Tag Archives: exhausted

Prayer While Losing Heart

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, September 26, 2018

rain on windowpanes

Prayer While Losing Heart

When I read this reading, the bottom dropped out of my stomach. Oh, such a sad thing, to be so self-sufficient, and yet so alone. Father Nouwen must have known someone who was like this. (Or, perhaps even he was like this, now and again.)

When someone grits their teeth and tries really hard to go it on their own, I look at that person and am divided in my thoughts. Yes, I acknowledge their persistence and perseverance. Going it all alone can show signs of strength and stick-to-it-ive-ness. I honor that. Truly.

However…when someone presumes that they absolutely must do it on their own, or else they lose some of their person-hood…”with this mindset you will become weary and exhausted from your efforts to prove that you can do it alone and every failure will become cause for shame.” [1]

My sneaking suspicion is that Father Nouwen might be writing this about himself. Either that, or about someone he knows very well. Oh, I do hope that who ever he was writing this about found some sort of assistance and help from even one person. What Nouwen writes about sounds so lonely, and weary-making. Someone’s sense of honor is not so easily impugned. Asking for help every once in a while is not a threat.

This so sadly reminds me of the Paul Simon song “I Am a Rock.”

“I am a rock, /I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain; /And an island never cries.” [2]

I hope and pray that the one Father Nouwen wrote about found someone to share their burdens with, and someone to pray with. What is more, God will surely send fellowship into the lives of God’s people. All we need do is ask.



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] With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 2005), 87.

[2] “I Am a Rock,” Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel album Sounds of Silence (Columbia, January 17, 1966)

Week-After-Christmas Prayers

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Week-After-Christmas Prayers

The week after Christmas does tend to be a bit of a downer. Anti-climactic, as it were.

This year? Especially so, with an elderly loved one dying two weeks ago, then going to the funeral in another state, last week. And, on top of that, all of the December and Advent and Christmas activities and festivities going on.

Apparently, it wasn’t only my extended family that had it rough. A lot of people had it rough. Some are even calling 2016 another annus horribilis.

Just this evening, I came to the realization that I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. I know I try to be strong, and caring, and honest, and willing to serve—all the time. However, sometimes things pile up so high, and get so heavy. I need to say “Enough is enough.”

I need some rest and relaxation time. Just what I had planned for tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. (Sunday, I need to be back in the pulpit.) My dear husband and I will travel to see my sister for the next few days, and I will even leave my laptop at home. (Gasp!)

If anyone would like to pray for me, I will gratefully accept prayers! Believe me, I have a full slate of things on my To-Do List waiting for me, when I come back.

However, I am still going to pray while traveling. I will take my prayer book with me while I am gone. Perhaps, I will have a fresh perspective on both prayer and life-in-general when I get back. Perhaps, in 2017, we can all make a fresh start.

Dear God, thank You for Your many blessings. Thank You for the opportunity and possibility to get away, to see family, and to rest and relax. And, thank You for dear friends, who uphold me in prayer. Help me to remember my friends and loved ones, too. Amen, and amen.


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

Prayer for Those Who Are Exhausted

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, August 20, 2015

praying hands 2

Prayer for Those Who Are Exhausted

I thank God for my job. Really, I do. I am doing what I love, working for people I care for, dearly. I know many people in the United States do not like their jobs, and I feel badly for them. I know. I was in that situation, and I spent several years in that purgatory. Now, thank God, it’s over, and I have the joy of doing something I really, truly enjoy.

I thought of that because of the Scripture passage included in Evening Prayer, tonight. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) All those who labor, and are heavy-laden? I learned that, when trying to understand a verse of Scripture more deeply, verbs are important. Verbs tell me a huge amount.

In the case of the first verb, “labor,” we are looking at an active verb. My goodness, just reading this verse I get exhausted. “Are heavy-laden?” This is a passive participle. One of the commentaries I looked at said “weighed down as with a heavy burden.” [1] Again, as I read this verse, I begin to feel the weight of the labor, the heaviness of the toil and busyness.

Some people I know, some people I’m acquainted with are among those who just work a job for a paycheck. Then there are some people I know who find a great deal of encouragement and support from their jobs. And yet, each of us has that God-shaped hole deep inside.

Jesus says He is going to give us rest. Again, Meyer’s Commentary says “to secure the true peace of your souls.” I want that true peace. I no longer want to function as semi-Christian, semi-pacifist. Semi-anything.

I’m grateful for the website www.dailyoffice.org tonight, too. The prayers for Morning and Evening faithfully appear each day. I’d like to lift up Vicar Josh and his friends who have gone to a retreat center in Indiana, as of this afternoon. Josh and a number of other friends will be on retreat for the weekend. God’s blessings and refreshment to all!

Dear Lord, gracious God, I pray for all those who indeed are heavy laden. Lighten their burdens. Assist them as they labor—work. Lord, please give me peace. Give all of us Your serenity. Let us rest in You. In Jesus’ powerful, mighty, and loving name I pray. Amen.


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] Meyer’s New Testament Commentary, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/11-28.htm

Day #25 – Serve the Server? Pray for Them, Too!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day #25 – Serve the Server? Pray for Them, Too!

go where you're celebrated

I loved today’s suggestion! Right up my alley, too.

I am naturally friendly. I know I’ve mentioned my smile before. It just sort of happens. So, I share it with lots of people. And, I’ve been told a number of times that my smile brightens people’s days.

As far as engaging in conversation or smiling or being friendly with waiters, baristas, mail carriers, garbage collectors, or people going to a food pantry or clothes closet, I do those things. In fact, my husband and children shake their heads about it. I can fall into conversation with the checker at the grocery store, for example, and she or he can pour out their life story to me in the time that it takes to scan the contents of my cart.

I am serious about that. I struck up a conversation with a checker several years ago. She was about to go on break, and I was the last person she had go through her line. I was friendly, smiled at her, asked an open-ended question, and she began to tell me about a family concern she had. How this family member was making her very anxious, and how the situation was monopolizing her thoughts. I can’t remember quite how I responded, but I could see how much the checker appreciated my attention and my caring attitude.

This is not a rare occurrence for me. Not in the least! Sure, it takes an extra minute or three, but I make a human connection. God made other people just as much as God made me. Then, I am not just waiting idly, bored, impatient to get out of the store, or for the street light to change so I can cross the street. Instead, I usually look for opportunities to engage, to interact with others.

One of the few exceptions for these opportunities comes when I am tired. Especially, when I’m exhausted. If I am not at least sort-of alert and oriented, I find I don’t particularly like to engage with anyone! (I know. God, forgive me.)

I try to follow this suggestion, on a regular basis. Even before I knew anything about the #40acts. Maybe you could try one or two of these suggestions, too. See whether you get any enjoyment, encouragement, or nurture from this engagement.


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 .

Day #13 – I Missed the Nudge. Forgive Me, God.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 4, 2015

winter blizzard

Day #13 – I Missed the Nudge. Forgive Me, God.

When I read today’s suggestion for a generous act, I could relate. Boy, could I relate! The Nudge. I hadn’t given it such a charming name, but I knew what the author of today’s post was talking about.

Let’s step back. What on earth is the Nudge? According to today’s article from #40acts, “The Nudge is that inner impression you get . . . a sense that says, I need to move from awareness to action. I need to engage. . . . The Nudge is when you see a need and you make something happen. “

“If you follow it, The Nudge will take you places you never thought you’d go.”

 Yes, I have followed that Nudge, periodically. I have had people come up to me out of the blue and I have provided something for them. Or they have given me something I badly needed, or made a comment that I gratefully received. But in this case, I did not follow that Nudge.

It was about three weeks ago, when the whole upper Midwest area was in the middle of a deep freeze. I had stopped at the cut-rate grocery store, and was returning home. Not the best neighborhood to be driving in, either. The temperature was hovering right around 0 degrees F, with the wind chill gusting from -15 to -20 degrees. Wickedly cold! Fine, hard snow pellets blew sideways through the dark night, and I remember thinking—briefly—that I was heartily glad I had a warm car.

Several blocks later, I was arrested by the sight of a shorter man, all bundled up with a parka and layers of scarves, waiting in a bus enclosure. The enclosure at least kept him dry from the snow above, but not out of the wind whipping sideways, and back and forth. Plus, the driving snow, penetrated into the shelter of the enclosure like constant icy pins.

He carried a plastic foam-filled lunch bag. He looked forlorn, almost doggedly resigned to waiting for the bus. Which was not coming for at least ten minutes, more likely fifteen. (I knew, since I had just come down the street on which he was waiting.)

As I drove past the man, I had a very strong urge to give him a ride. It was so strong, almost as if I had been physically directed and bodily turned to pick him up. But—I did not.

Sure, I had some valid excuses. Primarily, I was a woman, he was a man. I realize I have done such things in the past, but . . . some niggling fear hid inside me, not far under the surface. Second, I was exhausted. The time was almost eleven o’clock at night, and all I wanted was my bed. Badly. Third, when I saw the man, I was already driving through the green light. Leaving him behind me.

I had an internal tussle. Sure, I could have circled right and gone back. But, even as I fought with myself internally, I continued to drive. And got further and further away. And besides, I was exhausted. (I think I mentioned that already.)

So, I did not obey the Nudge. God, please forgive me!

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 sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .