On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

Pray the Pictures

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a few of those can surely be a prayer.

I was standing in line, waiting at the food truck on the corner for the guys to dish up my lunch. I was feeling blah and glum, in a sour mood, even though the food smells were enticing. I figured I’d use the time to go through old photos on my phone to delete some. All at once my mood lifted.

There was that picture of Paul Ogden and me out in the grape fields in Fresno. What a wonderful host he was for the talk on 10 Prayers You Can’t Live Without that I did at his congregation, Clovis Hills Community Church. How grateful I am for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And look at that, Mom’s orange tree, right next to her driveway in California. What could be more cheering? I could picture her making me a glass of fresh-squeezed juice. Delicious. Praise God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there was a photo of Robert and me, taken back in the fall. He’s a cancer survivor and we’ve been praying for him for months. More than a year ago things looked pretty dicey. But I just saw him at church, and even though the treatments continue, he still looks like this photo. Vibrant. Good. Blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s me in my choir robe at Christmas. What a lot to celebrate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Carol’s lamb cake that she makes every Easter. Isn’t it cute? Don’t you wish you could have a slice?

By the time my lunch was ready, I was a different person. Happier, grateful, reconnected to God. I didn’t really do much, but scrolling through those photos reminded me how many good reasons I have to be thankful.

Got any old pictures? Look at them. They’ll surely give you cause to smile. And thank God. 

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.