Along with the cookouts, campfires and family reunions, here are ways to celebrate the season spiritually.
Summer—a season of cookouts, baseball, beaches and vacations. There’s so much to like about it. Even more so if we make it a season of prayer. It’s more than possible…easy, even, with some of these prayer prompts:
1) When plants and flowers blossom
One of my favorite early summer prayers is actually a listening prayer, as I imagine God inviting me into the delights of the season in the words of Song of Songs 2:
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me. (Song of Songs 2:11-13, NIV)
2) Holidays and vacations
It can be hard to downshift from work to rest and relaxation, but holidays and vacations are an opportunity to pray, “Lord, remind me that your word says, ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.’” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV)
3) Around the campfire
Is anything as mesmerizing and calming as gazing into a fire? It can also move us to pray. Perhaps a prayer like the following can be recalled as you watch fuel being added to a fire:
“God, remind me to consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If that is how You clothe the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will You clothe and care for me.” (Based on Luke 12:27-28, NIV)
4) Cookouts and reunions
Among the blessings of summer are grilling out and gathering with friends and family. On such an occasion, this prayer, drawn from Psalm 65:11-13 (NIV), can turn our hearts to God:
“You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.”
Thank you, Lord, for your bounty and the abundance of this table, amen.
Those are just four ideas to make summer a season of prayer. You may add others of your own, such as prayers while in the car on long trips, prayers as you watch a child or grandchild playing baseball or soccer, and more. And won’t it be great, at the end of summer, to look back not only on cookouts and vacations, but also on those rich moments of prayer?