Tag Archives: weakness

Prayer While Hiding

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, September 30, 2018

storm, waves drawing

Prayer While Hiding

I was struck by Father Nouwen’s descriptive words in this reading tonight. “When God asked Adam, ‘Where are you?’ Adam answered, ‘I was hiding.’ He confessed his true condition.”

Wow. Double wow. That is so true of me, too. I hide so much. I hide from other people, from obligations, from opportunities, from myself. Oh, yeah…I often hide from God, too. Why do I do that? What is my motivation? (Other than the obvious.)

One big motivation happens to anyone who is leading an organization. A large building under construction needs to be using an advance team, according to the daily news blurb. But, what about this particular large building? Are the workers at this particular building staying current with all official procedure?

We could look at Adam in the recently-completed Garden of Eden and compare him to the staff in the building in Evanston. Both had official things they had to do. Both had complaints made against them. What kind of complaints? Complaints of not following through, problems of shirking the assigned tasks.

Did both sets of employees know what they were doing? (Or, NOT doing, in either case.) Yes. Both were aware of NOT doing what they were assigned to do. In Adam’s case, he got all flustered, and afraid. Adam hid himself.

The Lord knows very well what happened. The Lord knows where Adam hid, and goes straight there. The Lord was gracious and merciful to Adam, and will always be gracious and merciful to any of God’s children who struggle with keeping to the straight and narrow.

What does Father Nouwen say? “Certainly praying takes some admissions. It requires the humble recognition of our condition as broken human beings.” [1]  When we realize that God loves us anyway, even though we mess up, even though we are broken and are in need to repair, God loves us anyway.

“If we cling tightly to our own weaknesses, faults, shortcomings, and our twisted past, to all of the events, facts, and situations which we would prefer to cut out of our own history, we are only hiding behind a hedge through which everyone can see.” [2]

Dear Lord, in Your mercy, forgive me. Forgive my sin. Forgive me when I run away and hide, just like Adam. Thank You for loving me anyway. In Your name we pray, 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), 88.

[2] Ibid, 89.

Teach Me Patience, Lord

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, October 23, 2015

PATIENCE God isn't finished Phil 1-5

Teach Me Patience, Lord

People have recognized their need for patience for a very long time. For centuries. Suffering is a common thread in prayer, too. When I see patience (in prayer) coupled with suffering (in prayer), I know that I am looking at someone well accustomed to prayer.

The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Deliver Us from Evil.” (Prayer 437, page 130) [1] The prayer is in a section entitled Suffering. Written by the English churchman Thomas Fuller (1608-61), this brief, pithy prayer appears below.

“Lord, teach me the art of patience whilst I am well, and give me the use of it when I am sick. In that day either lighten my burden or strengthen my back. Make me, who so often in my health have discovered my weakness presuming on my own strength, to be strong in my sickness when I solely rely on Thy assistance.”

I can’t help but think of the quote “O Lord, give me patience. And, give it to me right now!” This first line of this humorous prayer (above, here) is a joke, yes. But it is also disturbingly true. Lord, O, how I need those reminders.

God, to give You the option and decision to pray for either a stopping of Burdens or to strengthen me for the road again? (What insight. What a way with words.) Which is followed by an honest and forthright description of himself : my goodness, he is presumptuous. Just like me. And at the end of the prayer? Fuller speaks plainly: “I solely rely on Thy assistance.”

Ah, yes. Whatever the situation, Fuller has the words. (He was a wordsmith by repute, and a marvelous preacher, too.) Lord, give me the presence of mind as well as quickness of speech. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


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), 130.

God, Use Weakness. God, Use Me!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, July 28, 2015

God's opportunity to show His strength. Psalm

God, Use Weakness. God, Use Me!

God uses the oddest things. Like weakness. God plans on making sure that weakness is prominently represented in every aspect on God’s work in the world. Today. Now.

The month of July is winding down, but we still get to view several great chapters in this book, Praying the New Testament as Psalms. Like this one, for example. The two authors adapted this book from the books of the Bible, and we have several excellent topics to cover before we leave the end of July.

As I consider today’s chapter, I feel so moved by this modern psalm: “Help me to accept my limitations./You choose what is weak to shame the strong.” [1] Wow. Let me say that again. WOW.

Personally, I feel pretty small and very weak. See? God uses me—uses you—and the attributes God wants to convey. I know I am an imperfect person. Still, God uses all of the imperfections in each one of us to get God’s message across. Despite fancy electronics or high tech photos, still, God’s message goes out.

God, bless all those who are struggling to get the message across. It’s Your message. Wherever, Even whenever.


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] Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 200.