This week I sat a final exam for the first time in years. As our professor had begun every class with prayer, we asked the same for the exam. Pleased to oblige, he began:
“Dear God. HELP!!!!!!!!”
After our collective giggle, the prayer continued more traditionally by asking for clarity of mind, expression of thought, and knowledge of God’s calming presence, all to the glory of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The prayer was both fun and fruitful; that giggle helped break the tension, allowing us to breathe deeply, refocus, and enter into the prayer’s petitions and intercessions.
The prayer served to remind that it’s okay to ask for help (in one word or many), that any one moment is part of a bigger picture, and that all that we do is an offering to God. It was appropriate for the exam, and for this week’s pre-Christmas stress of presents and parties and decorations and worship and budgets and…
Prayer invites us to ask God for help, for ourselves and others, this week and always. We need not articulate every detail; God already knows. Even a simple “help!” and “thank you” maintains our conversation with the divine—in an exam or in a checkout line.
Prayer helps us regain perspective of this one week, these 7 days are arbitrary boxes on a calendar which do not define the entirety of our relationships. We can’t force personal connections with late nights and packages, any more than an all-nighter could cram knowledge of course material.
Prayer encourages us to offer all we have and do; using what God has gifted to us to share God’s greater glory. By shifting our thinking, even our “to-do” lists can be a means of glorifying God (ie. plan healthy meals to feed our bodies that we might best love and serve God).
May this final week of Advent be a time of fun and fruitful prayer. May we be gentle to ourselves, kind to one another, and ever glorifying to our Lord.