Tag Archives: lectionary prayer book

Life-Giving Spirit? To This Mortal Body?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MISSIONS globe

Life-Giving Spirit? To This Mortal Body?

I really like the Apostle Paul. I have, for several decades. Even though he has complex, even difficult-to-unravel sentences in most of his letters in the New Testament, I still enjoy his deep thoughts and his logical, step-by-step thought-progressions. Except—not so much, now. I mean, I still appreciate his deep thoughts, but they are not exciting me quite as much as they did in the past.

Right now, I find I crave the simplicity of the Apostle John. How he could frame such profound thoughts using such spare vocabulary (especially in his letters) is remarkably stunning. Then, too, I find myself turning to the stark, almost journalist-style of Mark. (“Just the facts, ma’am.”) These two New Testament authors are my current faves (to borrow the vocabulary of my college-age daughter’s acquaintances).

However . . . the liturgical lectionary prayer book has listed a reading from Romans 8 for today. Back to Romans for me, I fear. Away from John, and back to the complex sentence structure of chapter 8, verses 1 through 11.

All right, Lord. I really, earnestly am trying to find what riches You have for me in this passage today. I am drawn to verses 10 and 11. The Holy Spirit as a Life-giver? That resonates with me, deeply. Yes. Today is also Earth Day, a day when a large part of the western world is celebrating the Life-giving nature of our planet. In Genesis 1, the Holy Spirit, the Ruach ha kodesh was hovering over the waters. Breathing life into the world as that Life-giving breath/wind/spirit, so foundational to all created beings.

How much more simple can we get? The Spirit of God long ago moving, hovering over creation. The Spirit of God, breathing life into this mortal, sinful body. These mortal, sinful bodies. Through the power of God Almighty, the power that raised Jesus from the dead, that same power is also giving life to me. To us. Can Paul get any more profound and basic than that? I think not.

I need to pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, all I can say is thank You. Thank You for everything. I fall on my face before Your awesome power and majesty. Dear Holy Spirit, thank You for breathing life into the world, and for breathing life into me. Into us. Thank You. Alleluia. Amen. Praise God.

@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 #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Cast My Cares on the Lord? Oh, Yes!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

God my child, you worry too much

Cast My Cares on the Lord? Oh, Yes!

I hear about cares and concerns. Oh, yes. Certainly, I do. Familiar from my former position as a hospital chaplain, as well as my current position as a small church pastor, I very much serve as a listening ear to individuals.

Imagine my pleasure at discovering the reading from the liturgical lectionary prayer book for today: 1 Peter 5:1-11. This passage is chock-full of quotable verses, for a number of different reasons. However, my eye fell on verse 5:7. I have committed that verse to memory, and for me t actually try to do that, the verse must mean a whole lot. (I have difficulty memorizing things. I’ve spoken about my problem in several other blog posts. Suffice it to say that I have problems due to some disability from a former health difficulty.) So, I particularly wanted to commit this verse to memory.

“We can surely accept our Lord’s invitation, indeed His command, to cast all our cares upon Him and let Him care for them.” This quote from Simon Tugwell, taken from this lectionary prayer book, helps me to understand more what others think about this verse. God doesn’t want us to be hurt, or sick, or in need. But—it happens. All we need to do is accept our Lord’s invitation. (Well, yes, it is written as a kind of a command. Which I, as a Christian, ought to receive.)

Dear Lord, gracious God, this verse has great advice for me! Now, if only I would listen more carefully. To see You more clearly, love You more dearly, follow You more nearly. Gracious God, help me to care for You, then others, and me last. 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 #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

God, Reveal Your Presence. Please.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April 19, 2015

cherry blossom path

God, Reveal Your Presence. Please.

It has been a week. It seems like almost every day in this past week has had 30 hours crammed into it, instead of just 24.

I opened to the page set aside for this week in my trusty liturgical lectionary prayer book, and I saw the readings for today. Yes, great readings! I used two of them in my sermon for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, this morning.

However, what caught my eye and impressed itself upon my heart was the brief opening prayer for this week’s meditations. “Come now and reveal Your presence to me as I make myself present to You.”

I know these probably sound like/are first-world problems, but my life has been filled with them all, this past week.

I had a bunch of days where my hours were jam-packed, crammed with things to do. Moreover, in the middle of the week, I had stomach flu. (I blogged about it.) So, I found myself running to keep up even more frantically. My home land line has periodically been out of service, so no Internet connection at home. (Hello, friendly neighborhood coffee place!) Plus, someone cancelled at the last minute before a big presentation. I had to go to Plan B—and I wasn’t quite sure what Plan B was until just the night before. Added to everything else, on Thursday night I heard about the recent death of a friend. Last weekend.

Oh, my dear, loving God, how I need Your presence! I needed it before, and I want it, right now! Help me to be present to You. (And some patience would not go amiss, either.)

I am afraid. Uncertain, anxious, angry, hesitant, even forgetful. All in the space of five minutes, even. I need Your everlasting arms around me. Please, Lord. Reveal Your presence to me.

Please. And, thank You. Amen.

@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 #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .