Do you have any weird habits? I know that I have one or two that tend to strike people as a bit odd ... the chances are that if you see me leading worship, I will almost certainly not be wearing shoes. This not because I am on holy ground; it is simply because I can't feel the piano's pedal properly through my shoes ... not helped by the fact that I tend to wear walking boots! Of course, this hasn't been so much of a problem recently as for the last six, almost seven, months I have been playing the piano and leading worship at home and have not had to put my shoes on to go to church.
One of the most difficult aspects of the pandemic for many Christians has been the changes to our habits of communal prayer and worship. Yet this enforced change has also revealed for me just how much of my prayer and worship was centred on a Sunday morning. Sunday was the only day on which I habitually set aside time for God. This isn't to say that I didn't pray throughout the week. I pray whenever I see or hear something inspires me to pray. But I have not made a habit of clearing space to stop and listen to God and to rest in that moment. This is in part because I like doing things. I am not good at just sitting and praying in silence. I tend to fidget and find that my mind wanders.
Over the last few months, I have found my prayer habits changing. I am still not sitting and praying in silence. Instead, I have spent a lot more time playing my piano and simply worshiping. I have found myself listening to God as I play and responding in worshipful prayer: sometimes playing songs I have known for years; sometimes learning things from the small mountain of worship books by my piano; and sometimes responding with a new song.
One thing I have realised through this, is that there is no one size fits all approach to prayer. The things that make it easier for me to spend time with God may not work for someone else. I know several people who say that they find it easy to pray while doing the hoovering or the washing up ... that definitely is not for me! In many ways the important thing is simply to intentionally set time aside to be with God. How do you respond to that invitation? What new habit(s) of prayer and worship are you going to try and develop?