Tag Archives: disheartening

Prayer: Comfort of God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 9, 2019

Jesus, medieval face

Prayer: Comfort of God

We are introduced to Ignatian prayer immediately, in this first chapter: Ignatian prayer and the effects it can have, internally What a powerful introduction it is, too.

A woman, K., relates about a time of spiritual retreat, and how during one of her times of prayer she was moved to pray with and enter into the trial of Jesus. As she entered fully into that scene, she was moved to think, “How could Jesus stand there while everyone called for His death, I wondered. How could He be so calm?[1]

Oh, my. I have just been through some down, disheartening days myself, not only in my personal life, but in my ministry as well. Not mega-serious – not like a cancer diagnosis or a house burning down – but truly disheartening, nonetheless. I have been having difficulty with keeping my cool, being calm, as well as positive. I immediately focused on K.’s question.

K. continued to pray, and she saw God the Father holding Jesus, encouraging Him, and letting Jesus know that God would never let Him go. After a long period of prayer, K. was aware of God communicating that same thing to her: “I realized that the Father was within me as He was within Jesus. [God] was also holding me: ‘Do not be afraid. You are safe in My arms.’” [2]

I realized as I read these words that God indeed has treasures waiting for me in Ignatian prayer and meditation. (Yes, I have discovered these treasures in the past, at the times I’ve used these practices. But, it is so difficult to keep up the practices…)

How much more do I need to have the Lord remind me that I can also have these kinds of prayer experiences from time to time? Now, Father Gallagher openly says that these kinds of encounters and communication do not happen all the time, or even on a regular basis. But, if I practice Ignatian prayer and meditation regularly myself, I will have these experiences from time to time. What a stunning thing for me to look forward to.

Thank You, Lord, for Your presence with me. Thank You for being available to me when I pray, whenever I pray. Help me to be more regular in my prayer and meditation, please. Just as K. showed in her account, You are ready to bless, to come alongside, to comfort, to encourage any one who might need it. Oh, Lord, help me to pray.

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

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


[1] Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture, Timothy M. Gallagher, OVM (United States of America: Crossroad Publishing, 2008), 19.

[2] Ibid.

Pray for a Future and a Hope

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jer 29-11 I know the plans I have for you

Pray for a Future and a Hope

With the end of January, I come to the end of prayer for relationships. I look forward with confidence, praying that God will give me a future and a hope. Praying that God blesses my loved ones with a bright future and a shining hope.

But—what about the dark times? What about the disheartening feelings and the desperate incidents? I know they do happen from time to time. (With some people, more often than not.) What then? How do I cope?

I know, I know. (Intellectually, that is.) God is my hope. God is my sure, steadfast anchor. Except—when I’m not feeling it. At times like these, I long for Your encouragement and comfort and care. Lord, please give me an awareness of Your presence with me.

Keep me from losing my sight of You, dear Lord. Help me to continue following You. I know You have plans for me and for my loved ones—plans that are good, and not evil. Help me and help my loved ones to be of service to others and of service to You, dear God.

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

I’m Called. I’m Summoned. I Pray, Too.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 31, 2015

calling you have received Eph 4-1

I’m Called. I’m Summoned. I Pray, Too.

Calling? A calling can be one’s position in life. More than a work-a-day job, more than merely earning wages. A true calling can give my life deep, heartfelt meaning. My calling can be like the needle on a compass—pointing toward my life’s purpose and true substance.

Summoned? This word has several meanings, but one of the most common is commanded, or sent a message, to come. Johnny on the spot. Front and center. Hurry up! There is some urgency in this call.

Jesus gets in on the action. At the beginning of His ministry, He is walking by the Sea of Galilee, and sees four fisherman. Two sets of brothers. He says, “Come, follow Me!” Lo and behold, the four men do. Leaving their fishing equipment, in the middle of things, they follow Jesus.

Jesus called, they followed. Jesus summoned, they answered the call.

I heard this narrative from the Gospels a number of times. I felt the call of Jesus deeply. I prepared myself, going to bible college here in Illinois. Becoming trained in a number of areas. Fitting myself to be a caring, capable bible teacher, youth leader, church musician. I prayed, too. And was a regular jack-of-all-trades, as far as the church is concerned. (Or, is that a Jill-of-all-trades?)

I cried out to God as I saw my friends and acquaintances around me go off to far-flung places. Some in professional ministry, others as nurses, teachers, business people. I had skills. I had drive and desire to serve. Other than the occasional little, short-term jobs,  no professional openings for me, anywhere, either secular or sacred.  Still, I found places in churches to minister as a lay leader, while waiting. And waiting for years. Getting more training, and further preparation. And, praying, too.

Does this sound familiar? Pounding the pavement, and some interest. A few interviews, but no job offers. Sending out resumes and making calls, and some interest. Again, a few interviews, but no positions available. For years and years. I can well relate to people nowadays who have been unemployed for the long term. It’s disheartening and depressing. Makes you feel awful, about yourself, your skills, your chances, life in general.

But—Jesus. Jesus calling. Jesus giving the summons.

Is that You, Lord? Can You mean me, Lord? Finally?

It’s three decades since I graduated from bible college, and I have had quite a ride. Never a straight line, never a clear path, but always a fascinating one. Rev. Howell has “calling” as his last topic, for the last day of his lessons on prayer. He riffs on some of these same things I’ve covered, and mentions that God’s “calling” ultimately weaves each of us into the fabric of community. I appreciate Rev. Howell’s assistance in leading me through this study guide on prayer. I would like to close in the brief prayer which he uses to close this chapter.

So let us pray together: “O Lord, help me know to what you are calling me. Open my eyes and ears. Help me read the signs in my soul. Create a willing spirit in me, for I know you may be calling me to something very different in my work, or in the way I do my work, or with the rest of my life, or even this afternoon, in the next minute. O Lord, teach us to pray, and to follow. Amen.” [1]

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.

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, (Nashville, TN, Abingdon Press: 2003), 96-97.