Tag Archives: righteous

More Prayer, Suffering, with Psalm 34

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Psa 34-19 brokenhearted, words

More Prayer, Suffering, with Psalm 34

Dietrich Bonhoeffer had a tumultuous life during the 1930’s and 1940’s, ending with his imprisonment and death by the hand of the Nazis. He had escaped the tumult of Germany for what ended up being only a short respite. Bonhoeffer had been invited to come to the United States to lecture.

As was a habit for him, Bonhoeffer regularly prayed and meditated on a published selection of bible passages, the Herrnhuter Losungen. After reading and praying on a Losung text (2 Tim. 4:21), he felt strongly convicted by the instruction “Do your best to come before winter.” He decided to return to Germany in the summer of 1939.

This sermon on the suffering of the righteous (taken from Psalm 34) Bonhoeffer wrote in 1944, after he had been imprisoned for some time. His writings in prison had much to do with God being present with him—and with others—through adversity. He said, “Blessing means laying one’s hands upon something and saying: You belong to God in spite of it all. It is in this way that we respond to the world that causes us such suffering.” [1]

This is not the way that most people respond to suffering. Bonhoeffer had an intimate relationship with God. I take a step back from his difficult life and look at the upsetting and unfair circumstances. Yet, his deep faith in God brought him through and it showed. I am in awe of relationships like that. Such a deep, thorough understanding of the character of God astounds me. I quake and fear that I might be expected to go through fiery trials similar to what Pastor Dietrich experienced. I know, from even a rudimentary knowledge of church history, that many saints of God were similarly tested and tried.

Dear Lord, gracious God, help me to remain firm in my commitment and relationship to You. Help me love You with my heart, soul, mind and strength. Lead me—lead us to do what is right in Your sight.  In Your mercy, Lord, hear all of our prayers.



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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, 89.

God Our Advocate. Centering Prayer.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, September 1, 2015


God Our Advocate. Centering Prayer.

I used Centering Prayer today! I also prayed in ways with words, especially since I was doing intercessory prayer. As a small church pastor, I have regular circumstances come up where I need to focus specifically on parishioners, friends of the church, and other situations. In other words, I spent some time with God today, in prayer.

As mentioned yesterday, for the month of September, I will choose a name of God found in the Bible. I’m using that for my word of the day. My word—Name of God for today is Advocate.

When I centered with this Name of God, I did not have long to wait before two words surfaced. “Righteous” and “peace.” I am not sure how these words apply to me yet. I’ll keep ruminating over them. If I find out, great. If I don’t, then that’s okay, too. They are two excellent words that came into my mind.

I am purposefully not looking up the verse I cite before doing Centering Prayer. I want to be true to the concept of using one word and sitting with it. Ruminating on it, and rolling it around in my mind. Seeing whether it will resonate. It is only afterwards that I looked up the passage, and discovered further depths to this Name of God.

As found in 1 John 2:1, the Apostle John tells his readers they have an Advocate in heaven: Jesus Christ the Righteous One. Just in case anyone happens to sin, we have someone who will speak in our defense and on our behalf. (Excuse my levity. Of course everyone sins. We are all human.)

Oh, another thing that surfaced on the rolling video screen of my mind as I contemplated the word Advocate? Different scenes from two different Joss Whedon television shows. More random stuff. I’m used to that sort of thing when I ruminate and contemplate, though. It’s difficult for me to get my mind to calm down. However, with practice, it gets better. Watching that internal mental video screen can also be fascinating. The wide-ranging internal connections and word association football going on in my mind, I mean.

God, thanks for this great word association, today. Thank You for being my Advocate. I know I need it, on a regular basis.


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