Prayer begins with simply showing up, committing yourself to the discipline of focused attention toward God and away from yourself.

Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer

“Let’s try again,” I said, starting the music and extending my hands with a hopeful smile. Who knew that it would be so hard for a class of first graders to agree together on clapping the beat of a simple song? For some, the process was as natural as breathing, but not for everyone. By watching their classmates (and with one eye on my own desperately exaggerated movements), they slowly begin to feel the rhythm of the music that was filling our classroom, and they relaxed into it as their clapping fell into a unified cadence with the group. Success!

I wonder if this is how we learn to pray. At times, I’ve found myself listening for the Spirit to call me into daily fellowship. Words bubbled to my lips because the concern or the need was right there, close to the surface. However, there have been wordless seasons when, barely knowing the difference between bread and a stone, I didn’t trust myself to ask.

This year, COVID-19 blew my schedule out of the water. I stopped doing everything I had become accustomed to, and started doing different things at different times, and somehow, when all the pieces landed, it took me a while to fit the prayer piece back in place. I needed to discover, once again, A Rhythm of Prayer, a point of faithful connection with God in all the ebb and flow of this following life.

This time, for me, it began with simply showing up, committing myself to the discipline of focused attention toward God and away from myself. From there, I began listening for other voices–my good husband’s, the faithful prayer warriors at the church I call home. Then, I found A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, Sarah Bessey’s collection of prayers and meditations, written by a choir of faith-singing women.

Featuring the voices of Amena Brown, Barbara Brown Taylor, Micha Boyett, Marlena Graves, Alia Joy, and other women of faith, the book was an invitation to a circle of prayer, both welcoming and solid. I could hear the cadence of faithfulness and measured trust in a powerful God who listens and nods along:

God beyond the number line, the hourglass.
Beyond moons that wax and wane and waves that push and pull along our fragile ground. …beyond days and weeks and months, uncontained by our twenty-four hours, free of our borders and yet still within them.”

I was reminded that prayer is listening as well as talking, and that, heard in the pages of Truth, “God’s voice is melody and bass lines and whisper and thunder and grace.”

Lean into the Rhythm of Prayer

Resting in the solid truth of your own belovedness, lean into the rhythm of prayer.
Listen for it.
It’s there.
Hear it calling you into intercession for our broken world, into tears for the wounded you know, and prayers of compassion for those you don’t know.

Lean into the rhythm of grace and repent, confess, lament, rejoice, examine your heart in the presence of God and know that you are heard, and you are loved.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty,

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewalsimply click on the title, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

"One of the gifts of midlife is learning to recognize our own limitations and then extending grace to ourselves and others." ~Dorothy Littell Greco

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

42 thoughts on “Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer”

  1. Wonderful post, Michelle!! I pray daily with gratitude for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me and my family….
    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and for letting me know that you did by leaving a comment!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. I know, I feel that as well.
      I think it’s because we realize we’re sliding into something that’s already going on. We’re not alone and we don’t have to make it up as we go along.

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  2. My rhythms have been totally upended this year as well. I still haven’t quite found my groove again. It’s not that I don’t have plenty of things to do but the human connection is missing in several of them. This sounds like an encouraging book. If we need anything this year, we definitely need to talking things out with God in prayer!

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  3. Amen and thank you for this! I still struggle with consistent prayer and always feel like I shouldn’t. First, thank you for the reminder that I’m not alone on this journey. Second, thank you for that reminder to find a rhythm of prayer—this is so important. And third, thank you for the book recommendation too.

    In other words, I needed this today. Thank you 🙂

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    1. I “always feel like I shouldn’t” too, Jed.
      I think we have the idea that saints who are ahead of us on the road don’t struggle with prayer, and when we reach “a certain age,” we wonder why we aren’t “there” yet.
      Always more growing to do, for sure!

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  4. How did I not know about this book? Thank you for profiling it here, Michele. This sounds like a must-read. I am reading and praying my way through the Psalms right now.

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  5. Hi Michele, I really appreciated your words today, they put some of my recent experiences on paper. I have never thought of myself as someone with rhythms for prayer. Since Covid-19, I have adopted a pattern of praying that I have repeated each night. I have also noticed that I look for or notice things during the day and remind myself that I will pray for them. It has become a new pattern, and a comforting one.

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  6. This sounds like a good book, Michele! Covid and moving and job change had me trying to figure out the daily prayer piece, too. It seems silly, but my prayer time is my morning commute, and I love it!

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    1. Cars are a good, quiet, and private place to pray. When I was surrounded by kids continually, I committed to praying out loud for them in my car whenever I was alone, and it was lifechanging for me.

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  7. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

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  8. oh this book sounds like a breath of fresh air in the midst of this world right now. Your words about it even calmed me as I noticed my breathing slow down. it is all too easy to just fly through the days and the weeks but wow, if we take the moment to be still. to know. he. is. God. oh what peace awaits us! thank you for this needed reminder today!

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  9. The listening part of prayer has actually grown for me in this season, as the mornings are less hurried, and rather than pray and run, I can sit and listen for a while – who knew what hidden blessings could be found! Enjoyed this review will ‘look out’ for the book…

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  10. That daily ritual/rhythm of prayer is essential. Hard sometimes, but most needed when it is the hardest. Thank you for linking up and stay well.

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  11. Although Covid has had a devastating effect on the world, it has made the way we do things differently, sometimes changing the way we do things isn’t always a bad thing. Thanks for joining in with #pocolo and hope to see you back again soon

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  12. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #OverTheMoon this week. Each Hostess displays their own features so be sure to visit me on Sunday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!

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  13. […] This week is FAMILY feature weekSwing by the Family hosting team’s blogs:Michelle @ Moms Are FrugalKris @ Kris and Larry . com This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU! There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month.  The “theme” occurs in our weekly features: WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc –  anything family friendly) (These features were chosen from the September 2020 “You’re the STAR” blog hop) Constitution Unit Study by Jennifer Lambert   Bed Wetting, Holding It & Constipation in Kids by Ridge Haven Homestead   Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer by Living Our Days […]

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  14. […] This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU! There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month.  The “theme” occurs in our weekly features: WEEK#3 FAMILY – parenting, fitness, health, finances & inspirational (this can include anything about children like: education ideas for children, also self help, beauty etc –  anything family friendly) (These features were chosen from the September 2020 “You’re the STAR” blog hop) Constitution Unit Study by Jennifer Lambert Bed Wetting, Holding It & Constipation in Kids by Ridge Haven Homestead Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer by Living Our Days […]

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