I was just so tired. Normally I try to pray before I get out of bed because I know I am just so selfish that if I make it to my feet, I will be all about my crap and ignore God. But I was just so tired, I couldn’t think straight. I decided a nice cool shower would wake me up. After I stepped in and my head cleared, I was reminded of all the people I promised I would pray for. I turned my attention from soap and scrubbies, and turned my mind to God in prayer.
I brought to mind my friend who I said I would pray for. Immediately I was aware that I was naked and praying/thinking about my friend.
My friend wasn’t standing there. I hadn’t really even brought to mind my friend’s face, but just praying for my friend while I was in a “natural” state was way, way strange. I was overcome with weirdness and quickly turned my attention to a more general intention.
Why was this so weird? Two answers come to mind. First, I don’t normally think about other people when I am naked. Usually, I think about becoming un-naked. Second, prayer isn’t the same thing as just thinking about someone. There is a certain intimacy that comes with prayer. When we offer up a friend in prayer, we aren’t just bringing them to our own mind, but we are bringing them to God. Sharing in God is sharing in the total communion of
the Trinity. If God himself is relationship, when we bring our friends into that relationship, we too get closer to them through God.
Near the end of my shower I realized I probably shouldn’t be so self-conscious about praying naked. God has seen me naked enumerable times. He loves me even when I am drenched and in the buck. Maybe it wasn’t the deepest, most contemplative prayer of my life, but as Peter Kreeft likes to say, “Less-than-perfect prayer is infinitely better than no prayer; more perfect prayer is only finitely better than less perfect prayer.” (Read more from Dr. Kreeft here) If we are going to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17), then sometimes prayer is going to be awkward and maybe even naked.