Tag Archives: trust

More on Compassion and Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 28, 2018

compassion - in His steps

More on Compassion and Prayer

Father Nouwen had such insights. I’ve read a number of his book, and I am amazed at each one. Such simplicity, and such clarity of expression. The words with which he discusses the close relationship of compassion and prayer—so straight-forward. Even simple. (But NOT easy to do. Very rarely that.)

“Risks are involved. For compassion means to build a bridge to others without know whether they want to be reached.” [1] Bridge-building is definitely a trusting exercise of good faith. However, without the building of bridges, individuals would still be separated by walls and moats of their own making.

I fear that bitter feelings are often the dividers between individuals and groups. “Your brother or sister might be so embittered that he or she doesn’t expect anything from you. Then your compassion stirs up enmity, and it is difficult not to become sour yourself and say, “You see what I told you, it doesn’t work anyhow.” [2]

As I consider Father Nouwen, I cannot help but see him as someone with clarity of speech and insight. Someone who wrote many books, and touched many lives. How can someone like that not be a builder of bridges?

When we pray, we can try to build bridges. Each of us can strive to show compassion, to trust in God and in God’s love and caring. Is this easy? No, so in the least. Is this necessary? Only if we would like to be caring, compassionate individuals.

Dear Lord, help me show Your caring and love, in compassion and by building bridges. God, it doesn’t matter whether I build verbal bridges, bridges of relationship, or actual, concrete bridges to cross from one side to the other. Gracious God, bless each of us today, and encourage us to reach out in compassion. Amen.




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

[1] With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 2005), 96.

[2] Ibid.

Dom John Main’s Words on Solitude

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, March 27, 2017



Dom John Main’s Words on Solitude

This book, Spiritual Classics, has such innovative readings from some remarkable people, including John Main. He was involved in some fascinating activities before he found his vocation: British Intelligence, the British Colonial Service, plus, stationed in the Far East. Fascinating, indeed.

After studying the Church Father John Cassian, Father John found that silence and solitude held such a near and dear place in his heart. Here are several quotes by Dom John.

“Now to tread the spiritual path we must learn to be silent….We all know that we can often come to know another person most profoundly in silence. To be silent with another person is a deep expression of trust and confidence and it is only when we are unconfident that we feel compelled to talk.” [1]

What a straight-forward way of thinking about solitude. How often do we feel “unconfident.” How easy is it to fall into talking.

“To be silent with another person is truly to be with that other person. Nothing is so powerful in building mutual confidence between people than a silence which is easeful and creative.” [2]

Ah. Silence—a mutual, easy silence—is a way to join that other person in a way that touches deep places inside. It seems as if attachment is to be encouraged and celebrated, in silence.

Lord, such common, every-day ideas about silence and solitude, yet how profound. Let us learn from Dom John. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.



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.


[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 156.

[2] Ibid.

Pursue PEACE – Harmony, Wholeness, Hope

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 11, 2016


Pursue PEACE – Harmony, Wholeness, Hope

I have been following some sort of spiritual discipline during each Lenten season for the past number of years. As Lent got nearer and nearer, I had not been particularly moved by any special Scripture reading series or prayer discipline, as in years past. However—I have been intrigued by the idea of PEACE for several weeks.

Peace got lodged in my brain, and would not go away. I thought about it more and more, and finally came up with this idea of the Pursuing PEACE Project.

My name is Elizabeth, and my personal definition of peace is harmony, wholeness and hope.

Harmony – I have a bachelor’s degree in music. I have sung in a number of choirs and singing groups, over the years. Music is important to me! Harmony is something I look for, yearn for. Harmony between people, between groups, among families—something I wish to encourage and promote, as much as I can. Doing my little bit.

Wholeness – comes from the concept of the Hebrew word shalom, which means peace. Yet, it means much more than peace! Shalom can also mean whole or wholeness, completeness or safety. A whole basket of meanings! That is what I want from my definition.

Finally, Hope – expectation, trust or desire. (At least, that’s what Merriam Webster says, in part.) I am a glass-half-full kind of person. I have that expectation. I trust that peace is a possibility. I don’t think this idea is pie in the sky, but a realistic desire.

Even if my part is small, I will be doing something positive, encouraging, and loving in making PEACE a reality. God willing, I am doing what I can to pursue PEACE.


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


Earnest Intercession for Respect

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Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, January 17, 2016 Earnest Intercession for Respect Gossip is insidious. Evil, malicious, thoughtless words can cut to the heart and shred the reputation, leaving us gasping for breath in a place with … Continue reading

Praying a Lament to God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 14, 2015

prayer candles on blue cloth

Praying a Lament to God

The rhythm of the nights fall into place. It has been two weeks now that I’ve read the Evening Prayer (or Compline) from the website www.dailyoffice.org – and much of the nightly readings are the same. Yet, some of each reading is different, too.

Although much of the daily prayers are the same, each night has a different psalm portion. And, each night has a different scripture passage, too. Short, almost pithy, in comparison to the lengthier scripture readings from the Morning Prayers.

I was intrigued by the short, two-verse snippet from Jeremiah tonight. So intrigued, that I went to an online commentary to find out more about it. Turns out that instead of a prophetic word from the Lord, Jeremiah chapter 14 was more of a lament.

Rev. Bryan Findlayson writes in the Lectionary Bible Studies, “The people of Israel are His; they belong to Him. Yet, the Lord is aloof, distant from his people. So Jeremiah asks, why is the all-forgiving-one estranged from His people? Jeremiah cries out on behalf of the people, “do not forsake us!””

Dear God, so often, Your ways are clouded in mystery. At least, I have often found them so. I have cried, along with Jeremiah, “Do not forsake me!” I’m sorry. I know I ought to put my trust and faith in You. But, I just can’t, sometimes. Dear God, please give me faith and trust enough. Thanks for listening! And, thanks for answering.


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 .

Pray for the One I Love (Focus Friday!)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – February 6, 2015

LOVE you are loved

Pray for the One I Love (Focus Friday!)

Today’s prayer suggestion caught me off guard. I stared at the open page for some seconds.

Yes, I can think of the person I love most in the world. My husband, Kevin. I love you, sweetheart! I really do! But—the next words surprised me. “How can you see the presence of God in that person?” I do not think of Kevin in those terms very often. But, here is my attempt.

I see God’s presence in Kevin through his honesty, genuineness, and integrity. Through his appreciation of beauty in language, music, nature, and order in all things. I enjoy and appreciate my husband’s sense of humor and his creativity—both qualities that I know God has in abundance! And, I respect Kevin for his wisdom and discernment.

God, thank You for the gift of knowing Kevin, of having him as my companion, my friend, my husband and my lover. I thank You for the times we have to talk and joke, and for the times to be serious, even somber. I thank You for the opportunities we give each other to be apart from each other, and the trust and respect we have for each other. I thank You for Kevin’s excellent work ethic, and I praise his ability to make music—whether in the style of classical violin, bluegrass, or Irish fiddle music.

Dear God, thank You for the gift of love. I know that the Apostle John said to his readers, “We love, because He first loved us.” Lord, I know Kevin and I can give and receive love freely because of You and Your love for all of us. I am glad of our love, caring, and liking for each other. I pray that You bless that love, and encourage each of us to nourish those positive, loving feelings for each other. In Your mercy, Lord, hear all of my prayers.

This is a worthwhile suggestion. I felt it deeply in my emotional center, as well as my intellect. May I suggest that my readers follow the same example? Carry out and follow the same suggestion? Let me know how you do!

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

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

Prayer for Those Who are Sick

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, July 17, 2014

PRAY more things are wrought by prayer

Prayer for Those Who are Sick

People ask me to pray for them sometimes. Either when they are sick, or when their loved ones are sick. It depends on how sick, and for how long, and what their emotional state is. Sudden onset? Chronic illness? Serious accident? Baby or small child? End of life concern? It depends.

But what does not change is the seriousness of this prayer request.

I am not going to discuss deep theological thoughts in this particular post. But what I am going to do is remark upon—ponder—the large number of people I have heard of with cancer, in the past nine or ten months. Quite a number. I haven’t been asked to pray for all of these, but I have prayed for most of them. And although most were middle-aged or older, a few were young.

I believe in prayer. I really do. I have faith that God does indeed listen to every prayer that is prayed. When patients (or their loved ones) with cancer cry out to God from a deep, dark abyss of fear and unknowing, that is an emotional cry, indeed. I know. My father died of testicular cancer, a number of years ago.

God can and does come alongside of people. Again, I know, experientially.

A number of people I know are sick. I can try to alleviate their loneliness, spend some time with them, and pray with and for them. I can journey with them—and their loved ones—for a little way down this anxious, fearful, even angry or despairing, road. And, it’s a road I’ve traveled myself, with close relatives and other loved ones. I do not know how prayer works. I simply know it does work. I do not know how God heals, but I understand there are many healings available—not only physical, but spiritual, mental, emotional, and psychological. God is in the midst of all. All of these facets of us complex human beings.

Even when I feel downhearted and depressed, or despairing and dreading the next medical communication—I recognize the fellowship of compassionate friends and other loved ones, joining in prayer with me. I hope I can help others to understand this love and concern in prayer. And, it’s also encouragement. Encouragement even amidst tears and sorrow. Grief. Anxiety. Pain. And yet, hope. Faith. Love. God’s presence.

Let’s pray. Dear, loving, gracious God, we come before You. We do not know how to pray as we ought. Help us to come before you in trust and in truth. Touch all of our desires as well as our diseases, both inside and out. Heal each one where You know we need to be healed. Thank You for Your presence. In Your grace and mercy we pray, amen.


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net