Tag Archives: NAMI

Gentle Whisper? Or Something Stronger?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, September 9, 2015

whispers of God

Gentle Whisper? Or Something Stronger?

Sometimes God is a Gentle Whisper. And, sometimes God is much stronger; much more powerful.

My word of the day for Centering Prayer? My word—Name of God for today is Gentle Whisper. This Name of God comes from 1 Kings. But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

As I prayed and meditated and centered using this soft and gentle Name, I had the sudden impression that sometimes I can’t even hear the Gentle Whisper of God. Sometimes, I need a two by four to the head to even get my attention. (Metaphorical two by four, of course.)

Currently, I am considering and talking to people about depression, anxiety, and suicide. I have a friend who is affiliated with NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and yesterday I attended a luncheon where she was the featured speaker. Her brief presentation was a great beginning step for some faith-based organizations to get involved.

But, because of this focus and because of my earnest support and encouragement, I am feeling a bit fragile myself. As I prayed with this Name, I could feel the Gentle-part of this Name penetrate my being. Yes. I needed that, Lord.

I looked at 1 Kings 19:12 after I prayed, and I was reminded that Elijah probably had difficulties with mental issues. (A former colleague of mine, a psychologist known for his work with suicide and mental illness, has published articles and book chapters on this very subject.) I suspect that God knew exactly what Elijah needed at this fragile time in his life, too.

I have problems hearing Your Whisper. Sometimes. And, I still willingly say that I do react more quickly to a two by four to the head, sometimes. Even though it isn’t at all pleasant, sometimes I do require that kind of wake-up call. However You communicate with me, Lord, You know the best way to reach me. Thank You especially for Your Gentle Whisper.


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Prayer When All Looks Dark

matterofprayer blog post for Friday, September 5, 2014

PRAY joyful, faithful in affliction, faithful prayer

Prayer When All Looks Dark

Dark clouds, black as night! But it’s the middle of the afternoon . . .

We had a cloudburst here in the Chicago area today. This afternoon, to be exact. I sat in my office and watched the torrential downpour happen for some twenty minutes.

Before the rain started, I could look west and see the clouds roll in. The dark clouds, almost black, heavy with rain. The trees and bushes rustled, waved in the rising wind. Then, twisted and turned. Drops started to fall. And then fall harder. In less than no time, sheets of rain pounded the pavement outside my window.

Isn’t that the way it is, sometimes? I mean, life. “It never rains, but it pours,” is one old saying I remember. Things pile up. Or, pile on. In a very short amount of time, sometimes, life becomes too full. Too chaotic. Too much. Too deep. What then?

Is God around? Can God hear me? Does God even care about me?

Torrential downpours happen in many people’s lives, not only affecting them, but affecting their loved ones, too. Sure, when employment or school or family situations crop up, that can be devastating. But, when emotional or psychological issues rear their heads? That can be even more traumatic. Because people often frown upon what they consider signs of weakness or ineptness. Tendencies toward isolation or depression or anxiety.

Yes, God is our ever present refuge and strength! Please, don’t forget this! God will be our very present help in times of trouble and need! God is always ready and willing to be there for us! But just as we go to doctors when we have a broken arm, or call an appliance repair person when our refrigerator needs fixing, so there are good people, trained professionals who are ready and willing to help with psychological and emotional needs, too.

That downpour in our lives can be stopped. You and I can get on the road to better psychological, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. (Often, physical health can be a concern, too. Check on it, too.)

Today is September 5, 2014, the day after NAMI’s annual conference in Washington DC marched on Capitol Hill and launching an outreach on social media, including Twitter and Facebook. (#Act4MentalHealth) Thus, I am encouraged to open up, writing about my difficulties with depression. I am speaking out with my message of walking through the dark places, and coming out the other side. God willing, many people will speak out. Not be ashamed.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, we thank You for being our refuge and strength. We ask that if we know anyone who is having difficulty with a downpour in their lives, than You help us to be a support and strength to them. Thank You, God, for loving us. For caring for us. And, for giving us Your comforting presence, no matter what. Amen!

For more information, here’s NAMI’s website: http://www.nami.org/

NAMI’s contact information: NAMI, 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, Va 22203

NAMI’s telephone numbers: Main: (703) 524-7600, Fax: (703) 524-9094, Member Services: (888) 999-6264, Helpline: (800) 950-6264


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net