Tag Archives: presence of God

Pray for the One I Love (Focus Friday!)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – February 6, 2015

LOVE you are loved

Pray for the One I Love (Focus Friday!)

Today’s prayer suggestion caught me off guard. I stared at the open page for some seconds.

Yes, I can think of the person I love most in the world. My husband, Kevin. I love you, sweetheart! I really do! But—the next words surprised me. “How can you see the presence of God in that person?” I do not think of Kevin in those terms very often. But, here is my attempt.

I see God’s presence in Kevin through his honesty, genuineness, and integrity. Through his appreciation of beauty in language, music, nature, and order in all things. I enjoy and appreciate my husband’s sense of humor and his creativity—both qualities that I know God has in abundance! And, I respect Kevin for his wisdom and discernment.

God, thank You for the gift of knowing Kevin, of having him as my companion, my friend, my husband and my lover. I thank You for the times we have to talk and joke, and for the times to be serious, even somber. I thank You for the opportunities we give each other to be apart from each other, and the trust and respect we have for each other. I thank You for Kevin’s excellent work ethic, and I praise his ability to make music—whether in the style of classical violin, bluegrass, or Irish fiddle music.

Dear God, thank You for the gift of love. I know that the Apostle John said to his readers, “We love, because He first loved us.” Lord, I know Kevin and I can give and receive love freely because of You and Your love for all of us. I am glad of our love, caring, and liking for each other. I pray that You bless that love, and encourage each of us to nourish those positive, loving feelings for each other. In Your mercy, Lord, hear all of my prayers.

This is a worthwhile suggestion. I felt it deeply in my emotional center, as well as my intellect. May I suggest that my readers follow the same example? Carry out and follow the same suggestion? Let me know how you do!

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.

To Feel, or Not To Feel? In Prayer.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 26, 2015

secret is simple--prayer

To Feel, or Not To Feel? In Prayer.

It’s just Jesus and me, on the mountaintop! Together, praying and meditating, walking, and sitting in silence together. I feel so close to the Lord, it’s just amazing!

Well . . . not always. Even, not often. But, yes, sometimes.

It’s true, I don’t feel the awesome, mighty, yet intimate presence of God quite all the time. I would be lying if I said that I did. It’s only been recently—and I mean less than two hundred years—that feelings in prayer have been trusted. In selected writings of the Pietists and in the First and Second Great Awakenings of the Church (in certain parts of the world), scattered people reported deep feelings in prayer and in the relationship with God. But not many.

As Rev. Howell tells his readers, Martin Luther warned that deep feeling in prayer might well be a trap, that the devil might be seducing us into something not of God. [1] This was a common statement or concern, for many centuries. On my part, I am heartily glad that feelings are not suspected to be temptations or traps any longer!

Looking at the whole subject of feelings from the other side, however, I can understand how being too dependent on feelings and intuition can get me into trouble. Too much emphasis on feelings can cloud logic and common sense. And, when feelings go too far into states of mind that are negative or harmful in any way (like chronic depression, severe anxiety, and the like), that’s when other believers in God can be helpful.

Isolation, deprivation or fasting, except for brief and measured periods of time, is not positive. What comes to mind is an acronym used in the addiction, substance abuse, and recovery fields: H-A-L-T. Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. Any one of these states can be a concern. And two at once? An even bigger concern. These states can also trigger or heighten negative emotion, exacerbating a bad feeling (or situation) into something much worse. Suggestion: if and when you feel this way? Seek out mature believers, ministers, or others you can trust, and open up to them. And, if this negative feeling continues? Please, seek out professional help, even call 911.

So, yes, having deep feeling in prayer and in our relationship with God can be great! But, as Rev. Howell so perceptively said, “Jesus did not come so we could feel different, Jesus came so we could be different.” [2] Amen! Help me—help us—to stick close to You, God, no matter how we feel. No matter what our situation is. Amen, and amen!

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.

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, (Nashville, TN, Abingdon Press: 2003), 82.

[2] Ibid, 83.

Waiting in silence

A few days ago, one of the passages I meditated on in prayer was the beginning of Psalm 62. I don’t always pray with a specific passage of Scripture in mind, but recently I’ve been using a method of prayer called Benedictine Rumination. (ruminating or chewing repetitively on Scripture—I’ll have to talk more about that, soon)

I was struck by the first part of the first verse of Psalm 62. “For God alone my soul waits in silence.” Wow. I’ll say it again. Wow!

Sometimes, when I encourage my mind, body and spirit to enter into prayer, I feel myself sinking into prayer. This particular prayer time was one of those times. Leaving behind the hurry, the hustle and bustle, the noise, everything distracting or worrisome. I felt a welcome from God, and the gentle silence. Open, friendly, peaceful presence.

Sadly, I was not able to stay there during the whole prayer time. However, I had experienced it for part of it. I knew it was there. I was able to tap into that warm presence, that gentle silence, for some of the time. I really needed it! I sure could use it on a regular basis, God!

I understand that silence is something that makes some people uncertain. Even anxious. Not me. (that is, usually) But I have a difficult time getting there. Your warm, gracious welcoming arms are waiting for me, I know. Thanks for being there. And thanks for being warm and welcoming, instead of cold and distant.

Let’s pray. Dear God, sometimes it’s difficult to enter into prayer, much less break into Your gentle silence. Please help me to leave worry, anxiety and hurry behind. Forgive me for focusing on sad things, angry feelings, and hurt places in my life. I know Your presence is waiting. Thanks for making Your warm, gracious silence available, any time I need it. Any time I want it. Thanks, God. Amen.