Tag Archives: prayer life

Love Prayer with Scripture

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, January 24, 2019

bible still life, van gogh

Love Prayer with Scripture

I love praying in the Ignatian way. Some of the most meaningful and memorable times of prayer I have had in recent years have been while praying using St. Ignatius’ suggestions of imagery and guidance with Scripture.

However—I do not pray in this way often enough. Why is it that I do not? (This is not a rhetorical question. I really, honestly wonder.) Why don’t I pray regularly in a manner that has proven itself meaningful to my heart and spirit, again and again?

My regular prayer life has shifted, though. When I was a chaplain, for almost ten years, I found it easier to keep the rhythms of prayer—and more innovative prayer styles—in my life. Not that I have ever found it easy to pray, but as I reflect, I find it was easier. Or, more straightforward. Somehow, less complicated.

I am also reflecting on my calling as a local church pastor. In March, in less than two months, I will celebrate my fifth anniversary at that UCC church in the Chicago suburbs. I love what I am doing now! Yes, I loved my position as a hospital and care center chaplain, and I love being a small church pastor, too. Except—now that my responsibilities have shifted, I seem to not have as much of the focus on my personal times of prayer.

One thing that does help me in my corporate prayer life is my (semi) regular attendance at Morning Prayer online. I am privileged to meet with an Episcopal website and ministry called www.dailyoffice.org for prayer several mornings a week. (I know I’ve spoken about them before on this blog.) Vicar Josh and the other friends at the Daily Office Network are a wonderful, supportive group of people. God bless them!

But, that still does not explain why I do not pray regularly in the Ignatian way. Perhaps that is why I have picked up this slim volume and am reading and blogging my way through it. Dear Lord, help me to be more regular in my personal prayer times with You. Help me to use this marvelous manner of praying that St. Ignatius advocated—regularly. I know You want me to be in regular contact with You. Help me—help all of us—come before You as trusting children, in prayer. In Jesus’ blessed name we pray, amen.



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



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!


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.

Got Some Serenity!

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, May 07, 2014

God handling my problems

Got Some Serenity!

Yup. I don’t know for sure how I got it, but I got me some serenity. Praise God!

I was being a bit humorous there, but my point is clear. Crystal clear. I have some serenity in my prayer life, and certain other areas of my life, as well. I don’t know how long it will last. But I say thanks for God’s bountiful mercy! And for faithfulness and love!

God regularly surprises me. How did I get into this position, working with these dear people? God’s providence, that’s all I can say. If anyone had told me that I would be sitting here at this pastor’s desk, three months ago, I would have thought they were pulling my leg. But God knew differently. And what did I do? I suited up. I showed up. I stepped up to the plate. And what did God do? God showed up, too!

That’s the most important thing of all. God is with me. I mean it! God. Is. With. Me. And the second most important thing? Some loving, caring people are praying for me! How awesome is that?

I’ll be preaching on Psalm 23 and John 10 this Sunday. I still haven’t mapped out the whole sermon yet, but one of the important points to me is that God is always with us. Always by our sides. Whether the Shepherd from Psalm 23 or the Shepherd from John 10, I don’t need to worry or be concerned. No need to be anxious, either. Even when I’m going through some dark valley or some scary circumstance, I am not alone. And God has promised! Whether I’m sleeping, whether I’m awake. No matter what.

Can I hear an amen??

Let’s pray. Dear Shepherd, Gracious God, thank You for Your good and loving promises! Thanks for giving them to me, and to everyone who seeks after You. You created us, You love us, You seek us out when we stray—just like sheep. Help me to stay close by Your side, no matter what. Thank You! In Your warm and comforting Name we pray, Amen!


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

Getting Ready For a Facelift—in our Condo

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, April 3, 2014

LOVE work is visible love

Getting Ready For a Facelift—in our Condo

Getting all my ducks in a row! I am in the process of preparing to have my living room painted in a week. Oh, and a facelift done to the bathroom (new tile, vanity, medicine cabinet, and paint. That’s next week, too. And, in case I forget, a third thing. New carpet will be laid in twelve days. On top of everything else. (Well, not on top of—more like in addition to.) Talk about spring cleaning!

It’s a good thing I started about ten days ago. Giving myself some amount of time. Our agreement with the people who will lay the carpet is that our family will move all our books beforehand and get them out of the apartment. All four floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and six waist-high bookshelves. That’s a lot of books. My daughter and I have been gradually packing them up. My son’s been bringing them down to the basement. That’s the problem with having so many books. I mean, books are marvelous! But, books are also heavy, and can get dusty, and need to be moved from time to time. (Since I have an allergy to dust, I’ve been sneezing regularly, too.)

Amidst all of this uproar in our home, I’ve been considering spring cleaning in other ways, too. God, I am sure I need some spring cleaning in my spiritual house, too. One problem: I am so busy preparing for the workers (coming soon!) that I have difficulty thinking about my spiritual fitness. Thank God that I am praying on a regular basis. (Yay, me!) God, You know how much I have struggled with that, for years and years. Now, it seems to be going fairly well, on a regular basis. At least, for now. I think I’ll take that one day at a time, if You don’t mind. If my prayer life is working, I won’t mess with it.

God, please point out to me an area of my spiritual life that You would like to pay some attention to. For that matter, show it to me, and I’ll try to focus on it. With Your help, You and I together can tackle most any problem. And if I really need help, I have some good friends who also walk this journey with You, too. I think one or two would be happy to give me a hand. Thanks for the push, God. You know I need a push sometimes. Even most of the time.

Let’s pray! Dear God, thank You for spring, and the time for spring cleaning. Forgive me—forgive us—for forgetting about You, or getting too busy to even think about You. Thank You for good friends, who will help me in any spiritual house-cleaning You want me to do. It’s in Your blessed name we pray, Amen.

(also published at http://www.matterofprayer.net Shortlink: