Tag Archives: support

Gentle Prayers for Peace at a Home-Going

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, December 12, 2016

praying-hands-stained-glass

Gentle Prayers for Peace at a Home-Going

Today was a busy day. The Interfaith Gathering for Mutual Support and Prayer happened this evening and everything was very encouraging. Cold, frigid weather outside, but everyone was warm and supportive inside.

I praise God for such a good beginning. We will be meeting together again on the second Monday night of January, Jan. 9th.

Except—that was not all for today, or tonight.

My elderly relative died quietly tonight. In hospice for a number of days, this loved one drew the final breath and crossed into the loving presence of our God.

A good many thoughts and feelings are going through my mind and my heart.

Dear God, thank You for the supportive, encouraging meeting this evening. Dear God, thank You for the support and encouragement my elderly loved one received over these past few weeks. As I watch a new thing coming to life, in the beginning of a new interfaith idea, I also grieve over the gentle death of my loved one. Please comfort all who grieve this night. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

 

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

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

Gentle Prayers of Comfort and Support

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, December 6, 2016

god-wrap-your-arms-around-all-those

Gentle Prayers of Comfort and Support

An elderly loved one is coming to the ending of life. So sad. Yet, it has been a long, full and fruitful life. A life well-lived.

I have been at many hospital and care center bedsides, professionally, as a chaplain. Many end-of-life situations, some sudden (like, from a massive heart attack), and others—not so sudden. Some more painful, and a few even excruciating for me to watch. Each one is unique.

When I know the person involved, or know the loved one sitting by the bed, that changes things. Makes it different. (I probably could come up with some words to describe this difference, but I am feeling my own personal feelings right now. I am not very fluid with the words at this time.) Regardless, whether I know the person, or loved one, or not, it is still a difficult situation. Painful, and sorrowful, to say the least.

Sometimes there are complicated emotions tied up in various relationships (for example, with the person dying, or with loved ones, or with some others who have died—or even with all three). This heightens the difficulty, the emotions: the fear, anger, anxiety, dread, and overwhelming grief. Or, sometimes, flattens out the emotional response.

Right now, I have the option to retreat into my professional demeanor, as a chaplain and pastoral caregiver. Or, I can do the human thing, and feel. I think I will feel my feelings right now.

Dear healing Savior, I pray that You come alongside of all who mourn and grieve this night. I pray for my relatives and loved ones who are near and far away. I ask you to come alongside of this beloved one, nearing the end of life. I pray that You may be preparing a place at Your heavenly banquet table, even now. I know You and Your angels will welcome this loved one home. Thank You for loving us, even when we can’t say the words, ourselves. Thank You for caring for us, even when we go astray or wander in a far country. And, thank You for welcoming this dear one home to You, after a long journey here in this world. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.r

@chaplaineliza

 

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

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

In Which I Attend an Ordination

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, November 6, 2016

harvest candles.jpg

In Which I Attend an Ordination

A moving, soul-stirring service this afternoon! That’s what I attended.

Let me back up. My church is in the process of rejoining a denomination. I met Megan several months ago, and she is lovely. Not only as part-time associate pastor, but also as chaplain (her primary ministry). Today, she was finally ordained into ministry of Word and Sacrament, becoming the Reverend Megan Dalby-Jones.

Her journey of ministry—and toward ordination—took a number of years. Yet, it now has been affirmed and validated. And, praise God! Megan has joined the number of ordained clergy.

This reminded me of an article I read several days ago, on social media. I follow a few Evangelical websites, and I noticed a headline on of the sites that intrigued me. Accordingly, I opened the post and found a good article with several pointers about pastors. MALE pastors. Exclusively. (Forgive me, guys. But, I respectfully disagree.)

I am sorry. I have been in ministry for over ten years, most of that in chaplaincy. I have had colleagues from any number of faith traditions and expressions. Not only in various parts of Christianity, but also from other faith traditions. I felt nothing but support from them. I enjoyed collegial fellowship, but more importantly, I felt supported as I was chaplain at the hospital. I knew my fellow chaplains had my back, and I had theirs.

It did not matter whether the chaplains were men or women. Or, what faith tradition they came from. We all supported, encouraged and were there for each other—because there were some tough times. As well as good times. Nevertheless, there was collegiality, for sure.

That is what Megan was ordained into, today. Not only chaplaincy, at a wonderful hospital. But, collegiality among other ministers, who do a tough job. And, a good job. Sometimes, a difficult job. But also, a God-filled job. A God-honoring job, too.

Dear God, bless Megan. Not only today, but every day. Bless her in her work at the hospital, as well as her work and worship at her local church. Watch over her and her loved ones. And, grant her abundant support, encouragement, caring, and love from friends, family, colleagues and congregation. Dear God, in Your mercy, bless Megan today.

@chaplaineliza

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

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

 

Community Days, Community Prayers

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 4, 2016

family-gods-family

(All in the family.)

Community Days, Community Prayers

A department store in the area has a promotion and an outreach, tied up in one. It’s a community days’ sale event, where not-for-profit organizations sell coupon books for a small amount of money, the store has a big sale for several days (coinciding with the approaching holidays), and everyone ends up happy. The store has lots of traffic, the not-for-profits get some donations and support, and the local economy keeps humming along.

So, I went to the store today to sell these booklets. (Yes. I did sell some.) I felt good about it. Surprisingly gratified, in fact. I was even complimented on my salesmanship. (I am not sure how genuine that compliment was, but regardless, I will accept any compliment gratefully.)

However, even though I was trying to sell these booklets, I couldn’t help but think of an older senior who is in the hospital. This dear one is recuperating from the procedure that brought this one to the hospital. My mind periodically shifted gears and thought about the hospitalized senior, loved ones, and the recuperation period ahead.

There are several other seniors in my acquaintance who need prayer. I remembered them earlier. In between times, I found myself wondering exactly what the several seniors were doing. How they were occupied, and whether they were doing okay?

Lord, I know I have specific people in mind. And, so often You bring them to mind. I have figured out over the years that You really want me to pray for these dear ones—and their loved ones and families.  I try to listen and do what You remind me to do. Pray for me. Pray for others. Pray for my little church, as well as my diverse community.

Community days? Community prayers, indeed.

@chaplaineliza

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

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

Prayer and Blessing Animals

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 1, 2016

blessing-of-animals

Prayer and Blessing Animals

This is the third year I have blessed animals on the first Saturday of October. I love it! Praying for our furry friends. What a blessing to me.

St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals. It is because of him that we do this “blessing of the animals.” Not that blessing of animals is not a good idea. On the contrary! Yes, it is a marvelous opportunity to come to a place where I have the opportunity to see unconditional love in action.

Why don’t I show others that kind of unconditional love?

Very few people in the world have been able to love with an unconditional love. When I read sections of the Bible, I am amazed at the violence, Yet, I am also amazed by the love in those pages.

I consider animals and their love for us to be exactly what Jesus would like us to do. Please, God, help me to love others with as much faithfulness, as much support and encouragement. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

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

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

Making Plans for Prayer, Meditation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, August 24, 2016

prayer candles

Making Plans for Prayer, Meditation

International Peace Day. Looking forward to Wednesday, September 21.

Here in the Chicago area, praying for peace goes far above and beyond. I mean, Chicago started observing a Day of Peace before the United Nations made it a thing. Since 1978.

Lots of events are planned for Wednesday, September 21, all over the world. Not only the moment of silence at 12 noon, but also Peace Walks, Peace Book, and other Peace Day events. Speeches, skits, songs, musical performances, international participants. All centered around peace in our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities.

I try to pursue peace in the community where I live as well as the community where I work. My small part this September 21 is opening the church where I work from 7 to 8 pm for ecumenical meditation and prayer. If anyone is near Morton Grove, Illinois on that Wednesday evening, St. Luke’s Church will open its doors to anyone who wishes to pursue peace. Meditate. Pray.

I know not everyone has a religious appreciation for prayer, but so many people are spiritual. So many appreciate a quiet, nurturing place for meditation. The church will host that, in an effort to bring many people together.

Dear Lord, I pray for Wednesday, September 21st. I ask You to guide me in our preparations, and support all of us as we continue to strive for peace. In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@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.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Prayer Can Be an Encouragement

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, July 12, 2016

PRAY God's help a prayer away

Prayer Can Be an Encouragement

A friend of mine asked me for prayer for an ongoing issue. A serious issue. Of course, I said.

What about when things are serious for you? Difficult? Complex? Intellectually, I know God ought to protect and support. Encourage. However, sometimes things are continuing. Ongoing.

What then? Is God still our refuge and strength? Our present help in times of trouble? Will God watch over our goings and comings?

I feel for people who are in continuing difficulties, or griefs. Anxiety and fear are so prevalent in so many situations. .

Our help does indeed come from the Lord. But, why is the situation (or, situations) still ongoing? I cannot tell for sure. I don’t know. I need to trust God, and trust that my friend will be protected, supported, encouraged, and loved.

God willing. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers

@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