in the beginning…
i was first introduced to the concept of a PRAYER JAR during a sermon by Jim Denison* at Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock, CA. the basic premise was that if you find a recurrent worry running over and over in your head, write it down on a piece of paper and stick it in a jar labeled “Something for God to Do.”** Then you find a nice hard-to-reach location for it, like up on the top of your tallest bookshelf or that ridiculous cabinet above your fridge–preferably somewhere where you need to get a stepping stool or something to get it back down.
If you catch yourself thinking about it again (which of course you WILL), climb back up the ladder, open the jar + get it back out, and consciously give it back to God.
After a few (or a lot, depending on how slow you are to change!!) recurrences of this little charade, your subconscious mind (which enjoys taking time out of its day for climbing up and down ladders about as much as a snail enjoys the sound of its own shell cracking when i don’t look where I’m going as I walk down my mother-in-law’s garden path in the evening) somehow finds a way to redirect your thoughts whenever that topic crosses your mind. the worry may still appear from time to time, but like a tiny little cloud on an otherwise sunny day, it evaporates or passes on through with little ado. No more raging thunderstorms as you mull it over & over. kapeesh?
*oh how i love & miss Jim! he was the associate pastor at the time and the first pastor i’d ever been able to pay attention to ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIS SERMON. i’d never done that before in my twenty-something years of being in church every time the doors were open, sitting through chapel services every week at my baptist school, etc. Jim had a way of using MOVIE CLIPS and being “relevant” (i think that was his favorite word ;)) that captured my supposedly ADD brainwaves. last i heard he’s pastoring a church somewhere in England, which is where his beautiful and saucy bride Korrenne was from. 🙂 love you guys!
** honestly, that label may have come from a separate source altogether, a chain email forward thingy from my aunt judith in arkansas–but either way, the point was the same and jim’s sermon was the catalyst for me to actually get out a jar and write my worries down, whereas before that i only thought “hmmm, that’s a nice idea.”