Tag Archives: negative

Pouring Out My Soul to God, and Psalm 42

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, July 23, 2017

Psa 42-3 tears, my food

Pouring Out My Soul to God, and Psalm 42

What do you do when you are all alone? Alone, and heartsick, lonely and soulsick. As Bonhoeffer said when thinking about this psalm, he was all alone. Feeling alone can turn a person inside out with sadness. So, Bonhoeffer poured out his soul to the Lord. And, the Lord came to his aid.

Since he was feeling to lonely and alone, he said “the greater will be my longing for the fellowship of other Christians, for common worship, common prayer and song, praise, thanksgiving and celebration.” [1]

While I appreciate Bonhoeffer’s next suggestion, I don’t go along with it…totally. He stresses that his readers ought not to allow heaviness and disquiet to overwhelm the soul. But, sometimes depression overwhelms a person. People sometimes juggle things like anxiety, loneliness, worry and concern.

I know Jesus tells us some things about how to deal with many negative emotional feelings and psychological tendencies. However—sometimes, life gets too heavy, too overwhelming. We might need a little help from our community. We can use some common understanding and caring. God, not only from our families, our friends, and our communities of faith, but from You. I know I depend on You, dear Lord.

Still, from time to time, I do feel all alone. God, please ground me on You and Your help, Your word, and Your promises. Thank You for listening, dear God.

@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] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 57.

Lots to Pray About

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lots to Pray About

Lots to pray about? That is an understatement.

Yes, at my church—in the family of faith I belong to—there are many prayer needs and prayer requests. Even some joys in prayer. However, in the country where I live, there are even more prayer needs. Serious, even agonizing needs.

I feel strongly about these larger, serious prayer needs. There are a number of wrongful deaths that occurred during the past few weeks. I realize feelings are still running high, throughout the country. I believe that prayer can assist. Assist with feelings, both negative and positive. And, assist us even in dealing with horror and agony.

So much fear, anxiety, even violence here in the Chicago area. Added to that, the injustice in the country against many others. When I consider all the pain in the situations, in the lives of the various individuals and families involved, I am saddened beyond measure. I realize that trauma and pain can still infiltrate the feelings of many.

Alone, I sometimes cry over all the fear, horror and pain. But when I join together with others, in relationships, I won’t be as likely to shrink into myself. People will still mourn, but still feel the companionship of others.

Prayer can help in many situations. Others can help to bear the burdens and pain. Please, God, hearken to our prayers. All of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Guard My Tongue, I Pray

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, January 27, 2016

silence is a good answer

Guard My Tongue, I Pray

I can’t always guard my tongue. I mean, I have put my foot into my mouth a goodly amount of times. Perhaps it comes from growing up as a chubby, socially-awkward kid, and turning into a chunky, gauche adolescent. I suspect that has something to do with it.

Regardless, I know I can do better. God would be pleased if I tried to do better. Our words and our speech can be so powerful. I have choices. I can use positive, encouraging words with others, or I can speak hateful, negative words, which would cause lots of people to dislike me and avoid me when I am around. It’s my choice.

I know my words, thoughts and actions all display what is in my mind and heart. If I think respectful thoughts and feel encouraging feelings in my heart, I will be that much more likely to be positive in my interactions. That means my interactions with acquaintances and friends will be affected, as well as my relationships with family and close friends.

What a way to please God. And, it’s a way to be kind, thoughtful, and open to others. On top of that, I think God will be more than happy to help, in this instance. A lifelong pursuit of positive, encouraging words, that build up and don’t knock down.

Dear Lord, gracious God, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

@chaplaineliza

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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pray, Out of the Miry Clay

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, January 25, 2016

 

suffering word cloud

Pray, Out of the Miry Clay

I get sad sometimes. Anxious. Depending on what has happened in my life, and how my emotional barometer is reading, I can get depressed. On occasion, to the point of despair. What am I to do? How on earth can I get out of this?

Psalm 40 gives me some positive steps, and words to match. Not only am I advised to wait for the Lord, but I know God will hear me. God will come to my aid. (Sooner or later. And, I know. Sometimes it really seems like “later!”)

Negative emotions can be the pits. (And, sometimes I can feel like I am in the depths of a horrible pit, too.) If I am not careful, negative and depressing feelings can run away with me, just like wild horses can gallop away, too. Horrible. I don’t even want to think about such things. Good thing I know where I can turn—I know God can help.

Let’s turn to God, now. Dear Lord, gracious God, I pray for me, and for my loved ones. Dear God, I pray against anxiety, anger, despair, depression, and hopelessness, in any of our lives. In all of our lives. Restore to me the joy of my salvation. Restore to my loved ones the ideas and thoughts of positivity. Give us the ability to take the sad or angry or fearful situations we are—sadly—so familiar with, and turn to You. Trust in You. Please, dear Lord, hear our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pray for a Positive Attitude

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, January 23, 2016

glass half full, half empty

Pray for a Positive Attitude

Is the glass half full? Or, half empty? Some people might even complain that their glass is cracked and that the water keeps leaking out. Having such a poisonous attitude has such a negative effect. I know.

Being around chronically negative people had a damaging effect on my formerly-positive attitude. Thank God, I am no longer in regular contact with someone like that, but I remember what kind of down-in-the-mouth effect that attitude had on me!

I can pray for God’s light to shine inside and out. Of me, that is. I can ask God to help me with relationships, and give me a glass-half-full kind of point of view. I’ve had enough with negativity in my life, relationships, and my work.

But, what if I have nasty things happen in my life? Things that cause anxiety, or frustration, or anger, or despair? What if I get a blasted sinus headache, or a dear loved one gets in a car accident, or if someone in my family gets terminal cancer or a massive stroke? What happens then?

I am feeling particularly involved, right now. So much to pray about. So much to be concerned about. Gracious God, dear Lord. Protect my loved ones. Guard all those I hold in my heart. Help all those who feel anxiety, fear, unquiet, rage, despair. Lord, let the peace that passes all understanding guard the hearts and minds of all those in need of a touch from You, right now. In Jesus’s precious, healing name we all pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

In Which I Stay Close To God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jesus baby and Virgin Mary

In Which I Stay Close To God

Henri Nouwen’s suggestion for today? Think more about God. Have a prayer at the ready. Pray “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” [1]

It makes so much sense. (As in, “duh!”)

I know that what I allow my mind to dwell upon is important to my spiritual state, as well as to my prayer life. I appreciate the example Fr. Nouwen gives, of waiting in line at the supermarket. Instead of getting upset or angry because I am waiting too long, I can choose to pray, instead. Moreover, despite labors or losses, despite positive or negative happenings in life, I can decide to look at things from a positive angle.

Instead of letting my mind be absorbed by or distracted by all “the garbage of advertisements,” I can choose to think of God. I “can decide what [my] mind will receive.”[2] I can try to look for opportunities to serve God and serve others. Encourage others, too.

God, instead of mean, nasty and thoughtless things, help me to concentrate on positive things, kind things, helpful things. Thanks for the help, God!

@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

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 10.

[2] Ibid.

Healed of Our Sufferings?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, November 22, 2015

suffering word cloud

Healed of Our Sufferings?

“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full.” – Marcel Proust

When I look for healing and restoration of my sufferings, of my challenges, one of the last places I tend to look for others who will understand. Others who are acquainted with, and know my sufferings and challenges, first hand.

Sometimes, people are healed of the terrible experiences they have had by telling their stories. Oftentimes, people need the nurture and assistance of others who have had similar experiences.

Instead of internalizing my sufferings and challenges—in a negative manner—I can share them in a safe place. And, I can offer to listen to others sharing, in a similar safe place.

This is what telling my story is all about. This is me, remembering. This is me, being supportive, kind, and compassionate.

You or I may have had terrible relationships with other people, in the past. We may be trying to rebuild our relationship skills, even though we may still be thinking of loneliness and fearfulness. It is a fearful thing to be stuck in the past or in the future, stuck anywhere except the here and now.

I am encouraged by my friends and fellows to listen. Be supportive. Nurture, in safe places. I am encouraged by my Higher Power to concentrate on One Day at a Time. Today. Now.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear my earnest prayers.

@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