Tag Archives: Romans 8

The Spirit of God, Given to Us

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 22, 2018

Rom 8-11 same power, words

The Spirit of God, Given to Us

I haven’t read the letter to the Romans for some time. (I mean, I haven’t really, thoroughly read it.) I might have dipped into it, during the past few years. I preached a few sermons on passages from Romans, yes. But I have not read it in depth—not for a long time.

So many quote-able verses. So much that is so memorable. In terms of visual communication, so many memes can be made, suitable for social media!

For the past three days, Rowan Williams has assigned reading parts of Romans 8. I was particularly struck by the repeated references Paul makes to the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God. Third Person of the Trinity, this chapter is one of the places that Paul gives us quite a bit of the information about the Spirit. We find out that the Holy Spirit communicates with our spirits. We discover the Holy Spirit groans without words, in a meaningful way that resonates so deeply. In our place, and on our behalf.

In fact, “we are already experiencing a ‘foretaste,’ an advance sample of the experience God has made us for.” [1]

Sometimes, life seems so routine, so boring. I plumb forget that God has created me with eternity in my heart and mind. God means for me (and, by extension, for all of us!) to be adopted and accepted into God’s heavenly kingdom. What a profound statement. What a profound series of statements, in fact. God is embracing us as God’s children. What a loving, welcoming statement for Paul to make.

I am so grateful for God’s overflowing, everlasting love. Dear Lord, I appreciate finding out more inside information—from You! Gracious God, thank You for loving us so much that You sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in each of us. Thank You most of all for sending Your Son to die for us, and in our place. “It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Thank You, dear God.

@chaplaineliza

 

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[1] Meeting God in Paul: Reflections for the Season of Lent, Rowan Williams (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015), 70.

Spirit of God, Help Me Center

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, September 28, 2015

Gen 1-2 Spirit of God brooding over the water

Spirit of God, Help Me Center

When I pray, I sometimes ask for God’s help in praying. I know the Apostle Paul specifies in Romans 8 that the Spirit of God helps us even when we don’t know the words to pray. What about when my word—Name of God I chose for today is Spirit of God?

I was intrigued and moved by the Scripture reference paired with this Name of God: Genesis 1:2. I know that verse, and I know the image I saw in my mind, immediately upon shutting my eyes and beginning to center.

Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.” (The Amplified Bible translation.) This mentions how the Spirit of God—the Ruach ha Kodesh, or Holy Spirit—brooded over the unformed creation.

Immediately I saw Something (or Someone) in my mind, hovering over an ocean—and yet not an ocean. Brooding over some space that looked like a land mass, and yet was not, quite. That Spirit of God was moving with love in Her heart.

Oh, did I mention the word “Spirit” in Hebrew is feminine? That’s why I used a feminine pronoun, because otherwise the masculine/feminine word agreement won’t jive.

The second impression I received as I centered was that of the Creation of Narnia, in The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. As I saw Aslan beginning to sing, I also thought of the Spirit of God. Kind of a mash-up of narratives, I know, but it was way cool. In my mind, anyway.

Dear Holy Spirit, thank You for this gentle, loving time of prayer. I am so glad I focused, using this Name of 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

In Which Prayer is Natural, but Also Difficult

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 2, 2015

draw near to God

In Which Prayer is Natural, but Also Difficult

I am a great proponent in the idea of both/and. Not either/or. This works in many areas. Not either apples or oranges. (What about pineapples? Peaches? For that matter, bananas?) Not either right-handed or left-handed. What about ambidextrous people? Where do they fit in?

I much prefer both/and. Talk about the option of Door Number Three!

When I think about prayer, sometimes, this additional option comes to mind. Especially when I think about the topic of today. In which prayer is perfectly natural, but at the same time difficult. People often do not understand how these two things can be occurring at the same time. In the same person, even.

I was drawn to the difficulties in prayer. (Naturally.)

As Howell says, there are two kinds of comfort in difficulties of praying. First, even saintly people of prayer like Mother Teresa (and Henri Nouwen, my addition) had difficulty praying, so I am in good company when I have problems praying.

Second, a quote from Rev. Howell: “Prayer isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t there.” And, from Archbishop Oscar Romero, martyred in his country of El Salvador: ‘God is not failing us when we don’t feel His presence. . . . Let us learn from that cry of Christ that God is always our Father and never forsakes us, and that we are closer to Him than we think.’

As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8, the Holy Spirit is our Helper. The Spirit truly helps us when we can’t pray, or are bogged down in difficulty, or are far away from God.

This is grace. Thank You, God.

@chaplaineliza

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