Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3.

Early Saturday morning, I made my way to our church campus to meet with some of my friends in the men’s Bible study. We were there for a conversation about prayer. I noticed the way the soft light caught the front of the building. So, I paused, caught up in a moment of serenity, and framed a photograph on my camera.

Then, walking around the corner of the rose garden, I once again felt the ineffable presence of peace, so again I took a moment to preserve the image. The garden, resting in the cool of the morning, spoke a blessing of harmony and barely contained joy, filling my soul.

I opened the room where we were scheduled to meet, took out a pencil and paper and wrote down a list of the ways I pray—other than speaking.

Photography was first, then I added writing, songwriting, singing, walking, preparing food for my family, gardening, playing with my grandchildren and taking care of my dad. The list grew, but with everything, the description started with “inviting God into” whatever it was that I was doing.

I began to think of the limitless scope of a prayer life that simply asks for God to be present, acknowledges a humble desire to learn from God and remains intentional in terms of communion with God in the experience.

I understand why some people say, “I find God in nature,” but it is only true so far as God is directly invited, acknowledged and received. Take a moment to think about where and when you encounter real serenity, then ask God to speak peace and love directly into those experiences.

Because to see God in daily life is not by chance, but by invitation – Derek

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Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at