Tag Archives: God Almighty

God is Judge, in Psalm 50

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 4, 2017

JUDGE as God, Jesus

God as Judge, in Psalm 50

Have any of my readers been in a courtroom lately? I mean, close enough to watch the judge deliberate and make rulings?

Such a vivid example of tonight’s reading, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s compilation of short writings and letters called Meditating on the Word. God has a whole lot of names, and serves as a whole lot of awesome majesty and power.

I must admit, seeing God act as stern Judge certainly would give me pause. I do not think in those terms, usually. I know I usually see God Almighty as Shepherd or Lamb, as Teacher, or as Sower of God’s seed. I realize those images are meant to be honest and serious.

However, as I have been following these particular words written in Psalm 50, I am struck by these verses. Pierced to the heart is more like it.

Bonhoeffer had several comments on God’s behalf, in reflection on Psalm 50: “The loyal followers have been sanctified through the sacrifice of the cross. Against the background of Advent, the cross comes into view. Here, in this sacrifice of God’s judgment and His loving kindness are one.” [1]

Yes, some of the Names of God are quite serious, and their description contains parts of God’s character.

Dear God, mighty Judge of humanity (and all the rest of the universe), have mercy on us. Thank You for the cross, as it stands on that hill outside Jerusalem so long ago—and still stands in the heart of God. Thank You for Jesus, the Lamb of God. And, thank You for Your gracious and merciful loving-kindness.

Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


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[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 65.

Our Father, Who Art—Centering.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lord's Prayer word cloud Matt 6

Our Father, Who Art—Centering.

For today, I chose a Name of God from the Bible that is not only traditional, but some might say even old-fashioned. This is my word of the day for Centering Prayer. My word—Name of God for today is Father.

I chose this Name as it’s from one of the most familiar passages in the Gospels. Even perhaps the whole Bible. It comes from the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 6, where our Lord Jesus gives His disciples and the others listening to Him a template for prayer. Jesus opens with, “Our Father, who art in heaven.”

I grew up with this term for God. I attended a Lutheran church in elementary school through high school. Every Sunday we would say the Lord’s Prayer as part of the service. The pastor would refer to God as “Our Heavenly Father,” and this way of referencing God was so familiar to me.

Fast forward more than twenty years. I was married, with small children. I tried to be faithful in how God called me, and so I tried to pray on a regular basis. I remember questioning how I referred to God in prayer, but only mild questions.

Go forward a bit more, and I found myself in seminary. Second year, I was having considerable difficulty with some outside issues. (Not with school. I loved seminary!) However, I remember having particular difficulty with calling God “Father.” In fact, I could not bring myself to say the Lord’s Prayer out loud, since I had so much of a problem with using the Name “Father.” I did not want to lose sight of the feminine half of God, and I struggled with that expression and Name of God almost all year long.

Now, present day. Things continue to evolve. I try not to use gender often as I use Names of God. But, I need to consider this Name again for this particular prayer time. I taught an adult bible study at the beginning of the summer on the Lord’s Prayer, and I talked about “Father.” How unusual it was for Jesus to use this Name for God Almighty. It showed intimacy, love, and caring. Not only from Jesus to His Heavenly Father. No, the intimacy, love and caring were (are?) a two-way street.

Praise God that God has revealed Godself to me so freely, and with so much love and intimacy. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:9. our Heavenly Father. Thank You, Lord. You love me as Your child. You carry me like a beloved toddler! You really do. Thank You. Amen.


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

Life-Giving Spirit? To This Mortal Body?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Life-Giving Spirit? To This Mortal Body?

I really like the Apostle Paul. I have, for several decades. Even though he has complex, even difficult-to-unravel sentences in most of his letters in the New Testament, I still enjoy his deep thoughts and his logical, step-by-step thought-progressions. Except—not so much, now. I mean, I still appreciate his deep thoughts, but they are not exciting me quite as much as they did in the past.

Right now, I find I crave the simplicity of the Apostle John. How he could frame such profound thoughts using such spare vocabulary (especially in his letters) is remarkably stunning. Then, too, I find myself turning to the stark, almost journalist-style of Mark. (“Just the facts, ma’am.”) These two New Testament authors are my current faves (to borrow the vocabulary of my college-age daughter’s acquaintances).

However . . . the liturgical lectionary prayer book has listed a reading from Romans 8 for today. Back to Romans for me, I fear. Away from John, and back to the complex sentence structure of chapter 8, verses 1 through 11.

All right, Lord. I really, earnestly am trying to find what riches You have for me in this passage today. I am drawn to verses 10 and 11. The Holy Spirit as a Life-giver? That resonates with me, deeply. Yes. Today is also Earth Day, a day when a large part of the western world is celebrating the Life-giving nature of our planet. In Genesis 1, the Holy Spirit, the Ruach ha kodesh was hovering over the waters. Breathing life into the world as that Life-giving breath/wind/spirit, so foundational to all created beings.

How much more simple can we get? The Spirit of God long ago moving, hovering over creation. The Spirit of God, breathing life into this mortal, sinful body. These mortal, sinful bodies. Through the power of God Almighty, the power that raised Jesus from the dead, that same power is also giving life to me. To us. Can Paul get any more profound and basic than that? I think not.

I need to pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, all I can say is thank You. Thank You for everything. I fall on my face before Your awesome power and majesty. Dear Holy Spirit, thank You for breathing life into the world, and for breathing life into me. Into us. Thank You. Alleluia. Amen. Praise God.


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 #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .