Tag Archives: Praying the New Testament as Psalms

Breaking Bread Together? Priceless.

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

LOVE our God is love

Breaking Bread Together? Priceless.

Breaking bread together means so much. Meals shared in common were a sign of friendship, acceptance, fellowship. Still are!

I was so moved by this modern verse (taken from Luke 5): “You joined in the banquet given by Levi,/accepting all who were present.” [1] Similarly, Jesus willingly invited Himself to Zaccheus’ house for dinner—see Luke 19.

From what I see in the Gospels, this was Jesus’ standard operating procedure. The religious leaders of His day criticized Him for regularly eating with sinners, and hanging out with tax collectors. (Wait—that’s just what Levi and Zaccheus did for a living!)

“Eid Mubarak!” Going one step further, I wish all who are celebrating a peaceful and blessed Eid. Celebrating through eating together, breaking bread, and feasting.

I know some may suggest that “Jesus didn’t mean to welcome those people!” Like sinners, or tax collectors, or prostitutes. Or Pharisees, or . . .

You see what I mean? Jesus accepted ALL who were present. God bless all those who wish they were eating at God’s table. Like me.

Dear Lord, thank You for being so welcoming and accepting of anyone. Period.

@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.), 134.

They’ll Know—By Our Love

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, July 15, 2015

LOVE one another John 13-34

They’ll Know—By Our Love

Loving God. What’s more, showing that I love God. How? By loving others.

This book Praying the New Testament as Psalms has quite a number of adaptations of different passages from Scripture. The verse in the modern psalm that particularly moved me tonight came from John 13. “By the love I have for others/let me be recognized as a disciple of Jesus.” [1]

Yes, the Gospel of John has a tremendous number of verses showing love, and caring, and faith. However, showing that we love God (as described in John 13) immediately brought another passage from the Gospel of Mark to my mind.

Mark describes the situation with the Greatest Commandment, found in Mark 11. The man asked Jesus: “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

This guy gets it. Whatever he did with the rest of his life, he understood what the Rabbi Jesus was sharing here, with this statement. And, he even knew that loving God and loving others held so much importance. Even more importance than burnt offerings and sacrifices.

I wonder, Lord, how many people in Jesus’ day really understood why He came? I wonder, Lord, how many people realize why Jesus came—today?

Dear Lord, help me to follow You. (That’s the main thing. The important thing.) And, this second request is much more secondary; but if I am to be recognized by others for following You, help me always to point to You. Amen, and 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.), 126.

To Life! To Life Everlasting!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, July 14, 2015

circle of hands

To Life! To Life Everlasting!

Life remains a recurring theme throughout the Bible, and especially in the New Testament. Not only the mention of Life, but fullness of life. And of course, life everlasting, or eternal life.

The chapter for today from Praying the New Testament as Psalms features a number of these verses on differing aspects of Life. It gives a modern psalm that shows many of the different kinds of Life, and lets us know how amazing they are. And, what an amazing God we have. Imagine, offering us all of these different facets in Life Abundant. Or, Fullness of Life. Or, Life Everlasting.

This particular verse struck me deeply: “Make me a Gospel person—righteous, faith-filled—/for those who are righteous will live by faith.” [1] My goodness, the part where the authors mention “make me a Gospel person?” Those words are arresting. Thought-provoking.

And, I can spread the Gospel pretty much any way I want. As long as I remain true to the Message and to God.

First, God wants me to be a Gospel person! I had never thought of it that way before, but I think I want to be a Gospel person. Someone who runs after those who don’t know the Gospel, or haven’t heard. Someone who is trying to live in a way consistent with the Gospel, too.

Second, God would be pleased if I were to spread the Gospel. I see that as “however I see fit.” Moreover, one huge addition not expressly commanded, but can be seen by His example over and over again? Our Lord Jesus and His treatment, caring and love for those who dwelt on the margins. On the edges of not only society, but on the periphery of human behavior.

What would Jesus do? I think we know. He would proclaim Life Everlasting to everyone He met, no matter what. What should I do? I think, the same.

@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.), 120.

I’ve Got That Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, July 13, 2015

JOY today I choose joy

I’ve Got That Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Joy is also the topic of today’s modern psalm from Praying the New Testament as Psalms.

I could have expected that this verse would have been included. Of course it was. The verse from Luke 2 has been adapted as follows: “Good news and great joy for all people:/—a Saviour, the Messiah is ours./I will never be afraid.” [1]

That good news was brought to the shepherds guarding their sheep outside Bethlehem, so long ago. The shepherds were on the periphery of Jewish society, from the “wrong side of the tracks.” Still, they were among the very first to receive the news. That good news of great joy.

Even though life in this world is uncertain, I still have joy. Even though life can be frightening sometimes, God brings good news. Even though I don’t know the future, I still have joy. Truly, the joy of knowing Messiah Jesus, knowing that He brings good news—that is good news for all people.

Praise God. Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all people.

@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.), 114.

Radical Hospitality.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, July 12, 2015

4.2.7

4.2.7

Radical Hospitality.

“I was hungry and you gave me food;/ I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink./Come, you that are blessed by My Father,/inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” [1] These verses from Matthew 25 always hit me in the gut, whenever I read them. I can hear Jesus speaking them, to me. A personal message to me, every time.

It isn’t as if He is saying these verses to me in a mean way. No. Certainly not. But He does say them to me in all seriousness. With compassion and love for me, as well as for the dear ones I may assist as I distribute food, drink, or other forms of hospitality. Or, for those I pray for, as I go about my prayer time.

As I read this chapter of the book Praying the New Testament as Psalms, the modern verses of this psalm on hospitality give me different insights into what the biblical writers mean. Not only what Jesus had to say in Matthew, but also in other places in the Gospels, as well as the Epistles. Quite a multi-colored picture, so to speak.

I have been thinking about hospitality and charity for the past two weeks. Last Sunday, I preached about the first deacons from Acts 6. And today, I continued part two of the narrative, with Stephen the deacon. (Towards the end of my sermon I briefly spoke of the stoning of Stephen, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about here, today.)

This chapter from Acts is a wonderful example for all of us. Not only can we see the example of hospitality that the first deacons give us, but we can seriously take to heart the words of Matthew 25. “I was hungry and you gave me food;/ I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”

May I follow the words of Matthew 25, God willing. Perhaps you can, too.

@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.), 104.

There’s a Sweet Spirit in This Place

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, July 11, 2015

Trinity - Holy Spirit

There’s a Sweet Spirit in This Place

Holy Spirit. Heavenly Dove. Third member of the Trinity. So mysterious, yet so needful. You are a presence, a comforter, a helper to me. Coming alongside of me, helping me even when I am not sure You are there. I mean, here. I mean to say, with me.

These verses from this chapter of Praying the New Testament as Psalms intrigue me. They surprise me. Not because of the content backing up these modern verses, which I’ve known so well for decades. But, because of the format.

I was taken aback when I considered this to be such a moving psalm. (Yes, it is a modern adaptation, it is a psalm!) However, I’ve always seen these as more intellectual statements, printed in the New Testament. (And, sometimes, the transition to another format is quite a shake to the systems.)

Here’s a verse I felt was incredibly moving, adapted from the Gospel of Luke: “Send me to proclaim release to the captives,/recovery of sight to the blind,/and to let the oppressed go free.”[1] I know when Jesus read these words in the Hebrew Scriptures, He knew exactly how and when He was going to fulfill those words. I do not. However, as I read them in this different format, Luke’s words were packed with new meaning for me. Fresh import. I mean,

Sweet Holy Spirit, You seem to be the quiet one, the restful one. I know there is so much going on under Your mysterious surface. Holy Spirit, help me to act in a courageous way, in keeping with You and Your purposes. Lead me in a powerful way, ready to follow Your will and Your ways. I pray these words in Jesus’ risen name, 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.), 100.

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, July 10, 2015

LOVE heart He loved first

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

Today’s modern psalm is on one of the most striking attributes of God—most striking to me, anyway. God’s love. God is love. God loves you. God loves me. God loves all of us. (John 3:16 says so.)

This modern psalm, which comes from Praying the New Testament as Psalms, contains several verses that resonate with me. They echo and re-echo within my heart, personally, as well as strike me to the quick, in an outward fashion.

I realize that God loves me. I also realize that God loves my neighbor. The Stranger, the Other, the one on the other side of town, or on the other side of the tracks. The weird person I pass on the street. (Yes, God loves them.) The mean person in the next car who just cut me off. (Yes, that person, too.) Even the awful person who committed that unspeakable crime they’re talking about, on the news. God loves that person. Or ones in rehab facilities. Or in mental institutions. Or playing in parks or walking on beaches or in senior residences or homebound or at work or lonely or grieving or joy-filled. Or you, or your loved ones.

I would like to share two verses, both taken/adapted from Romans 5. Both coming from the writing of the Apostle Paul. “Your own love, God, has been poured into my heart/by the Holy Spirit, which has been given to me.” [1] This verse from the modern psalm talks about God’s love, comparing it to something being poured into me. Almost as if I am a thirsty vessel, or a water glass waiting to be filled. Then, the Holy Spirit fills me up to the brim. Cool, clear, clean, fresh water. And, I have been given the Holy Spirit. It’s all done, already. I don’t need to wait any more. I’m filled with the Spirit that refreshes.

The second verse is also adapted from Romans 5: “Jesus, You gave proof of God’s love for me./While I was still a sinner, You died for me.” [2] Lord Jesus, that astounds me even more than the first verse. Yes, the Lord has gifted me with the Holy Spirit. But—Jesus did not have to do any of that for me, since I was a sinner. I sinned in thought, word and deed, and I still do sin. But God so loved me, Elizabeth, that God gave His only begotten Son—for me.

You can put your name into that last sentence, if you want. Try that on for size, and see whether it fits. Whether you believe it. Whether you feel worthy, or not. It’s still true. Perhaps, it is especially true when you and I doubt the verity and veracity of that statement.

Thank You, God, for loving me, and for loving this dear friend who is reading along with us. And for loving all the people You have created. Thank You for Your everlasting, endless love.

@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.), 88.

[2] Ibid.

Forgiveness? How to Forgive.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 9, 2015

FORGIVE God forgives the unexcusable

Forgiveness? How to Forgive.

How to forgive? The same way Christ forgave. Step by step, one step at a time.

One action, one lovingly, giving-ly, supernaturally, and amazingly given.

But what happens when I do something against God? Something that hurts God? What about something that ought to cause God to become bitter, or aloof, but just doesn’t? What then?

Amazing grace. Even more amazing forgiveness. That is the way that God is going to forgive; or has forgiven. I am reminded of the scene in Isaiah 6, where such awe-inspiring presence of God would lead me to prostrate myself before all that mighty God-ness. Only, I see that remarkable presence of God as forgiving me. Wow. I have no words. They all seemed to be inadequate.

But—wait. As I come to the book Praying the New Testament as Psalms, I find forgiveness in so many places there, as well. Like in this modern verse adapted from Ephesians: “Touch my heart, God, that I may be kind to others,/tender-hearted, ready to forgive as You in Christ have forgiven me.” [1]

Dear God. Gracious, loving, forgiving God. Through the riches of Christ’s grace, I have forgiveness lavished upon me. It is too much for me to understand, much less begin to appreciate. All I can do is fall on my face. (Just like Isaiah.) Thank You. Thank You. And, help me always to be as ready to forgive others as You in Christ are ready to forgive me.

@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.), 78.

How Deep is My Faith?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, July 8, 2015

FAITH bible

How Deep is My Faith?

I’ve known that Hebrews 11 is the “Faith chapter” of the New Testament for quite some time. Yes, I know that many devout believers practically swear by this chapter. Oh, it makes So-and-so so firm in his faith. Or, So-and-so depends on the stories she hears from Chapter 11, and tries to make her behavior like several of the saints found there.

When Hebrews 11:1-3 got put into psalm format, when our two authors turned this into a New Testament psalm similar to those in the book Praying the New Testament as Psalms, I found a whole new appreciation for these verses. “God, You are faithful – faithful forever./You cannot deny Yourself.” [1]

Here’s another familiar passage to me. Until it was turned into a Psalm, that is. That gave me a new twist on things. The verse: “May Your word abide in me forever;/believing in the one whom You sent.” [2] This modern-day retelling of these few verses come from John 5:37-38.

A fresh way to express the sentiment and feelings. Faith expresses trust in a person’s relationship with God. Do I have faith? Do I have trust? Do I believe in Jesus, the one whom God sent?

Dear God, You are faithful, indeed. Not only to me, but to everyone. That faithfulness is totally in Your character. Thanks, God.

@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.), 70.

[2].Ibid.

Disciple of Christ? Present and Accounted For

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, July 6, 2015

LOVE love God love people

Disciple of Christ? Present and Accounted For

I can learn about a figure from history all I want. Even, delve into the books, when it comes to that. However, there is the difference between night and day when it comes to merely finding out information versus becoming a true disciple.

Want to talk further about discipleship? What about reading about it? The book Praying the New Testament as Psalms lifts up several excellent passages from the New Testament where discipleship is spoken of, explained, and prayed over.

Like, this: “Let me be a servant to others/remembering the example of Jesus,/living His new commandment of love—/the true mark of His disciple.” [1]

Dedicated to Christ—that’s what I strive to be. Committed. Offering my life, myself. Yes, Lord Jesus. Yet, I don’t quite realize the height, the breadth, the depth of what this might possibly mean. At least, I don’t think I fully know.

I am studying Acts chapter 7, in preparation for an upcoming sermon this Sunday. The deacon Stephen? Dying, martyr for the sake of Christ? Now, that is discipleship. That is sacrifice, and love, and forgiveness. That is living life the way that Jesus would. (Would that I could follow Jesus to this extreme extent.)

Which brings me to more words from the Gospel of John, turned into a modern Psalm. “Open my heart to learn from Your Son—/the humble, gentle Jesus,/His yoke is easy and His burden light./I will find rest for my soul.” [2]

Wow. And again I say, wow. Such radical discipleship. May I live out my life in such a way as to be a disciple of Christ. In the way of either of these Psalms, showing two aspects of what Jesus calls each of us to do. To be. God willing, I pray so.

@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.), 60.

[2] Ibid.