Tag Archives: relationships

Prayer. Meditation. Wisdom.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, January 22, 2017

water-lilies-mindful

Prayer. Meditation. Wisdom.

I still have difficulty praying and meditating on a regular basis. Yes, I have had this blog for many months. I strove to be faithful in prayer and meditation for many years before. (Lord, You know I have.) And still, I struggle.

Yet, when I do pray and meditate—on occasion—I can feel the peace and serenity of God come into my heart and mind. Marvelous feeling! (Even when I do not feel the sense of the presence of God surrounding me, much.)

Plus, every now and then, I gain insight, or wisdom, from the prayer and meditation. Every now and then, I find I have discernment that I did not previously realize was there.

See, when we pray and meditate, sometimes long-held internal ideas of resentment, fear, anger, despair and hatred are quietly transformed. In some cases, relationships with other people and with nature can be transformed, too.

When I become aware of this—this discernment, this wisdom beyond myself, I am filled with wonder. How amazing that negative ideas and qualities can quietly transform. As I continue with the prayer and meditation on a regular basis, positive things begin happening on the inside. As teacher Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us, “As we become freer and happier, we cease to act in ways that make others suffer, and we are able to bring about change in ourselves and help others around us.” [1]

God willing, may I become more and more positive. May my mind become more in line with the way Jesus would view my thinking. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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] How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 34.

 

Lots to Pray About

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lots to Pray About

Lots to pray about? That is an understatement.

Yes, at my church—in the family of faith I belong to—there are many prayer needs and prayer requests. Even some joys in prayer. However, in the country where I live, there are even more prayer needs. Serious, even agonizing needs.

I feel strongly about these larger, serious prayer needs. There are a number of wrongful deaths that occurred during the past few weeks. I realize feelings are still running high, throughout the country. I believe that prayer can assist. Assist with feelings, both negative and positive. And, assist us even in dealing with horror and agony.

So much fear, anxiety, even violence here in the Chicago area. Added to that, the injustice in the country against many others. When I consider all the pain in the situations, in the lives of the various individuals and families involved, I am saddened beyond measure. I realize that trauma and pain can still infiltrate the feelings of many.

Alone, I sometimes cry over all the fear, horror and pain. But when I join together with others, in relationships, I won’t be as likely to shrink into myself. People will still mourn, but still feel the companionship of others.

Prayer can help in many situations. Others can help to bear the burdens and pain. Please, God, hearken to our prayers. All of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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

PEACE is Serenity and Calmness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 18, 2016

IMG_0158.JPG

PEACE is Serenity and Calmness

Today’s definition makes sense. Deep-down sense.

As I talked with the person who gave me this definition, she was cleaning up after the fellowship time at St. Luke’s Christian Community Church. She told me—in so many words—what she thought the definition of PEACE is. “I think that’s a wonderful definition! Could you write it down on a piece of paper? I would very much like to take a photo of you with that definition,” I said.

At first hesitant, she agreed. (And as she straightened her jacket, she told me she didn’t take very good photos. Which I disagree with!)

Carol Metler’s definition: PEACE is Serenity and Calmness.

How much more straight-forward could a definition be? Certainly serenity figures into peaceful living. Lack of drama and trauma. And, serenity implies an inner calmness. Carol added, “Even happiness enters into peacefulness. People who are happy are often peaceful.”

Sadly, many individuals are neither happy nor peaceful. Their lives are not serene and calm, either. Family units have disruption and disagreements aplenty. I have seen extended families living with a lot of difficulties; not only in terms of physical and medical needs, but even more extensive are the emotional and psychological difficulties. Lots to pray about.

A lack of PEACE can be divisive and devastating to relationships. Thank you to Carol for this excellent definition. (And, Carol looks happy and serene in her photo!)

I pray that all of our relationships may be touched with peace, serenity and calmness. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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

Guard My Tongue, I Pray

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, January 27, 2016

silence is a good answer

Guard My Tongue, I Pray

I can’t always guard my tongue. I mean, I have put my foot into my mouth a goodly amount of times. Perhaps it comes from growing up as a chubby, socially-awkward kid, and turning into a chunky, gauche adolescent. I suspect that has something to do with it.

Regardless, I know I can do better. God would be pleased if I tried to do better. Our words and our speech can be so powerful. I have choices. I can use positive, encouraging words with others, or I can speak hateful, negative words, which would cause lots of people to dislike me and avoid me when I am around. It’s my choice.

I know my words, thoughts and actions all display what is in my mind and heart. If I think respectful thoughts and feel encouraging feelings in my heart, I will be that much more likely to be positive in my interactions. That means my interactions with acquaintances and friends will be affected, as well as my relationships with family and close friends.

What a way to please God. And, it’s a way to be kind, thoughtful, and open to others. On top of that, I think God will be more than happy to help, in this instance. A lifelong pursuit of positive, encouraging words, that build up and don’t knock down.

Dear Lord, gracious God, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

@chaplaineliza

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

Pray for a Positive Attitude

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, January 23, 2016

glass half full, half empty

Pray for a Positive Attitude

Is the glass half full? Or, half empty? Some people might even complain that their glass is cracked and that the water keeps leaking out. Having such a poisonous attitude has such a negative effect. I know.

Being around chronically negative people had a damaging effect on my formerly-positive attitude. Thank God, I am no longer in regular contact with someone like that, but I remember what kind of down-in-the-mouth effect that attitude had on me!

I can pray for God’s light to shine inside and out. Of me, that is. I can ask God to help me with relationships, and give me a glass-half-full kind of point of view. I’ve had enough with negativity in my life, relationships, and my work.

But, what if I have nasty things happen in my life? Things that cause anxiety, or frustration, or anger, or despair? What if I get a blasted sinus headache, or a dear loved one gets in a car accident, or if someone in my family gets terminal cancer or a massive stroke? What happens then?

I am feeling particularly involved, right now. So much to pray about. So much to be concerned about. Gracious God, dear Lord. Protect my loved ones. Guard all those I hold in my heart. Help all those who feel anxiety, fear, unquiet, rage, despair. Lord, let the peace that passes all understanding guard the hearts and minds of all those in need of a touch from You, right now. In Jesus’s precious, healing name we all pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

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

Snare, Prayer, Take Care

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, January 7, 2016

God refuge and strength Ps 46-1

Snare, Prayer, Take Care

Anyone can get tripped up. Fall on their face, sometimes. Tripped up in my thought life, my words, or my actions. It can happen to anyone.

For example: when I try to stay on the beam in any particular behavior or activity, I often need help from my friends. If I end up isolated or alone, that is not a good scenario for me. Thank God I have friends and family who can rally around.

I realize some people don’t have many healthy relationships. However, God can assist, and bring certain people into our lives to remedy those kinds of lacks and losses. And, we can end up with families of choice. Good friends, too.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your gift of relationships. Build up our relationships with our significant others; our families, our friends, our spouses. Draw me close to those people I love. You have promised to deliver us from the evils in this world—those things that are physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual evils.

Protect me with Your power, and remain a refuge for me to run to when I am isolated, filled with anxiety, or bedeviled. Gracious God, You are my stronghold. You can help all of us avoid harm, distress, temptation and evil. You are faithful, and for that I am so grateful. Thankful. Thank You, God.

@chaplaineliza

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

Prayer, Affection, and Love

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, January 5, 2016

sun behind clouds over water

Prayer, Affection, and Love

Relationships are a tricky thing. On my own, I am separated from other people, and separated especially from those close to me. My husband, my family, my dear friends. Not to mention acquaintances and those I meet. We are all isolated, one from another.

I don’t care whether you think the separation comes from fear, anxiety, anger, or coldness. Apathy, or indifference. That isolation can also be called sin. God provides a remedy for that separation. God encourages togetherness, affection, caring, and love. Thank You, God.

Dear Lord, I know I have a problem with sin. With separation and isolation from You (vertically) and from others (horizontally). Thank You for the possibility for love. Love from You, and love from others. Help me to care for others, especially for my dear ones. Allow each of us to be warm and affectionate in our relationships, instead of cold, heartless, apathetic and uninterested. Please, Lord, support each of us in our commitment to others, and give each one a portion of Your endless, abundant love. In Jesus’s precious, transformative name, amen.

@chaplaineliza

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