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Mary and Martha: Capturing Kitchen Prayer Moments

Silent Prayer

I will be the first to tell you that everyone needs time for silent prayer during the day. I will also be the first to admit that this is oh! so hard for me to accomplish! Therefore, I am a huge advocate of what my friend calls “moving prayer”. For mommies and other people on the move, it is essential to remain connected to God throughout the day, even as you engage in other tasks.

Kitchen Moving Prayer

I am especially aware of the available mental energy for “moving prayer” as I work in the kitchen. The multitude of mundane tasks that I work my way through while making a meal include:  chopping vegetables, setting the table, gathering ingredients, storing leftovers, washing dishes…and the list could go on. I make it a point to harness some of my surplus intellectual space during these times, and I pray.

How often do you find that you have something repetitive “in your head”? If you’re a parent, it’s likely to be the ABCs or “Elmo’s World” theme song, and if you’re a normal person, perhaps the song you last heard in your car is stuck in there. Your head, I mean, not the car.

From ABCs to Lord Have Mercy

When I find my mind doing something repetitive, that’s my cue to switch over to the prayer station:  I convince my mind to pray a repetitive prayer instead. We Catholics have lots of them. Honestly, the Hail Mary is a bit long for me while I’m working. I get distracted! My favorite is, “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.” It’s from the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and it has just the right rhythm to chop food by. I don’t count ten of them, I just go until I have to focus my brain on dinner again.

If you’re not Catholic and not comfortable with these prayers, I would encourage you to try something like this:

  • A favorite praise song
  • “Lord, have mercy”
  • “Christ, have mercy”
  • “Jesus, remember me”
  • repeat the Name of Jesus
  • “Bless my family, Lord”

or any phrase that you feel is worthwhile to share with the Lord rather than your ABCs!

Especially as we work our way through Lent this year, I want to challenge you to be prayerful in the kitchen. If you can harness your repetitive mind and turn it towards God with this method, please try it! The world needs our prayers.

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Category: Faith Nuggets

18 thoughts on “Mary and Martha: Capturing Kitchen Prayer Moments”

  1. God doesn’t like repetitive prayers. “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Matthew 6:7”

    Read the Bible, don’t trust church traditions blindly, be like the Bereans, who “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Acts 17:11”

    1. Thank you, Isabel – I’m always so in love with my Church because it is so solidly rooted in Scripture and has the benefit of tradition as well. If my prayers were just words, it might be in vain, but I’m also offering my works, my heart, and infusing life with meaning and meaning into prayer. So I’m certainly not using “vain” repetitions, but powerful ones. Even Jesus taught His followers the words to use to pray in the Lord’s prayer, and He never qualified it “don’t use these words though, that would be repetition…”

      1. Hi Katie. The purpose of the Lord’s prayer was an example for us to follow, not to use the exact words, but as a guide. God wants to have a personal relationship with us. How can we genuinely talk to God when we repeat someone else’s prayer? How can we have a relationship with God when we just repeat something over and over again? Is that a real conversation? No it’s not.

        Performance and works can’t save, only Jesus can save. “… And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags… Isaiah 64:6” “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:23-24” Salvation is by grace (undeserved favor) and not by works.

        Don’t fall in love with the church. Fall in love with Jesus, get to know Him, and how do we do that? Reading His Word and talking to Him

  2. Reminds me of this book that’s sitting on my nightstand waiting for me: Keeping House A Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson

  3. Thithis is omething I’ve benn working on for several years now. In “practicing the presence of god” brother ??talks about thanking god for the potatoes he is peeling, my most hated job ever!! Also one of billy Graham’s daughters talks about praying specifically while she cleans: praying for kids while picking up toys, praying for husband while ironing his shirts. My favorite: praying for her enemies while cleaning her toilet! I’ll have to look up references but both major aha! Moments for me.

  4. Pingback: A confession … guest post on Kitchen Stewardship « From Cube to Farm

  5. I love this concept of “praying always” and the kitchen is a great idea. It definitely applies to other areas as well: the playground, the backyard (mowing the lawn, playing hide-and-go-seek, etc.), exercising. The list goes on!

  6. New to the site and browsing through it all. This is a great reminder. I personally would add to your “Not a Catholic” suggestions of speaking bible verses. What a great time to practice verses I’ve been trying to memorize. (Why is it prayers and songs can be so easy to remember, but actual bible verses so tricky?)

  7. What a wonderful idea. I think I’ll try to use my chopping time as conversation time with God, or at least meditation on a spiritual subject I’ve been pondering.

  8. What an absolutely wonderful idea and sentiment. I’m definitely going to try this out in the kitchen next time. So happy to have found your blog!

  9. Pingback: » Columnists Katie Kimball » When Satan Tricks You Out of Prayer Time by Katie Kimball

  10. Lenetta @ Nettacow

    Thanks for linking back to this, Katie! I have been trying to renew my morning offering throughout the day, which includes praying for the souls in purgatory (we were discussing in Bible study that since Catholics are the only ones that pray for those souls anymore, we really have the weight on our shoulders!). I have also been saying the St. Andrew Novena since his Nov 30 feast day – and am saying it two extra times for two friends, and it really sets the tone for the sewing I’ve been doing.

    Something I’ve really been thinking about lately is HOW I’m praying – sure, sometimes I get a bit distracted and the prayers kind of take to the background of my thoughts and actions, but instead of thinking of it as “bad prayer” since I’m distracted, I think of it more as making my duties and tasks more prayerful. We came across the verse about the Holy Spirit turning our prayers into grunts and groans (wait, that wasn’t on this post . . . I know I just read it on one of yours!!) and that makes me think that ALL our prayers, even the most pious, fall short in some way. That isn’t a bad thing – we’re human, after all. But it makes me feel a bit better about my attempts.
    .-= Lenetta @ Nettacow´s last blog ..Frugal Advent Wreath =-.

    1. Well said, Lenetta! I’m particularly struck by the Catholics praying for souls in Purgatory issue…very good and weighty point. More prayer! Thank you for the encouragement – Katie

  11. I love that two people recommended this on the same day. It has a great rhythm — the Church Fathers and God the Father know what they’re doing — they really work with our humanity! I’m so happy you stopped by — your blog is filled with great information, too, Sarah. 🙂 Katie

  12. One more note:

    I also love the Orthodox Jesus Prayer:
    “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

    Very easy to memorize and just a perfectly complete prayer. It can be prayed with a prayer rope, or simply while working. Enjoy!


  13. I love the Divine Mercy chaplet too! I found that the way that they sing it on EWTN often gets stuck in my head – but it is so beautiful that I don’t mind at all!

    Great post!


  14. How about the classic Eastern Christian prayer “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”? That’s what we traditionally pray on the chotki – a knotted rope that looks a bit like a rosary. The idea is to have the prayer of the publican (see Luke 18:9–14) become as natural as breathing in and out.

  15. Thanks for the comment! I would love to participate in the carnival!

    Your site looks great, and it’s right up my alley. I’m hoping to develop my blog more in the future. I don’t feel obligated to blog for anyone else really, but I’ve always felt a call to minister through writing. I’d love for my blog to become a better ministry tool as I continue to grow in my walk with the Lord.

    Looking forward to seeing more from you! Take care!

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