Tag Archives: in God’s hands

Hope, Turn Toward God in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 24, 2018

hope - cursive

Hope, Turn Toward God in Prayer

I had the unusual experience of questioning what Father Nouwen said in his book just now. “Only if you pray with hope can you break through the barriers of death.” [1] I did not quite understand what he was saying here. I know I might be believing pie-in-the-sky sort of theology, but I suspect that what Father Nouwen seems to say here goes against what I have always believed. In other words, that if I do NOT have hope, then I am out of luck, in terms of prayer.

That statement, on the surface, goes against everything I have learned of God and of prayer. However, that is only one sentence in this small section on hope and prayer.

Several sentences further down, Nouwen said “When you pray with hope, you turn yourself toward God, trusting fully that God is faithful and makes all promises real.” [2]

Now, THAT I can understand. Praying with hope. Turning toward God. Trusting in God.

When you or I take what we know of God and pray with what hope we have in our hearts (even if it is only a mustard-seed’s-worth of hope), then you—I—we turn towards God. Isn’t that enough? Or, do I need to quantify my hope and my prayers to God?

“As long as there is still hope/There will also be prayer…

And you will be held/in God’s hands.” [3]

This is what I understand. This is what I relate to, and what my heart opens toward. When I open my heart in prayer, when I have even a tiny scrap of hope inside of me, that is enough. God will still hold me in God’s hands of love and caring. For that, I truly thank the Lord.



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), 75.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 76.

Day #23 – Social Media? Share, Like, Pray!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, March 16, 2015

PRAY talk to God often

Day #23 – Social Media? Share, Like, Pray!

Ooo, I could really sink my teeth into today’s suggestion! When on social media, paging through Facebook or scrolling down my Twitter feed, the suggestion is: pray!

Not as much with social media, but certainly with news stories? I have done this on a fairly regular basis, for years. Especially when I am confronted with a particularly horrific photo, or meaningful portrait, or heartrending narrative, I pray. Sometimes I even touch the photo or the words or names of those involved when I pray. And later, when I get up and go away from my computer, the images or names or situations come back to me. And, I pray some more.

To tell the truth, I’ve kept quiet about this aspect of my computer use. It wasn’t something I would trumpet about. Instead, for years, I liked the fact that it was a quiet ministry, an intimate connection that I made with these people and these situations. Sometimes they could be in different parts of the United States. Sometimes in different parts of the world. But every so often, I felt a visceral contact with a person far away.

So much is in the news today. From the cyclone Pam that devastated a Pacific archipelago to the skirmishes with the Islamic State in Iraq, and nearer to home, continued drug-fueled violence, new findings of racial inequality, and a hotly-contested mayoral election in Chicago. Much to pray about! And, sometimes, we just need to leave things in God’s hands.

As today’s post said so clearly, it does not matter whether we are praying for people who are happy or sad, whether our feelings are up or down, or whether we pray for our fellow social media “scrollers and trollers,”

The three suggestions at the end of today’s post are all excellent. Please, pick one of them. And from time to time—as you read social media, Twitter, look at photos on Facebook or Instagram, or read or watch the news—please, pray. God has promised to hear, to respond, to encourage, love, support and comfort. Thank God for that!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

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