Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


21 Ways to Pray: Menial Labor Redeemed

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Again, I won’t need to work out in the gym today: I’ll be shoveling snow.  On Tuesday and Wednesday St. Paul got hit with a load of snow from the first winter storm of the season. Once the storm tapered off I dug out the shovel and fired up the snow blower and cleared off our driveway. It took me an hour. The problem – yesterday 30 mile an hour winds blew through driving wind chills to -20 and three inches of snow back onto my driveway. Today, when I can grab an hour, I’ll be shoveling again.

That’s life. We dig out the weeds and they grow back. We clean the garage and it gets cluttered again. We vacuum the carpet and it gets dirty again. We confess our sins and then mess up again the next day. It’s true: if we don’t maintain our spaces, the filth and mess piles up. But even when we do our best, there’s never an end to the need for diligence. The menial labor of keeping things clean is a constant in our lives.

Honestly, this sometimes frustrates me. It often exhausts me. But I’ve been working lately to redeem the disciplines of cleaning up. I’ve been trying to use these times as a reminder to pray, and as a kind of template and parable for a certain kind of prayer. I constantly need to “clean up” my life because, in the course of living, I collect moral debris and clutter. So while I’m shoveling or cleaning the bathroom or washing dishes I use these times to remind myself to ask God to “clean” me. I take the chance to confess my sins, failings, fears, and weaknesses. Clean up work is never fun but it’s necessary and constant. I can have a double blessing by reminding me to pray.

“God, you made me to walk in order and purity and holiness. But I often fail to meet that destiny. As I clean toilets and wash clothes I turn to you and ask you to clean me and wash away the stains in my life. Just as my menial work never ends, so my reliance on you to keep me pure and right never diminishes. I need your labor in my life. Thank you for never tolerating clutter or compromise. In Jesus I pray…”

Check out the other “21 Ways to Pray” in a special Beliefnet devotional I’ve written. And as always, feel free to add in your own perspectives. http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Prayer/2009/10/21-Ways-to-Pray.aspx



  • Your Name

    CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS,I JUST REMEMBER THAT LINE FROM MY ELEMENTARY DAYS WHERE WE ARE ASKS BY OUR TEACHER TO MAKE SLOGAN AT SCHOOL BACK HOME IN ASIA.YES,WE NEED CONSTANT CLEANING IN OUR OWN PLACES,AND IN EVERY AREA OF OUR LIVES WE NEED TO HAVE THE TOOLS TO CLEAN UP EVERY SINGLE CLUTTER THAT WAS THERE LIKE IN OUR HOUSES I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED,BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY,YES WE NEED TO ALLOW GOD TO CLEAN UP THE STAINS OF OUR SINS,IN PRAYERS WE ARE IN UNITY WITH THE DEVINE GOD,WE ALLOWED HIM AND IN TIME,WE SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW WHEN WE RECEIVE HIS SON JESUS CHRIST BLOOD TO CLEANSE US FROM OUR IMPURITIES,IN PRAYER AND IN JESUS,WE ARE MADE CLEAN AND COMPLETE.

Previous Posts

Seeing Eye to Eye With Jesus
"The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light."        ~Matthew 6:22 About a decade ago as I was helping our son Michael bundle up on a cool Fall Minnesota day before he hopped on the school bus, he told me about a gentleman that came to re

posted 1:34:26pm Sep. 05, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer for our Children in School
"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding." Philippians 1:9 Paul prayed this for his beloved spiritual children. Let us join him in praying for the children in our lives as they embark on a new school year. Our Father,

posted 10:34:40am Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Learning How to Live in the Moment
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."   ~Colossians 4:2 "Mom and Dad," said our son one day last year when we were visiting him in Santa Barbara where he was attending college, "I think you guys are great, but it seems like you're always talking about the futu

posted 8:43:16am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Search Me. Giving Your Heart a Fresh Start Daily
Search me, Oh God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there be any offensive way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. ~King David, Psalm 139 Something was smelly in our fridge the past week, and try as I may, I couldn't find it. Hiding on a shelf in the door

posted 8:19:25am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer For Anyone Getting Engaged
Thirty-two years ago today Mark took me to a small lake near my home in Minnesota where he bent on one knee and pulled out a ring and put it on my finger. We were so young and so happy. For many years we experienced much joy in our relationship. Then we hit some bumps and jolting potholes in the

posted 11:59:54am Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.