Tag Archives: dailyoffice.org

Thankful Prayers, Earnest Petitions

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, July 23, 2016

 

open hands

Thankful Prayers, Earnest Petitions

My daughter and I safely arrived at the New Wilmington Mission Conference in Pennsylvania this afternoon. We are thankful! And, I have already received several great spiritual boosts from the several sessions I attended.

Thank You for this conference, God. It is truly a marvelous place.

I saw a request from my friend Vicar Josh (online vicar of the Episcopal www.dailyoffice.org website). He earnestly requested prayer for our mutual friend, honorary deacon and soul-medic, Clint.

Here is the prayer I offered. Hear all of our prayers, please!

Gracious God, You hear all of our prayers ascending to You for our dear brother Clint. You know his heart, his love for You, and his love for all of the brothers and sisters. Please, Lord, hear our prayers. Please, Lord. It’s in Jesus’s powerful, healing name we pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

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

Praying for Better Times

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, August 13, 2015

everything will be okay

Praying for Better Times

I read in the news today of horrible things. Of fires, and murders, and stabbings, and of even worse things than those. (In all seriousness.)

I’m afraid it is a little difficult for me to be cheery and chipper. Miss Suzy Sunshine I am not, today. Not after reading such terrible news, today.

Tonight, I guess I particularly needed to read the Evening Prayers from www.dailyoffice.org. That’s my set routine for the month of August, anyhow.

The Psalm reading for tonight was Psalm 4. It is more hopeful and helpful than not. One verse in particular went straight to my heart today:

“Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!” *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD. “

Dear God, You are with us, in better times and in worse. You help ease us through difficult times or sad times. And, when times are particularly grim, we can always depend on You. On Your presence with us, in the darkest valley.

It doesn’t matter whether dark valleys are physical (like two people with brain tumors I know) or economical (like a friend’s loss of a job), or emotional (like an acquaintance’s divorce—which I am praying may finalize soon!). Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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

A Larger Community of Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 11, 2015

my heart saying a prayer

my heart saying a prayer

A Larger Community of Prayer

Sometimes, I feel disconnected. Not “friends with” anyone. All alone.

I know I’m not actually alone. (Don’t get worried.) I did think of Robin Williams today, on the first anniversary of his death. I feel so badly about him dying by suicide. I have only a partial idea of the thoughts that can go through a person’s mind in the depths of depression. I have no clue how difficult things were for Mr. Williams, but I feel for his family: left behind.

Mr. Williams’ life was special, just like each person’s life in the whole wide world. Each individual is someone special, one of a kind. Each life is infinitely valuable. I have that blessed fact confirmed to me from external witness and observation as well as from the writings of Scripture and holy books from around the world.

I realize many people suffer from depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and other mental, emotional and psychological afflictions. I’ve suffered, myself.

I know the Christian community is not a cure-all, but it can offer some assistance. I’ve heard a number of people swear their church or bible study group or other religious group was what made the difference in their lives. And, I realize prayer can also be a great help. Assistance. Answer in their lives.

That’s one reason why I am devoted to prayer. Each night this month, as I read through the Evening Prayer from the dailyoffice.org website, I strive to pray these prayers in the company of countless others. I know many, many individuals use the website each day. Some twice a day.

But, don’t these rote prayers get boring? Or long? Or tiresome?

I went to the Church of England website again, since I wanted to get more information about the Prayers. I found this wonderful commentary concerning prayer in the Book of Common Prayer:

“. . . they will also, through common structures, texts and patterns of Scripture reading, unite those using them into one larger community of prayer. This community extends to all of those who, through the ages and across the nations, have sought to do as Jesus taught us and pray together for the hallowing of God’s name and the coming of God’s kingdom.” [1]

So, Lord. It’s not just _me_ praying. I’m not all isolated and alone. Even when I feel alone, and get afraid (or depressed, or anxious), I know You are right by my side. I know—in both my head and my heart—that I am also a part of a community. Yes, a community of prayer. Each of us joins into this same prayer, as each of us gathers around a computer or tablet or smart phone. Or, the old-fashioned way, through picking up a book.

And, thank You for the opportunity to join together with sisters and brothers in a local assembly. I appreciate You. And Your church. And, joining together with others in prayer. Thanks so much, Lord!

[1] https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/generalintro.aspx

Note: in case anyone needs this toll-free number, here is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. 1-800-273-8255

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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

Do People Pray to You?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 7, 2015

Buckingham Fountain in the evening photo credit Ailurophile

Buckingham Fountain in the evening
photo credit Ailurophile

Do People Pray to You?

A lovely evening and a wonderful time was had by all.

Yes, I was invited to an evening of jazz, downtown. Swinging jazz combo. Absolutely gorgeous evening. Great food, wonderful conversation. I enjoyed myself greatly.

Except—when I got home and settled down to read the Evening Prayer from dailyoffice.org, I looked back on the evening. I found myself reflecting; do the people I spent the evening with ever pray to You? Do they ever pray, at all?

As I was at dinner, I had the opportunity to speak of serving at a large hospital located not two miles away from where we were sitting. I did a six-month chaplain internship there, a few years ago. As I spoke about it, briefly, I was met with blank stares. Conversation passed from sickness and hospitalization to other matters. Lively exchanges, indeed! The evening passed quickly, and I was sorry it seemed to be over so soon.

And, yet. And, yet.

Lord, as I read the Evening Prayer I focused on the lines “Lord, hear our prayer; and let our cry come to you.“ Dear Lord, thank You for listening to me when I call on You. Thank You for a thoroughly lovely evening, in every way. Gracious God, thank You for the opportunity for me to mention that I had worked as a chaplain in Chicago, and served as a chaplain intern at a hospital several of the people were familiar with.

But, Lord, a question nagging at my mind? Do the people I met tonight pray? I hope so. I pray so. Lord God, I want to be a friendly, open example to someone I met tonight. You are a loving, caring, welcoming God. May I do my part to be loving, caring and welcoming, too.

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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

As We Begin to Pray

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden, October 2013 - photo credit Kevin Jones

Chicago Botanic Garden, October 2013 – photo credit Kevin Jones

As We Begin to Pray

My daughter, her good friend and I spent some time after dinner at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It’s a garden, and so much more! Also a living plant museum and research center, the Botanic Garden is almost 400 acres of stunning, landscaped areas, different smaller gardens, and greenhouses. Plus, this gorgeous place with its lagoons, woods and open areas offers a wonderful stopping point for migratory birds. All throughout the year, there are countless things going on at the garden.

Our family is blessed to have a family membership to this marvelous garden—my father-in-law has given us the membership for many years as a Christmas present. It’s one of our family’s favorite things to do on a weekend. Go to the garden.

As you might imagine, August at the Botanic Garden was busting out all over! Myriad different flowers and blossoms, in every shape, color and kind. So wonderful for us to amble through the various walkways, with one vista lovelier than the next.

And then, several hours later, to turn to my prayer website, dailyoffice.org. I have read this opening statement to Evening Prayer countless times: “The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.” However, I was particularly struck by the stunning natural beauty we saw tonight at the Botanic Garden. And then, to cap it off with Evening Prayer? What a peaceful way to end an absolutely lovely evening.

I was curious about the formal definition of Evening Prayer, or Compline, as it is properly named. Here is a helpful definition. “The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day.” [1]

So, Lord. Here we are, at the end of the day. What a perfect ending for a lovely day. Thank You for the beauty of the earth, the wonder of Your creation. Thank You for Your magnificent growing things, as well as the creatures of the water, field and air You have made—like hummingbirds! (Which we saw tonight! My first hummingbird, ever, in real life!) Lord, I’d like to praise You for the infinite variety in Your creation. Help us to be excellent stewards of this stunning beauty and variety. In Jesus’ loving and creative name we pray, Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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] https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/night/introstructurenotes.aspx

God’s Watchers, Sober and Watchful

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 4, 2015

1 Peter 5-8 be sober, be vigilant pen and ink lion

God’s Watchers, Sober and Watchful

Week One, Day Four. As I opened the dailyoffice.org website to Tuesday’s Evening Prayer, I was moved by the psalm for the day. And then, I thought about it. It is so similar to the psalm for last night, too! No wonder several verses were so familiar to me. Because, many of the same ideas and similar imagery are used in both Psalm 31 and Psalm 91. That’s why.

I noted that in the back of my head, and pushed on. Read further. When—I came across a short passage from 1 Peter, verse 5:8. “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Wow. And again I say, wow!

Not the second part of the verse, but the first part was the part that made me come to a full stop. Peter is advising his readers to be sober and be watchful.

I was so intrigued that I went to the Amplified Bible and checked out the same verse. Here’s what I found: “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” Gee, all of those things are good qualities for me to emulate. First—well balanced, temperate, and sober of mind. That is certainly not someone who acts off kilter, rashly or in a hot-headed manner.

Second—vigilant and cautious. (I’ll consider the second word first.) Caution is the mark of someone who takes their time. Plans things out. Does not fly by the seat of their pants. And, lastly, vigilant! I appreciate the first translation, from the Revised Standard Version. “Be watchful.” I take that to mean that I shouldn’t go to sleep on the job! I know how difficult that can be. Lord, help me to stay alert. Peter really knew what he was talking about. The danger is very real. Indeed, the devil is right around the corner.

Yet, we know that through Christ, we have overcome the world! And, we have overcome the devil (and all his helper-devils). It’s true that we ought to be aware of the devil and all of his schemes and wiles. But, again. Jesus Christ has triumphed over the devil, sin and death. It is finished! Amen and amen.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your work on our behalf. Thank You for conquering the devil, sin and death. We pray that You might help us to come to love You more dearly and follow You more nearly. One day at a time. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more!

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

God’s Name – Mighty Name

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, August 3, 2015

God - my rock and my fortress Psa 31-3

God’s Name – Mighty Name

I opened the webpage tonight, and settled in to praying. This webpage, dailyoffice.org, is familiar to me. Comforting, even. I’ve been following, and praying along with it, for years.

As I started to pray, I felt myself fall into the rhythm of prayer. (I have been following the dailyoffice.org Morning Prayer webcast about once or twice a week now, for the past few months. What a great way to start the day!) Yes, Evening Prayer is considerably shorter, with fewer and shorter passages of Scripture. Yet, God pulled me up short with a line from Psalm 31.

Psalm 31:1-5 was the psalm passage for this evening. In verse 3, I read this: “for the sake of Your Name, lead me and guide me.”

As this Psalm tells me, God is indeed my Rock, my Crag and Stronghold. Yet, God is all of these things to me and for me for the sake of God’s Name. Not because I am particularly holy, or extra-good, or a lovely person. No. God is these things, and does these things for me for the sake of God’s Name. For the glorious goodness and graciousness that is God.

What a mind-blowing thing for me to consider. What a mighty and powerful God, not to mention good, gracious, loving and caring. The best part? I am the grateful recipient of all of this fantastic goodness and grace. The second half of that best part? All of that was packed into this short sentence from Psalm 31.

Dear Lord, I cannot even begin to thank You for Your goodness and grace to me. Thank You for your love expressed to me. Thank You for proclaiming Yourself a Rock, a Crag, a Stronghold for all those who run to You. Help me know when I ought to find refuge and safety. I know I can count on You even when other people run away or don’t follow through on their promises. I know You will. For sure. And, that’s a promise.

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more!

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