Tag Archives: preach

Pray for Opportunity, for Outreach

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, July 25, 2016

prayer - hands

Pray for Opportunity, for Outreach

What a wonderful opportunity to experience mission and outreach. Each summer for more than fifteen years, I have had this experience of mission—up close and personal.

I got the chance to hear a friend of mine preach yesterday, on Sunday, and present today in a conference session. Some of the things he said were heartbreaking. However, many of the things he said were hopeful. So hopeful!

There are large parts of the world where individuals are realizing that the God of the Bible, the God who loved the whole world, the God who died and rose again—this God is the true God. My friend spoke of widespread struggle and military action, fear, anger, despair, and sincere questioning. At the same time, he spoke of an undercurrent of vibrant faith and connection in the God who loved the whole world, the God who died and rose again.

This is a tremendous opportunity. Not for fear, and anxiety, hatred, and despair. No! This is a time of hope and promise, of anticipation and outreach! Also, a time of earnest and heartfelt prayer. We need to continue to pray for God to send workers into the harvest.

Dear Lord, loving and merciful God, I pray for You to continue opening doors. Open doors for all who read these words. Provide opportunities to spread Your love and to tell others how much You love them. Thank You for Your love for me and for my family. Help me to be faithful to Your will, work, and ways. In the mighty, powerful and loving name of the One who was and is and is to come, the name of Jesus, Amen.


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

Today is Tuesday – Dry Bones and Prayer?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 7, 2015

dry bones Ezekiel 37 word cloud

Today is Tuesday – Dry Bones and Prayer?

A rainy day. Raw, gray, sad day. What an appropriate reading for such a day, I thought. Ezekiel 37:1-14, the valley of the dry bones. As I read in the liturgical daily prayer book, I felt dry, even a bit spiritually parched. Odd way to feel, immediately after Easter. After the big events of Holy Week, capped by such a wonderful Easter celebration.

But, maybe, not so odd.

There is often some let-down, after such a celebration. So much hype, such anticipation. And then, the nosedive in the aftermath. (The weather outside might have had something to do with my gray, negative attitude, too.)

“Hear the word of the Lord!” Ezekiel was told to preach to the bones. As a preacher myself, I suspect that Ezekiel did his very best, especially since the Lord ordered him to! I know I try my best to preach, too. I don’t always hit the mark, but I try. I try my best. (You know I do, Lord! )

I feel akin to Ezekiel. Preaching to a little congregation, doing the best I can, with the Lord’s help. Whatever God wants me to do, I strive to do my best.

What about you? In your case, it might not be preaching. However, God may very well be calling you to do something. Be the best YOU you can be. Do the best job at whatever your hand finds to do. Just like Ezekiel.

Dear Lord, gracious God, give us a spirit of willingness. A spirit of thoughtfulness. A spirit of humility. And some honesty and openness wouldn’t hurt, either! Thanks for providing all of us with help, whenever we cry out to You like Ezekiel did. Thanks for Your presence with me, every day. Help me as I prepare for the various services and bible studies, week by week. And provide for our needs. Please. In the risen Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


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 .

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

Think About—Talk About—Preach About Prayer

matterofprayer blog post for Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PRAY hug friends with prayers

Think About—Talk About—Preach About Prayer

If you’ve been following this occasional blog during the past few months, I may have mentioned my change in job circumstances a time or two. About how my good friend and co-pastor Pastor Gordon and I were working together at the small congregation in the Chicago suburbs. And how Gordon has since left for another call and responsibility with his denomination, the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the United Church of Christ. So, I won’t go into that again.

However, before Gordon left the church, he and I met during the last week of May to recap our ministry over the past three months. In other words, look at all that we had done, and done right!

My good friend affirmed the fact that we had been a real encouragement to this congregation. That was a real affirmation for me, personally! During the next few weeks, as I was thinking about and praying about possible summer preaching series-es, the idea of prayer kept coming to me again and again. So, the week after Pentecost, I rolled it out. I began the series, and I want to concentrate especially on intercessory prayer, in the weeks ahead.

I know, from both my work and my personal experience, how much people often appreciate intercessory prayer! When I worked as a chaplain, I would usually ask the patients and/or their loved ones, “Is there anything you would like for me to do?” Very often, the answer would be, “Yes, please! Could you pray for us?” or, “Pray for good test results!” or perhaps, “Could you pray for this other situation, too?” And, people of all different denominations and faith traditions, too. Even those from outside of Christianity would occasionally ask me for prayer.

Time and again, I was so awestruck and honored to be entrusted with this precious opportunity—the opportunity to come into God’s presence with these friends. And, to journey with them, for a little way, down this road of challenge, difficulty, grief and pain.

That was such a vivid, sometimes rewarding, sometimes heart-rending experience. I really feel called to present this opportunity to this congregation. We can offer to pray for others. God willing, we can be loving, caring friends to people in need. I plan on starting this prayer ministry the first week in August.

I know there are some praying friends who are reading this blog. If you feel so led, could you pray for us and this congregation, as we prepare to minister to others? And, show others the love and care of Christ, as we pray for them and their needs? Thanks so much. I don’t know what I would do without sisters and brothers in God to walk with me. Together, we can do so much more than me, all by myself. Praise God!

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, Gracious God, thank You for Your comfort and care. Thank You for the invitation to come before You in prayer. Gracious God, help us to lift up our friends and acquaintances to You, in both praises and requests. We are so glad You are always ready to hear us, and respond. Thank You! Amen.


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net