Tag Archives: worship service

PEACE: No Chaos, No Confusion

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 14, 2016

God the author of peace

PEACE: No Chaos, No Confusion

Presenting another in the series of definitions of PEACE.

I was in the Englewood neighborhood some days ago, serving dinner on the south side of Chicago. A mothers’ group called Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK) offers a free meal outreach called Give Them a Meal.

The dinner outreach was packing up, and a local church was getting ready to set up on the same corner. Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church has an outdoor worship service every Wednesday night during the summer. Complete with sound system and moveable pulpit, that church has a regular weekly outreach to their community.

I struck up a conversation with one of the congregation members. Even though she was among those preparing to transform the street corner into the setting for a worship service, she still has time to give me her view on peace.

Darlene’s personal definition: “PEACE is knowing that you can wake up on a daily basis and know that there is no chaos and no confusion.”

I was struck by Darlene’s definition. No chaos, and no confusion. What she was describing—in reverse—is not only the absence of peace, it is the opposite of peace, in a fundamental sense. When a situation is chaotic and confusing, or when a person’s life is in chaos and confusion, there is no peace. At all.

It also made me think of the concept of waking up in a peaceful, serene place. A placid, safe setting. How many times does Darlene—and others in her community—wake up to the sounds of strife, or arguments, or gunfire in the streets? Truly, something to yearn for, to pray for.

Dear Lord, thank You for Darlene’s definition. I pray for her and for the congregation at Pleasant Green M.B. Church. Help that group of believers in God be a witness for Your peace, Your reconciliation and love, in the Englewood community. In Your mercy, hear all of 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.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Day #31 – Be Courageous! In Secret.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, March 25, 2015

sending love

Day #31 – Be Courageous! In Secret.

Talk about a throwback. A blast from the past.

As I read today’s suggestion, I suddenly felt myself crouching in a crawl space underneath a camp building. I must have been all of twelve years old. A day in late winter, if I remember correctly. Separately, by threes and fours, we all slipped through the heavy metal door. The space was lit by electric lanterns. Not very much light. Or room.

I remember one of the other pastors (not my pastor) giving a brief explanation for why we all were doing this. Then, we had a quiet, intense, emotional worship service, and the highlight was a celebration of communion.

That was the first I had actual knowledge and understanding that there were (and are) Christians around the world who were—and are in dangerous situations.

Now, I know there are many, many millions of our fellow believers, those who call on the name of Christ, who are persecuted, In danger not only for the sake of their freedom, but of their lives.

Please. Get involved. Please. Do something beneficial. Tell others. Or find out more. Or pray. Or give of your time and talents. I pray for those who are—or have been—persecuted or in fear. Thank you.


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

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Advent-y Prayers? Not So Much.

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, December 11, 2014

Advent candles star image

Advent-y Prayers? Not So Much.

I haven’t been feeling prayerful, hopeful and full of anticipation. I just haven’t.

I apologize ahead of time for a blog post that is a bit of a downer. It is just I am not feeling any anticipation for the coming of Christ, for that celebration of the birth of the Baby in Bethlehem.

Yes, I am doing all of the outward, Advent-y things. I am seeing that the Advent candles are lit on the Advent wreath at my church, each week. The hymns and readings for each Advent worship service are set. The church is getting ready for Christmas, what with decorations, the poinsettia orders, and the orders for worship and bulletins. Yes. I taught a midweek bible study on Isaiah 40:1-5, a wonderful Advent passage talking about the voice crying out in the wilderness. Prophecy talking about the coming of John the Baptist. My final question to the bible study was, how are we preparing the way of the Lord, today? What does that look like for us?

Great question, God. I know I told the seniors at the bible study yesterday that we can proclaim Christ’s coming in a variety of ways. Not only by preaching (like John the Baptist), but by showing Christ’s love—in actual, physical, concrete ways, like giving food to our local food pantry, Maine Township Food Pantry. Or, one of the bible study participants suggested by giving diapers to Bundled Blessings, a diaper pantry ministry in Evanston that our church prays for on a regular basis. Yes! A thousand times, yes! I also suggested giving to the Salvation Army kettles.

So, God, I am trying to act in a loving way. I know even if I do not feel hopeful or filled with anticipation, I can still act as if. And sooner or later, my insides will catch up with my outsides. And besides, You still call me to act in a loving, hopeful manner. Even when I don’t feel like it.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, Gracious God, thank You for Your presence with me—with all of us. Renew the hopeful anticipation within each one of us. The hope given to us by that voice crying in the wilderness, telling each of us to prepare the way of the Lord—Your way, Lord. No matter how each of us is urged to communicate about You today, give each of us opportunities to do exactly that. Thank You for helping us to walk with You day by day, on that highway for our God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


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