Good Afternoon, my joys!
As I mentioned in my last post I wanted to come back and share with you about this term “pivot prayers”. To do so I need to back up a few years and share with you about a poster I named the Pivot Poster.
It has been many years since I created this poster so the book that inspired me to make it has completely escaped me. I think it may have been 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, but I can’t be sure. 1,000 Gifts is an awesome book! A book that is very well worth the time it takes to read. It was indeed a great influence for me on this journey to joy. Well before I realized I was on a “journey to joy”.
I created this poster to put on my refrigerator as a constant reminder to “pivot” my thoughts, words and actions from ones of anger or despair to ones of gratitude.
My poster says “Quickly draw on a blessing from God in the midst of it all.” It encourages me to verbalize a blessing, notice beauty, see the good and act on it. Hug my kids. Smile. Laugh. Pray.
I had hoped that the pivot poster would be the constant reminder I needed to help me change those moments from negative to positive. It worked for a bit until it disappeared under other pictures and lists on the fridge.
Change is a life long journey to be sure. Salvation is a life long journey. The desire to change the negative in myself grows stronger with each passing year. And the realization that it will take great effort and hard work on my part is what has inspired this proactive Journey to Joy.
When in the “midst of it all” changing negative thoughts or behavior is very difficult to do.
And I’ll continue to do so, but let’s jump forward to now.
Here I am in the midst of this purposeful journey with greater effort and vigor. To seek God in the daily and mundane. In the difficult, hard days as well as the not so hard. I’ve realized that my journey to change my anger and despair to gratitude will take daily conscience effort. Constant prayer. Constant physical reminders to come to back to God. I am reading a book just published this year called Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life. Another book that is absolutely a life changer for me…just when I needed it. My heart ready to hear what it has to say.
Author Nicole Roccas introduces us to Evagrius Ponticus (4th Century) and his teachings on prayer. He taught on something called counter-statement.
“Evagrius’s treatise instructs praying in short bursts, using short verses or phrases from Scripture to cut off or ‘talk back’ to destructive thoughts.”
“Although counter-statement is not intended to replace a more well-developed rule of prayer, it does provide a path of return to God when we find ourselves at our lowest and most feeble—however often that may be. Its power lies in its intentional brevity.
…we need to hone the basics of facing and countering our destructive thoughts, of turning to God in the heat of our battles. We do this best by starting with short verses or phrases, learning to wield them and take aim with them as we would a sword.”
This immediately reminded me of the pivot poster I created years ago!
The poster didn’t have specific prayers or verses attached with it. It is pretty general. So I really like the idea of these counter-statements. They are specific and purposeful.
Over the last many months of my writing Kindler of Joy I’ve talked much about the need for reminders and I’ve created many picture quotes and prayers.
So I felt the need to swap out my pivot poster for these short prayers or verses…pivot prayers!
Let’s fill our lives with these pivot prayers to use as swords against the evil ones attempt to floor us.
I talk all about needing these physical reminders around me but I have not actually been very faithful at putting them up, and surrounding myself with them.
I need to do just that.
Within this post are a few I’ve created in the past. Some of favorites.