I’ve been thinking about an image that God gave me a few weeks ago about how our prayers are similar to snow. I’ve felt the pull to dig deeper into this metaphor for myself and for anyone out there who might need a reminder that their prayer life is important.
When we take time to examine the created world, it’s fascinating what God can reveal. Snow can evoke so many different images and feelings. I have been picturing each tiny crystal in its beauty and glory. I can remember the soft, quiet snowfalls that transform a landscape as I soak in their peace. And, though I have never been caught outside in a blizzard, I feel trepidation of being exposed to such a force. Each of these images can be symbolic of prayer.
I love snowflakes. Almost all of us have heard how no two are alike and probably have at least seen a paper cutting of a snowflake. Maybe you’ve seen a captured photo of an actual snowflake and been awed by its beauty. I have. It’s a marvel to see how the crystals form such an intricate pattern. Reflecting on it, I can see so much about God in just one little flake: how much He appreciates and gives beauty in His creation for us to behold. He pays attention and is vast enough to care about details that are so small, our eyes can’t always see what’s truly there. He is purposeful in everything, building things of beauty and structure simultaneously.
Our individual prayers are much like these single snowflakes. They are beautiful to behold. They may seem small, but there is still purpose to them. They are a part of the building process of God in us, building something of beauty and structure simultaneously in our relationship with Him. While each prayer you say may be different in your intent and purpose, each prayer is also a part of God’s building process with you in your relationship with Him.
When I think of snow in general, I draw from my own memories of watching the snow falling across a landscape. I love to see the soft flakes gently floating down and sticking to the flakes that have come before it. Over time, the landscape turns white and, if the light is just right, you can see the shimmer and sparkle of ice crystals. Suddenly, the winter browns become not just white, but hues of many changing colors as the light changes: yellows, blues, pinks. Shapes that once held sharp angles become softened and rounded. Even the air after a soft snowfall seems cleaner and purer. For me, these memories evoke peace and wonder.
Our prayers can be like this, too. Our individual prayers are necessary in purifying us, clinging onto the dirt in our lives and helping to whiten what is brown inside all of us. Our prayers, collected over time, can change the landscape from harsh angles to soft, rounded edges. They can leave us with the same feelings as a gentle snowfall does: peace and wonder.
The final image of snow that comes to mind contrasts with the first two. A snowstorm of blizzard proportions is fearsome, dangerous. I’ve never been caught in one, but I’ve been warned of them and heard of others who have. They are a force to be reckoned with. Picture a blinding whiteness, icy crystals stinging as they are driven by a strong wind into any area of exposed skin. Picture the heavy weight of deep snow already on the ground. Maybe even too deep to move through. This is not a gentle snow. It is a snow that halts the progress of life all around. It is a force grater than ourselves.
Prayer can be like this, too. This type of prayer is unified prayer from the Body of Christ. Jesus says, in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them.” We are not alone in our prayers. Our individual flakes become joined together with the force of the Spirit behind them. It is a raw and powerful force to be reckoned with. The world around us must sit up and take notice of this power that can stop life in its tracks.
If you have ever considered that your prayers are unimportant or won’t make a difference, or even that you are just too busy to make time to pray, I hope you will reconsider. If every snowflake decided that it did not need to fall or chose not to be formed, what would be the result? So much would be missed, from the beauty of the individual flakes that reflect God’s character, to the landscape and life-altering changes a multitude of flakes can make. If you are a believer, it is very likely that your relationship began with a single snowflake of a prayer. I am convinced that our prayers change us, change the lives around us, and have the power to change the world.
Please consider joining us in prayer as we continue to lift up the people of Northstar Church, our Immeasurably More campaign, and our community. Follow this link for the latest Immeasurably More Prayer Sheet.