Life is War. To Pray is to Fight.

Life is War. To Pray is to Fight.

After a long drought brought on by life, I have finally let myself open up and create spontaneously again. We kicked off a new summer series yesterday morning. For the next few weeks, we’ll be focusing on prayer, how to pray, the importance of prayer and what our focus should be.

Life is war. Spiritually, emotionally, physically; we are constantly battling something. Some days we battle ourselves.

I chose the image of a boxer to embody the idea of prayer being our fight. The boxer is exhausted, resting in his corner, his sagging head only held off the mat by his arm. His towel lay crumpled beside him. The boxer is ready to fire the towel into the ring, giving up on all that he has worked for, but he lacks the arm strength to throw. Burying his face in his glove, all he has left is to pray. Prayer is all the fighter has left in his arsenal.

Often times, we get to this point where crying to God is all we have. Through our fatigue, we feel inadequate to pray and lack the confidence to even know what to say. Prayer is not about your words, it is about your heart. Learn more about how to pray here. God doesn’t need your words, he needs your heart. He needs your mind to open.

Choosing the image of the boxer is a personal reference for me as well. I have been travelling through an expanse of parched land in my life. The ground burned by neglect and the consequences of good intentions. Physical exertion has been my release. As I drew this image, I was reminded of my own fight by the dull crimson scars on my knuckles. Fresh wounds beginning to heal. Memories of another round violent encounter with the heavy bag.

Life is war. We must remember we are all in this together. All of us.

Prayer Tree

This week’s sketch is a visual diagram of what a prayer looks like. The engineer in me chose to re-create the drawing digitally, delaying my post! I imagine prayer, when it is healthy, looks much like a tree. The central focus of praying is direct communication with God. The center line of the ‘tree’ is perfectly vertical with an arrow-head pointing up. The next focus of our prayers spread outward through praying for other people. On each side of the central arrow are arrows pointing up, but spreading out like arms reaching to embrace another. Lastly, on the outer edges of the tree are arrows that U-turn back toward the one praying, these are the personal requests we make for ourselves. Full, symmetrical shape is the first indicator of a healthy tree. Trees whose limbs are all laying on the ground to ones with no limbs at all are sick, dying trees. The same is true of prayer. Too much of any one part in this diagram makes the image appear unbalanced, pointing to a sick and dying prayer life. How’s  your balance?