Tag Archives: powerful

Pay Attention to God’s Ways!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, January 5, 2018

Psa 119-15 precepts, Bible

Pay Attention to God’s Ways!

These admonitions really hit home, God. The words this psalmist writes are strong and emphatic. No nonsense, here. God  is the only one we ought to pay any attention to.

Consider the verse of Psalm 119 we are to consider this time. Verse 15 says to listen up!

I will meditate on Your commandments

And give attention to Your ways.

Some powerful words indeed, written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Give an ear to this: ”Every gift we receive, every new understanding, drives us still deeper into the Word of God. We need time for God’s word.” [1]  Wow! That verse almost makes me really want to study God’s Word in depth. (I mean, morethan I am studying the Bible right now.)

Bonhoeffer does not pull many punches. He is quite direct in his admonitions, as well, and lets his readers know that with his direct speaking: “Certainly, God will often require quick action; but He also requires stillness and reflection.” [2]

Just to make sure that his readers did not miss one of the main points of this verse, Bonhoeffer demands that we consider this. “The Word of God demands our time. God Himself entered into time and wants us now to give Him our time.” [3]

How wonderful the riches to be found in the Bible. Old Testament, New Testament, both are important and both contain wisdom and knowledge for us, in abundance. (Bonhoeffer would definitely agree.) In fact, he scoffs at the theologian who merely makes his or her own interpretation and solely speaks their own thoughts—to the exclusion of mentioning the Word of God at all. That is not a fruitful manner in which to consider God’s Word.

Dear God, thanks for such a serious attitude and approach to Your Word. Help me—help us to value it and to treasure it as much as Bonhoeffer did. In Your Son’s name we pray.

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, 121.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 122.

PEACE: Community, Family Dinner

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 12, 2016

peace sign stones

PEACE: Community, Family Dinner

This post includes another in the series of definitions of PEACE. But, before we get to that, I need to give a little background. Several people from Morton Grove travelled down to Chicago a week and a half ago to participate in a dinner outreach called Give Them a Meal. Run by Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK), this is a generous act. An opportunity to be kind, to anyone who comes to the table.

When I was helping at the dinner, I asked one of the Mothers Against Senseless Killing for her personal definition of PEACE. Tamar’s personal definition: “Peace is family dinner—dinner with your community. Fellowship.”

Tamar is a straight-forward, no-nonsense person, instrumental in the outreach Give Them a Meal. When I asked her to elaborate on her personal definition, she was clear. Almost forceful in her enthusiasm. “This is it. People eat dinner together, get to know each other. This is what it’s all about.”

She wants to bring the neighborhood together, and provide an opportunity for community and fellowship. Table fellowship, where individuals can become friends.

This can be a powerful, life-changing act, breaking bread and sharing a part of themselves, a part of their very lives. Yet, such a simple act of friendship, too.

Thank God for this meal outreach. Bless all those who share in the meal, either daily or on an occasional basis. Bless those who faithfully serve, donate, and pray for this outreach. Dear God, we pray not only for the Englewood neighborhood, but also for the whole city of Chicago. For all of the suburbs, too. Bring PEACE to these many neighborhoods. And, stop the senseless killing, we pray. 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 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

Pray to Receive Forgiveness (Repost)

This repost is especially for the Facebook page Pursuing Peace. The giving and receiving of forgiveness can be an integral part of pursuing peace.

FORGIVE forgiveness a lovely idea

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 6, 2016

 

Pray to Receive Forgiveness

That prolific author Anonymous penned tonight’s prayer. The prayer was powerful and moving, regardless. Somehow, I wish I knew who wrote such a masterful prayer. Although, it’s not necessary, since I was deeply moved by such a prayer.

This prayer from The Oxford Book of Prayer uses striking language, it is true. However, I was stunned by several phrases, including the first: “grant us grace and courage to give and to receive courage.” [1] Which is followed by the second: “the forgiveness which alone can heal today’s wounds.” [2]

Lord, what moving words. How can I even consider this when …

Dear God, help me to learn from the mistakes of the past. I rejoice that we have so many choices laid out before us. Lord, guide my steps as I walk with this intention. Guide my heart to love You, regardless of vaccilating preferences and so much to take my mind off You. Please, God, 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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 79.

[2] Ibid.

Pray to Receive Forgiveness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 6, 2016

peace rainbow on black

Pray to Receive Forgiveness

That prolific author Anonymous penned tonight’s prayer. The prayer was powerful and moving, regardless. Somehow, I wish I knew who wrote such a masterful prayer. Although, it’s not necessary, since I was deeply moved by such a prayer.

This prayer from The Oxford Book of Prayer uses striking language, it is true. However, I was stunned by several phrases, including the first: “grant us grace and courage to give and to receive courage.” [1] Which is followed by the second: “the forgiveness which alone can heal today’s wounds.” [2]

Lord, what moving words. How can I even consider this when …

Dear God, help me to learn from the mistakes of the past. I rejoice that we have so many choices laid out before us. Lord, guide my steps as I walk with this intention. Guide my heart to love You, regardless of vaccilating preferences and so much to take my mind off You. Please, God, 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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 79.

[2] Ibid.

Forgive Me—I Did Not Introduce You

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, October 19, 2015

autumn leaves on a bridge

Forgive Me—I Did Not Introduce You

Many of the prayers in this section are prayers of people from traditionally English-speaking countries. Or, prayers of Church Fathers and Mothers, prayers of Saints, translated into English. However, I am intrigued by those prayers that come from vastly different cultures, distant places, far removed from the sociological and cultural place I call “home.”

The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Forgive Us Our Trespasses” (Prayer 355, page 109) [1] The prayer is in a section entitled Penitence. It is titled “Prayer from Polynesia.”

“Lord, today You made us known to friends we did not know,/And You have given us seats in homes which are not our own./You have brought the distant near,/And made a brother of a stranger,/Forgive us, Lord … /We did not introduce You.”

O, how poignant and tear-filled! How deep the pain that is felt; it spills over into the endless emotional pit. Powerful emotions and feelings churn within me. Yet—and yet—positive feelings flow over some of these words like a waterfall.

Dear God, these words from half a world away wash against me. Sometimes quiet and affirming, but other times knowing, nudging, concerned as a dear grandparent. And, the last two lines of this prayer? Not shaming, not demeaning, no! But at the same time, instructive. Giving gentle counsel. Almost, entreating.

And, I received admonishment. Gentle, to be sure. But, sure and certain. I do not introduce You to others as much as I have the opportunity. I see that. This prayer holds up a clear mirror to me.

Forgive me, Lord. Please, gracious God. Look with both forgiveness and favor on this poor sinner. Thank You for Your help and patience. Help me to look with love on all others, to those who do not yet know You, and an extra portion of thankfulness on those who do.

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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 109.

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.

@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

Salvation—How Much More Profound Can It Get?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 23, 2015

Salvation—How Much More Profound Can It Get?

God - who, not having seen, you love

Got salvation? (cue the photo of young adult, smiling from ear to ear)

Salvation—don’t leave home without it.

God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s love. All different aspects of God, and all incredibly powerful. But, salvation brings them all together, and ties it up with a big bow.

The book Praying the New Testament as Psalms has some moving, thought-provoking verses on its pages, under Salvation. However, I was so struck by the adaptation of this verse from 1 Peter 1: “I rejoice with a joy indescribable and glorious/at the outcome of my faith/—the salvation of my soul.” [1]

Peter’s words are “joy indescribable.” Unspeakable. You can’t even express it in words. This joy is so deep, it has to be experienced. Such joy goes beyond anything that humans in this world can describe. I suspect we would need to be in heaven to be able to sufficiently describe the joy we feel.

Thank You, God, for this poor and limited word-picture of salvation. Peter’s striving attempt to describe the joy that only heaven can properly name makes me bow down in worship and praise. Thank You. Praise You. Your grace and mercy are indescribable, too. Thank You. 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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 173.