Pouring out prayer

As the water leaves my cup, I have a brainstorm.

This simple task of watering my plants – a daily process in the hotter months – could be a stimulus for prayer. After all, David called for believers to pour out their hearts before God (Ps. 62:8). What better visual cue could I have?

In my quest to learn how to “pray at all times” (Eph. 6:18), I’ve been looking for points of overlap – where objects and actions in the regular course of my day prompt me to talk to God. For example, ever since I switched to the Tom’s toothpaste brand, my good friend of the same name gets frequent intercession. (I’ve been meaning to give him a can of Bruce’s yams to return the favor.)

So, as I move from window boxes to pots to planters, I am letting each category of plant inspire the pouring out of my heart.

Lord, let the beauty of your gospel blossom and spread throughout the world. Even in the most challenging and confining spaces – the Rohingya refugee camps and oppression of regimes like North Korea – may your love and grace take root and flourish. I’m always amazed, Father, at how these flowers fill up these window boxes. May your kingdom be as abundant, as bountiful. May it come on earth even as it is in heaven.

Sometimes, Father, the culmination of growth is not simply a blossom, but a fruit. I pray for my friend, Liz, as she cares for foster children. She is pouring your love into those young souls. Let that love so heal them that they would produce lives full of joy and purpose in you. And may that fruit – bearing seeds as all fruit does – reproduce in the lives of others: in those who are watching Liz’s assembled family now and in the families these kids will start when they are grown.

It is wonderful to have fresh herbs literally at my back door. Jesus, as my friend Rich teaches pastors in India, let his speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt that he may be able to answer every person. Make your word savory to them. May they delight in studying Scripture as in an aromatic meal. Draw them in and satisfy them so that they may be able to serve the same dish to their own congregations.


It’s a small act, this plant-based praying. But it’s a nice melding of my day and my devotion.

What similar reminders have you found?

Gracious God, fill our days with prompts for prayer. You know how distracted we can become – season our days with reminders that you are present with us. Nudge us to notice you and respond. How we would love to be consistently aware of your presence!

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And if you liked this, please use the buttons above to share it!

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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