Tag Archives: profound

The Psalter and Meditation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, June 3, 2017

Psalter - Westminster_Psalter_David playing the harp. c. 1200

The Psalter and Meditation

I am such a fan of Dietrich Bonhöffer and his devotional writing. Sure, many people praise his deep theological works. (I think his theology is profound, too.) However, his attitude toward meditation and prayer reach me in a deep, profound way, internally.

I know how important reading is for those who understand “that special intimate relationship with God’s Word.” [1] In the excerpt, we discovered the repercussions for each one who is actively looking for an effective, emotional interaction.

Bonhöffer considered the Psalms as the way he became closer to God. I know how challenging this is for many, but think of something hopeful and upbeat. If anyone can get their hands on this devotional reading, it would be a worthwhile way of deepening our relationship with God.

Dear God, help me to discover more about You and Your World. Lead me in Your way and direct our path. Hear us, o Lord God where You can remind us of how valuable the meditation can be. Hear us when we pray.



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

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 10.


Give Me a Heart . . . for Thee

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, October 13, 2015

HEART How-to-Make-a-Stained-Glass-Heart

Give Me a Heart . . . for Thee

The Oxford Book of Prayer contains within its covers an embarrassment of riches in words. From just the few dozen pages I have read so far, I can tell how amazing, how profound and moving are the prayers, the sentiments expressed. And, the people chosen and represented.

For today, I have chosen just a portion of a prayer. A snippet, so to speak, of a prayer by Dag Hammerskjold. The prayer concerns “Thy Will Be Done” (Prayer 248, page 85) [1] The prayer is about Dedication.

“Give me a pure heart—that I may see Thee./A humble heart—that I may hear Thee,/A heart of love—that I may serve Thee,/A heart of faith—that I may abide in Thee.”

Oh, Lord! What lofty sentiments. How can I even think to see You, since my heart is blackened and marred by sin? Yet, as I journey with You, by Your side, I hope to see You more and more clearly.

Humble? Humility? (Yes, I know the book that some would like to write: “Humility, and How I Attained It.” Well, that is not me.) But, I dearly want to draw nearer to You, Lord. I want to be closer to You. That way, I’ll be able to hear Your words.

“A heart of love.” Ah, love! I yearn to be loved. I want to be loved. Yet, my low self-esteem keeps dogging my heels. Thank God, the love You’ve given to me overflows into my inner self, that deep, inner person, deep within.

Faith! And, abiding? Oh, to have more faith! I am reminded of the man from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9, who said, “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!” Dear Lord Jesus, help me to have more faith. Then, perhaps, I will grope my way towards abiding with You.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear my fervent prayers.


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), 85.

How to Heal. In Prayer.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 29, 2015

healing prayers

How to Heal. In Prayer.

More about healing? God wants to heal broken relationships, bruised feelings, imperfect people. And, God can heal actual, physical illness and disease, too.

Sometimes, as C.S. Lewis notes in his book A Grief Observed, a person deals with much more than physical illness. It is somehow magnified by feelings of desperate loneliness, or quiet despair, or sharp pangs of regret. And what about resentment, screwed up so tight, or anger, simmering like a kettle over a high flame on the stovetop.

Yes, God is intimately familiar with all of these afflictions, too.

I was especially intrigued by something Cardinal Joseph Bernardin wrote, shortly before he died. Cardinal Bernardin was the head of all Catholics in the Chicago area for some years. He said, especially in respect to his ministry to cancer sufferers, “the worst suffering is isolation, feeling cut off.” [1] The most profound thing we can do, oftentimes, is just show up.

Rev. Howell gives another example, too. He states, “a friend of mine spent a week in Lourdes, the shrine in France where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. . . . When my friend returned, I asked her, ‘Did you see any miracles?’ She said, ‘Oh yes, every day.’ … ‘Every day at Lourdes, no matter who you are, or where you are from, or what’s wrong with you, you are welcomed, and loved.’” [2]

Yes, God can be seen, healing from something physical. True. And yes, it can be in some quiet way where the chaplain comes alongside without words—with the ministry of presence, or sitting beside a family in fresh grief and anguish and praying. Or, speaking softly with a senior, encouraging their heart at the sad prospect of a life with limited mobility. I repeat what Rev. Howell said through his friend, “No matter who you are, or where you are from, or what’s wrong with you, you are welcomed, and loved.”

Isn’t that what all this is about? Yes, it would be so nice if the crowds were suddenly healed from all physical infirmity, or healings continued in some stadium-sized venue. But that must not be what God wants. God’s priorities are not the same as our priorities. Not always, anyway.

Yes, Jesus healed, physically. Sometimes in a big way, usually in a public way, occasionally in a quiet way. Not only physical healing, but emotional, spiritual, and psychological healing. Jesus cured relationships, and restored individuals to fellowship with God and with each other. Do you want that for yourself today? Jesus will heal you in the most intimate way possible, so you can enjoy being forever-friends with Him.

And, how awesome is that?

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), 89.

[2] Ibid, 90.