The other day, I was cleaning out and rearranging items in a closet in my upstairs hallway. My husband was helping because he is much taller than I. He was passing down to me things from the upper shelf, and he just kept handing me throw pillows. I realized that I have a very large number of these decorative pillows, but I chose not to give away or dispose of any of them because they help me to decorate for different seasons and holidays. Their variety gives me choices and opportunities for different looks in my living room.
Leave it to me to think about correspondences between prayers and such mundane objects as throw pillows. Please take a comfortable seat, maybe with assistance of a throw pillow, and keep reading.
In our ideal daily prayer routine, we probably pray certain prayers in the morning and before retiring at night. Throughout the day, even if we are busy, we certainly can offer up little prayers for different people or circumstances.
What is it about throw pillows that I like so much? For one thing, they can offer support for your back. They are movable and flexible enough to stuff behind you as you nestle in to watch a television show or share in a conversation. With this same idea of support, you can offer a short prayer at any time of day for someone in the midst of a struggle. If that person know that you are praying for him or her, I am certain your support is a comfort. It is good for a troubled people to know that someone “has their back.” Prayer is a proven good way to do that!
Throw pillows come in varieties of shapes and colors. They often stand out and call attention to a design or theme. Prayers, too, can come in many varieties and themes. When we try some different type of prayer format, like a litany, a novena, or a devotional, we can add a new dimension to our routine. They can be different routes to coming closer to Our Lord.
Just as I can toss a throw pillow onto my couch, I can toss up a spontaneous prayer for an anonymous someone involved in the incident that has just led to the sirens I hear in the distance.
Soft throw pillows, with their color contrasts and brightness, can add excitement and warmth to a room. Prayers can draw us closer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with a bright comfort of hope and resiliency. We can take a “prayer break” and not just a coffee break—break up monotony by turning attention to a soft prayer of gratitude for all things that have gone right in our day so far.
I have to admit, however, that there is a definite difference between those throw pillows and prayers I have been mentioning. I certainly can overdo it and have too many throw pillows at once adorning my couch; but none of us can overdo it when it comes to offering prayers for ourselves and our loved ones. God never gets tired of hearing from us! So sit back, relax, and pray for world peace, a total end to the pandemic, and for anyone in need of God’s grace!
Photo by Sharon Krause
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.