Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
Henry Ward Beecher
When our tears come they usually flow from grief or pain. They flow for ourselves and sometimes for someone else. Tears pull us from our routine day-today existence. Whatever caused them has stopped us in our tracks. We step back from the ordinary and frequently reach out to God for help. So they do cause us to see into heaven and know that God is there. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to let your tears flow.
Prayer: Thank you, God for being our help and strength. Remind us that Jesus wept. Amen
Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them. Vincent McNabb
I am one of the worst for worrying about things. I cross every bridge before I get to it. When something is really wrong fear can rule my world. We shouldn’t expect all our fears to disappear. This is the real world. But by leaning on God’s grace can I begin to hold fear in check and rely on hope.
Prayer: God, our father and mother, we turn to you as to a loving parent. Help us to remember that you love us and want only the best for us. Help us to bind up fear and put it away. Amen
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson
A lot of times I hear people say: “I prayed for my friend and nothing happened.” “I tried to talk to someone about God but it didn’t change anything.” That may be what we see but we may never know the final result. It is amazing years later to have someone say: “you helped me when I was down.” We need to keep on spreading those seeds.
Prayer: Loving Jesus, you know that we have become self conscious talking about you to others. We feel uncomfortable and usually can’t see any result. Remind us to spread the seed and let you do the rest. Amen
Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
One of my favorite prayers talks about God’s unchangelessness. God never changes I count on it. But if we spend time with God in prayer we are different. Don’t forget to spend time with God. He is worth the effort.
Homework: Take time to pray for five minutes each day this week.
Prayer: Faithful God, you wait on us to come to you. You are there with us but we don’t talk with you. Help us to take the time to be with you. Amen
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
We have all heard this verse many times especially during stewardship campaigns. I suspect that few of us are really cheerful givers. Getting us to pledge to the church is like pulling teeth. I don’t know what is wrong. Are we worried about having enough for ourselves? Are we afraid to commit to something? Is the church not important enough to us? I don’t know the answer. Do you?
Prayer: Giving God, you give us so much and I’m not sure that we see it or appreciate it. Help us to focus on what we have and need and not on what we want or desire. Remind us to support your kingdom with our money and our time. Amen
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. Frederick Douglass
It is so easy to fall into the trap of talking a good game but not being involved. It is so much easier and less disturbing to give money and think we have done enough. And yet, we are God’s hands and feet. We need to get going.
Prayer: Lord, we know that we are supposed to be doing your work. Help us to see the needs right in front of us. Amen
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Galileo Galilei
For a long time religion and science were at odds. At some times they still are. Some people find the theory of evolution and God’s creating everything to be in conflict. There is the fear that we will uncover some fact that makes God irrelevant. But I think God gave us not only our brains but also our curiosity about the world around us. I don’t think he is concerned about what we will discover.
Prayer: Amazing God, help us to use our minds and our curiosity to bring about your kingdom on earth. Amen
““I screamed at God for all the starving children, and then I realized that all of the starving children were God screaming at me.”
This reminds me of the old story about the man who heard about a flood on the radio and said God would take care of him. The water rose and he ended up on the roof of his house. A boat came by and offered to save him but he declined saying God would save him. A helicopter came and tried to help him from the roof. Again he refused saying god would provide.
The man drowned and when he reached heaven he demanded from God “why didn’t you save me?” God replied: “I sent a news report, a boat and a helicopter. What are you doing here?”
We expect our answers from God to be extraordinary and ignore the things in front of us.
Prayer: God of wisdom, forgive us when we are blind and don’t see the messages you send. Amen
You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” Anne Lamott
We have to be careful about how we imagine God. We can’t expect God to think exactly what we think. After all, God is God. Jesus spent a lot of time telling us about God and the Kingdom of God. We need to spend more time reading the Bible.
Prayer: Patient God, you know that we keep trying to create you in our own image. Remind us that it is the other way around. Amen
The fewer the words, the better the prayer. Martin Luther
Too often, when we take time to pray, we spend it all on telling God our problems, and our desires. Seldom do we stop—-in total silence and wait to see if we can hear God’s voice. We are so good at talking and not listening.
Prayer: Oh Lord, quiet our minds and our mouths. Remind us that we find you most in silence. Help us to close out the noises of our busy lives and sit quietly and wait. AMEN