Tag Archives: share

Pray in Hope, Hope in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 21, 2018

hope - light, dark night

Pray in Hope, Hope in Prayer

I can see how some cynical people might scoff at Father Nouwen’s words here. Sure, “hoping” might be overrated. “Hoping” has little to do with the mundane day-to-day experience. “Hope” is for naïve people, or worse, for suckers.

Such a dreary, pessimistic way to approach life! I have met a couple of people who had this kind of attitude and way of thinking about life. I would not trade places with them for anything.

Father Nouwen tells about the trusting relationship of little children with their loving mother. “All day long they ask for things, but the love they have for their mother does not depend on her fulfilling all their wishes.” [1] In this simple, straight-forward description of the mother/child relationship, Fr. Nouwen hits the theological and relational nail on the head. Our relationship with God our heavenly Parent does NOT depend on whether God gives us everything we ask, or grants us each request (no matter how ridiculous or outrageous those requests may be).

It reminded me of a long-ago memory. One of my children (in preschool then, now in her 30’s) dearly wanted a pony. She had a plan, had thought about it a great deal, and came to me and her father with this plan. The pony could live in the storage space in the basement, and would not take up much room at all. She would go down and feed the pony, too.

At the time, we lived in a smaller vintage apartment building in Chicago. I realized what the landlady would say if my daughter brought this up to her, much less the animal control department of the City of Chicago. However, I could not tell all this to my preschooler. I needed to let her know that it was not possible, of course.

But—she really, really, REALLY wanted that pony. She hoped against hope that she would get a pony for Christmas.

How many times do I want a pony, too? How often do I come to God with a sincere, deep-seated request oh, so similar to my dear daughter’s Christmas wish? Yet, a little child still loves their mom or dad dearly, even though their parents know that the requested thing (or wish or experience) would be negative or not at all good for their dear child. In the same way, our loving, caring God sovereignly knows what would help each of us.

Yes, I can hope. Prayer is hope. Hoping is prayer. “All those concrete requests are ways of expressing [my] unlimited trust in God who fulfills all promises, who holds out for [me] nothing but good, and who wants to share goodness and love with [me and] you.” [2]

Thank You, dear God, for wanting to share goodness, love, and caring with me.

[1] With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 2005), 74.

[2] Ibid.


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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

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.

Day #25 – Serve the Server? Pray for Them, Too!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day #25 – Serve the Server? Pray for Them, Too!

go where you're celebrated

I loved today’s suggestion! Right up my alley, too.

I am naturally friendly. I know I’ve mentioned my smile before. It just sort of happens. So, I share it with lots of people. And, I’ve been told a number of times that my smile brightens people’s days.

As far as engaging in conversation or smiling or being friendly with waiters, baristas, mail carriers, garbage collectors, or people going to a food pantry or clothes closet, I do those things. In fact, my husband and children shake their heads about it. I can fall into conversation with the checker at the grocery store, for example, and she or he can pour out their life story to me in the time that it takes to scan the contents of my cart.

I am serious about that. I struck up a conversation with a checker several years ago. She was about to go on break, and I was the last person she had go through her line. I was friendly, smiled at her, asked an open-ended question, and she began to tell me about a family concern she had. How this family member was making her very anxious, and how the situation was monopolizing her thoughts. I can’t remember quite how I responded, but I could see how much the checker appreciated my attention and my caring attitude.

This is not a rare occurrence for me. Not in the least! Sure, it takes an extra minute or three, but I make a human connection. God made other people just as much as God made me. Then, I am not just waiting idly, bored, impatient to get out of the store, or for the street light to change so I can cross the street. Instead, I usually look for opportunities to engage, to interact with others.

One of the few exceptions for these opportunities comes when I am tired. Especially, when I’m exhausted. If I am not at least sort-of alert and oriented, I find I don’t particularly like to engage with anyone! (I know. God, forgive me.)

I try to follow this suggestion, on a regular basis. Even before I knew anything about the #40acts. Maybe you could try one or two of these suggestions, too. See whether you get any enjoyment, encouragement, or nurture from this engagement.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .