No matter where we fall on the continuum of giftedness or expertise in our ability to think creatively, there is a tremendous body of research-based knowledge available to assist us in growing our creative thinking muscles. The Good Book encourages us to engage our minds in our relationship with God (“…love Him with all your…mind…”). I hope you are finding beneficial the thinking tools offered in these blog posts. As we seek to WAKE UP our spiritual lives, the idea here is to engage our minds more intentionally in our walks – or runs – with Him. In this post we’ll look at a tool called “SCAMPER.”
The Word “SCAMPER”
The word “scamper” as defined by Merriam-Webster:
Intransitive verb: to run nimbly and usually playfully about.
Makes me think of Adam before the Fall, walking in the cool of the garden with the Big Guy. How fun to run “playfully about” with Jesus!
The Acronym “SCAMPER”
In the creative thinking toolbox, “SCAMPER” is an acronym:
S – Substitute
C – Combine
A – Adapt
M – Modify (Magnify/Minimize)
P – Put to other uses
E – Eliminate
R – Reverse
If you Google “SCAMPER” you will find various articles, definitions and applications of the tool. For our purposes, we will apply it to growing in intimacy with God. So let’s take SCAMPER for a spin and see how it might work in enhancing our prayer lives.
When it comes to your prayer life, what could you substitute? How about praying in a new place: room, setting, outside, inside? How about posture: standing, knees, prone?
Can you combine your prayer time with your commute? Can you mute the TV during commercials and pray? Can you use triggers like when you see the kind of car your friend drives you pray for him/her? Can you add it to your wake up routine, like while brushing your teeth, or to your bedtime routine before you close your eyes?
How about spontaneity, the next time someone says to you something like: “Pray for me I’m having surgery/a test/an interview/etc. next Thursday.” instead of saying “Sure thing.” why not pray for them right there and then? Instead of praying “rote” prayers, try saying what’s truly on your heart. If you are good at “freewheeling” prayers, try a “rote” prayer from a prayer book.
Sometimes we keep from praying because we simply don’t feel we have time to set aside. Well, Modify your thinking and try “minimizing” your prayers; speaking very brief prayers very often throughout the day. Or maybe we need help with some focus. If so, try focusing on a word (magnify) like “peace,” “love,” “joy,” or the like and incorporate that word into your prayers for a person or a circumstance.
Put to other uses
Instead of “just” praying for loved ones and friends, and/or about our own circumstances, how about praying for our bosses, our employees, fellow students, neighbors, elected officials, etc.?
When you are driving along in your car with a friend, every time you say something you don’t start by saying his or her name prefaced with an adjective. As we become more conversational in our walk with the Big Guy, we may want to think of our conversation as more of an ongoing one than a stop/start conversation where we feel we have to say the appropriate adjectives followed by His name. By all means it’s GREAT to – and we “should” at times – use adjectives that exalt when addressing Him, but our conversations with Him might flow more easily if we simply converse with Him.
What do you usually pray for first? Last? Try reversing the order. Change things around. Maybe you should pray for yourself first, that God will fill you and empower you with wisdom, discernment and understanding. Then, use those gifts to pray for and minister to others in your prayers and throughout the day in acts of kindness, love and appreciation.
You may find some other ways to use SCAMPER to WAKE UP your spiritual life. If you do, I’d love to know what they are!