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Prayer in Solitude: A Poem on Praying

Janis is a mental health professional in private practice in Washington, DC. She holds a Master's degree in counseling psychology.

Prayer can happen anywhere, even in the comfort of a bath.

Prayer can happen anywhere, even in the comfort of a bath.

"Prayer is such an intimate act, a place of vulnerability. It is, hopefully, when we are our least guarded, our most honest selves. And this is good, of course; this is as it ought to be. When we come to God, we certainly want to come as honestly and as openly as we can; we want to be our truest selves before him. Prayer lets us be in a place of need."

- John Eldredge

A New Way of Praying

Over the past year of living in a global pandemic, much of humanity was forced to exist in a mostly indoor world, away from regular contact with the outdoor world. In our fear of COVID-19, we had to find ways to live our lives inside of our homes and make the best of the solitude. The comforts we had come to know in our daily routines has been stripped away, leaving us void of our normal way of life.

Shortly after the official shutdown began in our country, I penned an article about our search for meaning in the midst of a devastating pandemic. From notes taken after listening to a church sermon, I wrote about altering our perceptions of how we see, what we've learned, and what we can appreciate through the lens of the tragedy and loss. We were given an opportunity to observe harsh realities with new eyes of gratitude, grief, deepened introspection, and self-awareness. What resonated for me most with this exercise of self-examination was the ability to be still long enough to see things I missed or had taken for granted.

During this extended period of spending most of my time at home, I discovered that taking bubble baths opened a door into a divine spiritual practice. The pandemic provided me the unexpected gift of having more time to relax and pray, without having to rush, while soaking in the tub. The following poem is an expression of that experience, marking a year in prayerful solitude.

Naked Prayer


I retreat to my sacred place

Stripped down to my bare soul

Waiting for God's grace

Asking for his hand


I lay submerged

Like a baby in womb

Surrounded by warmth

Sinking into sweet solitude


Bare skin, no secrets to hide

As God's light enters, he listens

He hears my pleas

For healing mercies


I come just as I am

Each breath, a cleansing prayer

Each prayer, a cleansing breath

To purify my naked temple


Like a refreshing spring

Water smooths pebble surfaces

Residual drains away, leaving me

Renewed in body, mind and spirit


JLE 2021

A woman wades in the ocean's vast water as she contemplates.

A woman wades in the ocean's vast water as she contemplates.

"Prayer, if it is real, is an acknowledgment of our finitude, our need, our openness to be changed, our readiness to be surprised, yes, astonished by the 'beams of love.'"

-Douglas V. Steere

More on Prayer and Openness

Places We Pray

© 2021 Janis Leslie Evans

Comments

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on March 01, 2021:

Beautiful comment, Shauna. Yes, you got it. I appreciate that very much. Thanks for your visit.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 01, 2021:

Jan, I love your poem. And I love the entire premise. I'm of the belief that I can talk to God anywhere, anytime. And that's exactly what I do. I don't need to go to church to have a private conversation with God.

Beautiful thoughts, Jan!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 28, 2021:

Thank you, Nithya. I appreciate your comment.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on February 28, 2021:

Beautifully expressed. Prayers help me to get through tough times.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

Hi Audrey, me either. The pandemic has deepened my need for it and increased its frequency. You're welcome, thanks for your lovely comment.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

Hi Clive, glad you liked it. Yes, the shower works, many metaphors there. Thanks for stopping by.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

Rachelle, you have just put a big smile on my face. I'm always sad to hear that someone's negative experience with organized religion tainted their ability to find peace through spirituality. I'm inspired to hear that this poem article has sparked your desire to untangle the mess and merge prayer with meditation. It can be done. I wish you peace. Thank you so much for sharing, reading, and commenting.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

Absolutely, Brenda. I find that it's when I'm most relaxed, too. So glad you liked it. Thanks for you visit.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

I appreciate that, Singh. Glad you liked it.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

Glad you liked it, Pam. Prayer has definitely increased during these times. Thank you for stopping by.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

Same here, mantita. All services are on Zoom now so the prayer in solitude has taken on a special meaning. Thank you for visiting and leaving a generous comment.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 27, 2021:

Thank you, John. Yes, I've been feeling a lot more relaxed. It does feel like meditation. I appreciate your visit and comment.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on February 27, 2021:

I can't imagine a life without prayer. Prayer provides me with insight, fills me with peace, and keeps me humble. Your poem is beautiful and I thank you.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on February 27, 2021:

love the naked poem. I always pray in the shower. Next is bedroom.

Rachelle Williams from Tempe, AZ on February 27, 2021:

Very interesting. Well, I don't pray at all, because I do not believe in any form of organized religion. Intellectually, I realize that organized religion and prayer actually do not need to be connected, but I was raised in both the A.M.E. and Catholic church in Deep South so those two things ARE connected in my mind - perhaps I should work on fixing that mess. I have been exploring meditation, and perusing your article has sparked a desire within me to maybe combine the two... If this article was designed to inspire thought, you have succeeded with me - GREAT CONTENT!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on February 27, 2021:

This is a wonderful poem.

I find a special peace whenever I take a shower or bath.

It is the one place my thoughts can be totally alone. I often prayer then too.

It is when we are most relaxed.

Thanks for sharing.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 27, 2021:

Prayer is an intensely personal experience. You have written a wonderful article.

Pam Morris from Atlanta Georgia on February 27, 2021:

I enjoyed reading your article. Using prayer as a substitution in time of need is a wise choice. And to read you use prayer to find peace in challenging times is the best thing anyone can do. Thank you for sharing this Hub!

manatita44 from london on February 27, 2021:

Beautiful!! A truly exquisite piece, Janis.

I pray at my shrine/alter/puja daily and at my Centre for fellowship. (Now replaced by Zoom programmes and regular conference calls during lockdown)

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 26, 2021:

Prayer is often most effective when you are relaxed and can almost act as a form of meditation, so praying while in a soothing warm bubble bath sounds perfect. Lovely article/poem. Thank you for sharing, Jan.

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