Tag Archives: dangerous

For All the Saints (A Bit Early)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, October 30, 2015

people diverse fellowship in the church

For All the Saints (A Bit Early)

As I come to the end of the Lord’s Prayer, I’m also approaching the end of October. All Saints’ Day is celebrated in two days’ time.

The prayer for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “For Ever and Ever” (Prayer 558, page 168) [1] The prayer is in a section entitled The Virgin, Martyrs and Saints. The editor marks this selection as penned by “Anonymous.” I thought this prayer both elegant in tone, and comprehensive, for its brevity.

“We thank Thee, O God, for the saints of all ages; for those who in times of darkness kept the lamp of faith burning;” – I think of historical figures from various places who not only were faithful themselves, but were God’s lights in uncertain and dark times. God bless them.

“For the great souls who saw visions of larger truth and dared to declare it;” – I think of those courageous “great souls” who did not shrink from naming truth. I think of desperate situations where noble “great souls” stood up and cried out, like a voice crying in the actual or virtual wilderness. They were God’s lights in treacherous and dangerous times. God bless them.

“For the multitude of quiet and gracious souls whose presence has purified and sanctified the world;” – I think of countless Marthas and Stephens worldwide, unassuming, going about their quiet work in a quiet manner. Loving God and loving their neighbor. They were God’s lights in tranquil backwaters and placid times. God bless them.

“For those known and loved by us, who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller light of life with Thee.” – I think of many dear ones I have known my life long, who have passed into God’s glorious presence. Bless each one. Bless their memory.

Gracious God, as we are surrounded by such a vast and varied cloud of witnesses, help us to continue to lift Your name high. As we praise Your name along with the mighty company of saints from all time, we say, 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

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 168.

Frail is My Vessel, and the Ocean is Wide

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, October 22, 2015

St. Augustine icon

Frail is My Vessel, and the Ocean is Wide

I live in the middle of North America, and far from either coast. Yet, I live near one of the largest inland lakes—Lake Michigan. Since I was a child, I have been intrigued by stories, poems and other writings about ships, boats and other vessels. Yes, I have been on smaller boats. Yet, not in a storm. I only vaguely understand how frightening that must be.

This prayer moved me deeply. It uses the continuing metaphor of the people of God traveling “the tempestuous sea of this mortal life.” I know a little about boats, and I would like to learn more. Yet, I can well understand feeling tempest-tossed in the middle of a rough storm.

Today’s prayer is about Protection. This prayer is attributed to St. Augustine (354-430). It comes under the section “Deliver Us from Evil.” (Prayer 413, page123) [1] What follows is a portion of this prayer:

“Watch over us who are still in our dangerous voyage; and remember such as lie exposed to the rough storms of trouble and temptations. Frail is our vessel, and the ocean is wide; but as in Thy mercy Thou hast set our course, so steer the vessel of our life toward the everlasting shore of peace, and bring us at length to the quiet haven of our heart’s desire, where Thou, O our God, are blessed, and livest and reignest for ever and ever.

Lord, I am in the middle of this dangerous voyage (or trip), as Augustine says. (Even though it is on land, in my case.) Oh, don’t I know about the various troubles and temptations that beset me! I know, full well, what a frail vessel—or casing—in which my soul is contained. Yes, Lord, the ocean—this world—is wide. Dangerous, full of rocks on which I might very well come to grief.

Dear God, thank You that You are steering me towards safe harbor and a quiet haven. I know I am not there yet. However, You have promised to remain at my side. With me, beside me on this dangerous voyage. Thank You for Your company, Your presence, Your protection. Thank You for Augustine and his promise that You will bring us to our heart’s desire. Lord, in Your mercy, hear my prayer.

@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

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 123.

Day #31 – Be Courageous! In Secret.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 25, 2015

sending love

Day #31 – Be Courageous! In Secret.

Talk about a throwback. A blast from the past.

As I read today’s suggestion, I suddenly felt myself crouching in a crawl space underneath a camp building. I must have been all of twelve years old. A day in late winter, if I remember correctly. Separately, by threes and fours, we all slipped through the heavy metal door. The space was lit by electric lanterns. Not very much light. Or room.

I remember one of the other pastors (not my pastor) giving a brief explanation for why we all were doing this. Then, we had a quiet, intense, emotional worship service, and the highlight was a celebration of communion.

That was the first I had actual knowledge and understanding that there were (and are) Christians around the world who were—and are in dangerous situations.

Now, I know there are many, many millions of our fellow believers, those who call on the name of Christ, who are persecuted, In danger not only for the sake of their freedom, but of their lives.

Please. Get involved. Please. Do something beneficial. Tell others. Or find out more. Or pray. Or give of your time and talents. I pray for those who are—or have been—persecuted or in fear. Thank you.

@chaplaineliza

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 .