NCFI Cares: Blessings & Arrows—How to pray on the run.

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

In an article published in the USA NCF journal, Journal of Christian Nursing, author Marsha Fowler shares 2 simple prayer styles.  “In the crazy-busy days of nursing care, forms of prayer that are crisp and concise can sustain, nourish, and center us.”

The first one is based upon a Jewish tradition of 100 blessings. At first it sounds overwhelming to think of praying or thinking of a 100 of anything, let alone something specific like 100 blessings.  Instead, the idea is to point out various blessings to the Lord related to our pleasurable experiences. The prayer begins with the words, “Blessed are you, O Lord, who _____________ (fill in the blank). Amen.”

A few examples may be:

“Blessed are you, O Lord, who cares for my family. Amen.”

“Blessed are you, O Lord, who gave me a physical body to work. Amen.”

I would encourage you to start with simple and obvious blessings, like the examples. The idea is once you get started your heart and spirit will open up to bless the Lord for all he has provided.

The second simple prayer discussed by Fowler is arrow prayers. These prayers are “very short, a phrase or a sentence only, usually taken from Scripture, often from the Psalms.” A few examples, might be:

 “Lord gives me strength and protects me; You are my deliverer.” (Psalms 118:14)

“Oh, God of hope, fill me with all joy and peace.” (Romans 15:13).

Inserted in each of these arrow prayers is the personal pronoun, me/my to remind and emphasize how the Lord is an intimate provider of all we need.  Next time you are too exhausted or stressed to pray, start sending blessings to God; or repeat an arrow prayer focused on bringing the truth of Scripture with the reality of God to your spirit.

In addition, we can teach these simple prayer techniques to our patients, who may be too ill or anxious to pray, or are unfamiliar with praying. 

“Arrow prayers remind us that God is near, that help is at hand, that we are cared for no matter the trials and demands for the day.”

Fowler, M.D. Prayer from the Cauldron, JCN/January-March, 2021 p. 13-14

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