Tag Archives: gracious God

Prayers of Thanks and Support

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 29, 2016

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Prayers of Thanks and Support

Ever have a time away or out of state that made you get out of sync, off kilter, or just plain too distracted? Too much going to pray? That was me, during the past couple of days.

Prayer is a good thing. I have not been praying much lately, but I do think it’s a great resource. A communal gesture, and a way for us to communicate with the Almighty. Now that I’ve come back from a visit to the East Coast, I hope things revert back to normal, soon.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank those who prayed for me while I was traveling. Much appreciated! (Now, if we might be able to pray for the Cubs…)

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for a safe journey. Help me to get back into the swing of things and dig into work. Thank You for friends who lift me and my trip up to You. I have a busy month ahead of me, and I badly need Your help. Thanks for everything you do for me, as well as for my friends and acquaintances. I bow down before you on the recommendations, the listening, the miracles, most of which I am not even aware of. Thank You, so much.

What more can I say, God? Except, thank You so much.

@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

Earnest Prayers—for a Sports Team

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, October 19, 2016

 

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Earnest Prayers—for a Sports Team

Whenever I am asked to pray for the outcome of a sporting event, I always agree. Even though—there are always earnest, wonderful people on either side of the match-up, rooting for their particular team to win.

What is up with that? What is that all about?

I realize some people are particularly serious about their sports, and have great loyalty to a team or a town. How do people reconcile God being loyal to one specific team over another? Or, to one particular town, as opposed to all other towns?

The way I have come to terms with that is to pray for a good, clean game. (No nasty penalties! No trash talk!) I pray for everyone involved in the contest to play in a good, clean manner, with good sportsmanship. And, I pray for everyone watching the game to have an enjoyable time.

Yes, of course I have teams I root for. (Personally, in my private capacity as a Chicago-area resident.)

I remember growing up, and living six blocks south of Addison Avenue. Yes, we would take the CTA bus east to Wrigley Field. I learned how to fill out a score card from my father. I spent a goodly number of afternoons (that was before the lights were installed at Wrigley) watching baseball. So, yes. I am praying for the outcome of the National League division series. For sentimentality’s sake, if for no other reason.

Gracious God, I pray that You look with both grace and mercy upon a certain team that has not won a world series in 108 years. Dear God, in Your mercy, hear my prayers. (as a Chicago-area resident, of course.)

@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

A Day in Which I Pray Several Times

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Day in Which I Pray Several Times

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Prayer is what this blog is about. Mostly, that is.

I prayed several times today. And, this evening. Today was the feast of St. Michael the Archangel. I prayed with my online prayer group, www.dailyoffice.org – and then, a little while later, I prayed by myself. Benedictine Rumination, on John 1. I prayed in the afternoon, and then the evening.

Who struggles with prayer? I know I do. Finding time to pray. Finding the words to pray. Your mind wanders or your emotions are all over the place. Or, you’re so competent, and in control, so you don’t need to pray.

What is the matter with all of these difficulties? Interacting with God puts our lives into proper focus. God wants a relationship with us.

What do people do when they finally figure out that there is much in life that is NOT in our control? (Not much is, actually.) There are NO right or wrong answers to these questions. They are to get people thinking about prayer. I try to think about prayer on a regular basis. I really do.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for giving us a way of connecting with you on a personal level. In an intimate way. Help me to draw close to You on a regular basis. Lead me—lead us in Your ways. 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 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, Grief and Peace for Loved Ones

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, September 14, 2016

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Prayer, Grief and Peace for Loved Ones

This is a blog on prayer, and matters of prayer.

I seldom do this, but I would appreciate prayer for an older relative’s family, in another state. A recent death of the senior. I haven’t seen any of the family for years, yet I feel the loss.

Reflecting on John 14:27, it says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Jesus gives me peace. He offers me peace in troubled times, in grieving times. Plus, I can offer that peace to others. Yes, I can grieve. My friends and family can grieve. However, the Holy Spirit has promised to come alongside and comfort. Not as the world tries to distract, but real and genuine comfort and encouragement.

Gracious God, thank You for the peace and serenity that Jesus promised in this verse. Help me to bring some of that peace and comfort to my family. I pray that You hold all who loved my relative in Your everlasting arms of care and concern. Please encourage them even in the midst of their grief and sadness. 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

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

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

In Which I Attend Worship on Thursday

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 21, 2016

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In Which I Attend Worship on Thursday

Thursday is a different kind of evening to have a worship service. An occasional service, at a Protestant church. I am not thinking of a regularly scheduled morning Mass, or a noonday service on a weekday. (For example, at a large church in a busy downtown area.)

However, this particular event was a different sort of service. Outside worship experience, too.

A service that highlighted the middle of things. The middle of summer, the middle of life, other types of midpoints. As Dante might say, midway through this journey of life.

There are good midpoints, not-so-good middles, bittersweet stopping points that are nearer to the end than what is first thought.

What do you think of middles? What kind of midpoints am I experiencing? Are things nearer now to the beginning, or the ending, or do we just not know?

All good questions. Valid, and thoughtful.

I appreciated the prayers, the hymns, the worship. The pastor—a new friend. The others who led the worship. All in all, a meaningful opportunity to gather in fellowship and in worship.

We are all in the middle of things. In medias res.

Gracious God, thank You for being right there, in the middle of things, right by our sides.  Thank You.

@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

PEACE is Compassion (Repost)

This repost gives a meaningful expression of a senior’s personal definition of PEACE.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, February 16, 2016

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PEACE is Compassion

Today’s definition touched my heart.

I read some news online today. I read about a man who robbed a store several miles from my house. I read about a suicide pact carried out by two young people. I read about a hospital blown to bits by a bomb. I read about a family torn apart by a bitter divorce.

I wonder whether compassion might have made a difference in any of these situations.

This word is the definition given to me today by Lill Hutchins: PEACE is compassion.

Lill is the president of the congregation at St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove. She is a thoughtful, caring person. And, she took her time and thought about her personal definition for PEACE for quite a while. Really considered it.

She said to me, “If everyone in the whole world had compassion, there would be peace. People can’t shoot guns with compassion.”

Oh, yes. If individuals had compassion—if they truly felt with the people around them (which is where the word compassion comes from, from Latin com– or with, and pati, to bear or suffer), the world would be a very different place.

It matters less about differences between people when they concentrate on the challenges and difficulties each one must bear. Com-passion. Bear with. It’s hard to be mad at someone you are helping or praying for. If I know that my mean neighbor has a sick child, it’s difficult to be nasty to them. When I realize that nasty village employee has an elderly relative who is terminally ill, it’s hard to think mean thoughts in retaliation. Com-passion. Suffer with.

Something to consider. So, help me, God!

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for today’s definition. Help me to bear with those around me. Urge me to consider those around me with compassion. Help us all to keep quiet and listen to others, hear their stories. And have compassion. Thank You, 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

PEACE is Believing, Not Doubting (Repost)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, February 15, 2016

PEACE is Believing, Not Doubting

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I’m reposting a special post today. One where I feature a father and son. (Sorry, I didn’t have one featuring a mother and child.) Blessings to all those of you who are mothers, act as mothers, or have mothers.

Today is a special day. I am featuring a special family: Joe and Gladys Limmo, and their son Levi.

Members at St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove, Joe and Gladys are an integral part in the life of the church. Not to mention their son Levi! He is precious to the whole congregation, and daily evidence of God’s love, grace and goodness.

I wanted to highlight this wonderful family! And, Joe and Gladys gave their personal definitions of PEACE for this #PursuePEACE project.

Joe’s definition had two parts: first, PEACE is “no doubt.” Second, “but believe.”  Joe said, “What is peace? Peace is ‘no doubt, but believe.’ I have a scripture reference, John 20:24-29. Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you.’ So, peace comes from God.”

Wow! Such a profound truth. Yes, in one of the first post-Resurrection appearances of the risen Jesus, that was exactly what He said. “Peace be with you.” I am sure Jesus’s appearance must have been shocking. I would imagine some of the disciples being scared to death. Jesus must have known He needed to reassure them.

Jerusalem was in a tumultuous time, right after the death of Jesus. No wonder the risen Jesus brought words of PEACE! And belief? Believing is the response to the words of Jesus.

Now, Gladys. Gladys was shy of having her photo taken, although she set right to, writing a definition of PEACE. She was shy to show her definition, too since she says she wasn’t very articulate in her writing. Gladys wrote “PEACE is obtain through God that you can keep within your self and your soul.” Both definitions are strikingly similar. God is operative in both!

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for Your expression of peace. Thank You that You are the way to peace. The Prince of Peace. We also thank God for Joe, Gladys and Levi, and pray that You will draw them closer together as a family. Thank You for your love for the Limmo family, and thank You for your gift of peace that is available to us all. 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

Pray for Peace (in a Contemporary Way) (Repost)

This repost is especially for the Facebook page Pursuing Peace. The meditation and contemplation that goes with yoga is important for me. Deep breathing is also an integral part of pursuing peace.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, February 9, 2016

peace be with you, printed

Pray for Peace (in a Contemporary Way)

How fascinating to contemplate peace. Interesting? Much more than that. Truly mind-altering.

When I consider peaceful thoughts, and meditation on peaceful subjects, my mind slows down to a more manageable speed. My breathing slows to a deeper in and out—slowly, in—slowly, out. I can feel my shoulders and back becoming less tense, more relaxed.

My yoga instructor, Ine, is a retired nurse. She regularly tells her class that the deep breathing and calming relaxation of yoga is beneficial in several important ways—including lowering the blood pressure, assisting in opening up the airway, and allowing the diaphragm to move freely.

That’s how I felt as I read through this prayer from The Oxford Book of Prayer.[1] It is taken from Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship. It’s short enough that I will quote it in full:

“Show us, good Lord,/the peace we should seek/the peace we must give,/the peace we can keep,/ the peace we must forgo, and the peace You have given us in Jesus our Lord.” [2]

Differing aspects of peace, yet all of them can be said to be gentle and quiet. Peace is not often loud and boisterous! Often quiet and unassuming. Take, for example, this short prayer. If prayed slowly, earnestly, from the heart, it will have a good chance of having those calming benefits my yoga teacher talks about. (Try it, and see!)

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for the benefits of pursuing peace. I can see the wonderful reaction peace has on my tense, stressed-out body. Thank You for allowing me to learn more about many different aspects of peace, calm, prayer, and meditation. Help me to be able to practice these several actions, regularly. I know You are pleased when I do! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

P.S. Watch this space for Pursuing PEACE. A Project that is also a listening tour. Listen. Share. Pursue PEACE. Coming TOMORROW for Lent!

@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] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 80.

[2] Ibid.

PEACE: Medicine of Mercy

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April 24, 2016

PEACE: Medicine of Mercy

I was struck by a phrase: “treats [people] with the medicine of mercy.”

Perhaps I ought to back up. I bought a book by Pope Francis called The Name of God is Mercy. I have just started to dip into it, and I was intrigued to no end by something I happened to see there.

This book is a series of conversations between Pope Francis and a journalist, Andrea Tornielli. In the forward to this book Tornielli writes about the centrality of the Pope’s message. So often his Holiness has referred to simple and profound words to promote mercy. “This is the face of a Church that doesn’t reproach men for their fragility and their wounds but that treats them with the medicine of mercy.” [1]

I was suddenly struck with the idea that PEACE and mercy run in similar veins. I do think that if people are considering mercy, why not consider peace, too?

Gracious God, help me to consider PEACE. Help me to be on the lookout for grace, too, which is the other side of mercy. All good things. No, make that all great things. God is gracious towards all of us, which is part and parcel of PEACE. Thanks, God.

@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] Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy (United States of America: Random House, 2016), xi.