Tag Archives: power

God is Judge, in Psalm 50

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 4, 2017

JUDGE as God, Jesus

God as Judge, in Psalm 50

Have any of my readers been in a courtroom lately? I mean, close enough to watch the judge deliberate and make rulings?

Such a vivid example of tonight’s reading, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s compilation of short writings and letters called Meditating on the Word. God has a whole lot of names, and serves as a whole lot of awesome majesty and power.

I must admit, seeing God act as stern Judge certainly would give me pause. I do not think in those terms, usually. I know I usually see God Almighty as Shepherd or Lamb, as Teacher, or as Sower of God’s seed. I realize those images are meant to be honest and serious.

However, as I have been following these particular words written in Psalm 50, I am struck by these verses. Pierced to the heart is more like it.

Bonhoeffer had several comments on God’s behalf, in reflection on Psalm 50: “The loyal followers have been sanctified through the sacrifice of the cross. Against the background of Advent, the cross comes into view. Here, in this sacrifice of God’s judgment and His loving kindness are one.” [1]

Yes, some of the Names of God are quite serious, and their description contains parts of God’s character.

Dear God, mighty Judge of humanity (and all the rest of the universe), have mercy on us. Thank You for the cross, as it stands on that hill outside Jerusalem so long ago—and still stands in the heart of God. Thank You for Jesus, the Lamb of God. And, thank You for Your gracious and merciful loving-kindness.

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] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 65.

Prayer Guide to Simple Serenity

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 2, 2015

Prayer Guide to Simple Serenity

sunset footprints

“ … praying only for knowledge of [God’s] will for us and the power to carry that out.” – Second half of Step Eleven.

My will? My will is often “self will run riot,” as one of the common sayings in recovery goes. Isn’t that the truth? Who else can admit that? Left to myself, my will—my ego—my hubris can get me in trouble faster than a speeding bullet.

So, how do I start to repair my mixed-up will? I pray for God’s will to help me. I pray for the power to carry out God’s will. The next right thing, the next loving thing. This course of action will bring me to God’s will. And, as my reading for today tells me, “God’s will guides us to simple serenity.”

Ah, serenity. So many people wish for it! And, so few people actually get it in their lives.

The rewards of serenity, sobriety and friendship are great. I have the opportunity to offer God’s care and encouragement to others, instead of hiding out in my own room. I have the possibility of sharing myself and my life with God (or, as some in recovery might say, my Higher Power).

Dear Lord, gracious God, Step Eleven has such wisdom, and such common sense. Help me to follow the path laid out for me through Your gracious support and encouragement. Help me to do the next loving thing.

@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

God Was with Paul and Barnabas. God Is with Me, Too.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, April 20, 2015

difficulties overcome

God Was with Paul and Barnabas. God Is with Me, Too.

Our God is acknowledged as very present, and a refuge in times of trouble.

Whatever happens, whenever I can help out, God will be with me, too. Just like God was with Paul and Barnabas in their difficult times, in Acts 13. But, it didn’t start that way. No, Paul and Barnabas went to and fro at first, freely witnessing to the power of the resurrection. A portion of the people listening to them were described as jealous of God’s power and success, too. So, they started to persecute Paul and Barnabas.

There is no pleasing certain people. Whatever happened, God was there in the past. And God will be there, at our sides, right now. Whether stilted, difficult, or downright angry, some people keep stirring up trouble and problems.

Intellectually, I keep telling myself that the power of God will help me! Experientially, that’s another matter. Doubts come up in my mind. Anxious thoughts, fears, even angry thoughts. But God can smooth that all out. God can overcome, even though. Thanks, God!

Let’s come to God in prayer. Dear God, thanks for being there with me. Thanks for being present amidst my doubts and fears. Thanks for helping me to say, “The Lord is risen, indeed!” But, God, not everyone believes this. Help me to keep on striving to communicate God’s love, even though things are not going my way. Thanks, again, for being a refuge and a strength to me, even through difficulties. 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 sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Treasure in Clay Jars—So Fragile.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, April 16, 2015

clay jars 2 Cor 4-7

Treasure in Clay Jars—So Fragile.

We have a treasure within our fragile, frail bodies. In clay jars. Paul says so, in the second letter to the believers in Corinth.

This extraordinary power comes from God, not from us. This power is available to me, ready to be tapped. Any time I need it. Whenever I am going through traumatic situations or heart-rending challenges, this heavenly yet paradoxical treasure is shining, waiting. Ready for me to access the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.

I know that Paul says “we are afflicted, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair.” But—what about someone I know? Or, rather, knew? Someone, who was a faithful worker in God’s vineyard for years. This dear one shared of that treasure within with compassion, kindness, and God’s nurture. This dear friend communicated the gracious and loving word of God’s good news and hope to so many. But, died by suicide recently. What about this dear one?

I believe God is crying right now. I believe God is cradling this dear one in a heavenly embrace right now. I believe God’s everlasting arms of comfort and care are surrounding all those who are mourning right now. Including me.

Dear Lord, gracious God, be with all who mourn today. Not only those who mourn the passing of this particular dear one, but with all who mourn–everywhere. Those in traumatic grief over sudden, accidental death. Those in complicated grief over death made even more difficult by any number of emotional situations. Those conflicted by the grief at the end of a long illness who also breathe a prayer, “at last!” Dear God, You know those who mourn today, and I lift each of them to You. I lift each one who mourns someone who died by their own hand, too. Surround each one with Your support and encouragement. Dear Holy Comforter, help each grieving one who has no words, or is beyond words. Send Your assistance to each, in ways that You know will assist them in their grieving and reframing of their lives. In Your mercy, O Lord, I earnestly pray. Amen.

@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 #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Freedom From Fear

matterofprayer blog post for Saturday, January 11, 2014

crocuses in Portland

crocuses in Portland

Freedom from Fear

Among other things, I’m a mom. Although I am also a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend, I have begotten four children. I go through cycles where I feel the urge to pray for other things and other people. However, sometimes God instructs me to pray specifically for my children. During the past few weeks, I felt that instruction. So, I did—on a fairly regular basis.

I know there are many ways to pray for loved ones. However, I have been using a wonderful book by Stormie Omartian called The Power of a Praying Parent for years when I pray for my children. On and off, I mean. I do not hold myself up as any paragon of prayer, by any means. (Not like Stormie! And not like my former prayer partner, Zhou Hui, either! Both are awesome women of prayer.)

Today, I was reminded of a chapter in this book where Stormie gives some pointers on how to pray against fear in our children’s lives. Some days ago, I prayed through this chapter. I petitioned God on my children’s behalf, asking among other things that God give them wisdom from above, protect them from evil influences, and bless them in all they do. I prayed for this wonderful prayer of Stormie’s to be applicable in my husband’s life and in mine, too.

Today, I remembered the acronym for FEAR, False Evidence Appearing Real, and how fear could blindside me when I least expected it. I remembered that I had prayed to be free from fear. Today, this freedom from fear touched me, too, in a very deep way. Honestly, I have not had the easiest last few months. Some significant challenges have come my way. But, I have met them with the help of God, the love of my family, the help and fellowship from my friends, prayer, and the readings in some very helpful books.

I quote again one of my all-time favorite hymns—thanks for God’s promise from the Hebrew Scriptures, Isaiah 41:10. “Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed/For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.”  These words give me comfort, and give me a place to run to. My God has promised not to leave me, nor forsake me. Whether from the Hebrew Scriptures or from the New Testament, God’s promises will not fail. I don’t need to fear. And neither do my children.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for Your Word. Thanks for Your promise to hear us and deliver us from all of our fears. God, forgive me for doubting You. Forgive me for running away from all Your blessings. Show me the way to You, God, so that I may take my fears and anxieties to You and receive freedom from fear. Remembering Your goodness and faithfulness to me and my family, new every morning, Amen.

@chaplaineliza