Tag Archives: pray

Pray, Grieve, Attend a Service

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, December 21, 2016

nourish-and-support

Pray, Grieve, Attend a Service

What happens when something—someone—gets caught up in mourning? Grieving?

Christmas is almost here. But, before Christmas comes, we made a visit across state borders. An elderly relative died recently, and we were paying our respects.

So incredibly sad. I have a few photos taken at the funeral and afterwards, but otherwise, there’s not much more than memories.

Grief. Sorrow. If we tiptoe into the hushed presence of a Christmas program for our well-beloved one . Mourn,  pray, grieve.

@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

In Which I Listen to Christmas Music

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, December 16, 2016

handels-messiah-title

In Which I Listen to Christmas Music

I enjoy listening to music. I mean, really enjoy it. (I do have an undergraduate degree in music. So, there.)

I have eclectic tastes in Christmas music, too. Love me some Leroy Anderson, Irving Berlin, and Vince Guaraldi. Also, I am a big fan of Baroque music (Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, anyone? Of course, the first part of Handel’s Messiah. For that matter, all three parts of it.).

Currently, my favorite music I listen to on the CD player happens to be a Christmas jazz instrumental collection. Also, I am seriously considering buying another Christmas CD—a capella, five voices. Wonderful blend, jazzy and innovative arrangements.

I suspect I know what some people are asking. Listening to music…that is just background noise. But, not for me. For me, it can be much more.

Sometimes when I am listening to music, I feel a joy inside, or awe, or deep sadness. I swing, or strum, or just rock out. It doesn’t matter where on earth the music came from. The musical language can even transport me to a galaxy far, far away.

Can I pray when I am listening to music? Not always, no. Sometimes I simply enjoy the music for its own sake. But, sometimes, the music echoes deep within. And, yes, I pray. I thank God for the particular piece I’m listening to. (And, I mean, really listening. I listen to the melodies, harmonies, and various instrumentalists and vocalists. I listen to the interplay, polyphony, sometimes the conversation between various groups of instruments.)

Amazingly, at times the music moves me ever so strongly. (I was going to say, “strikes a deep chord,” but I thought I would skip that pun.) And, sometimes I pray wordlessly when I listen to music.

Dear God, thank You for music. Thank You for artistic expression, which is a gift of Your ever-so-dynamic creative impulse. Creative God, thank You for the many different compositions, styles, expressions and arrangements of praise to You. I’m especially thinking of Christmas music. It doesn’t matter whether the music was written in the Renaissance, or Classical era, or the twentieth century. Innovation and beauty mix and meet, intermingle and interplay. Thank You for such a marvelous expression of creativity. No matter what else happens to me or my loved ones, no matter what is going on emotionally or what a bumpy road I may be on. I love listening this time of the year, especially because of the marvelous, glorious music. Simply, thanks.

@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

To Pray, To Give Support

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 4, 2016

pray-teach-us-to-pray

To Pray, To Give Support

I have been following certain unwelcoming activities during the past number of weeks. I am sad to report that I’ve been equipping people to meet mean, nasty or angry comments. How, you might ask? Great question!

As reported before, I tried to find what our scriptures had to say about mean, angry and hateful activities. Accordingly, I turned to Matthew 5 and found where Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I called for people to come together for a Gathering for Prayer and Mutual Support (Build Bridges, Not Walls). It will be on Monday, Dec. 12 from 7 to 8 pm at St. Luke’s Church in Morton Grove.

I wish to open St. Luke’s Church for prayer. I wish to join together in spirit and in truth, using the words of Jesus. Those difficult and challenging questions—what would Jesus do, when faced with these kinds of words, actions and attitudes? I think Jesus would pray for those who disagree with Him, certainly. That is one part of what we will be doing as we gather in prayer, as well as praying for our communities, our local governments, and our diverse friends.

Please God, I hope many will seek after peace, understanding, and questioning issues that trouble them. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of prayers.

 

@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

Busy Day—Need to Pray

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, December 2, 2016

god-wants-to-talk-to-you

Busy Day—Need to Pray

Upon reflection, make that a busy evening, plus a busy day. A great deal of running, fetching, errands, and emails.

Started off the day on the computer. Went to the gym and power-walked. Did stuff at church for several hours. Dropped off two flyers at the local counseling center this afternoon (for the Prayer Gathering on Monday, Dec. 12 and the Blue Christmas service on Monday, Dec. 19). Then, a stop at the tree-lighting in the park downtown, and rushed off to a Holiday Concert (at my daughter’s school). Ended up doing several more errands.

Not a dull moment.

Lord, did I take one moment to think about You? To come before You with my praises as well as my pain? Well—I took a couple of minutes to pray, at my good friend Josh’s Daily Prayer website. (In case anyone is curious, it is www.dailyoffice.org ) But, I am afraid that was it, as far as prayer is concerned.

In retrospect, it was a good day. I had several excellent conversations. I enjoyed myself very much at the concert. (Especially hearing Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.)

However—Lord Jesus—I need to talk with You more. I don’t care how or when I communicated with You in the past, but I need to do more of it. Can You help me? That is my petition right now. Please.

@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

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

 

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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

How Should I Then Pray?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 26, 2016

jigsaw-puzzles-615x200-ehow-images-800x800

How Should I Then Pray?

A new year. Yes, tomorrow begins the liturgical year again, with the first Sunday in Advent. That season of hope and expectation, where we wait for the birth of the Christ Child with baited breath. Well, not really. That is, not everybody does. Even in the church.

I feel like I am running as fast as I can, and I still haven’t caught up. I don’t have a chance of catching up. (Alice, I fully sympathize with you in your conversation with the Red Queen.) The turning of the seasons is getting faster and faster all the time.

These two seemingly disparate things are connected. So many people are scattered and fragmented—including me. Pulled in many different directions. It is increasingly difficult to focus on one thing (even when it’s so important, as the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ). That is, when there are so very many things calling for my attention.

Dear Lord, help me to slow down. Help me to sift through the urgent and important, and focus on the one thing that I need. The one thing that gives me nurture and strength. My relationship with You, dear Lord. Help me bring my other needs, pains, joys and concerns to You, too, because then I will not be distracted. Gracious God, in Your mercy, hear my prayers.

@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

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

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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

In Which We Pray for School Children

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, August 22, 2016

schoolgirl drawing

In Which We Pray for School Children

Labor Day is almost here. Autumn quickly approaches. Children and young people are returning to school, including my child. (Returning to college, that is. Tomorrow.)

The return to school can have great emotional impact on parents or children. (Although sometimes, not so much.)

At my church last week, we prayed for the children and grandchildren of the congregation as they started school. So much preparation goes into that process. The purchase of school supplies, school clothes and shoes, calculators, sports equipment, books. All kinds of preparation.

Parents, grandparents, congregation members, other caring and concerned adults—all of us can help children and young people as they return to school, too. We can pray for them.

Pray for these students to have excitement and encouragement. Pray for focus and discipline. Pray for learning and fun, for yearning and discovery. Pray that all students may continue to strive, to play, to enjoy, and to learn.

Pray for the families the students come from. (Both for the wonderful families as well as the difficult places and hurtful experiences the students may deal with.) Pray for teachers, coaches, tutors, aides, and all those who nurture and care for the students each and every day. Pray for them to have patience and persistence, caring and compassion. Pray for all who work with these children and young people, so that all may be safe and secure.

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

Pray, Pray, and Pray Some More

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Call to Me - Jeremiah-33-3

Pray, Pray, and Pray Some More

Just sent out the prayer email of the week to my congregation. Lots to pray about!

Praise God for so many things, including a little baby finally coming home from the hospital! Please remember those who are shut ins, those who are sick at home, in the hospital and in care centers.

And, while we are at it, pray for those who are especially on your hearts.

Pray. Pray. And, thank God for prayer, that we are invited into God’s throne room of grace.

Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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

Pray and Praise for Young People

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, July 29, 2016

PRAY don't worry, through prayer to God Phil 4-6

Pray and Praise for Young People

Today was a wonderful end to the New Wilmington Mission Conference. Between wrapping up a mission perspective on the Lord’s Prayer, saying good-bye all day to people I see once a year, and finishing the evening listening to the Summer Service team, the day was jam-packed.

Fascinating how the Lord’s Prayer is almost always applicable. Even in a mission and outreach sense. Or, should I say, especially in such a sense?

I know many attendees from this conference. We were reminded at evening meeting that many, many people were praying for the Summer Service team as they spent a number of weeks abroad, immersing themselves in a different culture, different language, and different society.

The team spoke separately tonight, telling a bit about their trip, their encounters, and their reactions to what they experienced.

I praise God for these young people.

I pray that they might carry the encounters and experiences of their time away close to their hearts. I ask for clarity as each one makes decisions about the next thing for them to do. Dear God, I pray for those responsible for next year’s mission conference and service. Missionary God, You are not willing that any perish. Draw people to You. Help each person who was in attendance this week to be energized and empowered to tell others about You. About how much You love them, and even to the ends of the earth. 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 #PursuePEACE.  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er