. Nevertheless I participated because it was fun and easy and it gave me something to look forward to. (Van Gogh day was a particularly sorry entry on my part, BUT it served as an excuse to play with my 4-year-old’s paints.)
In fact, I’ve stolen almost every aspect of this challenge from June (Thanks, June!), thieved it down to the exotic words and handy layout. That’s how inspiration works: beg, borrow, steal, but always give credit.
Turns out I already knew some things (like what a Fibonacci sequence was). I learned some other stuff (like what chiaroscuro means). And even though the art challenge had nothing to do with our prayer meeting, being creative in one area fueled my resourcefulness in the other.
See, prayer-play could actually help you with your “real” work.
What Is This Stuff?
Don’t know what these words mean, who these saints are, or how to write a haiku? C’mon, people. Google. Wikipedia. This is for fun, not a terminal degree. Besides, I’ll look it up for you and give you a little direction every day. Like this:
Haiku—a simple poem that doesn’t rhyme. It’s got 3 lines: 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line, and 5 syllables in the third line.
(5) “Push me, Mum!” shouts V.
(7) I rush forward. Underdog.
(5) Resurrection wind.
If you really need to avoid grading those papers want to get creative, you can compare a tangible thing (like swinging) to an intangible thing (like resurrection), using a “turn” word or phrase that relates to both (like underdog). But you don’t have to. You don’t even have to obey the 5/7/5 rule absolutely. It’s just a guide.
If you want more on English haiku, you can read about it here.
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By the way, credit for the haiku idea goes to another friend Ray Daniel, who ran a haiku challenge when he published his book Robot Haiku.
See? Imagine what you’ll be able to lift from when you join me in playing with prayer!