Our Father who is in…Squirrel!

“For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” Romans 8:26 NLT

I was having a great morning. Maybe you know these–the warmth of the coffee cup was a friend to my cold hands. My hair, ratty and frayed, had no urgency to be tamed. PJs were the absolute clothing choice.

Just a great morning.  It’d been awhile. A God and me kind of morning. We’ve had similar.

I’m in the Book of Mark right now, Chapter 1 to be exact. And I keyed in on verse 35. I love verse 35. I love it because Jesus was having the same kind of start to his day like I was with mine! It says he got up, left the house he was visiting, and went to a solitary place where he prayed. Gotta love our man Jesus! He knows how to do mornings. He enjoyed them, too. He used them. He relished them. Prayer time at that time was a thing.

The perfect meeting time for God and I.

And I dug into prayer before I started reading. Can I share how mine went?

Thank you Lord for this day. Paint a picture for me Lord of what you want…boy those walls need painting!
Yikes, sorry Lord.
I pray over my family…do I reupholster this couch or buy new?
I’m really sorry Lord.
Help me to focus on…gheez the windows need cleaning!
Lord or Lord!

Anyone else?

Oh. My. Gosh. That beautiful morning I had set aside with God—well guess who didn’t show up. I’ll give you a hint—it wasn’t the one who created a universe in his spare time.

I couldn’t keep one straight thought in my head to save my soul (maybe literally). I seemed to be everywhere else except there. You see, my family is living through a complete gut-type kitchen remodel, and all that’s swirling in my brain are color swatches, tile grout, contractor schedules and dust—everywhere dust! Hence, why I haven’t had a peaceful morning for several weeks.

And I felt like the dogs in the movie Up. Have you seen this movie? It’s adorable. A great story.  But my point being is the talking dogs. They’re hilarious. Why? Because they’ll be focused in on something and out of nowhere they freeze and scream “squirrel!” In the middle of important tasks, they lose focus and stop, thinking they heard a squirrel. If you haven’t seen the movie click here for a quick YouTube clip of what I’m talking about. Watch and then come on back.

Do you see what I mean?  Right???

That’s so me sometimes in my prayer life! I’m screaming “squirrel” at the least favored time.  Anyone else? I know its not always, but man, on a highly anticipated day my head wouldn’t clear of thoughts for anything. It was a like an echo chamber in there rattling around a thousand nuts and bolts.  Have you had these?

So I did what I was taught. I stopped my preplanned agenda and prayed for the construction. I changed course for world peace and I prayed for the color swatches, the tile grout, the windows, the men doing the work and even the dust-covered house.

I was told long ago by a mentor that when your mind drifts during prayer, let what you are drifting towards become your prayer. There will be time for deeper prayer, and deeper praise—but for that time, the Holy Spirit is guiding you to pray for what is in front of you.

I don’t have a deep, theological message today but maybe a practical one from my mentor to you. Our lives are so busy and so full of things that are not exactly biblical; it’s easy to start kicking ourselves for diminished prayer time and distracted thoughts. Try not to. Maybe I can be a reminder to you to try a different approach. If your mind wonders beyond the usual, try praying for that wandering. See what happens and how it impacts the day. You may be surprised what happens. The very distractions that frustrate you might be just what God’s desire is for you to hand over.  There will be times of deep reflection no doubt but there will also be times of “squirrel mania.”  Embrace the squirrels I say!  Use it as another opportunity of prayer life and another way of drawing closer between the crazy world and the centered Christ.

Photo: Renae Bowman

Photo: Renae Bowman


6 Replies

  1. Herlinda

    Squirrles, birds, nails, etc….every time…yep…thank you….this is perfect….

    1. Yep Herlinda–squirrels take on a bunch of different names. The wandering can be endless. haha. Thanks for stopping by

  2. Jan Hardesty

    Oh my gosh, that happens to me all the time! I spend half of my prayer time apologizing to the Lord for my wandering thoughts! I love the idea of praying for them ! Thank you Renee!

    1. You are welcome Jan! I love when we can pass on little nuggets to help each other in our faith–glad this will help.

  3. Peggy Snyder

    Thank you! I also find myself chasing squirrels! I love the idea of praying those squirrels.

    1. Peggy–I feel so good I’m not alone! Those pesky squirrels get in the way, don’t they? but I’ve learned to embrace them and use them. Glad you will too!

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