Tag Archives: positive

Prayer. Meditation. Wisdom.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, January 22, 2017

water-lilies-mindful

Prayer. Meditation. Wisdom.

I still have difficulty praying and meditating on a regular basis. Yes, I have had this blog for many months. I strove to be faithful in prayer and meditation for many years before. (Lord, You know I have.) And still, I struggle.

Yet, when I do pray and meditate—on occasion—I can feel the peace and serenity of God come into my heart and mind. Marvelous feeling! (Even when I do not feel the sense of the presence of God surrounding me, much.)

Plus, every now and then, I gain insight, or wisdom, from the prayer and meditation. Every now and then, I find I have discernment that I did not previously realize was there.

See, when we pray and meditate, sometimes long-held internal ideas of resentment, fear, anger, despair and hatred are quietly transformed. In some cases, relationships with other people and with nature can be transformed, too.

When I become aware of this—this discernment, this wisdom beyond myself, I am filled with wonder. How amazing that negative ideas and qualities can quietly transform. As I continue with the prayer and meditation on a regular basis, positive things begin happening on the inside. As teacher Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us, “As we become freer and happier, we cease to act in ways that make others suffer, and we are able to bring about change in ourselves and help others around us.” [1]

God willing, may I become more and more positive. May my mind become more in line with the way Jesus would view my thinking. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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] How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 34.

 

Pray on a Gray Day

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 28, 2016

rainy-day-branches

Pray on a Gray Day

Today was a wet, dreary, gray day. Chilly and cold. Damp, too. Altogether unpleasant.

I know it is not a huge thing, but I have a confession to make: I did not pray, much. In retrospect, the day probably would have been a bit more positive if I had. However, I did not pray. Much.

I did do a whole lot of computer work today, though. I suppose I could say that the computer work was urgent. Wasn’t prayer urgent, too?

God, You must be really tired of me by this time. The way I cycle through faithful and faithless, I mean. Yes, I stick to my plans for a good, steady prayer time, for a while. (It depends, on the whether. Whether I can or not.) But sooner or later, I fall off. Fall back into my old, prayer-less ways.

For the past few years at Advent, I try my darnedest to be faithful to my devotional readings. Each year, I do follow them to a fair extent. So, yay! At least I’ve had a fair track record, for several years running.

Speaking of prayer, let’s pray.

Dear God, thank You for this period of waiting and preparation. Help me to be more faithful to You, even though times in my life are not as rosy as they could be. Gracious God, thank You for loving me with Your everlasting love. Lord, help me to be an example of watchful, hopeful waiting these next few weeks.

@chaplaineliza

 

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

Peace on a Day of Remembrance

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, September 11 2016

peace-dove-earth

Peace on a Day of Remembrance

I read the last two verses of Psalm 120, feeling sad and disheartened. The psalmist seems disheartened, too. 120:6 – “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.”

Yes, this is one of the psalms (or songs) which were historically said or used or read in the procession to the Temple in Jerusalem. However, these verses of scripture look to be positive towards peace. Even though peace may seem to be a really positive idea, he has dwelt among the hate-mongers too long.

I suspect the psalmist is jaded. Doubtful that any change—positive change—can come. What is to be done? 120:7 – “I am a person of peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”

This verse makes me really disheartened, as I said. At first glance, there is no hope, no positive side to be found. However, the psalmist could be at the end of his rope. So far gone, that he falls at the feet of God. He might realize he depends on God alone, if those surrounding him were persistently crying out for war.

Peace. Crying out for peace. Sometimes it seems that I am a lone voice crying out for peace. God, especially with the reminder of September 11th fresh in all of our minds, help me to be a catalyst for peace and reconciliation. Help us all to spread the words of peace, wholeness and harmony. So help me, 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.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Praying, Sleeping Peacefully

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, September 1, 2016

Psalm 4-8 grant peaceful sleep

Praying, Sleeping Peacefully

This is a new month, a month in which many in this world remember peace. I wanted to focus on selected bible verses that feature peace prominently.

First, Psalm 4:8.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for You alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

This psalm is a psalm of David. David writes here about insomnia. (I’m only partially being tongue in cheek.) Seriously, the author writes about having disturbed sleep. And, he suggested a method of prayer in which the faithful seek the Lord. Plus, he warns against “sin” by thinking honestly and openly about sinful things he’s done. Not covering them up.

This method is simple and straightforward. This is one way David found to avoid tossing and turning on his bed every day. Be honest and open. And, the Lord will bless David with peace. Peace and safety.

What a positive, nurturing thing to do. How wonderful to have the possibility of restful sleep. And peace. God’s peace.

Gracious God, thank You for offering us a cure for insomnia. Sin-induced insomnia. God, help me to continue to come to You with difficulties, mistakes, problems, sin. Thank You for forgiving me and loving me—forgiving us and loving us. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our a

@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.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

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

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

PEACE: Equality, Be Fair, Accept Others

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, May 22, 2016

peace, love, unity, respect

PEACE: Equality, Be Fair, Accept Others

Today, I begin a series of posts from Gemini Jr. High School in Niles. (A big thank you to Mr. Rich Groeling, Gemini’s principal!) First, I addressed the whole lunchroom. “What is your personal definition of PEACE,” I asked. Next, I had the opportunity to talk with any student who came to the conference room down the hall from the lunchroom.

I encouraged the young people to make a sign with their personal definition of PEACE. This was a wonderful chance to talk and get their viewpoints on PEACE.

First, Mojahid’s definition: “Peace is equality between everyone, and being fair to people. Also, being nice.”

Next, Jessica’s definition: “Peace is no war, silence, accepting others. Freedom!”

So much overlap with these two personal viewpoints.

I’ve been asking groups of people this question for several months now. (I have over 150 definitions now.) Overwhelmingly, I get a sad or horrified response from most people about the division and animosity in current politics and society. It doesn’t matter from what background or what age. There is a great deal of free-floating anxiety, stress and fear out there.

“Equality between everyone.” Amen! Yes, certainly something to strive for. And, “accepting others.” What would that look like?

I encourage everyone to think of small, loving steps towards PEACE each of us can take, each day. If a whole bunch of people start doing loving, encouraging activities, or saying positive, loving words to each other, we can change the world. #PursuePEACE.

@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.   There is a new Facebook community page, too! (see https://www.facebook.com/Pursuing-Peace-476689469194249/?fref=ts )

See my Twitter account? @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pursue PEACE – Harmony, Wholeness, Hope (Repost)

Reposted especially for this group, Pursuing Peace. #PursuePEACE

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Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pursue PEACE – Harmony, Wholeness, Hope

I have been following some sort of spiritual discipline during each Lenten season for the past number of years. As Lent got nearer and nearer, I had not been particularly moved by any special Scripture reading series or prayer discipline, as in years past. However—I have been intrigued by the idea of PEACE for several weeks.

Peace got lodged in my brain, and would not go away. I thought about it more and more, and finally came up with this idea of the Pursuing PEACE Project.

My name is Elizabeth, and my personal definition of peace is harmony, wholeness and hope.

Harmony – I have a bachelor’s degree in music. I have sung in a number of choirs and singing groups, over the years. Music is important to me! Harmony is something I look for, yearn for. Harmony between people, between groups, among families—something I wish to encourage and promote, as much as I can. Doing my little bit.

Wholeness – comes from the concept of the Hebrew word shalom, which means peace. Yet, it means much more than peace! Shalom can also mean whole or wholeness, completeness or safety. A whole basket of meanings! That is what I want from my definition.

Finally, Hope – expectation, trust or desire. (At least, that’s what Merriam Webster says, in part.) I am a glass-half-full kind of person. I have that expectation. I trust that peace is a possibility. I don’t think this is pie in the sky, but a realistic desire.

Even if my part is small, I will be doing something positive, encouraging, and loving in making PEACE a reality. God willing, I am doing my part to pursue PEACE.

@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