I will be the first to tell you that everyone needs time for silent prayer during the day. I will also be the first to admit that this is difficult for me to accomplish! Therefore, I am a huge advocate of what my friend calls “moving prayer”. For mommies and other people on the move, it is essential to remain connected to God throughout the day, even as you engage in other tasks.
I am especially aware of the available mental energy for “moving prayer” as I work in the kitchen. The multitude of mundane tasks that I work my way through while making a meal include: chopping vegetables, setting the table, gathering ingredients, storing leftovers, washing dishes…and the list could go on. I make it a point to harness some of my surplus intellectual space during these times, and I pray.
How often do you find that you have something repetitive “in your head”? If you’re a parent, it’s likely to be the ABCs or “Elmo’s World” theme song, and if you’re a normal person, perhaps the song you last heard in your car is stuck in there. Your head, I mean, not the car.
When I find my mind doing something repetitive, that’s my cue to switch over to the prayer station: I convince my mind to pray a repetitive prayer instead. We Catholics have lots of them. Honestly, the Hail Mary is a bit long for me while I’m working. I get distracted! My favorite is, “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.” It’s from the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and it has just the right rhythm to chop food by. I don’t count ten of them, I just go until I have to focus my brain on dinner again.
Here are some other ideas:
- A favorite praise song
- “Lord, have mercy”
- “Christ, have mercy”
- “Jesus, remember me”
- repeat the Name of Jesus
- “Bless my family, Lord”
- or any phrase that you feel is worthwhile to tell the Lord rather than your ABCs!
Especially as we work our way through Lent this year, I want to challenge you to be prayerful in the kitchen. If you can harness your repetitive mind and turn it towards God with this method, please try it! The world needs our prayers.
Katie Kimball is an at-home mom of two little ones from Southwest Michigan. She blogs at Kitchen Stewardship: www.kitchenstewardship.com, where you can receive weekly challenges to help you attain better stewardship of God’s gifts of our health, earth, time and money. This article is a reprint of a “Mary and Martha Moment”, occasional encouragement to prayer and faithfulness while you work in the kitchen.
Image Credits: Georg Friendrich Stettner: Christ at the Home of Martha and Mary, 1639, PD-US