Tag Archives: loving God

Compassion, Born of Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 21, 2018

compassion, cursive

Compassion, Born of Prayer

“If your compassion is born of prayer, it is born of your meeting with God who is also the God of all people.” [1] Wow. Father Nouwen certainly has a way of hitting his points home. And I mean, hitting me right between the eyes.

As the election and campaign rhetoric here in the United States heats up more and more, I notice the opposing parties becoming more and more nasty. I have even seen some candidates use inflammatory language toward others who have different skin color, or countries of origin, or the opposite side of the train tracks. Would Fr. Nouwen’s definitive statement (quoted above) inflame matters even further?

As I read this page, Henri Nouwen clearly states that when his readers “fully realize that the God who loves you unconditionally loves all your fellow human beings with the same love,” [2] then and only then does a new way of living open to any of us who have this realization.

Alas, as sinful, fallen humans, we can be terribly nasty to one another, and even get violent. The precise reasons why do not matter. It is the inner garden of love—that of intimate prayer—that Fr. Nouwen talks about. Hiding and skulking does not do any good. Unless you and I take the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with meeting God intimately in prayer, we could quite possibly miss this marvelous chance. We could completely miss this intimate relationship that God offers freely, to anyone who opens themselves to God.

This intimate conversation with a loving God, therefore, “means a simultaneous conversion to the other persons who live with you on this earth.” [3] Fr. Nouwen reels off a varied list, among whom are the worker, the prisoner, the farmer, the sick, the oppressor, the oppressed, the patient and the healer—in short, just about any person you might think of. In other words, ALL people. Every person. God is a God for ALL people.

I pray for all people who are divided, in terms of politics, at this election time of the year. I pray that people may rise above the division and the inflamed rhetoric, and seek the face of God. I pray that we might fully realize that God is, indeed, a God for ALL people. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

 

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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), 94.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 95.

Prayer, Relationships, and Finances

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, January 3, 2016

Jer 29-11 I know the plans I have for you

Prayer, Relationships, and Finances

Finances are the very devil, sometimes.

Between worry about where finances are coming from, complaints or disagreements about where the money is going, and awkwardness concerning spending, saving, and general consumption of available finances? Yes, I would say money can be the very devil. Sometimes.

That’s why I want to pray for relationships and finances.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for helping us to be good stewards of all You have given to us. Encourage each of us to be honest, open and willing with all that we have and are—in terms of time, talents, and especially treasure. All we have and are comes from You. Thank You, from the bottom of my heart.

Lord, I ask that You provide for all of our needs. You know how desperate some of them are. Especially in times of such uncertainty of many different kinds, give us wisdom and understanding with finances. I praise You for Your loving-kindness, mercy and grace extended towards each of us, especially for those who are crushed with uncertainty, anxiety, debt, illness and unemployment. Dear Lord, give comfort where it is needed, and help to those who are hopeless and sinking. Gracious, loving God, in Your mercy, we earnestly pray. 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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

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

prayer to God as I understand God

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

Today’s reading hit the bull’s eye. Pray. That’s it. Pray for help from God as you understand God. That’s it. [1]

Yes, as the reading today instructed, I can pray that I come to know the Twelve Steps better. And, you and I both know that I wrote a year-long blog about being helpful and being of service. (365 days of being helpful!)

I try to be a good example. I want others to know that if they need anything, they can call on me. I will do my best to get them help and assistance.

Now, there is one caveat. One presupposition, if you will.

I need to believe in a loving, caring God, a God who is intimately involved with all of the humans in the world. A God who will come alongside those who are struggling, and assist. No matter what. (It’s a good thing that I do believe in such a loving, caring God.)

A distant, neutral, even vindictive Higher Power? Sorry, but I cannot pin my faith to some old acquaintances, or in some dinky understanding of an HP. Much less to an arbitrary God who doesn’t even care whether I live or die.

I appreciate the Action for Today from today’s reading: “Today, I’ll admit my needs by praying for help from my Higher Power.” So be it. 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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 16 reading.

They’ll Know—By Our Love

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, July 15, 2015

LOVE one another John 13-34

They’ll Know—By Our Love

Loving God. What’s more, showing that I love God. How? By loving others.

This book Praying the New Testament as Psalms has quite a number of adaptations of different passages from Scripture. The verse in the modern psalm that particularly moved me tonight came from John 13. “By the love I have for others/let me be recognized as a disciple of Jesus.” [1]

Yes, the Gospel of John has a tremendous number of verses showing love, and caring, and faith. However, showing that we love God (as described in John 13) immediately brought another passage from the Gospel of Mark to my mind.

Mark describes the situation with the Greatest Commandment, found in Mark 11. The man asked Jesus: “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

This guy gets it. Whatever he did with the rest of his life, he understood what the Rabbi Jesus was sharing here, with this statement. And, he even knew that loving God and loving others held so much importance. Even more importance than burnt offerings and sacrifices.

I wonder, Lord, how many people in Jesus’ day really understood why He came? I wonder, Lord, how many people realize why Jesus came—today?

Dear Lord, help me to follow You. (That’s the main thing. The important thing.) And, this second request is much more secondary; but if I am to be recognized by others for following You, help me always to point to You. Amen, and 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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 126.

Love One Another—in Prayer?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, April 8, 2015

LOVE one another John 13-34

Love One Another—in Prayer?

You know how something just jumps out at you, and grabs your attention? That’s how it was with me and a couple of verses from the liturgical daily prayer book. Earlier, I read an extended passage from John 13. Yes, I appreciated parts of this whole passage. However, verses 34 and 35 made a particular impact on me.

Our new command from Jesus? Love one another. By this, everyone will know that we are Jesus’ disciples.

Gosh, I guess people have been messing that one up for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Just recently, I talked with a good friend of mine in another state. She told me about a medical situation with an older relative, and another family situation where things might change pretty drastically. Both are things my friend needs prayer for! (As well as her family, too!)

I know that God is listening, sure. But, I also understand that this command to love one another gives many people a belief structure to grab on to. Loving God is in a vertical direction, it’s true. However, loving other people is very much on a horizontal plane. Praying for my friend and for /her family is a loving thing to do, for sure!

What is loving? How do people show love God’s love today? Dear Lord, gracious God, help me pray for my friends and acquaintances when it is needed. Lord, thanks for the blessings You give to us each day. You are so generous to each of us, one day at a time. Each day, each night. Thank You for Your wonderful example. Help me—help us to let others know we are Your followers.

@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 .