Tag Archives: Lord

Following the River—Prayerfully

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ireland - Bridges Park

Ireland – Bridges Park

Following the River—Prayerfully

When last we left our prayer narrative, we were right smack dab in the middle of things. Wonderful place to pick things up again.

The next method in prayer and meditation concerns a view of my life. (Or, your life. One’s life. Whoever we are talking about, anyway.) I was told to consider my life as a river, following it as it goes, through the bumpy, hilly, turbulent terrain.

To quote from Margaret Silf: “[The river] carves its way through the earth—hard clay or soft sand—where it finds itself; it finds ways to go beyond the obstructions and blockages that it meets; it may flow underground, forming channels and caves, or it may spread out and water the land around it. . . . [the river] offers space for the flow or resists it; it cooperates with the power of the water or its struggles against it.” [1]

One of the first questions Silf asks is “What kind of landscape has your river flowed through so far?” Wow. That is a big, BIG question for me. Sure, I could chalk out whole episodes in different areas of my life. Sure, many of them were unpleasant. However, I just need to look at things (or people, or ideas) that already strive to make sense of this seeming mishmash of random activities or average stuff or, hurtful people crossing the river of my life.

Imagine your life as a river. What is your river’s path through the landscape where life has set you? Think about it. Meditate on it. Journal about it. Pray.

Great advice. 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 sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

[1][1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 16-17.

Sixth Sunday in Lent – Be Gracious to Me, Lord! Please!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, March 29, 2015

God is my comforter Psalm 56-8

Sixth Sunday in Lent – Be Gracious to Me, Lord! Please!

Reading the Psalm for today, Psalm 56, I found myself plunged into that dark, scary emotional hole. Yet another time. This time, I wasn’t there to stay for a while. I recognized that pit, and I hesitated before I dove in. Yay, me!

Ever have the experience of enemies rising up against you? Fighting against you? King David sure did! Yet, he was able to go to the Lord and take refuge in Him.

I can remember several times when my negative momentum got the best of me, and carried me down into depression. I am glad I didn’t have such serious enemies threatening me, like David did! I praise God that I can count on Him, whenever I need to. As David said, if God is for me, what can mere mortals do to me?

I am grateful to my friends, spiritual leaders and pastors, and especially God. Some combination of them all help keep me centered and spiritually healthy. Thank You, God!

@chaplaineliza

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 .

Day #24 – Chocolate for Everyone? Hmm.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chocolate illustration Credit - Michael Toland

Chocolate illustration
Credit – Michael Toland

Day #24 – Chocolate for Everyone? Hmm.

Hmm. As I read today’s suggestion—giving out chocolate freely, to one and all—I had an initial reaction. And, my reaction was not all that positive. I grew up in Chicago. Yes, I grew up in a decent area on the northwest side, but still . . . some of those street smarts that I grew up with are still inside of me. Still active, when awakened.

Like when I read this suggestion. It has been drummed into my head to be cautious when traversing the city. When walking, or on public transportation. On buses or elevated trains or subways. On top of that, when my children were small, I used to take them trick or treating around the neighborhood, on Halloween. I would be careful where I went–which houses we went to.

So, while today’s suggestion seems a perfectly lovely idea, something deep inside me said, “Nope.” Sure, some people would happily take the chocolate. However, others would toss it. Either on the street, or in the nearest garbage can. (Sorry, but that‘s the way some folks are. Suspicious, anxious, and even mean-spirited.)

Good thing I was attending a conference today! Accordingly, I bought a small bag of chocolates, and passed them out freely. To those sitting at the table with me, during the morning keynote address, to those at the lunch table, and to several people at the afternoon session. Plus, I was able to share about Lent, and 40 positive acts of generosity, and how doing 40 acts of generosity and kindness will have an impact on my church, my workplace, and my neighborhood.

I think I covered it. (How am I doing? Was that accurate?)

So, I hope I communicated about #40acts well. I pray so. Lord, bring those chocolates to those dear people’s minds. Help them to remember about 40 acts. And most importantly, about You, too.

@chaplaineliza

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 .

Second Sunday in Lent – Praying For Myself? Praying For Others.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, March 1, 2015

psalm 130 wordcloud

Second Sunday in Lent – Praying For Myself? Praying For Others.

Here we are. At the second Sunday in Lent. I am bubbling up on the inside like the waters of a spring. Not turbulent, but more troubled.

I read with some interest the readings in the devotional book I have. First, the scripture for today. And then, a selection from Elton Trueblood. A very good brief reading, but I just could not concentrate on it. My mind—and heart—kept wandering away. Wandering toward some matters of continuing prayer.

Lord, I know I am to pray for those who repeatedly come to my mind. Please, Lord. Hear my prayers. I know I need to listen to You, too.

I think of the words of Psalm 130: “2 Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 3 If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.” That lament is exactly what I feel like saying. Except, the psalmist said it first. And, better than I could ever do.

If anyone could pray with me for some continuing concerns weighing on my mind right now, I would appreciate that more than I can say. Thank you.

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 sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

What Can I Give?

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Only two more weeks until the Big Day. Christmas, I mean. Gift-giving, galore. Do I have presents for everyone on my list? My husband? Children? In-laws? And what about those others, the people I ought to give gifts to? Am I feeling little, niggling qualms of guilt because I am not able to give much this year, as I have in years past?

Gift-giving can be such a trap. When people use one-up-man-ship to gain a sort of superiority to others (“I gave a gift that cost twice as much as the gift I received!”), that’s when this whole business of gift-giving needs to be seriously overhauled.

Why do we give gifts, anyhow?

The custom of gift-giving reaches centuries back, before Christianity, to pagan festivals. For instance, Saturnalia—a Roman winter solstice festival—included giving and receiving of small gifts, tokens, or sweets. St. Nicholas (a bishop in 4th century Turkey) gave small gifts to children in December. This custom lessened as the Puritans frowned on excessive celebration, but came back with the popularization of Charles Dickens and his “Christmas Carol,” the increased Victorian celebration of Christmas, and the publishing of Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” All of these caused gift-giving to become firmly established once more.

So, I can give and receive gifts with joy in my heart—not with avarice or envy or bitterness. Another reason that we choose to give gifts? Because—we received the best gift of all, born in the town of Bethlehem—our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Let’s pray. God, thank You for the best gift of all. You wanted to reconcile us to Yourself, and You chose this way to do it. This Holy Child was be recognized as Emmanuel, God with us. Forgive me for not recognizing this Holy One. Forgive me for living a life that does not honor and adore Him as Christ the Lord. Thank You for loving me, forgiving me, and reconciling me to Yourself. Thank You for giving me the best Christmas gift of all. Amen.

“Tomorrow can take care of itself.”

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hi, God. It’s me, again.

I am back considering one of the Gospels, again. I am so intrigued by portions of the Sermon on the Mount. Seriously, Lord, parts of it seem like such common sense! Especially this part. The end of Matthew chapter 6, verses 31 through 34.

God, why on earth do I keep on borrowing trouble? I know, I know. You tell me, in no uncertain terms, not to focus on tomorrow. And I am not to become preoccupied with yesterday, either. It’s like that acquaintance of mine who told me the other day, “It’s like my grandma said: ‘we can look back at yesterday, but don’t stare.’” Lord, ain’t it the truth?

If I get caught up in yesterday, or preoccupied with what might happen tomorrow, I can miss out on today! One day at a time living! Isn’t that what You suggest? Each day has concerns enough of its own. My marching orders from You could not be clearer, from the last verse of this passage. Live one day at a time: today. I want to believe Your promises, where You said You’d never leave me nor forsake me. I do, God! I do believe.

Thanks for the confirmation. Live one day at a time. That’s sufficient. You’ll take care of the rest. And you’ll take care of me, too.

Let’s pray. Dear God, sometimes I really get afraid. Or anxious. Or angry. Or a little bit of all of them. God, sometimes I feel like I’m near the end of my rope, or like my short fuse is burnt almost all the way to the end. Thank You for these very clear words from Matthew, God. You instruct me not to worry. Don’t borrow trouble! Thanks for these straight-forward ideas. Help me remember them. Daily. Even hourly. When I need You most. Thanks again. Amen.