Tag Archives: regular

Challenge of Morning Meditation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, June 22, 2017

sunrise over the mountains

Challenge of Morning Meditation

I am not a morning-kind-of-a-person. Yes, I can get up early in the morning. I have served as an overnight chaplain and had to be up at all hours. However, my deep desire and dear preference is one of sleeping in my bed. Getting a full night’s sleep.

In this new chapter, Dietrich Bonhoeffer tells the seminarians (from the secret seminary) about morning meditation and prayer. He not only sings the praises of regular meditation and prayer, but he also suggests ways in which those who meditate actually reach God.

“Every morning God gives us the gift of comprehending anew his faithfulness of old; thus, in the midst of our life with God, we may daily begin a new life with him.” [1]

Bonhoeffer gave a whole list of instances and examples in the Bible where prayer and meditation are specifically mentioned as taking place in the morning. “The people of faith woke early because of their expectation of God’s marvelous acts (Gen. 19:27, Ex. 24:4, Job 1:5). Sleep no longer holds them. They rush to greet the early grace of God.” [2]

The early grace of God…why do I not sync with this? Now, the grace of God that is up late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, that I do sync with. Somehow, I have problems in waking up early in the morning for meditation and prayer.

I know so many people who write books and articles about prayer, and almost all of them recommend prayer early in the morning. I am so sorry, God. I cannot seem to do this, even occasionally.

Dear God, thanks for loving me, and being patient with me.



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), 29.

[2] Ibid.

Praying Through the Changing of Jobs

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, March 24, 2014

PRAY God hears prayer Eph 6-18

Praying Through the Changing of Jobs

A good deal has occurred since I last posted on this blog—a mere ten days ago. But I have a new job now! A job that suddenly popped up, and I took it. For the curious among you readers, a week ago I began serving at a church in the Chicago suburbs. My position is that of interim co-pastor, and the whole set-up was providential, indeed! Amazing how quickly things can happen.

The past week has been a whirlwind. I started my new job at the church a week ago yesterday. I gave two weeks’ notice to my old (part-time) employer, and my last day is this Friday coming up. Plus, I needed to go to a conference. I also have a state certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling—on top of my master’s degree in Divinity. I really love being with fellow professionals, able to receive additional refresher courses in the area of my certification!

So what? (I suspect some of you are saying right now) Yeah, yeah. It’s not the typical thing I usually blog about. But, I needed the time away from the rest of my life! I realize it wasn’t the typical time away, either. However, it was time I was taking to refresh my skills, and get new tools for the tool belt.

For that matter, I need a bit of refreshing in the area of pastoral skills, too. Sure, I’ve been active in chaplaincy for most of the past ten years. However, it’s been about seven years since I was on staff at a local church. (It wasn’t my doing! I did not actively seek this position out.) God must think I can step up to the plate, though. I will do my best, with God’s help.

It’s a good thing I have been regular in my prayer and meditation! I am relieved to say that. I’ve shared here before what a challenge it has been over the years for me to pray on a regular basis. But thankfully, I have been consistent since last fall. I am starting to feel the rhythms of the day, and prayer is falling into its own place in my daily schedule. I encourage anyone who is having a difficult time with consistency in prayer to find a regular time of the day in which to pray. Why don’t you drop me a line and tell me about it, too? I like to offer a hand, and help when asked.

Instead of just talking about prayer, let’s get down to it. Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for the opportunity we have to come to You. Forgive our inconsistency in prayer and in our relationship with You. Help us to draw closer, day by day, one day at a time. Thank You for the chance to serve one another, too. In Your blessed name we pray, Amen.

Internal Life? Or External Walk?

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, December 30, 2013

winter road

For the past few years, I’ve been concerning myself with—myself. I have been striving to maintain some kind of spiritual balance, working on my internal, spiritual component. I pray regularly (or at least, try to). I visit my therapist and spiritual director regularly, work out on a weekly basis at the local YMCA gym, and I even practiced relaxation and meditation in an intensive way for several months. In all of this, I have been working on the inner “me.”

I have also been intentional with my prayer life. Not only have I been praying on an increasingly regular basis, but I’ve also started a prayer chain and prayer blog, so we all can be encouraged in our personal prayer lives. This helps my inner relationship with God prosper, too.

But, what about my relationship with others? How about my family? Friends? What about those at church, or at the gym? What about my co-workers, or strangers I meet on the street? Have I been as studious and diligent at developing my relationship with them?

Yes, I am called by God to be in relationship with God—the vertical relationship.  But I am also called to be in community, as well—the horizontal relationship, one with another. One of my spiritual gifts is helping people. And by nature, I am kind and compassionate in my relations with others. It’s my relationship with others and with my local community (as well as their relationship with me) that I want to work on in 2014.

That’s why 2014 is my year to be kind. To help. To be of service. Intentionally.

(I will explore my thoughts and experiences of my year of service throughout 2014. I’ll do this at a new blog— www.ayearofbeingkind.net, starting on January 1, 2014. I’m excited! Visit me there, too.)

Let’s pray. Dear God, as the old year ends and the new year begins, I see new hopes ahead. New opportunities. New experiences. God, be with me as I begin a year of intentional service. I pray that this service be God-honoring. I ask You to lead me into places and experiences that You intend. Even challenging and difficult things. Protect me, guard me, guide me. I know You will be there, holding my hand. Thank You for my friends and prayer partners, who will be right by my side (in prayer!). God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.