Being totally present

I have been doing intercessory prayer for many years. Some times I really feel the anguish of those on my list. At other time I feel as if I am just reciting names. I am sure that God hears every name and I am forgiven for my lack of attention but I can sense the difference when I am present in their pain. I love this statement from Br. Geoffrey

mindful

Intercession True intercession, the sort that Jesus shares with the Father, is not just a detached impassioned shopping list of the needs of the world, nor is it informing God of something God knows already. Rather, it is a profound, loving, and costly holding up of others who are on our hearts before God. True intercession is being with God, with the people on our hearts.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Open our eyes

Yesterday I experienced a “God moment.” I was at a physicians office and he indicated I needed to schedule some surgery. The surgery is a simple one but you never know what will be found. A woman came and led me to her desk to set everything up. I was moved by the fact that in her cubicle there were wonderful quotes from the Bible and other words of encouragement. I mentioned that I was happy to see those words in a somewhat stressful moment. She and I began to talk about our faith and her compassion and caring were present in every word. Before I left she and I hugged.

We wonder if we can see Jesus in our everyday lives but he is visible in people we meet. He was there with us as we talked and shared. Open your eyes. Jesus is there.

Pray for others!

I am a member of a group who pray daily for others. The list of people can grow quite long but I try not to miss praying. Prayers for others is call Intercessory Prayer. I find that it can take the focus away from my problems and help me to see all the many needs in the world. I don’t always know what the need is but know that God is aware. I often ask for Jesus to heal all ills and make his presence felt in their lives. Praying for others is a blessing for me.

pray for someone

 

[ Instructions concerning Prayer ] First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,

Show caring

how much you care

When we become part of a group we often want to show people how important we are. We want to be important in everyone’s eyes. We want to be special and accepted.  So we set out to do things that make us stand out. The part we forget is it is not those things that make other people see us. It is our caring and our sharing of ourselves and our possessions and our love that set us apart. We gain the respect and admiration of others by how we show our caring.

We have been called to love our neighbor as ourselves and it is in this way that we are granted affection and love in return.

caring

 

1 Thessalonians 2:8

So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Let me sow love

Psalm 85:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people,
    to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.[a]

where-there-is-hatred-let-me-sow-love

With war always looming on the horizon, I wish that the whole world would hear words of peace. We must make God very sad with all the hatred and violence that goes on in the world some of the worst of it in the name of God. Even his faithful people don’t hear his voice. None of us are exempt.

The Hebrew word shalom means fullness having everything you need to be happy and fulfilled. It’s easy to be peaceful when you have everything you need. That’s where the world’s problems are. Not everyone has what they need much less what they want.

Christ tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. If I want my neighbor to be happy and fulfilled as much as I want that for myself then things will be good.

Frederick Buechner says “for Jesus peace seems to have meant not the absence of struggle but the presence of love.”

Prayer: Lord God of peace, let us grow in love toward you and our neighbor until wars cease and shalom rains. Support us with your Holy Spirit and surround us with your love, now and forever. Amen

Do we really see them?

Psalm 41:1

Happy are those who consider the poor;[a]
    the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

We don’t want to see the poor and needy. It disturbs us. Probably because we feel guilty about not doing something. We see homeless people on the streets and they are dirty, wear layers of clothing (have everything they own on their backs) and often smell bad. They are not pleasant to be around. They often beg for money and we generally assume that they will use the money for liquor or drugs. Hoe much we assume! I wonder if we would fee the same way if we knew their story.

see the poor

Christ calls us to give out of our abundance. Maybe we think we don’t have much to give but by comparison we are very rich. The psalmist tells us that we will be happy if we help…that help will come to us in our time of need if we do. It reminds me of the saying “what goes around, comes around!” If we do nothing that could be a scary thought.

Prayer. God of the homeless and needy . Help us to not pass by when we encounter the poor. Le us see the incredible plenty that we have and inspire us to share. Remind us that we, also could be one of those in need but for your grace. AMEN

Words hurt

Proverbs 21:23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

23 To watch over mouth and tongue
    is to keep out of trouble.

Recently I was with someone who has been struggling with illness. It has caused some problems with mental abilities and the result can be disturbing. Memories are skewed and sometimes things are said that really hurt. It is hard to remember that the memories are not accurate and the words spoken come from a disoriented place.

words hurt

Words can hurt. We have to be careful about using our mouths to upset someone else. My father used to say “put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion.”….something we all need to keep in mind.

In the case of those who can’t monitor their words forgiveness and understanding are important. The rest of us have no excuse.

Be careful using words.

Teach me

Psalm 119:65-66

65 You have dealt well with your servant,
    Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
    for I believe in your commandments.

We all need to be taught. We slip so easily into doing the wrong thing. We have to be reminded that we stray from God’s path. There is so much to tempt us. We are bombarded with TV programs that make love of others and kindness seem outdated. Violence is present in computer and video games. The exposure make it seem “normal.” God calls us to turn away from hatred and turn back to love and compassion. We need to be taught God’s ways not those of the world.

Never presume

Romans 15:1-2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor.

dont-judge-my-path

How often do we look down on others for something they can’t help. So many who suffer from mental illness are thought of as “less than.” They may be functioning members of society fighting their demons every day but that is something we can’t see. It is so easy to be judgmental. Never presume weakness. It may actually be enormous strength that we can’t see.

Put away anger and hatred

Ephesians 4:31-32 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

hate-resentment-energy-love

This world needs this verse from Ephesians. Everyone seems so angry. So much division and hatred. It seems to me to every major religion in its pure form teaches peace, compassion and love. Put away your anger and bitterness and every day show your love for one another.