Everyday God

Everyday Prayer: Doing the Dishes

As I was preparing for married life years ago, a seasoned wife challenged me to find purpose in the little things that can easily become mundane. She shared with me how she prayed as she washed dishes. As she washed each plate, she prayed over each person who ate around her table that night. Same with the glasses, forks, knives, spoons, pots and pans, and so on.

While I sometimes rush through the dish-washing process, I’ve tried to apply this advice ever since. No matter what happened around the dinner table, no matter who was there or who I felt was missing, washing dishes invited me to intentionally give each person to God, relinquishing any control I might feel I had to maintain, squelching concerns I might have, and expressing gratitude for relationships and memories. Even now, living by myself, I take the same approach. Even when I’m the only one who uses the dishes I’m washing, I pray for the people who have been around my table—family, friends, and neighbors. I pray for those who live far away who I know I struggling. I pray for people I don’t know but who God brings to mind.

To this day, I refuse to use a dishwasher. I’m not suggesting you do the same. You can certainly apply the same approach by talking with God as you load and unload the dishes. It’s not about the method; it’s about knowing God by communicating with him. He’s God in every moment of every day!