As a child, did you ever kneel at the foot of your bed with your hands nicely folded and your head bowed, and then recited the Lord’s Prayer?
This was the posture of prayer I had learned when I was young, but did not carry it past elementary school years. Praying like that seemed childish, as you rarely saw a picture of an adult kneeling by their bed. It was more comfortable sitting on my bed with my legs crossed and my hands neatly in my lap. As I got older, I realized that it was okay to pray with my eyes open. This became helpful while driving, cooking, tending to children, or hanging out in the bathroom. I have found some unique places to pray over the years, as I’m sure others can add to this list. Thankfully the art of kneeling is not the only posture for praying, even though some will lay face down on the floor.
I have learned that being in an awkward or unique place will help keep your mind awake and aware of your surroundings. When I’m in a comfortable place, my mind tends to wander whereas my eyes become droopy and I nod off into dreamland.
The places I’m sharing here are very unique and can be uncomfortable, especially for adults. They are great places for children and grandchildren to spend time alone and talk to God. Now it’s time to close your eyes and think back to the time when you were young. Where did you run off or hide, to be alone?
Be Unique, Hang Out With The Dust Bunnies
Have you wondered why there are piles of toys under your child’s bed? The 8+ inches is enough clearance for your child to slide under the frame and be one with the dust bunnies. This was a safe space for me so I could hide from a sibling or a chore that needed done. I used this space to hide my favorite books, dolls and toys, along with a box of my favorite treasures. As an inside hiding place, this was my favorite because it was also in my room so I could close the door to keep the dog from finding me.
Children or grandchildren need quiet time throughout their day for deep thought, meditation and day dreams. Encourage them to find a safe spot in the house. They might camouflage themselves with toys and stuffed animals, so even the pet dog can’t sniff them out. Spending time alone with God will not only nourish your child, but will also grow them into a more meaningful relationship with God.
What’s Up In A Tree, Acts Like a Monkey, But Isn’t A Monkey?
There’s nothing like being able to climb a tree, especially in the summer time when you can hide among the green leaves. I spent many hours in trees as a child. They were great places to use as a lookout tower to see what the neighbors were up to. Or a place to hide when my siblings were teasing me. Best of all, it was a place to talk to God and tell Him about my worries and fears. If I didn’t want to be alone, I had friends who loved to climb trees too.
The use of video games used to keep children inside but now they are portable, they’ll go anywhere. My grandchildren love to climb trees as well, or just lay in a hammock extended between two trees. It’s a quiet, peaceful and relaxing place to talk to God. Some of the best trees to climb up are the maples because they have strong branches. The worst are pine trees, because they get all sappy and sticky.
Keep Your Eyes Open While Pedaling Your Bike
I love riding bikes. I found them as a great way to escape teasing from my siblings, or a chance to get out of the house to avoid some chores. Whenever possible, it is good to make time to be with God, talking to Him and then listening for His response. When you ride your bike, you’re also exercising which God says is good to take care of body, the temple of God.
The best way to exercise and pray at the same time is by riding your bike. Although I didn’t understand the advantages of learning to communicate with God til I was older, it’s definitely something I want my children and grandchildren to know.
Many prayers can be heard and answered while children play on their bikes, scooters or skateboards. It’s good to teach children the importance of prayer, so they will continue doing it when they grow up. Children can pray for a family member who is sick or just for something going on in their own lives. Pedaling down the street helps them feel God’s presence, while seeing His creation all around them.
Surely there were other places that you would retreat to when you were younger. Find the time to share them with your grandchildren. Teach them about God sightings, places where you have seen God in action: a sunset, a rainbow, a kitten that was found. Share with us some of your unique places in the comments below.