Prayer Is Like a Water Bottle

refillable water bottle station - image (cropped) by Tom Blackburn, Friends of Mason Neck State Park, Virginia State Parks under CC BY 2.0

In my holiday travels I learned about prayer at an airport while refilling my water bottle at one of those automatic dispensers on a wall near the restrooms. Not the most glamorous location. Sometimes I get an insight out of nowhere, and I just know it is God.

Prayer is like waiting in line to refill a water bottle at the airport. Before you know it, you’re standing with your hand reached out, watching your emptiness be filled by a source out of physical sight. You see only the water filling you, slowly, as you wait, hand outstretched.

My water bottle is flimsy from over-use, and it collapses when empty. So do I! If I blow air into the bottle, I can increase the capacity it has for holding water. Oh, Holy Spirit, breathe in me, that I may hold more of the Living Water!

Sometimes I think I have to work at prayer. But all I have to do is stand still with my hands outstretched, waiting. And God always fills me.

I drink deeply and find restoration. And every day I need more.

Image (cropped) by Tom Blackburn, Friends of Mason Neck State Park, Virginia State Parks under CC BY 2.0.

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Loretta Pehanich is a Catholic freelance writer and the author of 2022: A Book of Grace-Filled Days, Women in Conversation: Stand Up!, and Fleeting Moments: Praying When You Are Too Busy. A spiritual director since 2012, Loretta is trained in giving the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Her involvement in ministry and parish life includes 20 years in small faith-sharing groups and Christian Life Community. Loretta gives retreats and presentations on prayer and women’s spirituality and is commissioned as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. She and her husband Steve have four children and 10 grandchildren.

7 COMMENTS

  1. You made me smile. I love this illustration of the Holy Spirit filling us as we open up, hold out our hands, and assure we’re open. Thanks.

  2. Love this thought:
    Sometimes I think I have to work at prayer. But all I have to do is stand still with my hands outstretched, waiting. And God always fills me.

    I need to remember this when I feel like I’m trying so hard and not getting what I need, just stand still and reach out. Thank you!

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