Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Encourage the Heart—in Word and Prayer
Who doesn’t get discouraged from time to time? And sometimes, more discouraged than others. I very much needed today’s New Testament psalm on Encouragement from the book Praying the New Testament as Psalms.
I suspect this is why God chose some to be positive, encouraging bright spots in God’s congregations. Yes, God has given me insight and some facility with words. I often try my best to put down words that are true, honest, loving, and—of course—encouraging.
I was particularly touched by this verse from the psalm on Encouragement: “Much joy and encouragement stem from love,/setting at rest the hearts of God’s holy people.”  Wow. A great deal to unpack from just these two verses.
This book’s authors (Fr. Desmond O’Donnell and Sr. Maureen Mohen) went to the little book of Philemon for this verse. I had almost forgotten about Philemon—such a little letter, tucked away after 1 and 2 Thessalonians. A letter of admonishment and concern as well as love and encouragement, written by the Apostle Paul to his friend and co-worker Philemon.
Ain’t it the truth? (In most cases, that is.) Joy and encouragement do flow out of love, and are the natural next step. And, don’t joy and encouragement calm people down? Yes, these feelings can get people excited, too, but the excitement is more happy-excited, rather than upset or even riled.
When I think of the term “setting hearts at rest,” serenity comes to mind. And that can only be a good thing. Thanks for such wonderful thoughts and images, God!
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 64.