Tag Archives: God’s will

God’s Law and Meditation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, June 3, 2017

Exod 20 ten commandments word cloud

God’s Law and Meditation

Dietrich Bonhoeffer had some fascinating words to say about the Ten Commandments. Just two paragraphs are quoted in this chapter of Meditating on the Word, but they give us a glimpse of what Bonhoeffer was thinking. “It is grace to know God’s commands,” he said.  Knowing God’s commands—God’s laws—helps us to understand conflict. What is more, God’s laws help to set us free from “self-made plans.”  Intriguing!

Of great important is the beginning of the commandments, for we are messing up that relationship in Exodus 20. “I am the LORD your God.” According to Bonhoeffer, the “I” of the commandments is the Almighty God, and we are called into intimate relationship with God.

When we break one (or more) of God’s commands, the rules are not just of human origin. Bonhoeffer reminds us that we transgress against God. We break God’s commands in our disobedience, not mere human ones, and it is serious, indeed.

If we add to the law God is certainly in charge of, we see Bonhoeffer’s amazement; God dispenses grace through the Ten Commandments, as well. The Ten Commandments ”are not detachable, as if we could  somehow separate God’s will from God Himself.” [1]

God’s grace comes to us from God’s word. This—Exodus 20—as   is as surely God’s revelation as punitive sections of the Mosaic Law as well as many of the Prophets and their writings. God is revealed with mighty power throughout this interaction.

Dear Lord, help me to understand Your abundant grace. Even in the midst of diversity. Dear God, thank You for being on our side, with grace, with love, and with Your open arms of compassion and forgiveness. In Your mercy, hear us as we pray.

@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] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 13.

Looking for Peace, the Olympic Way

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, August 20, 2016

olympic-peace

Looking for Peace, the Olympic Way

As I finished up with the personal definitions of PEACE I receiving from the good people in the Englewood neighborhood, I couldn’t help but think of current events. Yes, the south side of the city of Chicago does have crime, and shooting, and even killing. Similar to parts of Rio do Janeiro, where the Summer Olympics are being held right now.

The history of the modern Olympic movement is something I learned about when I was in elementary school.) It must have been in the early grades, because my memories of this material go really far back.)  The Olympic movement is based on the vision of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. He promoted certain values. These values continue to inspire what is known as the Olympic tradition.

The Olympic values of de Coubertin—the ideals of respect, fair balance, pursuit of excellence, joy in effort, and balance between mind, body and will—these are all important. To be reached for by all Olympic participants.

Just as these values were (and are) all important for Olympic competitors, so is the goal of peace. De Coubertin wanted to “build a more peaceful world by educating the young in a spirit of understanding.”

The Olympic Games will end tomorrow. Another four years to contemplate these wonderful values and ideals.

Each four years, at each Olympic Games, those ideals and values are stressed again. Plus, those ideas and values match so closely with Jesus and His values and ideas. May we follow Jesus and the values and ideals that please God, not people. May we follow God’s will and God’s way. 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.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

In Which I Take Advice. Or Not.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 13, 2015

sunset footprints

In Which I Take Advice. Or Not.

This daily meditation and prayer book, Keep It Simple, really hits me between the eyes, sometimes. Like today, for example.

This book is written to help alcoholics and addicts in recovery. Each of the twelve months of the year has a different focus. Since November is the eleventh month, we reflect and meditate on Step Eleven from the Twelve Steps of recovery. (Step Eleven is: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.”)

Back to today’s reading. It is all about learning things the hard way.

I come from a family of extremely stubborn people. I am stubborn. I am married to a stubborn person, and his family is extremely stubborn. I have stubbornness all around me. Yet—this reading lets me know that taking advice is a good thing. Beneficial, positive.

I am also reminded of the recovery definition of insanity: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” Sure, I can be extremely stubborn. I can go my own way, not listening to anyone. Not following anyone’s advice. And, I can lose opportunities. I can lose friends. I can lose work. I can lose all kinds of things and relationships.

But the other side of advice is this: “We don’t have to use [the advice we get.] But if it comes from people who love and understand us, we can try to listen.” [1]

Dear Lord, gracious God, I am trying to listen to You, each and every day. Help me listen. Help me hear clearly. And, help me help others to listen, too.

In Jesus’s name we pray, 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] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 13 reading.

Prayer Guide to Simple Serenity

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 2, 2015

Prayer Guide to Simple Serenity

sunset footprints

“ … praying only for knowledge of [God’s] will for us and the power to carry that out.” – Second half of Step Eleven.

My will? My will is often “self will run riot,” as one of the common sayings in recovery goes. Isn’t that the truth? Who else can admit that? Left to myself, my will—my ego—my hubris can get me in trouble faster than a speeding bullet.

So, how do I start to repair my mixed-up will? I pray for God’s will to help me. I pray for the power to carry out God’s will. The next right thing, the next loving thing. This course of action will bring me to God’s will. And, as my reading for today tells me, “God’s will guides us to simple serenity.”

Ah, serenity. So many people wish for it! And, so few people actually get it in their lives.

The rewards of serenity, sobriety and friendship are great. I have the opportunity to offer God’s care and encouragement to others, instead of hiding out in my own room. I have the possibility of sharing myself and my life with God (or, as some in recovery might say, my Higher Power).

Dear Lord, gracious God, Step Eleven has such wisdom, and such common sense. Help me to follow the path laid out for me through Your gracious support and encouragement. Help me to do the next loving thing.

@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

Focus, Center on Potter. And Pray!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, September 21, 2015

POTTER You are the Potter

Focus, Center on Potter. And Pray!

Wow. I mean, really wow. (That was different!)

The Name of God I chose was taken from the Book of Isaiah. My word—Name of God for today is Potter.

I especially gravitated toward this Name to use with Centering Prayer, since the idea of God as Potter has been meaningful to me for a number of years. Yet, once I started praying and meditating, I immediately began to pray for several people. And, I mean strong and deep intercessory prayer. For one person, primarily, although also for two others, as well.

Instead of resting in God, and resting in the Name I had chosen, I found myself praying for these dear ones.

I guess the intercession was important. I hadn’t realized how important it was until I started to contemplate God as Potter. God molding, shaping, with infinite skill and craftsmanship. It was then that I thought of these three dear ones. That was the first time in all of these days since October started that I felt strongly called to intercession during my time of Centering Prayer.

After I began to pray for these people, I thought I may as well pray for myself. So, I began to ask God to shape me, mold me after God’s will. Do with me as God wills. Take away my bondage to self, and allow God to work through me, in me. Use my hands, my feet, my lips and tongue, my fingers on the keyboard, the wheels on my car.

Yes, I realize this is not quite the quiet, focused Centering Prayer I strive for. I really try to be more meditative and less wordy. (Lord, You know how much of a challenge this is for me!!) However, this was the kind of prayer I ended up having today, for the time I set aside with God.

Thanks, God, for the worthwhile prayer time we had together. I know it wasn’t what I had originally planned, but that’s okay. That’s more than okay. It was the prayer time that I was led to, and there was some free and clear communication from me to You. Thank You! I am so happy it worked out like it did. Amen, Lord.

@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