Tag Archives: matter-of-fact

Guard Us with Holy Angels

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 2, 2015

Abraham and the Three Angels - Marc Chagall

Abraham and the Three Angels – Marc Chagall

Guard Us with Holy Angels

Sunday night. Evening Prayer. God, I find myself settling down, just opening this website. The dailyoffice.org has become something I count on. Rely on. I have not made use of it every day. True. I have difficulty staying consistent with any one particular prayer book or prayer practice, for an extended period of time. However, I find I can stay focused on one book or one prayer practice when it just lasts one month. That I can do. And, I have. Since the beginning of 2015.

As I read and prayed through the Evening Prayer for Sunday, I felt especially moved by “drive far from [us] all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace;” I teach a midweek bible study each Wednesday morning. Not only were these prayers moving and helpful to me, personally, but they featured angels. And, snares of the enemies.”

Some background: several of these church members had been curious about the whole topic of angels, for years. They told me about a former pastor at our church, and about several instances where he might have taught further about it. But did he? No.

I have several books on my shelves that go into the topic of angels in depth. Accordingly, I took one that has been quite helpful to me, in the past number of years. And, I spent the month of July teaching on what the Bible had to say about angels. Good angels, evil angels. And Satan. An instructive bible study, to be sure! The Bible assumes the existence of angels. Jesus in the Gospels speaks in a matter of fact manner about their reality—both good as well as evil angels.

So, yeah. I do have a healthy respect for both good and evil angels. As I read the Evening Prayer tonight, I was vividly struck by the reference to both good angels and “snares of the enemy,” which can include evil angels. I praise God that God has triumphed over sin and the enemy in the Cross. Amen!

Dear Lord, gracious God, I come before You in gratitude and prayer. I thank You for the Book of Common Prayer. I thank You for the free use of Bible passages that may be questioned or interpreted differently, today. Lord, help me to pray the daily prayers in spirit and in truth. Thank You, dear Lord Jesus, for Your clear witness to the reality of evil angels. And especially, thank You for Your powerful resurrection from the dead, allowing us to stand firm against all powers of darkness. Protect me and my husband, my family, and all those associated with dailyoffice.org, especially Vicar Josh. In Jesus’ blessed, powerful Name we pray, amen.


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 .

I Want What I Want When I Want It

matterofprayer blog post for Saturday, February 15, 2014

knows you and loves you

I Want What I Want When I Want It

I sometimes have difficulty settling down to prayer. I mean, real, earnest prayer, as uninterrupted as I can make it. Sometimes my mind flits about, from one topic to another to yet another. And that’s all in about three seconds. This has been happening more lately, and I suspect it’s due to having so many things on my mind. However, I have been consistently coming to God. Pretty consistently, anyhow.

Recently, when I was praying in the morning as I customarily do, my mind and my attention began doing the same thing, flitting around. Hop, skip and jumping all over the place. But then, I started thinking about what I wanted. What I needed. I continued in this vein for some seconds, and then I drew myself up short.

Wait a moment! I drew back, mentally, and reconsidered how I was expressing myself in prayer. “I want! I want! I want!” It seemed like that was most of what was coming out of my mouth that morning. Isn’t that the request that most people have in hand, when they come to you? Goodness, I should think that might get pretty whiny, even unpleasant. And then, I turn right around and ask—no, beg is the appropriate word. I am afraid I am also guilty of praying like this, from time to time.

What about when people want things they shouldn’t have? Or, in a related way, what if people ask for things that are wildly inappropriate?

Take my daughter, for example. (It’s been several years since she graduated from college, just to let people know how long ago this was.) Years ago when she was a preschooler, she very much wanted a pony for Christmas. Her father and I lived in an apartment in Chicago at the time, finances were very tight, and a pony was absolutely, positively out of the question. But, how could I tell my young daughter that? How could I give her the very adult, reasonable, matter-of-fact reasons why she wouldn’t be receiving a pony for Christmas?

She was so earnest, so sincere in her child’s-desire for a pony! I knew I had to do something, since her strong desire was lasting for days and days. Eventually, I got up the courage to tell her that there was no way she could receive that pony. I had to be the loving but firm parent, telling her that she would not get her heart’s desire.

God, how often do You have to be the loving but firm Parent, letting me down easy? Telling me in loving but firm manner that I am not receiving a “pony” for Christmas, either. (Whatever the “pony” in my life happens to be.) Thanks for loving me, no matter what.

Let’s pray. God, Your ears are always open, Your arms always widespread. Help me align my will with Yours. Thank You for helping me find innovative ways to approach You in prayer. Thanks for being my loving, heavenly Parent. I appreciate and love You, too! Amen.