“I don’t get it! ‘Today’? That’s my word, Lord? What does ‘Today’ even mean?”
While at a women’s conference a few years ago, we prayed and asked God if there was one word He would give as a personal encouragement. I wrote my word on a rock as instructed and placed it on my desk.
The hubs and I had just watched the movie “Luther” and one thing that struck me was that many of the scenes began or ended showing the priest, Martin Luther, on his face praying—like literally on his face. Sometimes he was on a cobble stone floor or perhaps in a meadow but since I am a visual communicator, I can picture him lying face down on the ground, arms stretched wide while praying.
Those scenes were burned into my brain, so I asked, “I have talked about being on my face before you, Jesus, but it seemed more like a figure of speech. Is that something I should do literally? Like for real?”
I felt like God was asking me to learn how to pray in a deeper way, so I decided to try it… my husband was at work, I fed the kids lunch and put them in their room for a nap. I fasted to go along with praying on my face because it seemed like what I should do for such a momentous occasion.
A whirlwind of thoughts—”How many times did I feed the kids tuna this week? Will they have mercury poisoning? I hope the kindergarten screening goes well.” Very important things, mind you, assaulted my brain all at once.
Pushing my thoughts aside, I got down on the floor, spread out my arms like I saw Luther do and pressed my face to the rug. Finally in position, I realized I didn’t know what I was to pray so I thought I would start with the Lord’s prayer.
Our Fath… I didn’t even get two out words before I heard jumping and giggling. I lifted my head, arms still spread, took the biggest breath I could even though I was lying on my stomach and yelled, “You kids better pipe down in there! MOMMY. IS. PUH-RAYINGGG!”
Whoops! Well, that was not a good choice–yelling at my naughty kids during my quiet time! I’ll bet my neighbors even heard me “praying”!
I lowered my head, pinched my eyes shut and said, “Go ahead God, do your smiting! Or was it smoting?” Then I thought, “How do you conjugate smite,” and owl-turned my neck around to peek up at the ceiling in case I could see an actual lightning bolt come from the sky.
The next second I felt something I did not expect– pure delight! I know it was my Creator delighting in me! I too, began laughing head-to-toe and I know my Father was laughing with me! Since I was still on my stomach as I laughed my belly-laugh, I couldn’t help but flop like a fish. Oh, the absurdity!
In that moment I understood “the Mighty Warrior who saves takes great delight in me”! (Zephaniah 3:17) I got up from the floor and climbed on my bed for a nap. It was no ordinary nap either! It was like a good soaking, wring-out-the-sleep kind of nap!
My parents spoke a blessing over me when I was young, “All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace.” Isaiah 54:13. I have claimed that promise and He is, you guys! It’s true! Jesus teaches me through you all, sometimes through a song or a verse or a word on a rock.
Circling back to my word on that rock and my fasting-and-prayer-time-on-my-face, I remember the whisper I feel like Jesus gave my resting heart. He said, “I love you. Period.” Translation: I don’t have to strive to earn His love. From that day on my floor ‘til now, I have learned to ask Jesus the question, “How do you want to love me best today?”
He meets me right where I am, never condemning. And please hear me– I do not have it all down pat, but I am living proof that Jesus teaches ALL His children, even me. He teaches us how to seek Him! Our Father not only teaches WHAT to pray but also HOW to pray!
That period of my life when I needed to learn to lighten up was a gift because back then I operated in survival mode– mostly on autopilot and missing out on all kinds of living.
Last year was a doozie for my family! My personal verse for 2018: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25. Man, but how do I keep in step when instead of worshiping on my face, I feel like I have been knocked flat on my back? Ever have a time like that? “But I fasted! But I prayed!” It was as if I placed my foot in a river expecting the water to part but instead, I was knocked off balance and fell flat with the wind knocked out of me!
But, when I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, it’s a total game changer!
G’head and try it! Ask with me, “Jesus, how do You want to love me best today?” He may want you to rest. Maybe He will say to forgive or ask for forgiveness, or even worship face down. I know His answer will be to train like you have never trained before—His hand always on your side, leading the way.
Perhaps next time we meet I will tell you about the time when, “keep in step with the Spirit” meant doing Parkour! Yeah, you heard me—this forty-seven-year-old is now a “freerunner”! So I decided to try a prayer-walk when…
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