I have a couple of places where I pray most comfortably on my own. The first is in my car – driving to work and back is my place for space and reflection. The other is curled up with a cup of tea, with my Bible to hand when the house is empty (or at least everyone else is occupied or asleep!).
One of the things I find helpful about praying in the car is that I am just talking to Daddy about what I think and asking what He thinks. I’m focused on driving, so I don’t have time to frame my thoughts in appropriate language and the scenery along the way is spectacular so it helps me keep perspective. There’s no one else listening and my worship CDs (or sometimes the news) is filling up the silence – and I seem to be able to hear much more clearly somehow.
This morning I was talking to Him about the situation in the US – I’m not going to get into the politics or issues right now – and just wrestling with my thoughts and feelings, trying to understand what is really happening, and what I should be doing about it. As I drove, I talked it through and by the time I got to work the confusion and agitation I had been feeling had lifted. The realisation I came to finally was that no matter who is in government or what they are doing, my job first and foremost is to pray for them – not to argue or protest or shout and complain, but to pray. Of course there is a time to act, but I don’t want to act without praying and seeking God’s direction – and His powerful arm. Prayer is not a last resort or a good extra, it’s the starting point – and the middle point and the end point too. That’s what the early church were told to do when facing some of the worst persecution. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I felt very clearly that my thinking was being directed along different lines, Bible verses (1Tim 2v1-4) and ideas came into my mind as I asked questions, until finally I came to a place of peace and trust in Father God.
Now I need to take what I have learned and put it into focused prayer – time to make that cup of tea….