Tag Archives: refuge and strength

Prayer Can Be an Encouragement

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, July 12, 2016

PRAY God's help a prayer away

Prayer Can Be an Encouragement

A friend of mine asked me for prayer for an ongoing issue. A serious issue. Of course, I said.

What about when things are serious for you? Difficult? Complex? Intellectually, I know God ought to protect and support. Encourage. However, sometimes things are continuing. Ongoing.

What then? Is God still our refuge and strength? Our present help in times of trouble? Will God watch over our goings and comings?

I feel for people who are in continuing difficulties, or griefs. Anxiety and fear are so prevalent in so many situations. .

Our help does indeed come from the Lord. But, why is the situation (or, situations) still ongoing? I cannot tell for sure. I don’t know. I need to trust God, and trust that my friend will be protected, supported, encouraged, and loved.

God willing. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers


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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

Place of Prayer Protection

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, January 13, 2016

God - refuge and strength Psa 46

Place of Prayer Protection

People who need people are the luckiest people in the world. No man is an island, and all that. Each person has a connection with each other person. Connection, attachment, kinship, relationship. We do need each other. But, that isn’t all.

I know I need a relationship with my God. If I am separated from God, I am in bad straits. Cut off from God and cut off from other people? Not a very good situation, at all.

How our enemy loves to cut us off from each other, and separate each one from God. How dare they? I’ll tell you: through natural happenings, through human error, through emotional or psychological or physical attachment gone awry. And sometimes, through something as straightforward as loneliness, or grief, or anger, or boredom, or fear.

What can you and I do about this? The answer in part is: prayer. Prayer stands as a protection and strength.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for Your presence. I appreciate You acting as a refuge and strength. God, You are my rock and fortress, sure to be there for me and with me. I know the Lord is there when I go through the thick of things. Just like King David said, even though each of us is walking down the solitary path through the valley of shadow. No matter! We are still on God’s side. And, God will keep each one under the shadow of heavenly wings. Thank God.


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

To Rock the Church, To Tip Sacred Cows, To Pray

matterofprayer blog post for Friday, October 31, 2014

God refuge and strength Ps 46-1

To Rock the Church, To Tip Sacred Cows, To Pray

Today is Halloween, October 31. Today, in Chicago, it‘s a cold and windy day for trick or treating. (Bundle up those children! Brrr.)

But today is also All Hallow’s Eve. The day before All Saints Day, which for centuries is the day that liturgical churches have traditionally commemorated the saints who have died, who have gone before us. That great cloud of witnesses that Hebrews 12:1 talks about.

Today is the 497th anniversary of the date that Martin Luther, at that time Catholic priest and Doctor (or Professor) of Theology at the University of Wittenberg, had had enough of the church establishment of his time. He posted a list of formal disagreements on the university bulletin board, which happened to be the door of the university chapel. That list—which we now know today as the 95 Theses—sparked a sea change in religious thought from that time forward. Martin Luther and his list rocked the church. Tipped sacred cows.

I was baptized and confirmed in a Lutheran church in Chicago several decades ago. Martin Luther and his declaratory act on that All Hallow’s Eve five hundred years ago has been dear to my heart since I was a teenager. I have traveled a long way down religious, spiritual and theological roads since then, but I always remember Martin Luther. His great emphasis on being freed from the bondage of sin, and saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ, remains with me.

Also, Martin Luther was a great man of prayer. He would spend many hours in prayer each week. This was on top of his busy schedule, managing, teaching, traveling, lecturing, preaching, and preparing his sermons and talks. And then, he wrote many volumes of commentaries, translated the whole Bible into German (both Old and New Testaments), plus handled a huge correspondence with people all over Europe. Yet, there was always time in his life for prayer.

Whatever tradition each of us, individually, springs from, I hope we may all affirm Martin’s wonderful focus on prayer as the foundation of his life. He depended on prayer. Moreover, prayer and Scripture are so closely linked in his mind that he could not imagine one without the other. Like Martin, I ask for earnestness of heart to be able to follow God daily, and to give prayer the highest place of priority in my life.

Let’s pray. Dear God, gracious Redeemer, we thank You for examples like Martin Luther, who we remember as a great man of faith as well as prayer. We remember with him that You are our refuge and strength, a mighty fortress that never will fail us. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Help us as we continue to follow You. In the mighty name of God we pray, Amen.


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Prayer When All Looks Dark

matterofprayer blog post for Friday, September 5, 2014

PRAY joyful, faithful in affliction, faithful prayer

Prayer When All Looks Dark

Dark clouds, black as night! But it’s the middle of the afternoon . . .

We had a cloudburst here in the Chicago area today. This afternoon, to be exact. I sat in my office and watched the torrential downpour happen for some twenty minutes.

Before the rain started, I could look west and see the clouds roll in. The dark clouds, almost black, heavy with rain. The trees and bushes rustled, waved in the rising wind. Then, twisted and turned. Drops started to fall. And then fall harder. In less than no time, sheets of rain pounded the pavement outside my window.

Isn’t that the way it is, sometimes? I mean, life. “It never rains, but it pours,” is one old saying I remember. Things pile up. Or, pile on. In a very short amount of time, sometimes, life becomes too full. Too chaotic. Too much. Too deep. What then?

Is God around? Can God hear me? Does God even care about me?

Torrential downpours happen in many people’s lives, not only affecting them, but affecting their loved ones, too. Sure, when employment or school or family situations crop up, that can be devastating. But, when emotional or psychological issues rear their heads? That can be even more traumatic. Because people often frown upon what they consider signs of weakness or ineptness. Tendencies toward isolation or depression or anxiety.

Yes, God is our ever present refuge and strength! Please, don’t forget this! God will be our very present help in times of trouble and need! God is always ready and willing to be there for us! But just as we go to doctors when we have a broken arm, or call an appliance repair person when our refrigerator needs fixing, so there are good people, trained professionals who are ready and willing to help with psychological and emotional needs, too.

That downpour in our lives can be stopped. You and I can get on the road to better psychological, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. (Often, physical health can be a concern, too. Check on it, too.)

Today is September 5, 2014, the day after NAMI’s annual conference in Washington DC marched on Capitol Hill and launching an outreach on social media, including Twitter and Facebook. (#Act4MentalHealth) Thus, I am encouraged to open up, writing about my difficulties with depression. I am speaking out with my message of walking through the dark places, and coming out the other side. God willing, many people will speak out. Not be ashamed.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, we thank You for being our refuge and strength. We ask that if we know anyone who is having difficulty with a downpour in their lives, than You help us to be a support and strength to them. Thank You, God, for loving us. For caring for us. And, for giving us Your comforting presence, no matter what. Amen!

For more information, here’s NAMI’s website: http://www.nami.org/

NAMI’s contact information: NAMI, 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, Va 22203

NAMI’s telephone numbers: Main: (703) 524-7600, Fax: (703) 524-9094, Member Services: (888) 999-6264, Helpline: (800) 950-6264


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net