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A Prayer to Overflow

Friday, August 15, 2014 | Featured Artists | By Jen Oakes

May we, as people who follow Christ, live lives that overflow.

May our peace be a bright light in an empty darkness, our gratitude be a gushing river in a desert of dryness, our dwelling have a healing touch on a deep wound.

May we be awake and paying attention to the little parts of God’s creation: to the sunsets, the stars, the seas that sway and surrender at the sound of His voice as they crash against the sand, and may it bring a silence, a hush to our busy days.

When we are lonely, may we be grateful for those who are in our lives, not just those who are not, may we take a moment to count the people in our lives who love us, show up for us and know that if we can think of one, that is more than some have, and if we can’t think of one, may we be reminded that God is near and loves us, and let that knowledge be as laughter and voices and warmth in our quietest room.

May we, when our bodies are weary, overflow with gratitude for the strength that we have, not just what we don’t. May we be attentive to the organs and muscles and bones that are whole and working and moving without our effort or agenda or plan. May we be aware of our senses—eyes that can see color and beauty and life. Ears that can hear the voices of our children or the laughter of our friends, the tune of an old song. Tongues that can taste, noses that can smell, hands that can touch and feel heat and cold and soft and rough, and may we be grateful for the breath in our lungs, even if it comes with pain, and recognize that each one is a gift.

When we catch our reflection, when we see a glimpse of who we are or where we are, may we overflow with gratitude and grace for who we see, not just dwell on what we don’t, and let the things that make us unique fill us with joy, maybe even laughter for their individuality. And may we know that the same time and care and piece of himself that God put into a mountaintop is the same time and care and piece of Himself that He used when He created you and me.

May peace and gratitude and dwelling overflow in our hearts, in our minds, in our prayers, in our relationships, in our weaknesses, in our quiet and impatience and frustration and may it bring hope and awareness that no matter what heaviness the week ahead of us holds, we are held close, held up, held together by a God who is in control and is nonsensically in love with us, and may the knowledge of that love be what overflows out of us.

And above all else, may we remember that we have nothing that’s big enough to thank God for all He has done for us. All we have is our lives. All of us for whatever He wants to do. And so as we go out into our worlds, may we be thankful that that is all that He asks.

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