Catholics (and all Christians) frequently hear the admonition to pray without ceasing. To many it just feels like another impossible task to add to the never ending list of things to do.  Many work and work and just tread water, if that.  Like laundry. Everyone does laundry every week. But how many make it an opportunity to serve?  Or turn it into an offering?  Every load is an opportunity for prayer.

1. Learn how to do laundry effectively.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. - Colossians 3:23

Learn how to get out the most common stains in your house. Find out how your washing machine cleans best.  Check the labels of your clothing to see if you are cleaning them correctly.  Find out how to fold or iron or whatever else that you put off because you don't know how to do it.  You can learn everything you ever wanted to know (and then some!) about laundry at Mama’s Laundry Talk.

2. Learn how to do laundry efficiently.

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise – Proverbs 6:6

Determine the fewest number of products needed to get the job done.  Are there places in your routine where you get thrown off track?  Try to find a way around it.  Can you skip a step?  I do not fold my daughter’s clothes.  Instead, I lay them flat & stack them in her drawers and hang the rest up.  Could your family benefit from having a family closet so that you aren’t taking clothes from one end of the house to the other?

3.  Pray while you work.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24

When you load the washer, thank God for the servant & abundance.  When you fill the dryer, thank Him for not having to hang them outside.  Or if you do hang them outside, give thanks for the nice weather :). Others I know pray for the person’s needs with every piece of clothing they touch.

4.  Teach others.

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God – Titus 2:4-5

There is no better way to learn what you know, than to teach someone else.  You could teach your children, a newlywed or even share stain removal tips with a first time mom.

5.  Volunteer.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace – 1 Peter 4:10

Do you enjoy doing laundry?  Interested in serving your Parish?  Most churches have volunteers who launder & iron the altar linens.  Call and ask if you might help & they will usually tell you how to do it.  The Holy Eucharist might look a little differently when you’ve helped to launder the linens!

What prayers do you say or what are ways you can use laundry to serve the Lord?

Copyright 2011 Jen Steed