Photo by Fay Godwin / Image Source
I like to do something I call "prayer walking." I got the idea from a book I once read on godly living,
and I love it because it combines the revitalizing nature of exercise with the nourishment that comes from talking to God. Plus, I always think it's most inspiring to pray outside in the world He gave us. After my prayer walks, my heart always feels energized and restored on more than one level.
The other day I was doing a loop around our neighborhood and thinking about how we often end prayers by saying, "In Your name I pray, Amen." Saying this feels so natural that I hardly think about what it means, but once I did start to reflect on it, it began to feel so incredibly powerful. In Your name. It's about the intention behind our words. To me, it means that we shouldn't be selfishly placing ourselves at the center of our thoughts and requests, but that instead, in every word we bring to God in prayer, we should be concentrating on Jesus Christ. Our prayers should be in God's honor, dedicated to Him, done for His glory and to forge a better relationship with Him. In keeping these three words at the forefront of our prayers, I thought, I bet there would be a better balance between the requesting kinds of prayers (the kind I find myself doing most of the time) and the thanksgiving kinds of prayers (the kind I should be doing more often).
My reflections on this also got me thinking about our obligations as Christians, not just in prayer but in the rest of our lives. Shouldn't we be doing all that we do in His name? Wouldn't everything have more meaning, wouldn't our lives be richer, if everything we did was done for God?
In Your name, I write. In Your name, I make dinner for my husband. In Your name, I teach this piano lesson. In Your name, I educate my mind. In Your name, I let go.
I think that keeping this mindset would make us less narcissistic, less dependent on what others think. It would encourage us to do each little job or task with grace and humility. It would give us the chance to serve God more fully.
In His name.
I know I will always fall short of where I should be. But I have hope that these three words might help me go about my days with God a little bit more closely aligned to center.