Tag Archives: suicide

Gentle Whisper? Or Something Stronger?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, September 9, 2015

whispers of God

Gentle Whisper? Or Something Stronger?

Sometimes God is a Gentle Whisper. And, sometimes God is much stronger; much more powerful.

My word of the day for Centering Prayer? My word—Name of God for today is Gentle Whisper. This Name of God comes from 1 Kings. But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

As I prayed and meditated and centered using this soft and gentle Name, I had the sudden impression that sometimes I can’t even hear the Gentle Whisper of God. Sometimes, I need a two by four to the head to even get my attention. (Metaphorical two by four, of course.)

Currently, I am considering and talking to people about depression, anxiety, and suicide. I have a friend who is affiliated with NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and yesterday I attended a luncheon where she was the featured speaker. Her brief presentation was a great beginning step for some faith-based organizations to get involved.

But, because of this focus and because of my earnest support and encouragement, I am feeling a bit fragile myself. As I prayed with this Name, I could feel the Gentle-part of this Name penetrate my being. Yes. I needed that, Lord.

I looked at 1 Kings 19:12 after I prayed, and I was reminded that Elijah probably had difficulties with mental issues. (A former colleague of mine, a psychologist known for his work with suicide and mental illness, has published articles and book chapters on this very subject.) I suspect that God knew exactly what Elijah needed at this fragile time in his life, too.

I have problems hearing Your Whisper. Sometimes. And, I still willingly say that I do react more quickly to a two by four to the head, sometimes. Even though it isn’t at all pleasant, sometimes I do require that kind of wake-up call. However You communicate with me, Lord, You know the best way to reach me. Thank You especially for Your Gentle Whisper.


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

A Larger Community of Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 11, 2015

my heart saying a prayer

my heart saying a prayer

A Larger Community of Prayer

Sometimes, I feel disconnected. Not “friends with” anyone. All alone.

I know I’m not actually alone. (Don’t get worried.) I did think of Robin Williams today, on the first anniversary of his death. I feel so badly about him dying by suicide. I have only a partial idea of the thoughts that can go through a person’s mind in the depths of depression. I have no clue how difficult things were for Mr. Williams, but I feel for his family: left behind.

Mr. Williams’ life was special, just like each person’s life in the whole wide world. Each individual is someone special, one of a kind. Each life is infinitely valuable. I have that blessed fact confirmed to me from external witness and observation as well as from the writings of Scripture and holy books from around the world.

I realize many people suffer from depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and other mental, emotional and psychological afflictions. I’ve suffered, myself.

I know the Christian community is not a cure-all, but it can offer some assistance. I’ve heard a number of people swear their church or bible study group or other religious group was what made the difference in their lives. And, I realize prayer can also be a great help. Assistance. Answer in their lives.

That’s one reason why I am devoted to prayer. Each night this month, as I read through the Evening Prayer from the dailyoffice.org website, I strive to pray these prayers in the company of countless others. I know many, many individuals use the website each day. Some twice a day.

But, don’t these rote prayers get boring? Or long? Or tiresome?

I went to the Church of England website again, since I wanted to get more information about the Prayers. I found this wonderful commentary concerning prayer in the Book of Common Prayer:

“. . . they will also, through common structures, texts and patterns of Scripture reading, unite those using them into one larger community of prayer. This community extends to all of those who, through the ages and across the nations, have sought to do as Jesus taught us and pray together for the hallowing of God’s name and the coming of God’s kingdom.” [1]

So, Lord. It’s not just _me_ praying. I’m not all isolated and alone. Even when I feel alone, and get afraid (or depressed, or anxious), I know You are right by my side. I know—in both my head and my heart—that I am also a part of a community. Yes, a community of prayer. Each of us joins into this same prayer, as each of us gathers around a computer or tablet or smart phone. Or, the old-fashioned way, through picking up a book.

And, thank You for the opportunity to join together with sisters and brothers in a local assembly. I appreciate You. And Your church. And, joining together with others in prayer. Thanks so much, Lord!

[1] https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/generalintro.aspx

Note: in case anyone needs this toll-free number, here is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. 1-800-273-8255


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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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