Tag Archives: serving

To Share, or Not To Share?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 25, 2015

one day at a time, but several days attack

To Share, or Not To Share?

When people are in the midst of their addiction or compulsion, so often they are self-focused and self-centered.

Sure, the self-centered attitude of addiction is narrow and focused. Or rather, not focused outward at all—only inward, and only wanting more, more, more, more. This attitude can be unhappy, pain-filled and even desperate.. The end result? Loneliness that sometimes seems as if it will never, ever end. Desperate, indeed.

I love this reading from today, from Keep It Simple. The reading suggests one way to combat unhappy, pain-filled loneliness. The answer? Sharing with others. Being intentionally other-focused. Serving and giving.

“Remember the first time you walked into a meeting? You were met by people who shared. Maybe they shared a smile, their story, or just a cup of coffee with you. The sharing that goes on in a Twelve Step program is great. We learn that the more we give, the more we get.” [1]

Yes, sharing can be a life-saver. (Literally.) Sharing, giving, serving. Intentionally directing our focus and energy and direction outward.

Thank You Thanks so much, memories of all.


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

(also published at http://www.matterofprayer.net

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 25 reading.

Prayer for Missionaries? Prayer for Serving.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 11, 2015

pray for the world

Prayer for Missionaries? Prayer for Serving.

This evening, I set out the information for next Sunday’s bulletin. I’ll be preaching from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10. The focus for the sermon is service. And, one particular verse is echoing in my head. (And will probably be the verse I center my sermon around.) Which verse? Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Today’s prayer is titled “Prayer for Missionaries.” It comes from the Scottish Book of Common Prayer, dated 1912. The prayer is about Serving. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 221, pages 76) [1]

This heartfelt prayer brings to mind earnest folks praying in a heartfelt way for earnest missionaries half a world away.

A century and more ago, I know that missionaries often would leave home for many years at a time. The journey there and back again was often arduous, long, sometimes fraught with danger. “Protect them from all perils by land and sea,” indeed. I understand that the mission life was sometimes lonely and often difficult: thus the prayer “support them in loneliness and the time of trial.”

Lord, I realize that whether in times past or today, a missionary needs “grace to bear faithful witness unto Thee.” They need to be endued with “burning zeal and love, that they may turn many to righteousness and finally obtain a crown of glory, through Jesus Christ.” Dear Lord, I know a number of missionaries. I pray this prayer for them, and for their friends and colleagues. I ask that You look with favor on their mission and ministries. I know from Your Word that You “willest all men [and women] should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

I earnestly pray this prayer for all those mission workers I know, and for many, many more. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


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

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 76.

All I Need is—Love?

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LOVE heart candle flower

All I Need is—Love?

As I got ready to settle down for my time of prayer and meditation this morning, I couldn’t find the book on prayer I intended to use for my prayer time. I had a specific person and burden on my mind, and I wanted that particular book! Alas, I could not find it. However, I do have several others. (Ha.) Anyone looking at my bookshelf on prayer and meditation would see at least two dozen books. I nipped over to the bookshelf. Handy, having several bookcases in the bedroom. I perused the shelf on prayer, and I grabbed a book that I had not read thoroughly before.

This book was given to me as a Christmas present from a good friend, several years ago: The World According to Mister Rogers – Important Things to Remember. It’s not a “proper” book, but instead a selection of short readings by Mister Rogers, loosely grouped together in sections. I knew that Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister. He had attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary before he became so well-known and beloved, as he dedicated his life to serving and helping children through public television.

I turned to the section on Understanding Love. Amazing thing: the first page I turned to was a page that happened to hold some meaningful insights into the burden I had in mind. I read the vignette from Fred Rogers’s life. He was visiting a woman in the hospital who had received a terminal diagnosis for recurring cancer. This was not just any woman, but a preeminent teacher of doctors and psychiatrists, and a consultant to professionals world-wide. She had a thorough knowledge of the development of human beings. Fred came to see her in the hospital, where she was quite weak and frail, but still fully awake and aware.

I quote from Fred Rogers: “Some of the time I just held her hand and we said nothing. We didn’t have to. After one of those silences, Helen said to me, “Do you ever pray for people, Fred?” “Of course I do.” So I said, “Dear God, encircle us with Thy love wherever we may be.” And Helen replied, “That’s what it is, isn’t it? —it’s love. That’s what it’s all about.”

At the end of the day, the summation of a brilliant woman who had spent her life studying the intricacies and complexities of human development was love. Love is what it’s all about.

Accordingly, I prayed for God’s love to encircle each of my children. I prayed for them individually, and together. I prayed for God’s love to encircle my husband, and I made special mention of his health (a common, garden-variety cold, but still). And, I prayed for God’s love to encircle me. I could vividly feel God’s arms of care and concern round about me, too. A stunning experience of prayer. And of the love of God.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for turning me towards this book of Mister Rogers. Thank You for this awesome, welcoming experience of prayer. God, I pray for my children and my friends, my family and my acquaintances, that each of them might feel encircled by Your love. Wherever each of us may be on our separate journeys. I pray that especially for each one reading these words—may each one feel encircled by You. God, You know our experiences, our trials, our joys. Thank You for Your everlasting arms of love. In Your grace, mercy, and love, amen.


We wait.

matterofprayer blog post for Sunday, December 1, 2013

Today is the first Sunday in Advent. At my church, that means lighting the Advent wreath in a decorated sanctuary, with everything in the service oriented toward the coming One. We celebrate the four-week period that comes before Christmas. In other words, we wait.

I can relate. In terms of prayer, I wait a lot. I wait for God to answer prayer. I wait for God to reveal things to me. I wait for news, for healing, employment. I wait for people. I wait for a lot of things. I am more patient than I used to be, but I still wish God would hurry up!

God, I know I’m griping. But I wish I knew better what God had for me, in this world. In this life. Sure, I know some good ways to approach God in prayer, in meditation, in service. One great way is one my church just used yesterday. They helped provide and serve sloppy joes at a local food kitchen, one that serves homeless people on Saturday afternoons. What a needed way to be the hands and feet of Christ to others.

But, I am coming back to the concept of waiting. God, I almost don’t want to pray for patience, because I know what that will mean—You’ll make me wait even more. But Advent is not only a time of waiting, it’s a time of preparation, too. At least I can prepare my heart to welcome the Christ-child once again. And, I know I can claim the wonderful promises You made.

Let’s pray. God, thank You for this time of preparation and waiting. Help me to get ready. Not in terms of a material way, but internally. It is an inside job. I know I do not reflect on the Christ-child’s birth enough. Forgive me. Help me do better. Help me prepare for the coming of Christmas in real, tangible ways, like serving the homeless. Most importantly, help me prepare my heart for You. Amen.