Tag Archives: shame

O Lord, Who art Thou? Where art Thou?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, October 9, 2015

praying hands 2

O Lord, Who art Thou? Where art Thou?

Seeking God with all my heart? I wish I could. Lord, forgive me, but I do not seek You all the time. Or, even most of the time. The best I can do is some of the time.

Today’s prayer is about Seeking. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 187, page 68) [1]

Today’s prayer is brief. Only one line. It arrested me, as I read through several prayers, slowly. Here it is: “O great God. Who art Thou? Where art Thou? Show Thyself to me.”

To give my readers some idea about the Book of Prayer, the editor George Appleton usually presents the prayers to his readers without comment. Or, periodically, with short or spare comments. This particular prayer was shorter than the comment accompanying it.

The editor, Mr. Appleton, wrote concerning this prayer as follows: “Vendayya [the author], first outcaste convert in the Church of South India; prayer offered every day for three years.”

I am not certain which arrested me more; the brief prayer, or the accompanying explanation. The first touched my heart deeply. The second made me want to bow my head in both sincere grief and shame at his treatment from being Dalit, or outcaste; and heartfelt praise for his persistence and perseverance for praying such a moving prayer every day. The Dalits are still looked down upon in India today … I cannot even imagine what the highly stratified Indian society was like in the nineteenth century, when Vendayya lived.

Dear God, I know I treat people as if they are “less-than” or “not-as-good-as.” It’s not as often now, but I still do. I realized this as soon as I read this editorial comment. Dear Lord, forgive me for wishing to separate myself or think myself “better-than.” (Parenthetical note: in retrospect, I realize that in my immature twenties, I used to treat certain others as “less-than” more often, to my shame and discredit. It is better now. I have continued to grow, mature and develop. Dear Lord, forgive me! And gracious God, thank You for progress!)

As for the second part? The accompanying explanation by Mr. Appleton? Again, I am painfully aware of how far I have to go. How shockingly little persistence I have, in prayer. Now, in certain other areas, I know I am persistent. (Some might even say stubborn.) Give me the ability and the heart to be persistent, persevering, and constant in prayer. Please, oh, please.

Dear Lord, gracious God, in Your loving and divine mercy, hear my sincere prayers.


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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), 68.

Cry for Help? Assistance in Prayer from Fr. Nouwen.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April 12, 2015

hearts in hands

Cry for Help? Assistance in Prayer from Fr. Nouwen.

I love Fr. Nouwen’s writings. All of them. I have never read a single page of his that I have dismissed as trivial or unnecessary. So, I was more than excited today when I saw that one of the liturgical daily lectionary texts and readings included several paragraphs from A Cry for Mercy, by Henri Nouwen.

So many sentences and phrases of Fr. Nouwen’s caught my attention. However, I will focus on two particular sentences: “Why . . . do I keep expecting happiness and satisfaction outside of You? Why do I keep relating to You as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded?”

These words make me want to hide under a blanket, or under my bed. Hide myself away from the sight of the Lord, and hide my whole self in shame. And fear, and deep sadness.

I can see where several of the big sins, the Seven Deadly Sins, are trying to horn in here. Overweening pride at being arrogantly self-sufficient, apart from You. Green-eyed envy while trying to juggle many surface or vacuous relationships outside of You. Sloth, that lazy, take-one’s-time disease, which keeps me from honest effort lest I strive to grow closer to You.

Lord, forgive me for neglecting You, Your love, support and encouragement. Help me in developing a closer walk with You. And as Fr. Nouwen says, help me to become Your trusting friend. Please, dear Lord. In Your grace and 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 #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .