Tag Archives: admonish

Forgive Me—I Did Not Introduce You

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, October 19, 2015

autumn leaves on a bridge

Forgive Me—I Did Not Introduce You

Many of the prayers in this section are prayers of people from traditionally English-speaking countries. Or, prayers of Church Fathers and Mothers, prayers of Saints, translated into English. However, I am intrigued by those prayers that come from vastly different cultures, distant places, far removed from the sociological and cultural place I call “home.”

The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Forgive Us Our Trespasses” (Prayer 355, page 109) [1] The prayer is in a section entitled Penitence. It is titled “Prayer from Polynesia.”

“Lord, today You made us known to friends we did not know,/And You have given us seats in homes which are not our own./You have brought the distant near,/And made a brother of a stranger,/Forgive us, Lord … /We did not introduce You.”

O, how poignant and tear-filled! How deep the pain that is felt; it spills over into the endless emotional pit. Powerful emotions and feelings churn within me. Yet—and yet—positive feelings flow over some of these words like a waterfall.

Dear God, these words from half a world away wash against me. Sometimes quiet and affirming, but other times knowing, nudging, concerned as a dear grandparent. And, the last two lines of this prayer? Not shaming, not demeaning, no! But at the same time, instructive. Giving gentle counsel. Almost, entreating.

And, I received admonishment. Gentle, to be sure. But, sure and certain. I do not introduce You to others as much as I have the opportunity. I see that. This prayer holds up a clear mirror to me.

Forgive me, Lord. Please, gracious God. Look with both forgiveness and favor on this poor sinner. Thank You for Your help and patience. Help me to look with love on all others, to those who do not yet know You, and an extra portion of thankfulness on those who do.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


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] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 109.

Praying Through the Negative—Admonition, That Is!

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, March 31, 2014

elephant and dog

Praying Through the Negative—Admonition, That Is!

A good deal has occurred since I last posted on this blog—a mere two weeks ago. But I have a new job now! A job that suddenly popped up, and I took it. For the curious among you readers, a two weeks ago I began serving at a church in the Chicago suburbs. My position is that of interim co-pastor, and the whole set-up was providential, indeed! Amazing how quickly things can happen.

In my position as a spiritually-knowledgeable person, I try to stay informed about biblical things. So, I sometimes read things online.

For instance, I read a helpful post today on a biblical encouragement website. Last week, this website featured posts from Ephesians, where Paul is admonishing his readers to stay away from certain actions. Negative (“do not!”) commands from Paul seldom trigger positive emotions inside me! True, his “do not!” commands may admonish me—and be sure that I need regular admonishment. *grin* Instead, what works well for me is positive reinforcement, especially what this website mentioned in its post today. If I know that what I say or what comes out of my mouth has the possibility of giving God joy? Well then, I am strongly encouraged to keep on saying things like that! It’s the way I am wired. It works for me.

That’s one reason I get along so well with my partner in crime, my co-worker and co-pastor, Gordon. He and I have an excellent partnership being interim co-pastors of a small church in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove. He is so encouraging and positive to everyone—including me. And I am naturally encouraging and caring back at him (being a chaplain/pastoral care kind of gal). He and I work well, and reflect well off of, each other.

My encouragement to each of my readers is to consider Ephesians 4:29-32. Except in a positive manner. How can each of us do these things, live in this way, pleasing to God? Instead of getting bogged down in where I’ve fallen short, I can look at the positive, and strive to do more! Live better, and be an encouragement to others! Oh, walk more closely with God, too.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for the words of Paul that come to us in the New Testament. Forgive us for where we fall short, because we mess up every day. Thanks for loving us, anyhow. Help us to look on the positive side, give joy to others, and encourage each one we meet today. By Your help and power we pray, Amen.