Tag Archives: distant

Pierce the Cloud of My Unknowing

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 3, 2015

birds, moonrise, water - credit bellofcompassion.org

Pierce the Cloud of My Unknowing

Such an arresting image. I am still struggling to get my head around that image. God’s love, piercing the cloud of my unknowing.

This piece of the Lord’s Prayer has the word “Affirmation” as its focus. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer deals with “Who art in heaven (Prayer 14, page 56) [1]

Another thing I’m wondering about. “Affirmation?” Am I supposed to affirm You, Lord? Do You even need affirmation? Or, does the affirmation concern me? Who is the end-user of this affirmation, anyway?

George Appleton wrote this particular prayer. I find myself pausing at regular points of this page, and I sit and allow the words to wash over me.

“I cannot grasp You/explain You/describe You.“ Appleton’s not-knowing seems to match mine in all the deep places. Why are You so distant? Yet, I stand in awe by all of the things expressed here.

Dear Lord, I focus on “Who are Thou?” And, I get a very partial answer. But, that’s okay. How on earth am I ever going to get a complete image of You in my mind, anyway. You, Lord, are infinite. I am not. You, Lord, are ready to listen. Help me to be equally ready to hear Your voice, and to heed Your words. Thank You, Lord.

@chaplaineliza

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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), 56-57.

Focus on Immanuel, God With Us

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, September 17, 2015

IMMANUEL Isaiah 7 God with us

Focus on Immanuel, God With Us

Today’s Name of God? This is one of the words I have used a number of times in the past for meditation and Centering Prayer! Really. Really and truly. Yes, my word—Name of God for today is Immanuel.

Except—I couldn’t quite focus, or settle down to pray in depth. I set my alarm for twenty minutes. Yes. I sat in my comfortable computer chair (with back support). Yes. But as I tried to settle and pray and focus on “Immanuel,” my silly brain kept skittering off in all directions.

“Immanuel” comes from Isaiah, chapter 7: “14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.“ This Name means “God with us,” a particularly meaningful Name to me. For years, when I recalled this Name of God, I’ve known God is not far away, distant or remote. That thought is not only reassuring but also comforting. My God is present, and right by my side.

It was rainy this afternoon and evening, with a powerful storm blowing through the city. I spent a while on the road, especially coming back from a late lunch south of downtown. Yes, I remembered all that about God. I wasn’t concentrating on the mighty and powerful aspects of God, but on the loving, nurturing and comforting part.

Immanuel, God with us. God with me. Dear God, thank You for being there for me. Thank You for loving and caring for me, so much that You would come alongside of me. No matter what.

@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

God Our Bridegroom. Centering, Day Three.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BRIDEGROOM Isaiah 62

God Our Bridegroom. Centering, Day Three.

For each day in the month of September, I will choose a name of God found in the Bible. I’m using that for my word of the day. My word—Name of God for today is Bridegroom.

This Name of God gave me pause. I almost did not use it for my centering word today. However, I ended up doing so. Interesting experience, to be sure.

I had little difficulty quieting my body, and only a bit of difficulty quieting my mind for Centering Prayer. I found myself somewhat receptive, to begin with.

However—the first of the mental pictures that came to my mind was that of a huge Jesus. Sort of like a gigantic Lord and Savior. I saw Him dressed in the typical manner in which Jesuses are almost always dressed (in Sunday school pictures, at least). The location in my mind seemed to be a generic city center. A large square, or park area, filled with people; hundreds of thousands, at least. And, the huge Jesus, right smack in the middle of everything. (That made me hesitate.)

I felt at a distance. Particularly distant from Jesus. And, I did not like that.

Returning to thinking about Bridegroom, what came into my mind next was a wedding ceremony uncannily like a photo I had seen years ago of Sun Myung Moon, blessing thousands of couples in Madison Square Garden. This thought was extremely distasteful! I remember actually shaking my head to get the thought out of it.

Then, I specifically oriented my mind toward Middle Eastern marriage customs. From what I understand, the marriage between bride and bridegroom is not only a joining of two people. It’s more than that. It’s a joining together of two families. An alliance. My mind went one step further. I thought of the family of Jesus (or, God) joined with the family of humans. That idea drew me in, and I thought about the loving alliance all of us, as the Church, have with Jesus. Our Bridegroom. As I said, interesting experience.

I noted at the beginning of this post that I was hesitant to meditate and pray with this Name of God. I have never felt particularly close to this image. However, I knew immediately that I ought to try. Try to pray, and see what happens.

Lord Jesus, it was an interesting experience, and one part more than a little disturbing. (I mean, the part about Moon and the blessing ceremony, and comparing You to that.) I thank You for aiding me in this effort today, and helping to give me a positive experience and impression. Thanks, Lord.

@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