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Cry for Help? Assistance in Prayer from Fr. Nouwen.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April 12, 2015

hearts in hands

Cry for Help? Assistance in Prayer from Fr. Nouwen.

I love Fr. Nouwen’s writings. All of them. I have never read a single page of his that I have dismissed as trivial or unnecessary. So, I was more than excited today when I saw that one of the liturgical daily lectionary texts and readings included several paragraphs from A Cry for Mercy, by Henri Nouwen.

So many sentences and phrases of Fr. Nouwen’s caught my attention. However, I will focus on two particular sentences: “Why . . . do I keep expecting happiness and satisfaction outside of You? Why do I keep relating to You as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded?”

These words make me want to hide under a blanket, or under my bed. Hide myself away from the sight of the Lord, and hide my whole self in shame. And fear, and deep sadness.

I can see where several of the big sins, the Seven Deadly Sins, are trying to horn in here. Overweening pride at being arrogantly self-sufficient, apart from You. Green-eyed envy while trying to juggle many surface or vacuous relationships outside of You. Sloth, that lazy, take-one’s-time disease, which keeps me from honest effort lest I strive to grow closer to You.

Lord, forgive me for neglecting You, Your love, support and encouragement. Help me in developing a closer walk with You. And as Fr. Nouwen says, help me to become Your trusting friend. Please, dear Lord. In Your grace and mercy, hear all of our prayers.


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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Masks? Or No Masks?

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, January 1, 2014

honesty expensive

Masks? Or No Masks?

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players;” – William Shakespeare.

“Are we being true to who we are? What masks do we wear during one day?” – Rich Lewis

My writing associate Rich wrote these words (above) the other day, referencing the Shakespeare quote. Both statements resonated with me, deeply.

Who are we, anyway? I know I have many roles I play each day. Mom, wife, sister, co-worker, friend, acquaintance. Are they roles? Masks? Do I hide behind these facades?

What mask(s) do I hide behind, in my relationship with God? In my relationship with fellow believers? I know certain people who I usually see only at a worship service. Sometimes I see them with their “church face” firmly in place. I don’t really know them. I may attend worship with them of a Sunday, but that’s about it.

And what about God? How often and how much do people try to hide in their dealings with God? People talk about loving God, praising God. Coming before God. How much is honest and true, and how much is a good fake job?

It won’t work, you know. No matter how hard I try, God ends up knowing everything I attempt to hide, anyhow. I want to be honest and open with God. Come before him with a willing heart and open hands. At least, that’s what I want to try to do. So help me, God.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for this new year. Thank You for the opportunity to come before You with an honest, open countenance. Forgive me for falling short in this endeavor. You know me far better than anyone in the world possibly can. And the miracle is, You still love me! Thank You, God! Help me love, praise and worship You in spirit and in truth. So help me, God! Amen.