Prayer of Napping

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We are often so busy that it is hard for us to take time out to connect with God. When we finally do have the chance to take a break in the midst of our busy days, we often feel guilty if we aren’t doing something “productive.” Edward Hays, author of “Pray All Ways,” recognizes this human ailment and prescribes for us what he calls the “prayer of napping.” We see Jesus practicing this prayer while in a boat during a windstorm in Mark 4:38. Resting in the midst of a storm seems difficult, at best, and yet Jesus models this for us as a way of remaining faithful and remembering that God is in control. When his disciples wake him in fear during the storm, he asks them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mk 4:40). Storms will always be a part of life; usually they are when we need time with God the most. , As we are going through our own storms (in the work place, in our relationships or elsewhere), are we taking time for spiritual rest, as Jesus modeled for us? This could be a 10-minute walk outside during a busy day at the office, or closing your eyes for 30 minutes when you put your children down for a nap. When we take a break from the chaos of life, we are acknowledging that God is in control and that everything will be just fine if we check out briefly to gain some rest and rejuvenate our souls. I hope that you can take time to pray in the form of a break from the chaos to experience the peace of Christ throughout your busy days.
–Rev. Michael Maroon, Pastor of Prayer Ministries

The Sound of Music

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Recently some of the other staff members and I were visiting about prayer. We began to talk about praying with music in the background. One of the insights that was shared is that praying with the right music in the background really helps us connect our ‘head-heavy’ prayers with the prayers of our heart. Something about music moves our emotions and stirs our soul. The benefits of music are so profound that musical therapy has actually found its way into many rehabilitation centers. There is a growing consensus that musical therapy helps us maintain better moods, and can bring us to healing and wholeness faster. Perhaps music should have a stronger presence in our prayer lives as we seek out God for spiritual healing and wholeness. Next time you have some free time to pray, I invite you to get on iTunes, put in your favorite classical music CD, or tune into whatever musical medium works best for you. Find a song that is calm and soothing (finally, some vindication for all of the closet Kenny G fans out there!). Play one of those soothing songs lightly in the background as you turn to God in prayer. My hunch is that the vibrations of the song will sync up with the vibrations of your heart, and this will surely help you also ‘sync up’ with God.

– Rev. Michael Maroon, Pastor of Prayer Ministries

“Secret Ingredient” – Pastor Michael Maroon

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For our honeymoon, Becca and I went on a Mexican Riviera cruise. At the port of Puerto Vallarta, we traveled deep into the city to get away from all the “touristy” spots. We had the cab driver recommend a restaurant for us. He took us to a place that will always remain near to our hearts. We were the only two people in the restaurant, aside from the woman who owned the place and two little children she was watching for a friend. The entrees were phenomenal, but we couldn’t stop eating the fresh salsa that she just made for us. I asked her what her secret ingredient was. She responded humbly that there wasn’t really a secret ingredient but when she prepares the salsa, she prays over it and prays for the people who will be eating it. I was not expecting this answer. It truly blessed us to know that she was praying for us while she prepared that salsa! Perhaps we should all add this ’secret ingredient’ to all of our entrees. Next time you prepare a meal for others I encourage you to pray for the guests who will be dining with you. It is sure to bless both the preparers and receivers of the meal that God has provided.

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