Tag Archives: matterofprayer

Bring Prayer into My Life

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, April 14, 2018

hands folded in prayer

Bring Prayer into My Life

Going back to the original reason for this blog, I want to pray on a more regular basis. Yes, I realize this is a never-ending odyssey for me, in my spiritual life. Yes, God and I have had many conversations about this lack or deficit, for decades. And, I am going to try again. (Somehow, that quote from Yoda in the original Star Wars movie, “A New Hope,” comes to mind. “No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” )

Dear Lord, taking a snippet from popular culture—and from Yoda (whom I love), I want to do. Not try, but do.

Over the next little while, I am going to read one of Henri Nouwen’s marvelous books called With Open Hands. In this slim volume, he examines his own personal experience with prayer. And as he says, “…could it be that what is most personal for me, what rings true to the depths of my being, also has meaning for others?” [1]

This book is distilled down from a number of conversations with twenty-five theology students. Father Nouwen and the students variously prayed, conversed, and contributed. As Fr. Nouwen says, this book “took form during many hours of intimate conversation, which could possibly be called hours of praying.” [2]

I already know Nouwen’s work. I have read (at various times) five other books he wrote. I am very much looking forward to this one. I know how faithful Nouwen was to his spiritual disciplines, and I pray I can be half as faithful.

Dear Lord, as I embark with Father Nouwen on this journey of prayer, I want to pray regularly. I want to get closer to You. Help me remain consistent. Knowing that Jesus is right by my side every day, I pray all of these things. Amen,



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, 1972), vii.

[2] Ibid, viii.

In Which I Attend an Ordination

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, November 6, 2016

harvest candles.jpg

In Which I Attend an Ordination

A moving, soul-stirring service this afternoon! That’s what I attended.

Let me back up. My church is in the process of rejoining a denomination. I met Megan several months ago, and she is lovely. Not only as part-time associate pastor, but also as chaplain (her primary ministry). Today, she was finally ordained into ministry of Word and Sacrament, becoming the Reverend Megan Dalby-Jones.

Her journey of ministry—and toward ordination—took a number of years. Yet, it now has been affirmed and validated. And, praise God! Megan has joined the number of ordained clergy.

This reminded me of an article I read several days ago, on social media. I follow a few Evangelical websites, and I noticed a headline on of the sites that intrigued me. Accordingly, I opened the post and found a good article with several pointers about pastors. MALE pastors. Exclusively. (Forgive me, guys. But, I respectfully disagree.)

I am sorry. I have been in ministry for over ten years, most of that in chaplaincy. I have had colleagues from any number of faith traditions and expressions. Not only in various parts of Christianity, but also from other faith traditions. I felt nothing but support from them. I enjoyed collegial fellowship, but more importantly, I felt supported as I was chaplain at the hospital. I knew my fellow chaplains had my back, and I had theirs.

It did not matter whether the chaplains were men or women. Or, what faith tradition they came from. We all supported, encouraged and were there for each other—because there were some tough times. As well as good times. Nevertheless, there was collegiality, for sure.

That is what Megan was ordained into, today. Not only chaplaincy, at a wonderful hospital. But, collegiality among other ministers, who do a tough job. And, a good job. Sometimes, a difficult job. But also, a God-filled job. A God-honoring job, too.

Dear God, bless Megan. Not only today, but every day. Bless her in her work at the hospital, as well as her work and worship at her local church. Watch over her and her loved ones. And, grant her abundant support, encouragement, caring, and love from friends, family, colleagues and congregation. Dear God, in Your mercy, bless Megan today.


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


A Reckoning at Year’s End

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, December 31, 2015

Romans 8-28 we know God works chalkboard

A Reckoning at Year’s End

Romans 8:28. Yes, I’ve heard it quoted from time to time. I have purposely not taught it in bible study, or preached on this verse. And, from time to time, I have had serious problems with this verse of Paul’s. Not so much the context, but this specific verse.

Except—Dietrich Bonhoeffer gives me a different way of looking at it.

Many times before, all I could see in Romans 8:28 was either bright, shiny pie-in-the-sky proof text, or dogged, blind belief in a mysterious God who never could be understood. I don’t know quite why, but Bonhoeffer may have given me a way in to the understanding of this verse. He mentions, “I believe that God will give us all the strength we need to help us to resist [greatest evil] in all times of distress. But He never gives it in advance, lest we should rely on ourselves and not on Him alone.” [1]

I appreciate that. I appreciate that kind of God, who respects me as a person, who doesn’t baby or coddle me. And yet, God expects me to use my oar and do my part as part of a team. Sort of like in a yoke of oxen, where one ox cannot do it all.

Bonhoeffer wrote this at the end of 1942. It was more than just a reckoning of the past year, as he sent this letter to several of his closest friends at Christmas. Yet, the snippet I’ve quoted from this moving and powerful letter serves well to close out this year of prayer. This year of journeying through different modes and ways of prayer.

I come to the end of my daily prayer blog for 2015, #matterofprayer. I pray that the various kinds of prayer and meditation I’ve done during each of the past twelve months may have strengthened and encouraged not only my heart, but the hearts of my readers, as well. God bless us all in 2016.


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] God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, trans. O.C. Dean, Jr., compiled and edited, Jana Riess (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2010), 79.

A Look Back at 2014, in matterofprayer

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, December 31, 2014

winter snowflakes

A Look Back at 2014, in matterofprayer

Thanks to all my dear readers! I appreciate you and your faithfulness.

I know that it helps to check the numbers from time to time. I’ve been following the daily readership on this blog, but it also helps to look at the big picture—the macro view. Just to let all my dear readers know, here are several facts and figures on matterofprayer.

In 2014, this blog was viewed about 1,700 times. That’s a lot of views! My viewing audience per day—on the average—ranged from between the low teens to the mid twenties. The busiest day of the year turned out to be November 29th, with 37 views.

Two representative posts with a high number of views were Think About—Talk About—Preach About Prayer, posted July 2, 2014, and Prayer—and Walking the Labyrinth, posted September 29, 2014.

How did people find my blog? People came from a large number of different website, but the top referring sites were Facebook, Twitter, and dailyoffice.org. (Thanks for including matterofprayer in the blogroll, Josh!)

The sands of the hourglass are running out. 2014 is quickly slipping away. But before it completely disappears, I do have a few things to say. I have learned so much through blogging regularly this year. I was fairly quick to come up with writing or an article before 2014 started, but now? Even more so.

I am not sure whether you are familiar with my sister blog, A Year of Being Kind. I started this second blog at the beginning of January 2014. Yes, I succeeded in writing every day. Quite an accomplishment. I have been even more encouraged by the response to my service, my being helpful and kind. So, I am going to continue, except in a slightly different vein.

I posted to matterofprayer about once a week to every ten days throughout 2014, Starting tomorrow, January 1st, I will shift the main focus back to matterofprayer. I’m making an addition to the name, too: matterofprayer: a year of everyday prayers.

So, this will be my primary blog! God willing, I will see what God has in store for me in 2015, as far as prayer is concerned. I wish my dear readers the very best. And, a happy, healthy and blessed new year.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.