Tag Archives: friend

Pray for Opportunity, for Outreach

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, July 25, 2016

prayer - hands

Pray for Opportunity, for Outreach

What a wonderful opportunity to experience mission and outreach. Each summer for more than fifteen years, I have had this experience of mission—up close and personal.

I got the chance to hear a friend of mine preach yesterday, on Sunday, and present today in a conference session. Some of the things he said were heartbreaking. However, many of the things he said were hopeful. So hopeful!

There are large parts of the world where individuals are realizing that the God of the Bible, the God who loved the whole world, the God who died and rose again—this God is the true God. My friend spoke of widespread struggle and military action, fear, anger, despair, and sincere questioning. At the same time, he spoke of an undercurrent of vibrant faith and connection in the God who loved the whole world, the God who died and rose again.

This is a tremendous opportunity. Not for fear, and anxiety, hatred, and despair. No! This is a time of hope and promise, of anticipation and outreach! Also, a time of earnest and heartfelt prayer. We need to continue to pray for God to send workers into the harvest.

Dear Lord, loving and merciful God, I pray for You to continue opening doors. Open doors for all who read these words. Provide opportunities to spread Your love and to tell others how much You love them. Thank You for Your love for me and for my family. Help me to be faithful to Your will, work, and ways. In the mighty, powerful and loving name of the One who was and is and is to come, the name of Jesus, Amen.

@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

Thankful Prayers, Earnest Petitions

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, July 23, 2016

 

open hands

Thankful Prayers, Earnest Petitions

My daughter and I safely arrived at the New Wilmington Mission Conference in Pennsylvania this afternoon. We are thankful! And, I have already received several great spiritual boosts from the several sessions I attended.

Thank You for this conference, God. It is truly a marvelous place.

I saw a request from my friend Vicar Josh (online vicar of the Episcopal www.dailyoffice.org website). He earnestly requested prayer for our mutual friend, honorary deacon and soul-medic, Clint.

Here is the prayer I offered. Hear all of our prayers, please!

Gracious God, You hear all of our prayers ascending to You for our dear brother Clint. You know his heart, his love for You, and his love for all of the brothers and sisters. Please, Lord, hear our prayers. Please, Lord. It’s in Jesus’s powerful, healing name we pray, amen.

@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

Praying Through Several Encounters

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, July 1, 2016

definition of prayer

Praying Through Several Encounters

Today was a different kind of a day. A day of encounters, a day of prayers. A day out of the ordinary. Or—was it?

First, I arranged a test for a friend. Assisting him was a bit roundabout. I helped cut through some of the red tape, and got things taken care of. To finally take care of that situation was gratifying, to be sure.

Next up, helping another acquaintance with some paperwork. This was certainly easier. Tracking down some older files, and that was another item off my list of things to do.

Third, and perhaps most significant, I needed to drop off a file. Simple, indeed. However, I also took the opportunity to pray with someone at that house. (That was the significant part.) I talked with the family, prayed, and prayed some more.

In each situation today, I prayed. Three varied situations, and three very different people. However, I felt the need to take them all before God. All were heavy, and I needed God to help me to bear them. I could especially feel God’s presence on the last visit. (Not that God wasn’t in the first two. Of course God was! Don’t be silly—I keep telling myself.)

Today was indeed a day of encounters. A day I encountered three people, in separate situations. However, today was a day that I encountered God. God was with me on my errands and trips around the area today. God heard the words I said out loud, as well as those words I thought to myself, and those cries I couldn’t even put into words. Yes, God still heard me. And, God heard the friends I was with today

Thank You, God, for encouraging us to come to You in prayer. Thank You for the encouragement and support. I appreciate it. I depend on it, sometimes. Thank You. Thank You.

@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

PEACE: Harmonious Relationship

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, March 20, 2016

let there be peace on earth

PEACE: Harmonious Relationship

Continuing with the break from my posting of definitions of PEACE from St. Viator’s High School. (Don’t worry! I’ll come back to the young people at St. Viator right after Easter!)

Some days ago, I attended a United Church of Christ ministerial meeting here in the Chicago area at the beginning of March. I asked a number of my fellow clergy “What does PEACE mean to you?” This personal definition of PEACE came from a friend of mine who I just reconnected with!

The Reverend Roger Dart took one of my PEACE flyers at the Minister’s Cluster meeting the other day. This is what he said. “I have been giving some thought to your challenge. I finally put down my thoughts, did a bit of wordsmithing, and came up with the following: Peace is not simply the absence of hostility; Peace is when a state of harmonious relationship exists between human beings.”

Speaking further, Roger goes on, “Harmonious relationships (peace) exist when there is the presence of emotional stability, combined with a mutual willingness to resolve differences through non-violent discussion to reach mutual agreement.”

Roger, what a measured, thoughtful answer! Thank you so much for spending a good deal of time on that superb definition. And, I know you. (I don’t have the pleasure of knowing your wife Harriet very well at all—we ought to fix that!) You do your utmost to promote harmonious relationships between human beings as often as you can. Always willing to lend a hand or lend an ear, you promote positive, nurturing encounters between people, even when those people are not well acquainted.

What better thing to strive for, than positive, harmonious relationships! Gracious God, may we all follow Roger’s excellent definition, and be willing to promote harmony. Dear God, lead us to go one step further, and strive to resolve differences, too. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers!

@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

As Human As You or Me

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jesus as human - stained glass

As Human As You or Me

What if the New Testament were written more like the books of poetry from the Hebrew Scriptures? Certainly a change in perspective, that’s for sure. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be using a book named Praying the New Testament as Psalms all this month. (Desmond O’Donnell and Maureen Mohen wrote the book.)

For the next few days, I will be looking at several psalm portions written about differing aspects of our Lord Jesus. Today, I wanted to consider Jesus as Human. Fully human.

Yes, I know these points of doctrine and characteristics of Jesus in an intellectual way. True. But expressed in the form of a psalm? Powerful.

“Knowing that Jesus can sympathize with my weaknesses/and that mercy and grace are there for the asking;” [1] As I read this portion, I could not help but think of the person of Jesus—the very real, very physical Person. (The Second Person of the Trinity, remember.)

Mercy! Grace! I need them both so much. And, I am ever so grateful that our Lord Jesus is accessible, any time. Any place. Wow.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You. That’s all I can say.

@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] Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 24.

Day #32 – Brag About Besties! And Pray, Too.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 26, 2015

like you anyway

Day #32 – Brag About Besties! And Pray, Too.

I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t have a smart phone. Or a camera phone. I have a dumb phone. One good for talking and for texting. I also do not have an Instagram account. (Probably because I do not have a camera/smart phone.) However, I am periodically fascinated by others’ photos. And selfies.

Today’s suggestion intrigued me. Of course, I have never taken a selfie. I kind of, sort of might like to try. But, I recognize that’s selfish. Better for me to talk about my friends than to focus on me, me, me! So, I’ll tell you about a few other people. Boast about them! Brag!

First, I’ll tell you about my good friend Susan. She is sweet, loving, patient and one of the most caring people I know. She would be quick to let you know that she is also a mom of several kids. Very active, curious kids! And, she owns a sweet dog who, while greeting you, almost bowls you over. Susan goes above and beyond in her work, since she works with developmentally and intellectually disabled people, and loves what she does. God bless you, Susan! I thank God for my dear, dear friend.

Next, I think of Alison and Ivan. Marvelous couple! Genuinely interested in everyone. They worked for years outside of this country as missionaries. Or was Ivan a pastor? Counselor? Was Alison a lactation consultant? Or good friend? Now, they are back in the area. The best thing I think of when I consider this lovely couple is that I could immediately pick up an in-depth conversation with either of them as if we had just left off a few days before. Even though it was several years in between the times I saw them. My good friends, and coworkers in the Gospel.

Last, for right now, is my friend Stu. Some distance away, he is going through a difficult time right now—he and especially a dear loved one. (Pray for their family, if you would. Thank you so much!) Stu is a dear, dear friend of mine. He is a technical professional, detail-oriented toward his work, yet concerned about people—every individual he meets. His church and his friends are also important, but they are overshadowed by his immediate concerns about his family. Stu, friend of my heart, dear brother in Christ. Sending gentle thoughts and prayers your way in this challenging time!

Four dear, dear people, from different walks of life. God, be with each of them, as well as their families. May You send each one what they most need, today. Please, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

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(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 .

Act of Charity—Carried Out

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 12, 2015

encouraging word cloud

Act of Charity—Carried Out

I was a little surprised by the prayer suggestion for today. It’s an action, not necessarily a prayer. Well, sort of both. I’ve been told I have some of the gift of encouragement. I sure used it today.

I was supposed to plan an act of charity for someone in need. And, endeavor to carry it out. I think I did that. Not quite as actively helpful in the way of doing something—like I posted on my other blog, where I helped out a senior citizen by vacuuming her apartment. But all the same, I think it counts.

Here’s the basis for the act today. I have a friend, some distance from here. She has had continuing difficulty with an acquaintance for a number of months, on and off. I have been praying for her and the situation. Today, I wrote her an encouraging email. I let her know I think her handling of this continuing situation is (and has been) just superb. I really mean that.

I think encouragement helps! Truly.

In the book of Acts, Barnabas was one of the early followers of the risen Christ. He was also a great one for encouragement. That’s what his name means. Imagine, being so encouraging to his fellow believers that they chose a new name for him? Specifically, “Son of Encouragement.” What’s more, Barnabas was living through some very uncertain times. I suspect it was not easy for him to act as a positive, encouraging voice, as one who assists others and is a fine example of how to act, even though times are difficult.

So, how did I realize God was there, through this act of charity? My friend thanked me for my continued prayers, and appreciated my reassurance. Plus—those things I wrote? They just seemed like the right things to say. True, and honest. Genuine. I hope and pray that my words were a comfort and support to my friend, reaching out through her computer and giving her a big hug.

Charity = love = encouraging email. Works for me; I hope it worked for my friend. I pray so!

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Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.