Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category


Isaiah 58:7-10: A Prayer for Dissenters

Sunday, February 12, 2017dissent

Isaiah’s words might be spoken to one who teaches the very young.

Share your food . . .

Isaiah’s words might be heard in a meeting of those who sponsor refugees.

Open your home . . .

Isaiah’s words might be spoken in a classroom where tomorrow’s adults are formed.

Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear . . .

17320284-abstract-word-cloud-for-understanding-with-related-tags-and-terms-stock-photoIsaiah’s words might be heard in a workshop offered on how to embody scripture.

Do not refuse to help your own relatives . . .

Isaiah’s words might be brought to life by anyone who hopes to incarnate The Word, to follow The Word, to live, breathe and be The Word among us.

Put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt . . . 

Isaiah’s words might be spoken on a picket line.

Put an end to every evil word . . .

Isaiah’s words are a rubric to measure our actions, a template to codify life, a handbook for those who yearn to walk in the land of the living.

If you satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon.

And so we pray with Isaiah.

history-lessonsGood, and holy and generous God, guide us as we struggle with our fears of darkness and evil. Direct us as we look for the best way to become your Word. Remain with us as we gather in dissent against the tactics of bullies who hope to divide us. Walk with us as we navigate the thin line between resistance and violence. Abide with us in our struggle for clarity, compassion and peace. For we wish to do your will. We wish to be light to the world. We wish to bring hope to the marginalized. We wish to be the eyes and ears, the voice and heart, the hands and feet of Christ for you. We ask this in Jesus’ name, together with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

When we compare varying versions of these words, we find patience, clarity, and the beginnings of peace for a troubled heart.

For ten lessons history teaches us about leadership with exemplars like Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, click on the image of the clasped hands, or visit: http://www.andysowards.com/blog/2016/10-lessons-history-teaches-us-about-leadership/

Read Full Post »


Psalm 106:47: Gather Us

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Laurie Pace: The People are Gathering

Laurie Justus Pace: The People are Gathering

As we struggle to give thanks in a time when we are discouraged, we pray.

Save us, O Lord our God,
    and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in your praise. (NRSV)

As we work through our fears on a day when we flounder, we pray.

Save us, O Lord our God,
    and bring us back from among the nations,
so that we may be thankful
    and praise your holy name. (GNT)

As we look for the hope we remember we are promised, we pray.

Save us, Adonai our God!
Gather us from among the nations,
so that we can thank your holy name
and glory in praising you. (CJB)

As we persist in following Christ despite the fog that clouds The Way, we pray.

Save us, God, our God!
    Gather us back out of exile
So we can give thanks to your holy name
    and join in the glory when you are praised! (MSG)

As we wrestle with God’s call to love our enemies, we ask that God gather us in and, in the name of God . . .  we pray. Amen.

When we compare varying versions of this verse, we feel ourselves gathered into the immense, powerful yet tender arms of God.

Read Full Post »


Colossians 3:15-17: Be Thankful

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Colossae Ruins

Colossae Ruins

Today we take a portion of Paul’s letter to the people of Colossae and we apply it to our own lives as we once again learn to . . .

Be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly and . . . be thankful.

Teach and admonish one another in wisdom and . . . be thankful.

Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and . . . be thankful.

Live with gratitude in your hearts and . . . be thankful.

In word and deed and in everything you do . . . be thankful.

In the name of the Lord, Christ Jesus . . . be thankful.

Amen.

When we explore other translations of these verses, we discover that a new sense of gratitude settles into our bones and sinews . . . so that we might live out God’s call to thanksgiving each day.

For more posts on gratitude, enter the word into the blog search bar.

Click on the post photograph to see more images and to learn more about Colossae

Read Full Post »


Mark 4:21-25Seed Grows of Itself

Saturday, January 28, 2017lwsm__r4d8578_3814

Adapted from a Favorite written on January 9, 2008.

This is something we need to hear a great deal, and if we were to read this more often we would find ourselves worrying less.

There is much imagery in scripture referring to seed, sowing, reaping, harvesting.  And this makes perfect sense since agriculture was such an integral part of life during Old and New Testament times.  Usually we think of these images as we imagine God’s word or work being planted . . . to be harvested later.  Today however, we might think of Job, and others like him, who plant by giving something up, who sow . . . and later reap . . . because they relinquish self, they witness patiently and persistently, they speak to God from the heart, and they become willing sowers and reapers.

And so we pray.

english-garden-blue-flowersDear God,

Help us to see that all we need do when we are weary is to give over to you our aches and pains . . . you will know how to make a flowerbed from our struggles.

Help us to understand that all we need do when we are anxious is to hand over to you our worries and anxieties . . . you will know which seed grows best in the dark.

Help us believe that all we  need do when we feel too alone is call for you and tell you of our sorrow . . . you will know when to bring the warmth of the sun.

Help us to hope that all we need do when we are at our most fragile is look for you in the arid desert . . . you will know when to send the rain. 

vegetablesHelp us to know the cycle of harvest . . . for you already know when we are ready to go into the field.

Amen.

Read Full Post »


Numbers 6:22-27: Do Not Fear – Part XIII

Saturday, January 7, 2017numbers-blessing

Tomorrow is the official close of Christmastide with the observation of the Epiphany of the Lord when we celebrate the true arrival of the Christ in our lives.

We might best prepare ourselves for the discovery and acceptance of this amazing gift by remembering Aaron’s blessing to the tribes. With this reception of God’s grace, and with all that we have encountered in this season of Christmas, we are hopeful that we will remember . . . we have nothing to fear.

May the Lord bless you and take care of you;

And may we remember that the Christmas gift of Jesus lives and breathes and moves in each of us . . . even our enemies.

May the Lord be kind and gracious to you;

And may we remember that the Christmas grace of the Christ moves and acts and witnesses to each of us . . . even when we have separated ourselves from God.

May the Lord look on you with favor and give you peace;

And may we remember that despite what we se, despite what we hear, despite what we feel . . . we have nothing to fear.

Amen.

blessing-handsWishing each of you Christmas peace and joy throughout the year.

To compare other translations of this blessing, use the scripture link and the drop-down menus to explore.

Read Full Post »


Romans 5:1-8: Throw Open the Doors

Thursday, December 1, 2016lock-heart

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us – set us right with him, make us fit for him – we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. (MSG)

If only we might look at faith as our willingness to throw open the doors of our heart. In this way we convert doubt to steadfastness.

If only me might persist I loving our enemies to see that God loves each and all. In this way we convert walls to bridges.

If only we might relax into God’s love long enough to understand that God already lives in our hearts. In this way we convert fear to grace.

If only we might perceive God’s grace and stand tall to shout out God’s glory. In this way we convert hatred to love.

God says: When you fear the wide open spaces of my grace and glory, I become a small, petty god in your eyes. It is no wonder that you do not trust me. When you reject my love to replace it with fear, I become a mean, manipulating god who preys on brave hearts. It is no wonder you discard me. When you open your hearts, when you persist in loving your enemies, when you allow my strength to bolster you and to carry your woes, I become the enormous, infinite Living God who is loving all harm into good, all evil into love. Remain in me, no matter your circumstances.

And so we pray.

Good and generous God, today we give all fear, anger and doubt to you. We pledge to throw open the doors of our hearts to your presence, and to resist closing them again to your love. Amen.

Read Full Post »


Ezra 6: 19-23: Marvels – Part IV

Sunday, November 13, 2016presence-of-holy-spirit

We remember well the marvels the Lord has done for us. 

We remember that the Lord has returned us from exile.

We join the whole crowd as we rejoice at the splendid deeds done by the Lord.

We tell the world that with great joy we celebrate for it is the Lord who has made us joyful.

We tell the world that we are so full of joy that we will keep the feast.

And so we pray.

Good and generous God, you have brought us back from the darkness that haunted us, and you remind us that we are “people of the “presence”.

Good and gentle God, you have seen our plight that marginalized us, and you have come to redeemed and heal us.

Good and courageous God, you have heard our prayer of worry and fear, and you have answered us with your miracles great and small. 

Good and bold God, you have seen how we struggle with the storms of life, and you have done great things for us that are marvels in our lives.

Good and strong God, you have helped Ezra and Nehemiah to rebuild the Temple and now you build a Temple within each of us. 

For these marvels and wonders we give thanks. For the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we rejoice. For your holy presence we celebrate. Amen.

Read Full Post »


Luke 13:31-35: Gathering Children

Tuesday, November 1, 2016pp-lsh0007mother-hen-posters1

We know the importance of prophecy in God’s kingdom. We know the importance of the prophets themselves as God’s emissaries to the world. And we know that each of us is called to act as one of these messengers. How did Jesus recognize this work?

God says: Just because I call you to work in my vineyard does not mean that the work will be easy. Indeed, it is very likely to be the most difficult portion of your labor for me. My Word comes to earth as human flesh and finds itself rejected in the very heart of the people I have chosen as my own. I have wandered with you for millennia and still you doubt me. I have brought endless miracles to you and still you ask for signs. I have loved you as my own and still you turn away from me. Yet I love you endlessly. I always have since the beginning of time. I always will. I love every portion of you and each of you. There is no place you might go that I do not perceive you for together you are my very Spirit. Rest in me when you are weary. Rest in me when you are anxious. Rest in me when you celebrate and shout for joy. Rest in me always and everywhere.

Jesus says: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!

And we, the people, say: Oh good and loving God, we know that we doubt too often and mourn too long. Each day and in every way we want to return to you. Be patient with us as we flounder. Be strong for us as we waver. Be faithful to us as we stray. Gather us, your children, under your wings as a mother hen gathers her brood; and remain in us forever. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Read Full Post »


Psalm 22: Spiritual Warfare – Part III

Thursday, October 27, 2016sword-of-the-spirit2

This Noontime is adapted from a Favorite written on November 11, 2008.

In spiritual warfare we need not connive, we need not plot.  We need only do what we know is right, understanding that we are graced by God.  We need to avoid thinking that we are in control, knowing that God’s plan is always better than our own.  We need to give over everything to God, believing that God turns all harm to good, even – and especially – the ultimate resolution of all conflict.

We are foot soldiers in spiritual warfare, and we know our orders.  We must be patient in our perseverance as we grow to become God’s harvest in God’s time.  We must speak, pray, study, witness, watch and wait.  We must be ready.  This is all that is required of us.  We do not know the hour or time of this warfare’s end; but we know the outcome.  This we have been promised.   This we have been told.  Let us pass the word along . . . that in the hour when we feel most abandoned, we are most accompanied.  That in the hour when we believe all is lost . . . all is truly found.

And so we pray.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned us? We have cried desperately for help, but still it does not come. During the day we call to you, our God, but you do not answer; we call at night, but get no rest.

In the dark hours when we anticipate a resolution for our own plan, we worry that God has disappeared, or perhaps does not exist at all. In the burdensome days we keep watch for any sign that God is near.

It was God who brought us safely through birth, and when we were babies, God kept us safe. We have relied on God since the day we were born, and the LORD have always been our God.

Yet when we consider all that God has done for us, we cannot help but give voice to the hope that rests within, waiting to bloom into fullness.

Our strength is gone, gone like water spilled on the ground. All our bones can be seen. Our enemies look at us and stare.

And when we allow our faith to support us, we cannot help but rise from the ash of all we leave behind into a new dawn and new day, growing in newness.

We will tell our people what God have done; we will praise God in their assembly. We will praise God for all that God has have done. We will offer the sacrifices we have promised.

And when we respond with persistent love, we cannot help but take hold of the promise we already rest in, relying on God’s bounty, relying on God’s boldness, relying on God’s peace. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: