Tag Archives: unwelcome

To Pray, To Give Support

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 4, 2016


To Pray, To Give Support

I have been following certain unwelcoming activities during the past number of weeks. I am sad to report that I’ve been equipping people to meet mean, nasty or angry comments. How, you might ask? Great question!

As reported before, I tried to find what our scriptures had to say about mean, angry and hateful activities. Accordingly, I turned to Matthew 5 and found where Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I called for people to come together for a Gathering for Prayer and Mutual Support (Build Bridges, Not Walls). It will be on Monday, Dec. 12 from 7 to 8 pm at St. Luke’s Church in Morton Grove.

I wish to open St. Luke’s Church for prayer. I wish to join together in spirit and in truth, using the words of Jesus. Those difficult and challenging questions—what would Jesus do, when faced with these kinds of words, actions and attitudes? I think Jesus would pray for those who disagree with Him, certainly. That is one part of what we will be doing as we gather in prayer, as well as praying for our communities, our local governments, and our diverse friends.

Please God, I hope many will seek after peace, understanding, and questioning issues that trouble them. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of prayers.



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

Sweep the Rubbish from Within Me

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Sweeper -  Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1889)

The Sweeper –
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1889)

Sweep the Rubbish from Within Me

As I pray through these petitions, I sometimes revisit places deep within. As I read through this petition, some memory deep within me started twitching. I mean, something far back. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I intuitively know it is there. (The memory, I’m groping for.)

What came to mind? I had a vague remembrance of the time I spent in the Lutheran Church, about the time of confirmation. I took confirmation classes with about six or seven other young people, in seventh and eighth grades. That was every Wednesday afternoon, after school. I loved my introduction to theology and bible study, as well as Luther’s Small Catechism. I ate it all up. (I also was a quiet, serious, nerdy-acting girl.)

Like I was saying, this particular petition resonated with something from that time period in my life. Way back. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Forgive Us Our Trespasses” (Prayer 351, page 108) [1] The prayer is in a section entitled Penitence.

The subtitle on this specific prayer is “an African schoolgirl’s prayer. It reads as follows: “O Thou great Chief, light a candle in my heart, that I may see what is therein, and sweep the rubbish from Thy dwelling place.”

Lord, it mentions a “schoolgirl.” How old was she? Was she serious of heart? Searching for You? Yearning to find out more about the Bible, and theology? Was she at all similar to that child I once was?

As African theologian Kwame Bediako suggested in his book Christianity in Africa, African believers often start from a vastly different theological, cultural and sociological place than I did, as a believer growing up in a Lutheran church, in an urban area in the United States.

Although I am startled a bit by the schoolgirl naming God as “great Chief,” I shouldn’t be. (Dr. Bediako told me not to be.) Then, I am deeply moved by the analogy of “light[ing] a candle in my heart.” Lord, that is exactly what I would want to do! Of course I would want to “see what is therein!” And, the request to “sweep the rubbish from Thy dwelling place?” Oh, that strikes home. (*deep, deep sigh*) That request goes straight to my very young self, and I find myself curving in. Protecting the heart, what is deep inside of me.

Yet, Lord, I really do want to bring all this stuff before you. I want Your help to clear out the unwanted or unwelcome rubbish from inside of me! Please, gracious God. Heavenly Father. Lord, in Your mercy, hear my earnest prayer.


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

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 108.