Tag Archives: daily prayer

Busy Day—Need to Pray

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, December 2, 2016


Busy Day—Need to Pray

Upon reflection, make that a busy evening, plus a busy day. A great deal of running, fetching, errands, and emails.

Started off the day on the computer. Went to the gym and power-walked. Did stuff at church for several hours. Dropped off two flyers at the local counseling center this afternoon (for the Prayer Gathering on Monday, Dec. 12 and the Blue Christmas service on Monday, Dec. 19). Then, a stop at the tree-lighting in the park downtown, and rushed off to a Holiday Concert (at my daughter’s school). Ended up doing several more errands.

Not a dull moment.

Lord, did I take one moment to think about You? To come before You with my praises as well as my pain? Well—I took a couple of minutes to pray, at my good friend Josh’s Daily Prayer website. (In case anyone is curious, it is www.dailyoffice.org ) But, I am afraid that was it, as far as prayer is concerned.

In retrospect, it was a good day. I had several excellent conversations. I enjoyed myself very much at the concert. (Especially hearing Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.)

However—Lord Jesus—I need to talk with You more. I don’t care how or when I communicated with You in the past, but I need to do more of it. Can You help me? That is my petition right now. Please.


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Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Praying Through the Changing of Jobs

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, March 24, 2014

PRAY God hears prayer Eph 6-18

Praying Through the Changing of Jobs

A good deal has occurred since I last posted on this blog—a mere ten days 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 week 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.

The past week has been a whirlwind. I started my new job at the church a week ago yesterday. I gave two weeks’ notice to my old (part-time) employer, and my last day is this Friday coming up. Plus, I needed to go to a conference. I also have a state certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling—on top of my master’s degree in Divinity. I really love being with fellow professionals, able to receive additional refresher courses in the area of my certification!

So what? (I suspect some of you are saying right now) Yeah, yeah. It’s not the typical thing I usually blog about. But, I needed the time away from the rest of my life! I realize it wasn’t the typical time away, either. However, it was time I was taking to refresh my skills, and get new tools for the tool belt.

For that matter, I need a bit of refreshing in the area of pastoral skills, too. Sure, I’ve been active in chaplaincy for most of the past ten years. However, it’s been about seven years since I was on staff at a local church. (It wasn’t my doing! I did not actively seek this position out.) God must think I can step up to the plate, though. I will do my best, with God’s help.

It’s a good thing I have been regular in my prayer and meditation! I am relieved to say that. I’ve shared here before what a challenge it has been over the years for me to pray on a regular basis. But thankfully, I have been consistent since last fall. I am starting to feel the rhythms of the day, and prayer is falling into its own place in my daily schedule. I encourage anyone who is having a difficult time with consistency in prayer to find a regular time of the day in which to pray. Why don’t you drop me a line and tell me about it, too? I like to offer a hand, and help when asked.

Instead of just talking about prayer, let’s get down to it. Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for the opportunity we have to come to You. Forgive our inconsistency in prayer and in our relationship with You. Help us to draw closer, day by day, one day at a time. Thank You for the chance to serve one another, too. In Your blessed name we pray, Amen.

I Got Rhythm—in Prayer?

matterofprayer blog post for Sunday, February 23, 2014

pray more worry less

I Got Rhythm—in Prayer?

I keep banging up against that scary word “discipline.” It’s related to the daunting and also-scary word “self-control.” Yeah. Those are two things I do not have in abundance.

I’ve talked about my struggles with prayer here before. How I can’t seem to get truly consistent in prayer (that is, daily, as in every day). However, I am pleased to say that I followed the Advent prayer calendar in December with only two or three days missed. Still, I haven’t successfully done the daily prayer-thing, ever.

Boy, I felt guilt. (Again, I might add. Not as much as years ago, when I was involved with a bunch of legalistic Christians, but still.) Even though I knew that God wasn’t mad at me, I couldn’t help but suspect God was the tiniest bit disappointed. Maybe more than the tiniest bit, sometimes.

And then—I came across a page in a book on prayer that I’m regularly using for my prayer and meditation time. Last week was when it happened. The book is by the Rev. Martin Smith, a skilled spiritual director and now a retired Episcopal priest. (His book The Word Is Very Near You is subtitled A Guide to Praying with Scripture.) On page 70, Fr. Martin mentions the word “rhythm” in association with the prayer and meditative life.

The sentences I was particularly struck with run as follows: “For some people the word ‘discipline’ has overtones of unyielding regulation and stern subjection of spontaneity, but rhythm belongs in all organic life. . . . Unless we take responsibility for the patterning of our lives others will dictate to us how to live.” I appreciate the idea of there being a rhythm to prayer and meditation. This rhythm reminded me somewhat of Ecclesiastes 3, and the rhythm inherent to life. Rhythm is similar to time, and time is a focus of Ecclesiastes chapter 3.

Rhythm is also an integral part of music. Since I am musical and can read music notation quite well, I relate to such an analogy. If I consider my life punctuated with prayer, in a sort of a rhythm, that makes good sense to me. I understand that, and I don’t end up feeling guilty! (Well, at least not as guilty.) And just as rhythm is a foundational part of the patterning of music, so rhythm can aid in the patterning of my life with prayer and meditation.

Now, some may think this is an easy way out of daily prayer and meditation. For some, yes. But I felt loaded down with guilt and depression. True, the guilt was only here occasionally. But sometimes, it got really bad! Here, Fr. Martin told me about rhythm! Rhythm, that regular yet pulsing, periodic downbeat of music. This was something I could understand! What an assist for my prayer time! Thanks to everyone who took the time for me, so I could find the time to pray.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for granting us all access to You. Thank You for the invitation to come and see you each day. Each of us has pains, hurts, and worse. But You are faithful. You are merciful. Please help me to continue with the rhythm of prayer. In Your name, Amen.