Tag Archives: masks

Prayer: Restoring Relationship

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, October 4, 2018

relationship, definition

Prayer: Restoring Relationship

People get all kinds of ideas about prayer. What prayer is, and what prayer is not. Good ideas, not-so-good ideas, off-the-wall ideas, and on-target ideas. Father Nouwen had some excellent ideas about prayer himself.

In this evening’s reading, I was amazed to read that “To pray means to stop expecting from God the same small-mindedness which you discover in yourself.” [1] Oh, my. How true that is! I am somewhat ashamed of having to admit that. (Well, all right. Downright ashamed, actually.)

How could Father Nouwen know me so well? Sometimes, his words hit home in a new way, or in a way that seems sadly familiar.

But, wasn’t he just speaking to the human condition? Don’t I simply have that same human tendency? And sometimes, more fallible and more fallen than others? Even though I try and try to pray, walking in the full light of God, I definitely am fallible. Isn’t sin simply separation from God? Mea culpa, dear Lord.

Nevertheless, Father Nouwen does not leave us in that desperate, sinful state. Sure, we are sinful. Yes, I admit that. Yet, he lets us know that God is faithful. God will be there, for us and with us. God with show up, even when we do not deserve it.

What is it that God wants most of all? The Lord wants a restored relationship. Not just a surface subterfuge, “hi, how are ya?” said wearing a nicely-nicely mask on my fallen face. But, that is me, and my side of the argument. Or, prayer.

What about God? What does God want out of this special time of prayer? (Yes, God wants every time to be a special time, every conversation to be intimate.) The Lord dearly wants a restored relationship. I do not know why, since I am a sinner, and therefore are unable to get over my sinful self. Except—that does not matter to God.

Our Lord wants a restored relationship, even though a deep-down propensity of sin causes people to fail. Fail God, and fail themselves. What a wonderful thing to discover that God wants a restored relationship, too? God’s arms are open wide. We are all welcome in God’s arms. From the Lord’s viewpoint, we are all God’s best friends. Praise God.



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), 90.

Masks? Or No Masks?

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, January 1, 2014

honesty expensive

Masks? Or No Masks?

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players;” – William Shakespeare.

“Are we being true to who we are? What masks do we wear during one day?” – Rich Lewis

My writing associate Rich wrote these words (above) the other day, referencing the Shakespeare quote. Both statements resonated with me, deeply.

Who are we, anyway? I know I have many roles I play each day. Mom, wife, sister, co-worker, friend, acquaintance. Are they roles? Masks? Do I hide behind these facades?

What mask(s) do I hide behind, in my relationship with God? In my relationship with fellow believers? I know certain people who I usually see only at a worship service. Sometimes I see them with their “church face” firmly in place. I don’t really know them. I may attend worship with them of a Sunday, but that’s about it.

And what about God? How often and how much do people try to hide in their dealings with God? People talk about loving God, praising God. Coming before God. How much is honest and true, and how much is a good fake job?

It won’t work, you know. No matter how hard I try, God ends up knowing everything I attempt to hide, anyhow. I want to be honest and open with God. Come before him with a willing heart and open hands. At least, that’s what I want to try to do. So help me, God.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for this new year. Thank You for the opportunity to come before You with an honest, open countenance. Forgive me for falling short in this endeavor. You know me far better than anyone in the world possibly can. And the miracle is, You still love me! Thank You, God! Help me love, praise and worship You in spirit and in truth. So help me, God! Amen.