Prayers from the stationery drawer
Post-it notes, paperclips and stickers
My favourite experiential prayers are those we can easily pray in the course of our every day living, using objects that are right in front of us. It’s hard to write a one-size fits all experiential prayer as we all live very different every day lives. The routines and tasks we each confront are different depending on many factors; our age, our capacity, our location, our situation and what our meaningful activity or work looks like in a day to us. If you work in an office or are studying you’re far more likely to have access to desk stationery than others.
I hope that in the course of this series we’ll include accessible objects that represent your every day living. This focus provides an accessibility to prayer itself, a continuous conversation with God woven throughout the ordinary experiences of our days. We invite God into our full life experience. We walk with God. The tactile experience of writing or drawing on a post-it note, of attaching a paper clip, of pressing a sticker onto a surface, all engage our full bodies in the prayer process as well as our thoughts and emotions.
Barbara Taylor Brown writes of the prayers that come after hanging her washing on the clothesline…
“I imagine my prayers spinning away over the tops of the trees. This is good work this prayer. This is good prayer this work. So is digging in the garden, cleaning the chicken pens, washing the potatoes, doing the dishes.”
From An Altar in the Wold by Barbara Taylor Brown
One of the reasons for writing this particiular series as part of our 5 Senses to Prayer Virtual Prayer Room is to encourage the building of our own prayer kits for intentional times of experiential prayer. There is a place for time set apart to focus prayerfully. I know for me, if I set aside time to pray and I don’t have a visual or tactile focus, my mind will wander to other things. Experiential prayer works for me.
If we’re already prepared with a box of experiential items that suit our sensory preferences, and we have a few key ideas on how to focus our prayers using these items, then this helps our focus for prayer, while creatively allowing us to reflect and respond to God.
If you don’t have easy access to a pad of post-it notes, a packet of paper clips or a strip of stickers and you appreciate these prayers, these are all good items to add to your prayer kit.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether you already have an experiential prayer kit, or if you’re creating one as part of this series or what prayers really resonate for you.
On the journey