Tag Archives: important

Prayer? Of Petition.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 26, 2018

immeasurable prayer power

Prayer? Of Petition.

I often pray prayers of petition. Honestly, I do. I know I “shouldn’t” pray these asking-for-things kinds of prayers, but that’s okay.

(“Shouldn’t,” according to whom? Seriously!)

According to certain people, prayers of petition are not as deserving of the title of “prayer” as prayers of praise. Frankly and personally, I consider this attitude nonsense. So what if I am “trying” to get something for myself? If I make a request of God, I am communicating with God, just as much as if I were making a prayer of praise to God.

Apparently, prayers of thanksgiving are supposed to be more “worthy” of the name of prayer than prayers of petition. And, prayers of praise are totally directed to God, and are therefore the most “worthy” kind of prayer.

All of this sounds awfully legalistic and Pharisaic to me. But, I am just a mere person, not even designated with the title of “theologian” or anything. What does Father Nouwen have to say about this? “The important thing about prayer is not whether it is classified as petition, thanksgiving, or praise, but whether it is a prayer of hope or of little faith.” [1]

Father Nouwen is right when he mentions that the prayer of little faith “is filled with wishes which beg for immediate fulfillment. This kind of prayer has a Santa Claus naivete and wants the direct satisfaction of very specific wishes and desires.” [2]

Yes, I can see why God would not be that wild about such Santa-Claus-prayers. But, when someone is afraid or shy or very young or even filled with naivete, what other kind of prayers are they expected to pray? (Just asking.)

Dear Lord, gracious God, forgive me when I pray those Santa-Claus-prayers. I know I do it, sometimes. When You hear those kinds of prayers, thank You for honoring them—sometimes. Thank You for being a loving Heavenly Parent (which You totally are), telling Your children that You love them, regardless of the prayers of praise, thanksgiving, or petition that they bring to You. Thank You so much, Loving God.

@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] With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 2005), 68.

[2] Ibid.

See Clearly in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 17, 2017

bench-snow-water

See Clearly in Prayer

What a timely reading tonight. The idea that meditation can be seen as a step-by-step procedure makes a lot of sense.

First, concentrate on the breath. Breathe, in and out, Slow down the breath, and relax. The teacher Thich Nhat Hanh assures us if the breath slows and deepens, then we are ready to begin soothing our mind and body.

This does not happen to me all the time, or even most of the time, but I will say that some of the time this calming and soothing happens to me. I do feel more peaceful and relaxed. Then, the idea of seeing clearly is much more possible.

Seeing clearly is so important to dealing fairly with others. (It doesn’t matter “who” the other is.) I want to deal fairly with others. (Most of the time.) Then, as the Buddhist teacher tells his readers, true happiness is within our reach. For certain.

Dear God, thank You for this step-by-step way of breathing, of taking in oxygen in a way that calms my nerves and soothes body and soul. May it continue!

@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

How Should I Then Pray?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 26, 2016

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How Should I Then Pray?

A new year. Yes, tomorrow begins the liturgical year again, with the first Sunday in Advent. That season of hope and expectation, where we wait for the birth of the Christ Child with baited breath. Well, not really. That is, not everybody does. Even in the church.

I feel like I am running as fast as I can, and I still haven’t caught up. I don’t have a chance of catching up. (Alice, I fully sympathize with you in your conversation with the Red Queen.) The turning of the seasons is getting faster and faster all the time.

These two seemingly disparate things are connected. So many people are scattered and fragmented—including me. Pulled in many different directions. It is increasingly difficult to focus on one thing (even when it’s so important, as the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ). That is, when there are so very many things calling for my attention.

Dear Lord, help me to slow down. Help me to sift through the urgent and important, and focus on the one thing that I need. The one thing that gives me nurture and strength. My relationship with You, dear Lord. Help me bring my other needs, pains, joys and concerns to You, too, because then I will not be distracted. Gracious God, in Your mercy, hear my 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

Important Prayer—Earnest Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 14, 2016

candle red

Important Prayer—Earnest Prayer

I heard the horrific news this afternoon. Not on the radio in the car, not on the computer at work. But, from my husband after I got home.

Yes, I admit I thought the news report was some sort of sick prank (of the most twisted kind), when I first heard the news. However, I soon had to admit that this attack in France was even more sick and even more twisted.

I was aghast as I read more and more about the attack and the attacker. And, I pray earnestly for those injured, those medical staff taking care of the injured, the emergency workers and the police who were immediately on the scene, and especially for all those traumatized by this new horror. The families, the little ones, the least of these. All those who were in the midst of celebrating a national holiday in France, and having it interrupted in such an appalling manner.

I pray for all those in great fear and anxiety, right now. Those who are not able to sleep tonight. Those who are mourning lost loved ones. Those who are afraid or angry, Those who are grief-stricken, unable even to move, to go about their daily activities.

This is so difficult. This weighs on me so much. I am running to the One who told us, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.” Just so. Help, Lord. I beg You. Help, Lord.

In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers. #PrayForNice

@chaplaineliza

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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, and Personal Definitions

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, June 8, 2016

Personal Definition sign

Peace, and Personal Definitions

What is your personal definition of peace? What is peace, to you?

I have been gathering these personal definitions together for months. Getting a sample of peace here, a more complete picture of peace there.

Gathering some from here, there, and in every sort of illustration. Here is a quote from the June 7 article by Lee V. Gaines, pertaining to the Peace Vigil in the Chicago Tribune: “Jones said during the months of Lent she also asked her congregation to share their thoughts on the meaning of the word, and then started posting their response on a blog she created earlier this year.

“’People really appreciate my asking them what their personal definition of peace is, what their idea of peace is, so that’s what I’ve been doing,” she said.

“[Morton Grove Village Trustee Janine] Witko said an event like this is especially important given the divisive and polarizing discourse on display during the current election cycle. She said Morton Grove is an example of an incredibly diverse community living in relative harmony.”

I am thinking about all the definitions I have gathered together. What should I do with them?

Still thinking. Asking for suggestions of all of you! Send them to me, please. God willing, I will come up with another great idea.

@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

Pursue PEACE – Harmony, Wholeness, Hope (Repost)

Reposted especially for this group, Pursuing Peace. #PursuePEACE

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Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pursue PEACE – Harmony, Wholeness, Hope

I have been following some sort of spiritual discipline during each Lenten season for the past number of years. As Lent got nearer and nearer, I had not been particularly moved by any special Scripture reading series or prayer discipline, as in years past. However—I have been intrigued by the idea of PEACE for several weeks.

Peace got lodged in my brain, and would not go away. I thought about it more and more, and finally came up with this idea of the Pursuing PEACE Project.

My name is Elizabeth, and my personal definition of peace is harmony, wholeness and hope.

Harmony – I have a bachelor’s degree in music. I have sung in a number of choirs and singing groups, over the years. Music is important to me! Harmony is something I look for, yearn for. Harmony between people, between groups, among families—something I wish to encourage and promote, as much as I can. Doing my little bit.

Wholeness – comes from the concept of the Hebrew word shalom, which means peace. Yet, it means much more than peace! Shalom can also mean whole or wholeness, completeness or safety. A whole basket of meanings! That is what I want from my definition.

Finally, Hope – expectation, trust or desire. (At least, that’s what Merriam Webster says, in part.) I am a glass-half-full kind of person. I have that expectation. I trust that peace is a possibility. I don’t think this is pie in the sky, but a realistic desire.

Even if my part is small, I will be doing something positive, encouraging, and loving in making PEACE a reality. God willing, I am doing my part to pursue PEACE.

@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 Pray for God’s Kingdom

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Matt 6-33 seek first the kingdom

In Which I Pray for God’s Kingdom

I’ve always wondered exactly what I’m praying for when I pray for God’s kingdom to come. (“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”) I’ve been reading bible and theology books for several decades. I do have a bit clearer idea about God’s kingdom now, than I had years ago.

Priorities. I think a good piece of it concerns putting God first in my life. In my work, and my other activities. Of course, it’s not the whole of the meaning of God’s kingdom. Whole books and dissertations have been written on the meaning of that phrase, and considerable disagreement about various viewpoints, as well.

As for me, I would like my life to be a little less cluttered. I think a simpler life would help me to draw closer to God. Yes, work, family, activities and friends are important. Just not all-important. Not like seeking after God.

Dear Lord, this is important, isn’t it? If I put God first, everything else falls into place. Just like a jigsaw puzzle. Lord Jesus, You were right. If each of us seeks Your kingdom and righteousness first—and makes that of primary importance—then “all these things will be added to you.” That is, everything else in our lives gets sorted out. Not perfectly, but You never promised me that, did you? No matter what else is going on, I can seek You. Find You. Walk with You. Thanks.

@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