Tag Archives: heartfelt

The Wonderful St. Francis Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, October 3, 2016

prayer_of_st_francis-sampler

The Wonderful St. Francis Prayer

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. On Saturday, I practiced blessing animals, remembering what St. Francis loved.

Today, I am posting the Prayer of St. Francis. I love this prayer. Many, many people quote it, and read it, and pray it on a regular basis. Sometimes, daily. People of all denominations, all ages, all races and ethnicities. People of faith who do not regularly attend church. And, people in the recovery community. All of these, and many more, remember these wise words. Heartfelt words.

It does not matter. St. Francis knew that each of us needs peace, understanding, compassion, and consolation. Here is the prayer.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

(Let it be so, dear Lord.)

@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

PEACE: Pursue Happiness, Flee Negativity

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, August 10, 2016

happiness, grateful, peaceful

PEACE: Pursue Happiness, Flee Negativity

Can you consider another personal definition of PEACE?

But, before we get to that, I need to give a little background. Several people from Morton Grove travelled down to Chicago on Wednesday to participate in a dinner outreach called Give Them a Meal. Run by Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK), what a great opportunity to give back what God shows to us: love and grace.

While there, I looked for another few definitions of PEACE. Here is Damani’s personal definition: “PEACE is when you can pursue happiness and not have to worry about negativity.”

He went on to say, “If you are pursuing happiness, you are not even thinking about negativity. Kids can be at peace, because they don’t have worries like adults do. Yes, innocence. Kids don’t have all that adult responsibility and worry.”

Just imagine. Being as carefree as a kid, and pursuing happiness. Such a heartfelt way of defining peace. Sadly, many people are burdened with a double portion of responsibility and worry. Fear, anxiety, depression, even anger. Yet, God can help us to pursue happiness. As I say, #PursuePEACE. God, may it be so.

@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

PEACE: How You Want to be Treated

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April12, 2016

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PEACE: Treating Others How You Want to be Treated

Another day of listing some special personal definitions of PEACE. These definitions came from my invitation to visit the Muslim Community Center last Sunday afternoon. This was after a lecture. The president of the Sunday school reminded the gathered crowd that I was there to ask the simple question “What is PEACE, to you?”

I am featuring one definition first, but it is unidentified. I did not have an opportunity to speak to each and every person, because so many people gathered around the table where I stood. Several people wrote heartfelt definitions, and left without speaking to me. (It is still an excellent definition!)

A personal definition: “PEACE is when there is a presence in the heart and mind.”

The second definition comes from the daughter of a woman who attended the lecture. The young girl was particularly articulate and earnest.

Ashna’s personal definition: “PEACE is treating others how you want to be treated.”

I thought this was a wonderful definition, especially coming from one so young. I asked Ashna a follow up question, for more information. She responded, “If you’re nice to people they can be nice to others. And, then, to others after that. It can continue.” I nodded, and mentioned that her definition just kept going and going. Ashna nodded again, and smiled her shy smile.

Both of these points of view are so applicable. The first is internal, talking about an inner peace. The second is a mix of both—internal and external.

Gracious and merciful God, thank You for such a variety of definitions! And, thank You for giving people such creativity.

@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

(Thanks to everyone at the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove, for making this week of personal definitions of PEACE possible.)

PEACE: Happiness and Being Safe

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 25, 2016

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PEACE: Happiness and Being Safe

Today I continue to post personal definitions of PEACE. Thanks, Oakton Community College, for allowing me to come in to the space next to the cafeteria and set up a space. And, I am grateful to the Oakton Christian Fellowship for sitting by me and providing a welcome.

Today, I am posting a heartfelt definition from Liz: “PEACE is having a world full of happiness and everyone being safe. Having kids be able to live their full life.”

Liz truly meant what she said. I asked her to elaborate on her definition. She said, “Everyone should be able to be happy. I am afraid of wars, fighting, and people not able to eat three meals a day. PEACE in our world has everyone able to be happy and not fight. Children especially have to go really far to get water, and sometimes any available water is dirty. So many children are in difficult situations. Many children don’t get to go to school in large parts of the world.”

Liz is touched by this heartbreaking truth especially because she wants to become a preschool teacher and director.

What you say you want a safe, happy place, Liz, I understand. Children are our future. God bless them.

@chaplaineliza

(Reminder: I will be posting more from the young people at St. Viator’s High School next week, after Easter. Have a great Spring Break and a joyful Holy Week and Easter celebration!)

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

God, Stir the Soil in Me

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden - credit Kevin Jones

Chicago Botanic Garden – credit Kevin Jones

God, Stir the Soil in Me

I have long had a heart for God. Long had obedience, trust and love been on my mind. I wanted to run after God in my teenage years, but I didn’t know exactly how. (I did struggle through, but not following as well as I wished I had, in retrospect.)

So, as I read the prayers in this section, some of them reach deep, deep down within me. To a much younger me. I cry out, from a distant, deep-down place. Lord, Lord! Here I am! Choose me! Send me! Help me to serve You through service to others!

Yes, today’s prayer is about Obedience. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Will Be Done” (Prayer 267, pages 88-89) [1] There were so many prayers. So many moving words, so many heartfelt cries to You, God! But, I am going to place the prayer I ultimately chose, here.

“God, stir the soil,/Run the ploughshare deep,/Cut the furrows round and round,/Overturn the hard, dry ground,/Spare no strength nor toil,/Even though I weep.

“In the loose, fresh mangled earth/Sow new seed./Free of withered vine and weed/Bring fair flowers to birth.” (a prayer from Singapore, Church Missionary Society)

Ah, stir the soil within me, God! I know Your plowshare must needs run deep. I know—so well!—the ground within is hard and dry, Lord. Please, Lord, I ask—no, I beg—spare no strength nor toil. I realize You must labor over this fallow earth, gracious God. And, yes. I know I often weep at the pain it takes to transmute the fallow earth of my heart and soul into a bountiful garden.

Dear Lord, as You prepare the soil of my soul, in the loose dirt sow new seed. I know full well how difficult it is to break up the stubborn, clay-ey clods. (I know, full well! What a challenge I must be to You, Lord.) Yet, at the same time, You wish to, need to clear away the withered, dry plantings of the past. The weeds as well as the good plants. Just as the lush gardens I see outside my friends’ home, You wish to make the earth within me just as beautiful and bountiful; into a fair garden within my heart and soul.

Dear Lord Jesus, the words of the Gospel for this Sunday are ringing in my heart: “For the Son of Man Himself has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life to set many others free.” (Mark 10:45, J.B. Phillips translation)

Gracious God, I hear You call. Here I am, Lord. Send me.

@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), 88-89.

Prayer for Missionaries? Prayer for Serving.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 11, 2015

pray for the world

Prayer for Missionaries? Prayer for Serving.

This evening, I set out the information for next Sunday’s bulletin. I’ll be preaching from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10. The focus for the sermon is service. And, one particular verse is echoing in my head. (And will probably be the verse I center my sermon around.) Which verse? Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Today’s prayer is titled “Prayer for Missionaries.” It comes from the Scottish Book of Common Prayer, dated 1912. The prayer is about Serving. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 221, pages 76) [1]

This heartfelt prayer brings to mind earnest folks praying in a heartfelt way for earnest missionaries half a world away.

A century and more ago, I know that missionaries often would leave home for many years at a time. The journey there and back again was often arduous, long, sometimes fraught with danger. “Protect them from all perils by land and sea,” indeed. I understand that the mission life was sometimes lonely and often difficult: thus the prayer “support them in loneliness and the time of trial.”

Lord, I realize that whether in times past or today, a missionary needs “grace to bear faithful witness unto Thee.” They need to be endued with “burning zeal and love, that they may turn many to righteousness and finally obtain a crown of glory, through Jesus Christ.” Dear Lord, I know a number of missionaries. I pray this prayer for them, and for their friends and colleagues. I ask that You look with favor on their mission and ministries. I know from Your Word that You “willest all men [and women] should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

I earnestly pray this prayer for all those mission workers I know, and for many, many more. Dear 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

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 76.

“Sole Provision for the Unknown Way”

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, October 7, 2015

path in Ireland

“Sole Provision for the Unknown Way”

Today’s prayer is about Longing. I chose it for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer, and this brief prayer concerns “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 176, page 65) [1]

The prayer I chose for today was written by a Bishop of Utrecht, in what is now the Netherlands, about the year 900. (Thanks to the editor George Appleton for making sure it was translated and readable.) St. Radbod (also known as Radboud) wrote this heartfelt prayer.

Each line is compact, and brimming full of meaning and earnestness.

“Hunger and thirst, O Christ, for sight of Thee/Came between me and all the feasts of earth./Give thou Thyself the Bread, thyself the Wine,/Thou, sole provision for the unknown way./Long hunger wasted the world wanderer,/With sight of thee may he be satisfied.”

Just think. Radbod said sight of Christ came between him and—everything to eat or drink on earth. That doesn’t mean simply a common meal. No, the Bishop mentioned “feasts.” Those are special, sumptuous meals, full of uncommon, fine dishes. And I assume special drinks, as well. So, Christ means more to him than eating and drinking really special foods and drinks.

Could I say that? Does Christ mean more to me than feasting? Usually, yes. But—special, sumptuous meals? Extra-special food and drink? I realize I have a weakness for food and drink. (Yes, gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins I need to be particularly concerned about.) Some of it comes from my upbringing. I know food is deeply, significantly associated with comfort for me. From a very early age.

Moreover, Radbod calls Christ “sole provision for the unknown way.” I am assuming the Bishop was thinking of mendicants or pilgrims wandering through the land. They need no extra provisions, because Christ is enough for them. Christ fills them, satisfies them. With Christ as their Provision, their Companion, they are content.

Am I content with Christ as my Provision? Is He enough for me, or do I need more? And more, and more after that? I know I don’t wander the world very much. I’m pretty much a homebody, in fact. But—I ask again—am I satisfied with Christ, my Sole Provision? Dear Lord, such a penetrating question. And, I have no firm answer.

Gracious God, help me to be content. Satisfied. My “Sole Provision for the unknown way” ahead of me. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear my heartfelt prayer.

@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), 65.