Tag Archives: God’s embrace

Prayer: Tears and Anguish

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 16, 2019

rain on window, tree

Prayer: Tears and Anguish

Father Gallagher did not shy away from presenting strong, deep emotions in this book. In the very first chapter, the very first personal story he brings to us relate some of these gut-wrenching emotions.

We hear more from K., a woman who suffered from a stroke some years ago. She had entered into a regular practice of Ignatian prayer and meditation. While on a retreat, she felt drawn to the passion and death of Jesus. She sat with that image, in that space, for hours. She was filled with compassion and terror as she tried to comfort Jesus in His passion. “She desires ‘to tell Him I was there for Him and that I would not leave Him alone.’ K. draws close to Jesus as she prays.” [1]

Her retreat director gently pointed out perhaps God was bringing together the experience of Jesus during His passion and death and her own, as she had experienced years before in her stroke and the long-term recovery from it.

K. then relates her return to prayer, and “scenes of my hospital stay after my stroke so many years before alternated with scenes of Jesus’ passion and death….I cried inconsolably for hours—seventeen years’ worth of tears. God was truly embracing me tightly and saying, ‘Do not be afraid even of this. I am holding you tightly and nothing can hurt you.’” [2]

How intense is this? In this time of prayer, K. allowed God to touch her deeply, in such a significant hurting place. Ever since her stroke, she had placed a certain internal part of herself at a distance from God. For years, even though she had a regular practice of prayer and meditation, K. had erected an internal barrier for protection.

I am so struck by this. What internal barriers have I erected? What messages of God do I ignore? Or, drown out? I can do this in so many ways. Work, relationships, activities, even busy-ness. Any or all of these can be distractions or excuses for allowing God into my life. Forgive me, dear Lord. Help me to desire You, to listen for Your voice and read Your Word. Thank You for loving me, and for drawing me close to You—even when I hold myself at a distance and erect barriers between You and me. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear my heartfelt prayers.

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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), 20.

[2] Ibid, 21.

Praying through Action—an Act of Consolation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 14, 2015

vintage Valentine pink hearts

Praying through Action—an Act of Consolation

What a prayer suggestion for Valentine’s Day! Lo and behold, another surprise. My prayer suggestion for the day was to write a note of consolation and support for someone who has lost a dear one in death or is presently suffering some tragedy in their life, and let them know that God loves them. My goodness . . . not exactly a cheery thing to do on Valentine’s Day.

A dear person immediately came to my mind. I had purchased several cheery Valentine’s Day cards yesterday for several lonely people. Accordingly (I peeked at today’s suggestion a day ahead of time), I also chose a card for this dear one. A number of months have passed since my friend lost a close relative to serious illness. I had been thinking about this dear one several times in the past week or so, and I knew without a doubt that this was why I had been mentally nudged. Because I needed to write this card.

I’ve served as a chaplain for most of the last ten years. I know that significant holidays sometimes are poignant reminders of recent deaths. Even, not-so-recent deaths. Valentine’s Day might not seem so significant at first . . . but if you think about it, you might change your mind.

Consider an elderly parent who—without fail—sends their adult children a sweet Valentine’s Day remembrance each year. Until they are gone. Or, think of a significant other or spouse who remembers their loved one with a romantic Valentine card each February 14th. Until they can’t any longer. Or, what about a growing child, become a young adult, sending their parents a loving Valentine’s Day card wherever they are, in whatever part of the country they happen to be. Until they have an untimely death.

So, I wrote a cheery, thoughtful note on this pretty Valentine’s Day card I bought yesterday. And, I closed with the reminder that God is caring for this dear one and keeping them safe within God’s loving, everlasting embrace.

Dear Lord, please be with all who mourn today, and all those who are missing someone near and dear to their hearts. Extend Your arms of comfort, care and encouragement to all of these dear people, today. Including several of my friends, Lord. In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers. Amen.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

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