Tag Archives: action

Day One, Centering Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ABBA Father

Day One, Centering Prayer

I sort of knew this day would come. The day I started Centering Prayer for one month. I’ve done contemplative prayer before. I’ve used Centering Prayer before. However, I never made the commitment to practice Centering Prayer each day, for one solid month.

Since I am by nature so focused on words and on text, I couldn’t just do wordless prayer—not for a whole month. I know myself, and I couldn’t hack it. I knew I wanted to try to do Centering Prayer, though, in my year of praying every day. So, I found a way to manage it, pretty well. And, I am taking my instructions from a wonderful instructor: Fr. Thomas Keating.

For the month of September, I will take a name of God found in the Bible, and use that for my word of the day. Since I am urged to choose a word (or, Name) as the symbol of my “intention to consent to God’s presence and action within,” [1] I thought that a help like that would assist me in my prayer. Hey, I need all the help I can get.

My word—Name of God for today is Abba. Daddy, or Papa. The intimate name for God, the Heavenly Father. In both letters to the Romans and to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul mentions “Abba, Father!” In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, Jesus refers in prayer to “Abba, Father!”

I could not get very far today, in centering myself. Sorry, God. I tried. I hope for better things tomorrow. You said You honor faithfulness. I was that. I strove to be faithful. Thanks for being there with me. I know You were.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] http://www.cpt.org/files/WS%20-%20Centering%20Prayer.pdf

Becoming Aware of God—in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, May 16, 2015

constant in prayer

Becoming Aware of God—in Prayer

Today has been a busy day. A really, really busy day. I’ve been preparing for a special service at the church for the past week, and today was involved in final-final preparations. I enjoyed it! However, I haven’t had much time to even turn around, much less enjoy the beauty of an absolutely perfect May day. Gorgeous weather.

I suppose this is a perfect time for me to start with a brief prayer form of St. Ignatius, the Daily Examen. Taking inventory of the day just passed.

1. Become aware of God’s presence. Look back on the events of the day in the company of the Holy Spirit. The day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, a muddle. Ask God to bring clarity and understanding.” [1]

Yes, God was in my day today. Is that a surprise to me? Do I expect God to be there? Or, somehow, just out to lunch. Or, with the phone off the hook so I can’t get in touch.

I know, I know. If God seems far away, who moved? That old saying only goes so far. I know harboring fear, anxiety, resentment, and/or anger in my heart and mind is damaging to my spiritual health! Oh, yes. I know that, very well. But, I can’t be confused forever. I am encouraged to look and listen to the events, conversations, and personal actions of today.

That’s the marvelous-est thing. I can look at the past twenty-four hours at the end of each day. The Holy Spirit will help me take inventory, and this kind of action and conversation will become easier and easier. Dear Holy Spirit, thanks for helping me in prayer!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read sermons from

[1] http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/how-can-i-pray

Day #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 28, 2015

pray for the world

Day #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Ever hear something (or read something) and immediately have a scene from your past pop into your head? That was me, when I read today’s excellent suggestion from Ruth.

As I went through the colored action suggestions at the end of the blog post, my eye fell on the first one, the green one. And I immediately went back several decades, to when I was twelve or thirteen years old.

My dad was alive then. We were in the little brick house in Chicago where I (and my older brothers and sisters) all grew up. My dad was a statistician, and particularly precise and conscientious where saving money was concerned. We didn’t have too much to spare, especially with my older sisters at the University of Illinois. (Yes, both at the same time.) He drilled it into all of our heads to be thoughtful and careful with what we used, how much we used, and why we used it. This was the same with food to paper products to utilities.

I particularly remember several times when I was either twelve or thirteen. It was winter time, so a time of earlier darkness. A time of more artificial lights. I would go into a room, find what I needed, and automatically flip off the light switch as I left the room.

“Hey! I’m still in here!” was what my dad said, disgruntled. This happened several times. (At least.) I would look back, chagrined. Sorry. Apologetic. “I’m just doing what you said. What you taught me.” I distinctly remember saying that, at least a couple of times.

I know our family was thinking about saving money when we grew up. We needed to count our pennies. (Pennies were worth something in those days! But, I’m showing my age.) Now, when I think twice about turning on lights, or turning down the heat in my condominium, or using that reusable insulated cup for my coffee or tea in the morning, I am also thinking about being a good steward of creation. Of the gifts and blessings God has given me. What a good reminder of what I can do, to make a difference.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Praying through Action—an Act of Consolation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 14, 2015

vintage Valentine pink hearts

Praying through Action—an Act of Consolation

What a prayer suggestion for Valentine’s Day! Lo and behold, another surprise. My prayer suggestion for the day was to write a note of consolation and support for someone who has lost a dear one in death or is presently suffering some tragedy in their life, and let them know that God loves them. My goodness . . . not exactly a cheery thing to do on Valentine’s Day.

A dear person immediately came to my mind. I had purchased several cheery Valentine’s Day cards yesterday for several lonely people. Accordingly (I peeked at today’s suggestion a day ahead of time), I also chose a card for this dear one. A number of months have passed since my friend lost a close relative to serious illness. I had been thinking about this dear one several times in the past week or so, and I knew without a doubt that this was why I had been mentally nudged. Because I needed to write this card.

I’ve served as a chaplain for most of the last ten years. I know that significant holidays sometimes are poignant reminders of recent deaths. Even, not-so-recent deaths. Valentine’s Day might not seem so significant at first . . . but if you think about it, you might change your mind.

Consider an elderly parent who—without fail—sends their adult children a sweet Valentine’s Day remembrance each year. Until they are gone. Or, think of a significant other or spouse who remembers their loved one with a romantic Valentine card each February 14th. Until they can’t any longer. Or, what about a growing child, become a young adult, sending their parents a loving Valentine’s Day card wherever they are, in whatever part of the country they happen to be. Until they have an untimely death.

So, I wrote a cheery, thoughtful note on this pretty Valentine’s Day card I bought yesterday. And, I closed with the reminder that God is caring for this dear one and keeping them safe within God’s loving, everlasting embrace.

Dear Lord, please be with all who mourn today, and all those who are missing someone near and dear to their hearts. Extend Your arms of comfort, care and encouragement to all of these dear people, today. Including several of my friends, Lord. In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers. Amen.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

Be Quiet! In Prayer, Of Course!

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, June 16, 2014

PRAY God can hear you

Be Quiet! In Prayer, Of Course!

It’s difficult for me to quiet the roar of my external life. To quiet it enough to settle down and pray. It is even more difficult for me to tone down the internal roar. Or should I say noise? Busy-ness? My internal, everlasting dialogue keeps on nattering, commenting. Saying whatever it wants, whatever it feels like, and not necessarily at all times in a politically correct manner.

An online friend of mine, Rich Lewis, wrote a recent blog post about centering prayer. He has been practicing centering prayer for a number of weeks now. I wish I could just slip into centering prayer—that way of contemplative prayer that is so deceptively simple it defies flowery description. Such a challenging way of prayer for me, too.

I thrive on words! Benedictine rumination (praying on a brief phrase or sentence of Scripture) is my current favorite method of prayer. This uses words (!!) yet at the same time, my mind is allowed to run free, and make connections on its own. This is a wonderful way of prayer, but I find myself wanting something else. Something different. Something more.

Several years ago,I prayed through a short book of prayer methodology and exercises by Tilden Edwards. The methods of prayer that were most challenging to me involved centering prayer. Even wordless prayer. I get the feeling that I am ready for that challenge again. Especially after reading my friend Rich’s blog post. I quote the last lines: “I sit in silence so God can refresh me. I sit in silence so God’s love can fill me. I sit in silence so I will take God’s action into my non-silent parts of the day.”

Wow. I’ll say that again. Wow!! God, I need that kind of refreshing, that kind of filling. Thanks for the impetus, Rich! (I almost said “thanks for the kick in the rear,” but that wouldn’t be very chaplainly or pastorly, would it?)

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for Your urging us to come into Your presence. We can come any time, any where. For any reason, too. Help me as I try to come to You in prayer more regularly. As I try to pray more intentionally, using centering prayer, be with me in this effort. Thank You for Your blessings, poured out on my friend Rich. Bless me in a similar way, as I strive to be faithful. As I strive to take those thoughts, words and actions pleasing to You into the rest of my days. In Your mercy and grace we pray, amen.

Rich Lewis’ blog link is: http://richlewis3.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/why-do-i-sit-in-silence/


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net Shortlink: