Saturday, March 24, 2012

LAYER the prayer

Praying moms,
I’m here sitting in my bed and you’d think it was snowing outside.  I have my winter PJ’s, thick socks and two blankets LAYERed on.  After a “hot” winter it has been a bit chili these past few days.  And yet I know that any day a cold morning could turn into a hot afternoon.  Rather than commit to winter clothing during the day, I have found myself having to LAYER.  What is that?  Well, a LAYER is one of several items of clothing worn one on top of the other.  That way I can adjust to how the day’s weather decides to play out.  In the morning chill I love the feeling of getting warm, LAYER by LAYER.
You know, it’s sort of like what we do at Moms in Prayer.  We warm our mommy hearts and spirits as we together, LAYER our prayer requests.  Let’s take a moment to really reflect on the gift it is when we LAYER.
LAYER acronym
L isten
A dd on
Y ield
E asy does it
R espect
Here is what makes it so special:
L: Listen!  Our moms listen and don’t gossip.  During our prayer time, moms can pray a concern they might have about one of their children or about the school their child attends, which is presenting a request to the group and to God in an attitude of prayer.  That gives the group a chance to really listen, also in an attitude of prayer, leaving no room for chit chat or gossip.  Right away hearts are praying along with the mom that is making the request.  When that prayer request is being made, the other moms stop and really hear the request.  100% listening as appose to half-way listening by thinking about the request they might have in their own head.  Moms truly absorb what is being said.  The “L” represents moms that are in the moment and listening.
A:  Add-on!  That is what LAYERing is all about.  Moms who have listened to a request can then add-on if they wish to, or said another way, agree like they would do in any good conversation.  “Yes and...”  When moms add-on they are praying a new perspective or a new angle in covering that request.  Let’s say that a prayer request represents the first layer... the undergarments.  Once the undergarments are on, no matter if they are granny panties or thongs, it’s time to move on to the next layer.  Some moms speak a request and have no idea what to cover it with.  We all know the “I have a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear” syndrome.  Another mom may have the perfect thing to wear.  It’s the burning in a mom’s stomach that might just be the Holly Spirit asking her to add-on her unique perspective to her friend’s prayer request.
Y: Yield!  This is not a one man act.  After adding on a unique perspective moms yield to each other allowing others to have the chance to add-on too, if they wish to.  One single mom is not the only one with a prayer closet full of spirit-led perspectives.  If one mom provides the cardigan, another provides the scarf.  There may be a mom that has many hats in her closet, she’s the one to add a hat as appose to the mom who does not even own one.  Not one mom at a Moms in Prayer group should ever feel the need to dominate the LAYERing.  Praying one angle or perspective and then yielding is what makes the time so unique and all together different than praying on our own or listening to someone else pray in front of a podium at Church.  LAYERed prayers are not monologue style prayers. They yield to traffic and yield to the Holy Spirit.  3-4 sentences is just fine.  If a moms has a perfect "skirt" prayer she will get a chance to share it because there are no solo fashion designers hopping in with a "shirt", "skirt" and "leggings" prayers all at the same time.  Moms that feel themselves praying more than one perspective in one breath will stop and yield.  Plus there is never any pressure to HAVE to talk at all.  The request is being covered with what is said out loud and with what is prayed silently.  Everyone is a part of the blessing of covering a prayer request by yielding.
E: Easy does it! Moms don’t let the request stay cold, shivering from lack of LAYERS.  At a Moms in Prayer group a mom can be assured that her concerns are not blinked away, but the group takes time to really cover each subject with maybe 3-5 LAYERS before moving on.  One accord prayers stay on-subject by not moving on to a new request too quickly.  Now only God knows how much layering each request needs and which garments from which closets will be best.  That is why the Holy Spirit guides the time.  We do watch the clock to honor the 1 hour, but there is no need to rush a request by letting it walk out the door with only one sock and no shoes.  Easy does it!  Moms in Prayer moms pause before moving on so that they can be sure that the request is nice and warm.
R: Respect!  Finally, Moms in Prayer moms respect each other.  This is not a fashion show.  Moms can jump right out of the prayer and into their own head if they judge the look of a request and/or the look of each LAYER.  Moms in Prayer moms are unified and supportive.  There are a variety of things that weigh heavy on moms hearts, this is a time to lay them at Jesus’ feet no matter how trivial they may seem.  Moms are all different and unique in their prayer styles as well, one style is not better than the other.  One likes to pray jeans while another might pray slacks.  They are both pants.  The jeans mom doesn’t need to cover the slacks up with jeans.  Moms respect the fact that we are all coming together with one purpose and one goal.  To pray for our children and their school.
Here is Sally, Jane and Mary LAYERing Sally’s concern.
     Sally:  Lord, I want to pray for my son who is having difficulties with a particular friend.  He has said something to a mutual friend that really hurt my son.
     Jane: I agree with Sally, and may he not be one to stir up strife but may he be a peace maker.  May he not go forward with a heart of revenge or hold bitterness in his heart. 
     Mary:  Yes and may this friend be able to take responsibility and because of this situation be able to experience true forgiveness.
LAYERing enhances conversational prayer.  It warms us up and keeps us warm.  Reflecting on how we come together as a group makes me so grateful that we have a space and time carved out each week that fulfills a part of our prayer life that we just can’t fulfill on our own.  Without this group I would never sit down on my own for one hour a week to pray for my children and their schools that would also somehow include unique perspectives beyond my own.  It’s just not possible.  There is no way I could dress up my concerns on my own as perfectly as our group of praying moms can while we LAYER.  
As you feel the chill in the mornings and enjoy the feeling of warming up LAYER by LAYER, may that also serve as a reminder to your heart that your children’s school has a Moms in Prayer group.  That it is a prayed-for school.  That your own children are also being LAYERed with prayer.  May it also encourage you to show up!  Be a part of the warmth that only prayer can bring to a moms heart.  You never know when the “weather” might take a turn... we are not created to handle everything on our own.  Praying with LAYERs is the way to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment