From time to time I write prayers on this blog, and when I do they just tumble out of my head, via my fingers, onto the screen. So what is posted is not the product of some careful crafting and editting process, it is my actual praying, as it happens.
Ths makes me wonder if there is a kind of scribbling spirituality, an authentic way of prayer that exists in the act of writing, that maybe suits some kinds of people more than, say, verbalising their prayers.
All too often when I close my eyes to pray either my mind wanders or, if I am tucked up in bed, I fall asleep. I then end up feeling bad that my prayers are so terribly poor. Periodically I use published liturgies and psalters to try to keep a better focus, but to be honest even these don't always succeed in holding my attention.
So is my 'natural' prayer style to scribble? I can recall at the age of seven that when it was our class's turn to lead Assembly at shcool the teacher would ask us to write prayers - a task that came very naturally, and quite often mine would be chosen for use, usually to be read by some other child. It never worried me that I wasn't chosen to read them, because I kind of knew, even then, that they weren't my personal property.
I think it's also fair to say that doodling is part of my reflection/prayer style too. Whenever I have been able to go on retreat, and especially if it is a silent one, I will pack a notebook and some pencil crayons as well as pencils and obviously a Bible. I have very little skill in drawing (A level Engineering Drawing notwithstanding) but find doodling both therapeutic and prayerful.
Perhaps none of this should be a surprise - I have always been someone who thinks by writing, developing ideas as I write/type and keeping a sheet of paper to hand to note down new thoughts that need to be explored later. Perhaps this is why I find it difficult to hone my writing by editting but, instead, do better to start afresh 'fed' by the previous endeavour.
A lot of words - but I think that somewhere in among them I have recoognised, or named, or both, somehtign of 'how' I am and 'how' I 'do' faith that offers me liberation from the guilt of falling asleep mid-prayer!