Tag Archives: word-picture

Praying Like Father Louf

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, March 5, 2017


Praying Like Father Louf

Amazing man of prayer, Father Louf. Comes from the Catholic faith stream, Belgian by birth, from a Cistercian community. He wrote a short book, Teach Us to Pray: Learning a Little about God. In this compilation, Richard Foster makes a judicious selection from Fr. Loef’s writing.

Is Praying Difficult? Ah. If you ask ten different people that question, you will probably receive ten different answers to that exact same question. Let’s allow Fr. Loef to give an illustration: “The lute-player bends over his instrument …. The lute has turned into music; and the man who strums upon it is taken out of himself, for the music is soft and entrancing…. The lute is his heart, the strings of which are the inward senses. To get the strings vibrating and the lute playing he needs a plectrum, in this case: the recollection of God, the Name of Jesus, the Word.” [1]

If I tried to explain exactly why prayer can be difficult, I would probably get my tongue all tied up in knots. But, Fr. Louf was able to describe this illustration in a vivid word picture. The strings of the heart are strummed in prayer. And, this illustration works on many levels. “You need only … persevere in the Word and in your heart, watching and praying. There is no other way of learning how to pray.” [2]

This coming alongside of each other is truly a remarkable way to get our hearts to be awakened. “That Word has been turned over and over in our heart. It has purified us, cleansed us, and we have grown familiar with it.” [3]

Just so. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, continue to show us how to pray and meditate in Your word.



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[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 31-32.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

Knowing the Shepherd’s Voice?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jesus the Good Shepherd mosaic John 10

Knowing the Shepherd’s Voice?

Babies are darling, and adorable, and sometimes fretful and even fussy. Babies are often perceptive, and often know exactly who they can be safe with. I met a baby—about six or seven months old—just a few hours ago. Adorable baby! And, quite comfortable with his mom. The baby knew very well who was important!

The liturgical lectionary scripture reading for today communicated this very thing. In this passage about sheep from John 10, Jesus tells His disciples how the sheep follow the Shepherd because they know His voice. The sheep know very well who is important!

Not hired help, not thieves and robbers, but shepherds. The shepherd is important. (To the sheep, anyway!) Our Lord Jesus expressly says this; I suspect the possibility of thieves and robbers coming to steal and destroy was a real threat.

In terms of today, the concept of sheep transfers to the local congregation, or group of believers. The hired help or even the thieves and robbers can be seen as church leaders or ministers. Not very effective leaders, or loving leaders, or engaged leaders.

These specific church leaders or ministers are out for their own aggrandizement and financial gain. Or, control and manipulation. Regardless, these grasping, self-involved thieves and robbers often remain in their positions for a long time.

Let’s thank our Lord for bringing this negative feature of false ministers to our attention. Also, thanks for the generous word-picture of the sheep following the One they know best.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for the good and gracious promises that keep us centered in You. Forgive us for taking You for granted, and even forgetting all about You. As we come to You on a regular basis, please encourage our hearts to care for You and our minds to welcome Your words. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.


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 #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .