D here are jewels dangling above the grass. Golden, shimmering in light. I see them when I look up, my hands on the ground, nails filled with wet brown dirt.
when we pray bright beautiful one

I am pulling weeds from tufts of grass. Dandelions are about to sprout, and I pull up the plants by their roots. My daughter knows to not blow any white dandelion puff, as wild and beautiful as it is, anywhere near our front or back yard. I’m kind of crazy about this.

And now I’m bent down, hands in dirt, pulling up unwanted plants from our yard. Tiny clover and tall rye grass and those sneaky dandelion plants that make me mutinous and determined to pull out each and every one. Sunlight blankets my bare neck.  And I look up and see green leaves hanging, sparkly magic dangling, love notes against blue sky. These leaves are wanted; I’ve decided they are beautiful, desired. While I pull up these other weeds, unwanted and clever, from my poor little grass patch of yard.

Father, what do You deem beautiful, worthy, holy? How do we pray to You? How do we recognize the beauty You see?

Sisters gather in my front room this week. We sit together, and we ask God what He thinks of us, what He calls us, what words and pictures He sees when He thinks of His daughters. And what my dear friend hears when she listens to His words to me is something new, an invitation to true identity. She says He calls me a certain jewel. And this stone is one of strength, one not easily broken.

I want to believe her. I want to accept the name for me she heard Him say.

And above my head are these leaves shining so bright on delicate and tiny stems, clinging to the branch on which their life depends. Jewels of beauty and light, dancing in the breath of wind. The tree branch swings.

I hear Him whisper, Girl, you have to be all in. I want all of you, you know? And I am this jewel dangling, this tiny leaf wanting to hold on to what is good and true.

I go inside, and I think about talking to God. We each a tiny leaf clinging desperate to the branch of this strong tree.

We seek God’s words in our heart. We are desperate to hear Him. We pray for Him to feel close, bring rescue.

God’s presence is the most impactful outcome of any prayer. For at the root of prayer is the desire for connection with our Maker. And sometimes, prayer does not include words.

Pray God's presence

When I pray, I focus on God’s presence. I visualize Him. Often, He is holding me, reaching for me, letting me kneel before Him or stand near Him. Or I am praising Him with so many sisters (Psalm 150:1-6, John 4:23). And I am in heaven here. I am with Him, and I am here now, both places. Where I am, He is, for His Spirit is in me.

Or, sometimes, I am with Jesus. He grabs my hand and we scamper down a bank and jump into rafts barreling down a river. The water splashes all over, the banks rush, the water high. We laugh, and the ride is crazy, and I am safe. I haven’t asked Him where the river leads. Wake up, girl, wake up. 

You know I am awake.

Holy Spirit, come and fill us. Stay close. Awake us to You–our Friend, our Guide, the One who stays close and never leaves (John 15:26). You are the Intercessor, the One who translates for us our deepest desires (Romans 8:26). You know the cry of our hearts–how we long for God, how we have questions we cannot articulate–or even recognize–ourselves.

We are the leaf clinging to Your strength. We are the bright and beautiful, a jewel of light, Your daughters. And we want, more than anything, to believe in the truth that You see.

Oh, beautiful one.

How do you feel about praying–maybe without words–and recognizing the presence of the Holy Spirit in you? How do you feel about God whispering to you the truth of what He sees you? Have you done this? Do you want to? Could you accept what it is He sees?

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Showing 7 comments
  • Theresa
    Reply

    I want to learn to pray and in the way that I sense God’s presence there with me, but I struggle with this. I either fall asleep or mind goes to other things. I am not sure if i could accept what God sees, but I am willing to listen.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Theresa, that’s okay! Let your imagination go! Think about Him, and give yourself grace when you get distracted. Set a timer, maybe, for five minutes, then ten, then eventually fifteen . . listen to a song you love. Picture yourself in that song with Jesus. Much love to you. This is exciting and fun!

  • Karon
    Reply

    How can you pray when you dont feel worthy of being listened too.
    When you feel spiritually ugly and question, how can God love YOU!
    My whimpers He hears, my thoughts He knows, my saddnest He sees. My speaking to Him…… He hears me. This is my prayer.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Karon, I know exactly what you mean. I know what it means to push against God, to struggle with believing the possibility of His love for me. I had so much contempt for myself that I battled with God, as He lovingly pursued me, asking me if I wanted healing, if I wanted help in believing He was here, loving me at my worst. It is crazy, this surrender we must do in order to believe we are adored, just like this. The enemy does not want us to believe we are worthy of being loved. And the thing is, we are because God has decided we are. No, we don’t deserve it; but God has chosen to love us because it is who He is. So, if we believe in who He is, in His goodness, in His love, in His grace, in His forgiveness of us, we must believe in His love for us too.

      And that, dear sister, is the beginning of hearing Him, of loving Him with a free, transformed, surrendered heart. Freedom. You are made for freedom–not to be enslaved to self-contempt and fear.

      Lay down those lies now, dear one. Lay them down, each lie that you have been believing about yourself, at the foot of the cross. Give each one to Jesus. Oh, girl, He is going to create something beautiful when you do.

  • Karla L Booker MD
    Reply

    I found you on YouVersion Bible’s 3-day LOOP FOR WOMEN Devo, which I started on Easter.
    “You begin where you end and I begin. ”
    I first pondered this, with furrowed brow, knowing that herein lies my key. The key. I read the entire devo again and then closed my eyes and listened to the recorded words. And God was there. The preciousness of me, made manifest in the loving words…. Just as you wrote them! So sweet, so light! I felt so adored, so seen, so known, so heard!
    Jennifer, how could you know exactly what I’ve needed to hear God say to me? Such a blessing!
    I lost my husband of 71 days on Jan 6 2015, after a 99 day onslaught of lung cancer. I have been so angry at God for stealing him from me only 20 months after we found one another. I’ve seen this as yet more evidence that God’s plans for me are to suffer and toil and wander in the wilderness.
    2016 has been better, as I seek God’s face and grace and love in my every interaction.
    YouVersion Bible app has been my salvation so many times… And now I’ve found LOOP! Selah and Amen!
    Please know that your words have touched me deeply. Tearfully, smilingly deep. We are sisters. Daughters of the Most High King. Heiress of Light, Love, and Laughter.
    I am so grateful! ?❤?❤?❤?

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Karla,

      Yes, we are sisters! You are so beautiful–how you choose God’s love for you for strength and healing. I am so sorry about the loss of your precious husband. Yes, you must miss him, and yes, give God all those emotions, dear sister–all that pain. I love how you do give this to Him, and how you hear Him whispering his love to your heart. Bless you as you continue to cling to Him and choose His strength and joy and light and hope!

      Much love to you,
      Jennifer

      • Karla L Booker MD
        Reply

        Jennifer, I am loving for a place where we, as sisters, can you and confess the hardest stuff… Our sin, and our shame, where we can find shoulders to absorb our tears… To see the Grace of God for real in our lives.

        I think that the enemy finds huge victories in separating and isolating us, mired in this cesspool of self-loathing and unforgiveness.

        Are you aware of online access to something like this?

        You are a blessing to me!

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