I love prayer, as a concept. To sit and talk to God, bringing praises and petitions to the only One who is worthy of/can do anything about them. But I falter at the practice of prayer. I take note of people to pray for on a handy app that reminds me to pray for a randomly selected person at a certain time each day, but I can make it about two minutes (tops) before my mind wanders and I run out of ideas.
Having something tangible helps - praying Scripture, writing it down as I go, or applying the prayer shawl concept of speaking over an object as it's made. I recently assembled a Warm Up America! blanket from collected panels, and prayed for whoever is going to receive it - but I often got so focused on trying to get everything to line up that I stopped talking and just started concentrating.
For my birthday in June, one gift was a mug with "all by grace" on one side and a chalkboard panel on the other. I'd been using it to write memory verse references, needed reminders, and practice hand lettering with the chalk pen. It's really forgiving and fun, and sometimes I wash it off after my tea is gone and have another so that I can rewrite on it.
Last week I was praying for a friend who was going through something specific at the moment, and I decided to brew a cup of some tea that she sent me while I prayed - and then an idea occurred to me. I wrote about breath prayers awhile back - this was a sip prayer. I wrote her name on the chalk panel, and as I paused between sips, I thought about her. As I sipped, I prayed. Having the pauses between gave me more space to form words, and devoting an entire cup to the task gave me a lot more time focused on a single petition.
I certainly don't lack for reasons to start my day (or end my day...) with a cup of tea, but I'm glad to have discovered this. Trying to put new systems in place doesn't always work for me, since it requires undoing old habits and establishing new ones, but finding a new application for a ritual that I already enjoy is definitely exciting.
Beautiful dwelling is finding what already works for you, and letting it work for you in new ways.