Tag Archives: fire

Fire of the Spirit, Hear Us

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Holy Spirit descending dove

Fire of the Spirit, Hear Us

Do you have allergies? I do, unfortunately. Allergic to several different kinds of molds. So, autumn is not one of the best times for me. Sneezes, snuffles, eyes stream, tickle in the back of the throat. And, yes, I do have a roundabout way that this ties in to the topic for today.

The topic of today’s prayer is Gifts of the Spirit. is The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “For Thine is the Kingdom.” (Prayer 508, page 131) [1] As I read this prayer from the pen of St. Hildegard of Bingen, I cannot help but feel badly. When most people consider the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s gifting, they get excited. (Can’t help it!)

Sadly, I am not up to it. A mild sinus headache is making me miserable, and it all stems from my fall allergies. (Sorry, Lord.) Besides, the air pressure outside is particularly low. It will be raining for about 24 hours, and boy, can I tell.

I suspect Hildegard had problems, too. If not exactly like mine, at least similar. (Perhaps she even might have had allergies.) Anyway, here’s the prayer:

“Fire of the Spirit, life of the lives of creatures,/ spiral of sanctity, bond of all natures,/glow of charity, lights of clarity, taste/of sweetness to sinners, be with us and hear us./Composer of all things, light of all the risen,/ key of salvation, release from the dark prison,/hope of all unions, scope of chastities, joy/in the glory, strong honour, be with us and hear us.”

Dear Holy Spirit, I read that we are supposed to be celebrating and being joy-filled. Yet, even the mention of Your Fire cannot help me to excuse myself. Please change my insides. Please, Lord, heal me. Restore me. Change me.


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), 131.

Rekindle the Soul Connection

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, June 14, 2015

campfire photo

Rekindle the Soul Connection

I love fires. Fires in fireplaces, or in fire pits. Cooking fires when camping. Even gas fires in fancy-shmancy gas fireplaces (no cleaning up afterwards!). Something about setting up the wood to begin with, kindling the flame, feeding the fire. And then, sitting there in comfort, enjoying the crackle of the leaping flames. The warmth of the flickering glow.

How much I relate this to the care and nurture of my soul! Sometimes, I need to see to my soul-connection. Make sure that the fire inside of me is properly banked for a long-term burn. And, I can’t neglect the fire inside, the warmth and light that the fire provides. Provides nurture and care to my insides. Jack Canfield’s chapter in Handbook for the Soul reminded me of this, so strongly.

Canfield spoke of reconnecting with the soul, and mentioned so many different activities. When he participated in these various ways, they aided in his energy and awareness. As he mentioned, “When you set aside time for peace and tranquility—a massage from a loved one, a yoga class, thirty minutes of deep meditation, and the like—it’s hard to stay in a conflicted state of mind. When the benefits are so consistent and reliable, one has to wonder why so few people engage in these soul-energizing practices on a regular basis.” [1]

When put that simply and cogently, I need to truly ask myself: why don’t I engage in these soul-energizing practices on a regular basis?

Yes, many people are fooled into thinking that they don’t have time to engage in these nurturing practices. Except—and I am doing some sincere soul-searching here—I do know the benefits. I have experienced the positive, soul-energizing effects. Why don’t I practice these things, on a regular basis?

Canfield mentions a great many techniques, several for each different type of person. I want to. I really want to have the benefits of this wonderful soul-nourishing practice. Not the least of these is something I try to do on a regular basis. I’ll let him speak for himself: “one very powerful way to connect with spirit, to lift yourself, and to make a difference is to engage in some kind of selfless service, such as feeding the homeless, teaching the illiterate to read, tutoring in an inner-city school, or volunteering at church.” [2]

Amazing journey I’m on. We are all on this journey called life. We all are encouraged to rekindle the soul-connection inside. And, our individual journeys are One Day at a Time. Excellent chapter. Excellent advice. God willing, God can help me in this endeavor.


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] Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995), 89.

[2] Ibid, 92.

Like a Refiner’s Fire

refiner's fire

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, December 23, 2013

Like a Refiner’s Fire

It’s almost Christmas Eve. I want to scoot ahead to the time of the Christmas celebration, but we aren’t there yet.

Today, in my Advent reflection, I read Malachi 3:1-3. I was especially struck by the words “For he is like a refiner’s fire . . . and he will purify . . . and refine them like gold and silver.” Yes, I am still waiting, as the practice of Advent encourages me to do. I am watching and waiting for the messenger of the covenant to prepare the way before me, true. But I’m afraid of that other image, too.

I understand the image of the refiner’s fire in principle. But I do not like going through the fire. It’s the being-refined-part that I object to. It hurts! Ow! What gives, God?
I’ve been there, especially in the past number of months with my employment situation. (or difficulty with, or total lack thereof) I understand that I am supposed to reflect God. I’ve heard the analogy of a silversmith melting silver in his shop. He knew that the molten silver had all the impurities taken away when he could see his face in the silver. Gee, silver must really get hot for that to happen! I guess that‘s similar to my situation(s). I earnestly am trying to be faithful, and to follow. Even when the situation’s too hot to handle.

Help me wait for the coming of the Baby in Bethlehem. Soon! Very soon!

Let’s pray. God, I try to follow You. I know You are there by my side, and Your purposes are good and gracious. I know You want me to be faithful, too. Even when I forget You’re there, or get angry because things aren’t going my way, or just get sick and tired of waiting for You. God, forgive me. Help me to continue to wait. Be with me when things get too hot to handle. Protect me when I’m being tried by fire. God, thanks for Your constant presence through every situation, even in this almost-Christmas, still-waiting time. Amen.