Tag Archives: God bless

Prayer: Comfort of God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 9, 2019

Jesus, medieval face

Prayer: Comfort of God

We are introduced to Ignatian prayer immediately, in this first chapter: Ignatian prayer and the effects it can have, internally What a powerful introduction it is, too.

A woman, K., relates about a time of spiritual retreat, and how during one of her times of prayer she was moved to pray with and enter into the trial of Jesus. As she entered fully into that scene, she was moved to think, “How could Jesus stand there while everyone called for His death, I wondered. How could He be so calm?[1]

Oh, my. I have just been through some down, disheartening days myself, not only in my personal life, but in my ministry as well. Not mega-serious – not like a cancer diagnosis or a house burning down – but truly disheartening, nonetheless. I have been having difficulty with keeping my cool, being calm, as well as positive. I immediately focused on K.’s question.

K. continued to pray, and she saw God the Father holding Jesus, encouraging Him, and letting Jesus know that God would never let Him go. After a long period of prayer, K. was aware of God communicating that same thing to her: “I realized that the Father was within me as He was within Jesus. [God] was also holding me: ‘Do not be afraid. You are safe in My arms.’” [2]

I realized as I read these words that God indeed has treasures waiting for me in Ignatian prayer and meditation. (Yes, I have discovered these treasures in the past, at the times I’ve used these practices. But, it is so difficult to keep up the practices…)

How much more do I need to have the Lord remind me that I can also have these kinds of prayer experiences from time to time? Now, Father Gallagher openly says that these kinds of encounters and communication do not happen all the time, or even on a regular basis. But, if I practice Ignatian prayer and meditation regularly myself, I will have these experiences from time to time. What a stunning thing for me to look forward to.

Thank You, Lord, for Your presence with me. Thank You for being available to me when I pray, whenever I pray. Help me to be more regular in my prayer and meditation, please. Just as K. showed in her account, You are ready to bless, to come alongside, to comfort, to encourage any one who might need it. Oh, Lord, help me to pray.

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] Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture, Timothy M. Gallagher, OVM (United States of America: Crossroad Publishing, 2008), 19.

[2] Ibid.

New Year’s Eve/Day Prayers

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, December 31, 2016

people-in-prayer

New Year’s Eve/Day Prayers

This is a marvelous way to use our church doors in prayer in this new year.

Come with me, back to the doors of our sanctuary. We can offer prayer, asking that these doors welcome many visitors during the coming year and that all who come through the doorway be blessed.

I am going to write on our church doors with prayers for all who will come through the doors this year (worshipers, visitors, brides and grooms, parents bringing babies to be baptized, families and friends coming to bury their dead, members of community groups which will use the facilities).

Please, I encourage each of you, each household, to repeat this in your own homes.

God of doors and homes, bless this place (or, home) this year and every year.

Bless all who come and go through this door, both those who live here and those who visit.

May all who enter through this door come in peace and bring joy.

May all who come to this door find welcome and love.

May the love and joy in this place overflow and spread into the community and the world. [1]

 

@chaplaineliza

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] http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2013/11/new-years-day-years-b-c.html New Year’s Day, Including children in the congregation’s worship, using the Revised Common Lectionary, Thanks to Carolyn C. Brown, 2013.

Sad Prayers of Remembrance

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 10, 2016

poppies-in-sunlight

Sad Prayers of Remembrance

The past two weeks have certainly been a roller-coaster of emotion. The Cubs. (Need I say any more, as a life-long Cubs fan?) The United States election. (Whatever your position, or your candidate, this long election cycle has been particularly nasty.) And now, November 11, Veterans Day, right after the anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 9 and 10.

I don’t want to belittle either—or any of these feelings of sheer joy and excitement, or these raw, searing emotions of grief, bewilderment and stunned silence.

Remember. We remember.

However—just in case anyone is wondering why we observe Veterans Day on November 11, we need to go back to Armistice Day, the cessation of hostilities ending World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

Called originally Armistice Day, it is also known as Remembrance Day, when those in the Commonwealth countries (formerly or still associated with Great Britain) remember those military personnel who died in the line of duty. And, just as here in the United States, red poppies are symbols of remembrance. (From Lt. Col.John McCrae’s poem “On Flanders Field.”)

We remember. Many remember or commemorate the horrific happenings of Kristallnacht, where there was such wanton violence against Jews throughout Germany and Austria. Kristallnacht, or “Night of the Broken Glass” was when the isolated intimidation and persecution of Jews in the Nazi-occupied areas became pointed, systematic and crushing. A sea change moment.

Veteran’s Day here in the United States is a day to commemorate all veterans. We pray for all those who have died, in uniform. All over the world. They all had mothers. They all were babies, and young children, and had hopes and dreams and fears. No matter where they came from, or where these people served their military forces. God bless them all. God bless their memory. And, may God’s blessing and care rest on all those who remember, today, too.

@chaplaineliza

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, Beginning and Ending

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 30, 2016

praying hands 2

Prayer, Beginning and Ending

This is an in-between time for me. In between summer and back to school. In between the summer vacation-time schedule and the busier fall schedule. In between, not quite this, and not quite that.

I met with a good friend of mine. I pray for her. She is in an uncomfortable in-between time, herself. Please, lift up my friend. Pray with me for her financial well-being.

One of my daughters is just beginning her school year. Such a busy time for her! I pray for my daughter as she embarks on this last year of school, with all the work that entails. Please pray with me, that she may have focus, yet not forget about fun.

I am concerned about a new friend. She is about to begin a new thing, and she needs continuing support, encouragement, and more prayers. Blessings on her! (And, more prayers.)

Last, I pray for a good friend who has a birthday! What wonderful things birthdays are. Beginning a whole new year, yet in the middle of life. What an opportunity to celebrate my dear friend. God, bless my friend richly! Not only today, but all year long, in every aspect of life.

And, bless my husband. Watch over him, and help him at his work. Encourage him in his personal life. Give us both enjoyment as he and I live life. Help us live life to the fullest, as we are in the middle of things. Yet, just at the jumping off point.

Dear God, no matter where we are in life, whether at the beginning, at an ending, or in the middle, listen to us. Dear God, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@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.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

In Which Friends Host A Bowling Fundraiser

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vienna_-_Demo_Gleiche_Rechte_für_alle_Refugee-Solidaritätsdemo_-_Refugees_are_human_beings.jpg

In Which Friends Host A Bowling Fundraiser

I have a friend, Dilnaz. Her two sons are holding their family’s seventh annual fundraiser on Saturday here in the Chicago suburbs. A bowling fundraiser. This year’s charity is the Syrian Community Network. All proceeds will help benefit Syrian refugees in the Chicagoland area.

It began seven years ago. Pakistan had a drought, and this family wanted to help out, because of relatives there. One of their family friends suggested a bowling fundraiser – interactive and fun! I talked with one of the sons, Sawleh, who will be a sophomore at one of the local high schools. He gave me the background on this wonderful fundraiser.

The first year, their parents helped them with the fundraiser; in the following years, they said “you know what to do.” Sawleh said he and his older brother Mohsin have had excellent mentors. Mohsin said, “All proceeds go straight to the organization. Over the last six years we have raised over $50,000 to help people going through difficulties and challenges throughout the world. “

In past years, Sawleh and Mohsin’s family has donated to Oxfam, Water.org, Unicef, the Zakat Foundation, and IMAN Inner City Muslim Action Network. The bowling fundraiser gets the young people involved. During the fundraiser, there is a brief presentation on the charity of the year. It incorporates simple facts of how we all can help, physically and hands-on – not just writing checks

This fundraiser is a wonderful example of charity. This is the month of Ramadan, and charity is one of Islam’s best and most worthy deeds. Sawleh and Mohsin’s parents Dilnaz and Qaiser are very proud of their sons. The Syrian Community Network will appreciate the funds from the bowling fundraiser this Saturday.

May God bless the bowling fundraiser! I pray that Sawleh, Mohsin, their parents and extended family find much joy and fulfillment as they follow the way of charity, the best and most worthy of deeds. (The link to the bowling fundraiser’s GoFundMe page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/SCNfundraiserMW )

@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

Pray for a Future and a Hope

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jer 29-11 I know the plans I have for you

Pray for a Future and a Hope

With the end of January, I come to the end of prayer for relationships. I look forward with confidence, praying that God will give me a future and a hope. Praying that God blesses my loved ones with a bright future and a shining hope.

But—what about the dark times? What about the disheartening feelings and the desperate incidents? I know they do happen from time to time. (With some people, more often than not.) What then? How do I cope?

I know, I know. (Intellectually, that is.) God is my hope. God is my sure, steadfast anchor. Except—when I’m not feeling it. At times like these, I long for Your encouragement and comfort and care. Lord, please give me an awareness of Your presence with me.

Keep me from losing my sight of You, dear Lord. Help me to continue following You. I know You have plans for me and for my loved ones—plans that are good, and not evil. Help me and help my loved ones to be of service to others and of service to You, dear God.

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

@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

Looking Forward to Mission (Conference)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, July 17, 2015

New Wilmington Mission Conference theme verse for 2015

New Wilmington Mission Conference theme verse for 2015

Looking Forward to Mission (Conference)

I appreciate the book I am praying through this month. I turned to a meaningful chapter tonight, in light of what I’m going to do tomorrow. I’m going to the New Wilmington Mission Conference in Pennsylvania, with my daughter. A gathering of about 1000 people celebrating the mission and outreach of the wider Church. (It is a conference of the Presbyterian Church/USA.)

Praying the New Testament as Psalms brings me a fresh way of looking at the New Testament. I was interested to see what my book for July had concerning mission.

A personally meaningful verse from this modern psalm comes from Mark 16: “Call me each moment to be Your disciple,/sending me out to proclaim the message.” [1] God, You have called me to be Your disciple. Wow. I didn’t beg. I haven’t come to You, pleading to become Your disciple. Instead, You chose me. You called to me, and it is Your wish that I am Your disciple. I haven’t figured out how that all works, but I know it is true.

“Call me each moment.” Yes, it is a sort of a one-time calling. At least, that’s all that is necessary. But You, God, keep on calling. Continuing to call me, urging me to proclaim Your message. You encourage, instruct, serve as mentor and guide. All for me and all for serving You.

I am going to be in the midst of an amazing gathering for the next week. The New Wilmington Mission Conference is a group of people engaged in outreach of all different kinds, to all different communities throughout the world. Yes, the majority of the people who attend the conference very much feel called, in some way. What a wonderful opportunity to receive instruction and nurture to get refilled. How beneficial! I need refilling to continue to proclaim God’s message. This is one sure way for me to get it.

God, bless the people who attend NWMC. Bless the staff, and especially be with all of the speakers and facilitators this week. Give everyone who attends an instructive time, as well as a time to have fun! I know You are planning marvelous things for this week. Amen and amen!

@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 .

[1] Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 140.