Tag Archives: prayers

Prayers of Thanksgiving? Wonderful Peace Breakfast!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, October 21, 2016

 

breakfast-shot-3-eric-ponders

(Photo Credit: Eric Ponders, The North Shore Voice) (www.FaceBook.com/MGVoice)

Prayers of Thanksgiving? Wonderful Peace Breakfast!

 

Ever have one of those days? Or, weeks? Maybe even, one of those months? Yeah—me, too. When I invited many of the same village and religious leaders to a second Peace Breakfast, some of them told me that they unfortunately could not attend. The past few weeks have been extremely busy—for everyone!

We met again, this morning. We met, again, to talk about next steps towards peace, friendship, and cooperation, in this wonderful and diverse suburb of Chicago. And, we came up with some great ideas!

Some backstory: several people around the table pointed out that there was a good deal of fear, anxiety, and general uncertainty in portions of the population in our area. How can we reach out to them, in a proactive, useful and needed way?

As one local media member (Eric Ponders) reported, “Proactive initiatives for community outreach were discussed, including strategic plans, combining resources, more encompassing events with multiple communities, pooling our resources – potentially programming as well as funding, creating a grass roots initiative, communication strategies for outreach and facilitation & more!”

Yes, looking at what we discussed, we could say that we discussed public health. Alternatively, we could say we discussed funding and community strategy. I prefer to look at it another way. The village and religious leaders gathered there discussed ways to lower fear, anxiety, and uncertainty; we discussed ways to promote family- and community-building, finding ways to work together across neighborhoods, villages, and townships.

Did we find ways to pursue peace? Promote friendship and harmony in the midst of a very diverse population in our area? I think we did. So, YES. This morning’s Peace Breakfast was a wonderful next step, indeed.

Thanks, God! A great, big praise to You for Your assistance.

(Thanks as well to Eric Ponders, who is also known as North Shore Voice.)
@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

In Between Day, In Between Prayers

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, October 13, 2016

prayer-candles-lamps

In Between Day, In Between Prayers

This was my in between day. I had lots to do earlier in the week and lots to do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, I took some time for myself today. Yoga, and shopping (for food), and a meeting with a friend. A function at my daughter’s school in the evening. Plus, the usual email and computer stuff that I ordinarily do, but that happens pretty much any day. Every day. No matter what.

Except, I was preoccupied.

I suppose I ought to have prayed more. Even though I try to write this blog on a regular basis, even though I try to pray on a regular basis, I still feel so inadequate. So much less-than. There is some personal stuff that is going on in my personal life, and I need to pray my way through.

That was most of what was preoccupying my thoughts today.

And, thanks to anyone who sends any prayers to God for the dear concern on my mind today.

Dear God, thanks for interpreting my thoughts, even when they are all muddled and incoherent. I am so glad and relieved You listen to my deep concern. Calm my uneasy heart. Still my wayward soul. Help me to breathe more deeply, and focus my mind on necessary things. Kind things. Things that will be helpful, supportive, and encouraging. Thank You, 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 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

Thankful Prayers, Earnest Petitions

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, July 23, 2016

 

open hands

Thankful Prayers, Earnest Petitions

My daughter and I safely arrived at the New Wilmington Mission Conference in Pennsylvania this afternoon. We are thankful! And, I have already received several great spiritual boosts from the several sessions I attended.

Thank You for this conference, God. It is truly a marvelous place.

I saw a request from my friend Vicar Josh (online vicar of the Episcopal www.dailyoffice.org website). He earnestly requested prayer for our mutual friend, honorary deacon and soul-medic, Clint.

Here is the prayer I offered. Hear all of our prayers, please!

Gracious God, You hear all of our prayers ascending to You for our dear brother Clint. You know his heart, his love for You, and his love for all of the brothers and sisters. Please, Lord, hear our prayers. Please, Lord. It’s in Jesus’s powerful, healing name we 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 my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

In Which I Attend Worship on Thursday

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 21, 2016

worship, light

In Which I Attend Worship on Thursday

Thursday is a different kind of evening to have a worship service. An occasional service, at a Protestant church. I am not thinking of a regularly scheduled morning Mass, or a noonday service on a weekday. (For example, at a large church in a busy downtown area.)

However, this particular event was a different sort of service. Outside worship experience, too.

A service that highlighted the middle of things. The middle of summer, the middle of life, other types of midpoints. As Dante might say, midway through this journey of life.

There are good midpoints, not-so-good middles, bittersweet stopping points that are nearer to the end than what is first thought.

What do you think of middles? What kind of midpoints am I experiencing? Are things nearer now to the beginning, or the ending, or do we just not know?

All good questions. Valid, and thoughtful.

I appreciated the prayers, the hymns, the worship. The pastor—a new friend. The others who led the worship. All in all, a meaningful opportunity to gather in fellowship and in worship.

We are all in the middle of things. In medias res.

Gracious God, thank You for being right there, in the middle of things, right by our sides.  Thank You.

@chaplaineliza

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

Whole Bunch of Prayers

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, July 5, 2016

pray pray pray

Whole Bunch of Prayers

Ever feel like prayer requests were falling like a downpour? They sure seem like that to me, right now. More people needing prayers than ordinarily.

I’m used to people talking to me. Telling me things to pray about. Things not just about themselves, but also about their loved ones, their families, their situations. I know—intellectually—that there haven’t been too many more prayer requests lately. Except, some of these requests hit pretty close to home.

Maybe I am close to some of the people who have come to me with prayer requests, lately. I guess it shows that I have feelings. I have a heart.

I need to check in with my accountability partners. That will help. That way, I am taking care of myself. (I am encouraged to seek out self-care, regularly!)

Actually, self-care is a good idea for anyone who is regularly involved with the helping professions.

Dear God, I pray for all those who are on the prayer list. I pray for all those in need of prayer in  my congregation, among my family and friends, and those with unspoken prayer requests.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear 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

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.

We Pray to Rest in Peace

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, August 6, 2015

slum street image

We Pray to Rest in Peace

I am blessed. I mean, particularly blessed. I live in a relatively quiet neighborhood. I have few interruptions to my sleep. (That is, other than a garbage truck that comes down my alley twice a week, shortly after seven o’clock in the morning. But, those are First World problems.)

I noticed that one of the last petitions of Evening Prayer was this: “Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.“ I notice that some people have difficulty in getting to sleep, falling asleep, remaining asleep, or something similar. As prophesied. (Check out the accompanying bulletin.)

I know that in countless places around the world, people have lots going on when and where they live. That means, when and where they fall asleep, too. That also means disturbed sleep, not to mention frightened people. Neighborhoods that are downright dangerous, not to mention unpleasant to traverse.

Just think: countless people are afraid of where they live, because of the possible danger and damage that might quickly spiral out of control. Sometimes that danger might be young toughs walking the streets. Or, young soldiers walking the streets. Any time, day or night.

My heart breaks for those who are frightened, even traumatized, this night. Dear Lord, gracious God, come alongside of all those who are afraid of internal upset. Comfort all those who are fearful to show their faces outside of where they live. And Lord, I offer special prayers for all of those who live out in the open;.who have no homes. Please, God, we pray earnestly. Hear our prayers! Amen, and alleluia.

@chaplaineliza

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Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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

Cast My Cares on the Lord? Oh, Yes!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

God my child, you worry too much

Cast My Cares on the Lord? Oh, Yes!

I hear about cares and concerns. Oh, yes. Certainly, I do. Familiar from my former position as a hospital chaplain, as well as my current position as a small church pastor, I very much serve as a listening ear to individuals.

Imagine my pleasure at discovering the reading from the liturgical lectionary prayer book for today: 1 Peter 5:1-11. This passage is chock-full of quotable verses, for a number of different reasons. However, my eye fell on verse 5:7. I have committed that verse to memory, and for me t actually try to do that, the verse must mean a whole lot. (I have difficulty memorizing things. I’ve spoken about my problem in several other blog posts. Suffice it to say that I have problems due to some disability from a former health difficulty.) So, I particularly wanted to commit this verse to memory.

“We can surely accept our Lord’s invitation, indeed His command, to cast all our cares upon Him and let Him care for them.” This quote from Simon Tugwell, taken from this lectionary prayer book, helps me to understand more what others think about this verse. God doesn’t want us to be hurt, or sick, or in need. But—it happens. All we need to do is accept our Lord’s invitation. (Well, yes, it is written as a kind of a command. Which I, as a Christian, ought to receive.)

Dear Lord, gracious God, this verse has great advice for me! Now, if only I would listen more carefully. To see You more clearly, love You more dearly, follow You more nearly. Gracious God, help me to care for You, then others, and me last. 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 .

Day #32 – Brag About Besties! And Pray, Too.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 26, 2015

like you anyway

Day #32 – Brag About Besties! And Pray, Too.

I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t have a smart phone. Or a camera phone. I have a dumb phone. One good for talking and for texting. I also do not have an Instagram account. (Probably because I do not have a camera/smart phone.) However, I am periodically fascinated by others’ photos. And selfies.

Today’s suggestion intrigued me. Of course, I have never taken a selfie. I kind of, sort of might like to try. But, I recognize that’s selfish. Better for me to talk about my friends than to focus on me, me, me! So, I’ll tell you about a few other people. Boast about them! Brag!

First, I’ll tell you about my good friend Susan. She is sweet, loving, patient and one of the most caring people I know. She would be quick to let you know that she is also a mom of several kids. Very active, curious kids! And, she owns a sweet dog who, while greeting you, almost bowls you over. Susan goes above and beyond in her work, since she works with developmentally and intellectually disabled people, and loves what she does. God bless you, Susan! I thank God for my dear, dear friend.

Next, I think of Alison and Ivan. Marvelous couple! Genuinely interested in everyone. They worked for years outside of this country as missionaries. Or was Ivan a pastor? Counselor? Was Alison a lactation consultant? Or good friend? Now, they are back in the area. The best thing I think of when I consider this lovely couple is that I could immediately pick up an in-depth conversation with either of them as if we had just left off a few days before. Even though it was several years in between the times I saw them. My good friends, and coworkers in the Gospel.

Last, for right now, is my friend Stu. Some distance away, he is going through a difficult time right now—he and especially a dear loved one. (Pray for their family, if you would. Thank you so much!) Stu is a dear, dear friend of mine. He is a technical professional, detail-oriented toward his work, yet concerned about people—every individual he meets. His church and his friends are also important, but they are overshadowed by his immediate concerns about his family. Stu, friend of my heart, dear brother in Christ. Sending gentle thoughts and prayers your way in this challenging time!

Four dear, dear people, from different walks of life. God, be with each of them, as well as their families. May You send each one what they most need, today. Please, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Celebrating Someone Special! Praying All the Way.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – February 7, 2015

grateful for everything

Celebrating Someone Special! Praying All the Way.

What a wonderful thing, celebrating God’s gift to me—of someone special! I immediately thought of someone perfect for this prayer suggestion. And, there is going to be a big birthday bash for this big guy next Sunday at my church!

Yes, our church has a very special boy. He was a miracle baby, and he has grown into a miracle big boy. Levi was a tiny, tiny premature baby when he was born. Through and because of many people’s prayers, good thoughts, support and encouragement, Levi will be two years old next Sunday. And—we all will be having a wonderful birthday luncheon after the service.

I’ve already taken part in the preparations for the service before the luncheon. I’ll be doing the usual things, readings and prayers—except we will have a time of prayers and thanksgiving for Levi during the service! So, for sure I will be planning that.

Today’s prayer suggestion is such a joy. Imagine, planning a celebration of gratitude for God’s gifts to some particular person or persons you know.

Let’s pray for Levi and his parents.

Dear God, what a wonderful occasion. Thank You for Levi and his parents. We pray for this growing, loving child. We thank You that by pointing to Levi, we are also pointing to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your creative hand describing what happened in His life, death and ascension.  We pray Your blessing on Levi and his parents.

God, in Your mercy, hear all of us as we pray. And celebrate!

 

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.