Tag Archives: intentionally

Benefits of Prayer Practice

be-still-and-know-that-i-am-god-ps-46-1Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, February 19, 2017


Benefits of Prayer Practice

When I practice being aware of my breathing, I automatically begin to relax. I find myself breathing intentionally, and I move more slowly and deeply.

These are all good, beneficial things.

The teacher Thich Nhat Hanh lists several additional, positive things that he sees happen as a result of breathing, meditation and prayer. “Sitting and breathing mindfully brings four important elements into our lives: peace, clarity, compassion, and courage.” [1]

The teacher doesn’t touch too much on either peace or clarity in this reading, but he does mention compassion and courage. I had actually connected compassion with prayer, and loving, outward acts as outgrowths or expressions of concerted meditation and prayer. However, I had not thought about the way courage is also highlighted through prayer and meditation.

Thich Nhat Hanh equates mercy and compassion towards others with a compassion toward myself. He claims (with some validity) that a healthy sense of compassion and care for others translates into the capacity to think, speak and act in a similarly compassionate way toward myself. (And, this capacity does indeed cut through a great deal of red tape.)

The teacher has highlighted a fascinating cause-and-effect relationship. Something for all of us to be concerned about and aware of. Dear God, thank You for helping me to be aware, too.



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] How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 66.

Day #22 – Time to Spend with Others, Time to Pray.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 14, 2015

one another word cloud

Day #22 – Time to Spend with Others, Time to Pray.

As I read today’s suggestion for #40acts, one of the first people I thought of was a good friend of mine who lives a distance from here. In other words, I can’t just run over and see her on a whim. At the drop of a hat. No, since I need to drive a few hours to where she lives, I need to set aside a block of time. Intentionally. Happily, I was able to do exactly that, in December! And, I hope to spend some time with her again, soon.

I enjoy people! I enjoy spending time with them, going places, having good times. But—this takes time. I have some important responsibilities, and—sadly—I have less time to devote to my good friends. (Like this particular good friend I have in mind.)

I know that many people center their relationship with God around money. How much they give—their treasure, and how God can use it. I agree with the author of today’s #40acts post when he emphasizes that time is also an integral part of the relationship with God. How much time an individual spends with God, or for God, or thinking about God is a telling part of how much God means in that individual’s life. And heart.

Spending time with friends and loved ones can be a meaningful way to keep in touch. To show people you care. To express love to others as well as to God.

Yes, both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke state “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This can be true, in terms of money. But as we treasure our time, and hoard up our time, and parcel out our time—this verse takes on a whole new meaning if we think of it in more than in terms of treasure, tithing and mere money.

We can be free and open-handed with our time just as much as we can be free and open-handed with money. Thanks, God, that I already have my mind oriented towards giving You time. For a while, that was mostly what I had to give! Help me to set aside time on a regular basis. This precious commodity. My time. Our time.


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 .