Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Invitation 4: Play

Question:

Be playful today. Write a prayer with a twinkle.
Write your Answer – click here

Transcript of Video:

One of the things that inhibits adults at so many different levels is the misguided sense that we have to be serious all the time and we really need to try to recapture our playfulness. I think that play is so close to pray, you know, they just go hand-in-hand. And so when you approach prayer, approach it seriously but not with seriousness. Know that God wants to play with you. That playfulness is all around. God has a really strong sense of humor.

– Br. Eldridge Pendleton

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

76 Comments

  1. Christopher Engle Barnhart on March 27, 2014 at 14:08

    We are all children of God. Therefore, we should be playful. “God, you gave our Life, Love, and Joy. We give thanks to you for Life, Love and Joy.”

  2. Beth on March 25, 2014 at 11:18

    God, I would like to play in the lake, swim, and fish. Thank you for that beautiful trout, and sailfish I caught. I would like to share this with my grandchildren, and see their faces glow with joy, and listen to their laughter. Be with us, send sunshine, and a big fish.

  3. Sr. Donna Morgan on March 23, 2014 at 20:00

    Dear Lord,
    You must be chuckling right about now thinking about how seriously we all take ourselves. Help us to laugh with you at us so that we humans can have fun with you

  4. steve on March 23, 2014 at 12:00

    Heavenly Father,
    I thank you for the life you have given me in the incredible beauty of the land you have sent me to live out the rest of my earthly life. The sunrises and sunsets awe me with their beauty. The hosts of color in the land and mountains remind me of the manifold paths of your grace. And the spectacular works in cliff faces, canyons, rivers and lakes guided by your Word in the grand staircase show me the love you so freely have provided.
    Please let me see a glimpse of the magnificence of your plan for my life in all I come in contact with weather they swim, fly, scamper, craw or walk this earth. Please fill me with the appreciation for the true value of your creation and the place you have given me as part of it.

  5. jackie on March 23, 2014 at 10:50

    Dear Lord, I feel so blessed with the sense of community and intellect you have showered upon me.
    Though sometimes ” life” can be so overwhelming. I am blessed to be a free spirit. My dogs teach me to be in the moment with my heart open to love and be grateful. What a “tail wagging” blessed life you have bestowed upon me. Thank you

  6. John Okerman on March 21, 2014 at 15:38

    I really like the idea of not taking yourself seriously. I need to do that in prayer. Yesterday was a day of play for me as I spent the day skiing. I need to thank God for giving me a day that I did not have to be serious or take myself serious. (Although on some steep, challenging slopes I became “serious”!) I need to do that more often in prayer.

  7. TM on March 21, 2014 at 11:25

    Jesus is the best! Never put him to the test! You might think you’re like the rest. But he knows you from HIs chest. He loves you even when you’ve messed (up). Never forget to praise him, lest
    you be lost.

  8. Joyce on March 21, 2014 at 09:49

    Dear God,
    I could not write this yesterday morning but today, after having a good outing with my husband and a walk downtown where we saw two young children dance to a street musician which made both of us laugh, I can. Please alllow me to stay in your light and dance to your music and laugh.

  9. Julie Watt Faqir on March 21, 2014 at 08:35

    Blessed God, thank you for letting me romp around the room with joy when I heard Come on Eileen today on You Tube.

  10. Winifred on March 21, 2014 at 05:56

    On the golf course in New Zealand today; the birds in the trees were full of clicks, whistles and cooos, just like jazz artist Eric Dolphy – that’s fun, and beautiful, and magical. Thank you.

    • Reviewer on March 21, 2014 at 06:32

      Eric Dolphy!! Amen!! Perfectly placed reference to his pensive, yet vibrant sound.

  11. Dorothy Brown on March 21, 2014 at 04:54

    Divine Beloved – my cat has brought me his toy, now he is in my lap pawing at my face. He wants me to stop being so serious and play with him. Is that You, Lord? I struggled all day with this invitation, and here is my answer from God: Enjoy me, love me, play with me, and be grateful.

  12. Deacon Susan in California on March 21, 2014 at 00:49

    Thank you, God, for my week’s vacation in Arizona. Lots of playtime at spring training baseball games, calling out to the players, laughing with the folks nearby, and singing. Lots of prayer time sitting outdoors, watching the quail and the great tailed grackles irritate each other and musing on how we humans do the same to each other. Amen.

  13. Ross Bliss on March 21, 2014 at 00:27

    Loving and mirthful God
    You bless me daily
    Amidst my folly
    My restless needs
    Surprised by joy

  14. MRM on March 20, 2014 at 20:58

    thank you Lord for surrounding me with silliness from birth to death, to remind me I am not “all that.”

  15. Jeri on March 20, 2014 at 19:48

    Dear Lord, It was a great day!! Dogs, horses, and good fellowship. Thank you so much.

  16. larry j on March 20, 2014 at 17:45

    Thank you Lord for the gift of self refection where I can laugh at my self. Sometimes it is simply a riot.

  17. Kathleen Sheehy on March 20, 2014 at 17:44

    “I can jump higher than you.” Well, duh, of course You can. You’re God. “But if you join Me on My trampoline, then you can jump this high, too. C’mon. It’ll be fun.” Lord, let’s jump together. Let’s fly. Let’s take in the view from up here, where so many things down there that seem important are too small to make out. Hold my hand, because this is a little scary. Laugh out loud scary! Free my feet from earthbound cares and distractions. It’s just You and me up here. Flying.

    • LindaR on March 21, 2014 at 00:25

      Beautiful!

  18. LindaR on March 20, 2014 at 17:15

    Dear Lord, when I was a child on the swingset you were the in the wind kissing my hair. My brother is far away and facing some challenges. Please kiss his hair. Oh, wait, he doesn’t have much hair anymore… Well, please kiss the top of his head and help him feel your love filling his heart. Thank you for bringing him into my life! And please help me remember to notice and thank You as your breezes tug at my grey hair. Amen.

  19. Christopher Epting on March 20, 2014 at 17:13

    Dear God, you cause stars to twinkle in the sky;
    Why, oh why, oh why can’t I?

  20. Jane Anne Gleason on March 20, 2014 at 16:09

    Thank tor for leading me to the water aerobic class for the first time today and the new women I meet. Thank you for the laughter we shared and the invitation to explore a new community of friends. May there be more laughter and new friends. Amen.

  21. Margaret Dungan on March 20, 2014 at 15:35

    I often think that God laughs at me, especially when he catchesme out in my contradictions

  22. Pam on March 20, 2014 at 15:18

    Thank you Lord for silly, silly people who make me laugh with them and at them. What joy it is to laugh at myself ….. And thank you Lord that you laugh at me too because when you do I see the mischief and the love in your eyes and it so Heavenly and it makes me laugh all the more! Thank you for self – forgetfulness and the light it brings. Thank you for crazy , crazy teenagers and all they do to exasperate and adore – for their ringing cellphones…. When they were meant to be quiet …. And the giggles that follow. Thank you for it all!

  23. Marilyn Weir on March 20, 2014 at 15:08

    Dear and gracious God, who sees the humor in life, I thank you for creating laughter and the ability for humans to laugh. We may have created the practical joke but you gave us the gift of laughter, which helps us to realize that we need to lighten up and let go. Laughter helps us to relax and we need to do that too. Thank you for showing me your lighter side. I offer this prayer in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who was the Light you brought into the world. Amen.

  24. kew on March 20, 2014 at 14:03

    With all due respect to God — and Aretha — I hear God saying this to me:

    “You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me
    Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free
    You need me (need me) and I need you (don’t you know)
    Without each other there ain’t nothing we can do”

    To me, this is a playful way of reminding myself that God doesn’t want me to punish myself for my brokenness, to put myself in a cage of my own making — that when I cage myself, I’m trying to cage God, too.

    “Let yourself be free,” God says. Just get up and DANCE! So my prayer today will be dancing with my kids — or all by myself, if I need to.

  25. Lisa on March 20, 2014 at 13:30

    Thank you, Brother Eldridge for encouraging me to see God’s playful-pray-full spirit today. If the line divisions don’t work below, it will be God having fun in cyberspace.

    STUFF and NONSENSE

    O Lord, my stuff is not enuff-
    I bounce from store to store;
    I surf the aisles, I search the shelves
    For more and more and MORE.

    And when the stuff I carry home
    Then toss upon the bed,
    It’s just the same as all the rest:
    There’s only MORE instead.

    One day, from underneath this pile
    I’ll look into the sky,
    And You will tell me, with a smile,
    “There’s nothing left to buy.”

    Then I will see and truly know
    Beneath this pile of clothes
    That You are Love who’s loving me.
    It’s only I who loathes

    To be without the outer stuff
    I hide or pack or hoard
    So I can barricade my heart,
    Forget that You are Lord.

    There are no aisles in Your heart,
    You never build tall shelves
    To store us on, like tiny dolls
    Who’ve lost their inner selves.

    You call me, dying, into being,
    Invite me to your table,
    Send me out to clothe and feed
    To serve as I am able.

    O Lord, my stuff is not enough.
    I pray my heart restore
    Clothed and walking in Your love
    More and more and MORE.

    • kew on March 20, 2014 at 15:09

      This. Oh, so very much this! Thank you.

    • Casey on March 24, 2014 at 12:03

      Love it…can I post this on Facebook by “Lisa from our Book of John study”?

  26. Denise Schroeder on March 20, 2014 at 13:16

    Thank you Father God for the twinkle in my eye and helping me to use it wisely!

  27. Susan on March 20, 2014 at 13:04

    Good Day Lord: Yup it is me again. Yesterday we went hiking together, wasn’t it fun? Weren’t those wildflowers beautiful…is it fun to see it through a human’s eye?
    Today we are going to hike another trail. This will give us some real quiet conversation time, between huffing and puffing. Before the day is through WE will go visit our beautiful horse, Lord I pray her leg is better today.Then we can go riding together tomorrow, and cross those glorious rivers you provide us. It is tough getting old! I know this all too well. It is fun enjoying each day with a light heart, thank you Precious Jesus for keeping me in your fold.

    • Susan on March 20, 2014 at 17:38

      beautiful.

  28. Joan Rasch on March 20, 2014 at 12:23

    In the spirit of play, I’m posting in the hopes my little personal picture will show up. I call it “Fafner the thurifer”.
    (In the animated version, the fire always misses the thurible!)

    • Win on March 20, 2014 at 21:26

      Love your Fafner!

  29. ellen on March 20, 2014 at 12:15

    Friend Jesus, I think you are best at ‘Hide ‘n Seek’.
    Come on, let’s play !
    “You’re it !”
    Twinkling*

  30. Mary Caulfield on March 20, 2014 at 12:12

    Thank you, God, for ginger ale!

  31. Melinda on March 20, 2014 at 12:07

    Lord, please help me today to laugh at myself and the absurdities of life. Yesterday as I was attempting to drop the filter with used coffee grounds into the kitchen garbage bin I misjudged and dropped it (upside down) onto the rug. At the time I saw this as ‘just another thing to clean up’ – and very unwelcome at that. Today it strikes me as a bit humorous. Help me Lord find the humor in the moment instead of a day later 🙂 But thank you Lord that I am able to chuckle about it a day later!

    • Melinda on March 20, 2014 at 12:13

      P.S. – Lord, were you laughing at me (my overly serious reaction)? I kind of think you were.

  32. Barbara Harris on March 20, 2014 at 11:56

    Dear God,
    Thanks for the stains on my shirt, they remind me that I have plenty to eat. Thanks for the dirty clothes and messy diapers because they are the love that surrounds me. Thank you for the flat tire and the traffic that reminds me that I am on your time and I have to lighten up. Amen

    • kew on March 20, 2014 at 13:54

      AMEN!!

  33. gwedhen nicholas on March 20, 2014 at 11:09

    My, God is showing me a whole different side of Him through this series. He loves me, but playfully. I never knew that before. He wants me to play too. I’m terrified! I don’t know how to play.
    Please God, teach me to play, to live my life playfully and prayerfully with and for You. Help me to not be so serious in our relationship, realizing that You love to laugh.

    • LindaR on March 20, 2014 at 16:58

      Someone once suggested to me that I draw God a picture, like a child’s thank you note, showing me hand in hand with God, and our faces as we look at one another — the love. Nothing fine-art or fussy, just the simple joy, maybe in crayon or colored pencils.

  34. Lorna Harris on March 20, 2014 at 10:48

    Christ rose from the dead!
    God, please raise the crocuses:
    such longed-for blessings

    • Win on March 20, 2014 at 21:21

      I did get to see crocuses back in February visiting my son in Seattle! They were a sight to behold along with my son! Maybe next month here in Vermont? That would be sweetness!

  35. Cush on March 20, 2014 at 10:29

    I often give lip service to God having a sense of humor, but forget to pray for playfulness — a project for Lent? I need to pray about this one and remember that we are never to old for playfulness and the blessings of play.

  36. Susan on March 20, 2014 at 10:28

    What a thought! A playful prayer!

    Thank you God, for bluebonnets, birds, spring time weather. May I wear a smile today that radiates your love for all of creation. May I laugh at someone’s joke. Help me to not take life so seriously. Help me to know that you love me.

  37. Win on March 20, 2014 at 10:24

    My first thought when I heard Br. Eldridge’s talk this morning was John Donne’s Lenten Hymn 140 or 141 in the hymnal. It’s my favorite Lenten hymn! I think he was quite playful when he wrote this heartfelt prayer! I’ll have to have to put much more thought and play into creating my own!

  38. Bob O. on March 20, 2014 at 10:22

    O God, help me to lead others to play and enjoy all of the works of your creation. I love my sense of humor and propensity for play. Thank you God for these gifts.

  39. Joyce McGirr on March 20, 2014 at 10:14

    I heard a bird chirping very loudly the other day as I walked to my class. I stopped to look up and try to find him. And there he was sitting at the top of one bare tree all alone and singing. A man passing by stopped and with a big smile. began to share with me all that he knew about this bird and the other cardinals that are in the area who continue to come there to stake out their territory. He feeds them and follows their journey. The story wet on and we both smiled and wished each other a great day and the cardinal kept on singing and I kept on smiling. It was a prayerful moment that helped my heart to smile and sing that day.

  40. Rebecca on March 20, 2014 at 10:08

    I think I ask almost every day for my day to have sunshine and laughter, it is what gets me though and lifts me up. It sometimes comes from the most unexpected places, but is always truly appreciated.
    Bring light and laughter to all those I know and love. May it touch others who cross my path. Keep them smiling, happy, and safe all in the grace of your arms.

    • Kathy on March 21, 2014 at 01:37

      Love this prayer – it is also my prayer- for God to use me to bring His light, love and laughter to others.

  41. Liz on March 20, 2014 at 09:46

    Spring begins today. It’s snowing, making the snow that’s on the ground white again! Snowflakes are kisses sent from Heaven. Thank you God for all your kisses!

    • Win on March 20, 2014 at 10:26

      But please, please do bring some flowers soon!!! Those kind of kisses are good too! 😉

      • Lorna Harris on March 20, 2014 at 10:49

        “Like” !!

  42. Carolyn on March 20, 2014 at 09:37

    Holy Creator…nice move with the 6″ of snow three days before the first day of spring! You knew I would be loving it – thank you! And it’s almost all gone – how cool is that? How cool are you? Thank you!

    • Win on March 20, 2014 at 10:27

      Hey, stop praying for snow!!

  43. Lynn taylor on March 20, 2014 at 09:29

    Dear God
    Master of all around us-seen and unseen-thank you for this day and thank you for my family. Strengthen me in my desire to walk with you. Help me stay awake and hear the rhythms of this universe proceeding as it should. Help me find my lightness of being so that I can dance with you to the music if the stars.
    Amen

  44. kc on March 20, 2014 at 09:09

    Wear life lightly. That’s good advice.

    • Carolyn on March 20, 2014 at 09:38

      Great way to say that!

  45. Fontaine on March 20, 2014 at 08:42

    Dear God
    We can all use a good chuckle now and then. You have a great sense of humor beside compassion.
    Make this a day of safe and love for us all.

  46. Peter Rosenmeier on March 20, 2014 at 07:43

    A year and a half ago I was blessed with a fine crop of cherry tomatoes. So many I didn’t know what to do with them! As I was pulling out of my driveway one day, I looked skyward and prayed, “dear God, please help me find a way to put these tomatoes to good use!” Of course I was thinking of myself, of neat rows of tomato salsa in jars, or a lovely marinara. When I returned home in the afternoon, there sat a man in my garden, clearly down on his luck, munching away on my tomatoes. He looked at me with a toothy grin, tomato dibble on his lips, and said in thick Bostonian, “These ah’ dahlicious!” God at play in my vineyard.

    • Eleanor on March 20, 2014 at 11:06

      I love this story! Isn’t it so that we have our own ideas of how God works…and now and then we bump up against something much grander.
      Thank you for sharing.

    • Barbara Harris on March 20, 2014 at 11:54

      What a wonderful use of God’s provision! Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathy on March 21, 2014 at 01:34

      Great story! Love how God surprises us and answers our prayers:)

    • Stephanie on April 1, 2014 at 12:11

      That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Eve Webster on March 20, 2014 at 07:34

    How to pray playfully? Having a cat staring at you helps!

    • James + on March 20, 2014 at 09:43

      …better yet, watch a cat bow-up & run sideways toward you – and laugh out loud, just as God does at his wonderful creation.

    • Robert P Patterson on March 20, 2014 at 14:08

      Eve- you made my day…a smiling day. Will, my cherished cat, had to be put down this week. He was my playmate for 8 years.

      • Jane Anne Gleason on March 20, 2014 at 16:00

        One of my cats is sitting in my lap purring, she is often my ‘prayer partner’ making me smile and relax as I move into deeper meditation.
        She and her younger ‘siblings’ fill me with joy in their playful antics…chasing each other, batting a ball, wrestling a stuffed mouse. What amazing creatures God has made them!

  48. Chris on March 20, 2014 at 07:17

    As I was thinking about a prayer I could write I imagined God saying to me today “Yes Chris, lighten up! Remember, you are my daughter and I have good things in store for you. Walk out from under that dark cloud and come toward me.” It made me chuckle to think of God saying that to me, I will keep that image in my mind today.

    • Barbara Broadhead on March 20, 2014 at 09:01

      Thank you for your playful prayer. I will keep that image today and thank God that he does have a wonderful sense of humour and does have wonderful things in store for us.

  49. Br. Stephen Francis Arnold, OSB on March 20, 2014 at 06:52

    Dear God, make my day today. Let me make someone smile, so that they can take it with them and spread it to others.

  50. Jane Dowrick on March 20, 2014 at 06:27

    Thanks for this reminder – play and laughter is just a prayer away, I know, and the pressures of the day so often distract me from what I believe is God’s pleasure with us, and our pleasure/delight/joy/humor/laughter when we are living in the moment and savoring all of what God and God’s creation has to offer.

  51. Jim on March 20, 2014 at 06:14

    This will take some thought but I will think about a playful prayer as I go through the day.

    • Jim on March 21, 2014 at 13:01

      Here it is:
      Hi God, it’s me. It’s a rainy first day of spring and it’s cold. What’s up with that, huh? Help me to splash through puddles and enjoy the people I meet today. Some may be real spoilsports but help me to love them as You do. Please help me not to be a big whiner, like Brad and Wendy from SNL. Thanks and talk to you later.

  52. Bob on March 20, 2014 at 04:19

    Dear God,

    Do you want to build a snowman?
    Go and see if Ben wants to play out, because he was poorly last week?
    Shall we share our sweets?
    Do you want this skirt, because your dolls was ripped?

    Good night God, love you.

Leave a Comment