Prayer breathes hope, and a prayer without hope is a sinful prayer. John Sergleff of Cronstadt (1829-1908}, My Life in Christ.
This brings the question why pray if we don’t have hope? Advent is the season of hope. A season of expectation. We are waiting….waiting for everything to change forever. Cling on to hope, pray with hope, wait with hope.
Gracious God, you have promised us the one to come. We will bear the waiting and continue to hope. AMEN
There are times when life seems so terrifying. We would just like to stay in bed and cover our heads. That is not what Jesus is asking us to do. He wants us to come out of the comfort zone and take a chance. We can do many things for Him if we just try. Don’t be afraid to do something new for God.
Incredible God, you created the world and everything in it. Help us to be a part of continuing the creation and not be afraid to try. AMEN
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.
Robert H. Schuller
We all have problems. They crop up from time to time. The question is do you let the problem become your life? Turning to God in prayer is one of the first things to do to conquer a problem. Asking others to pray for you is the second. Problems always come but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is God.
Incredible God, you are always there to hear us. Remind us to pray always. AMEN
Infinite, intimate God; this night you kneel before your friends and wash our feet. Bound together in your love, trembling, we drink your cup and watch. From the New Zealand Prayer Book: Maundy Thursday prayer.
This is one of my favorite prayers for several reasons. I want to talk about one. I don’t think before this I ever heard God called infinite and intimate. What a wonderful image. This is what many people would call an oxymoron (two things that don’t fit together). God is both with us in every moment and so infinite we cannot grasp it. How can this be? Yet He is God!
Infinite, intimate God, help us to see that you are all things and with you anything is possible. AMEN
“I struggle…..I want to feel closer to God…..maybe that feeling….that yearning is all there is, maybe that is enough.” From the TV show Madam Secretary.
We all yearn for closeness with God. We want to feel His presence. We wish we could feel Him holding us….and yet it is rare if ever we actually feel that way. Sometimes we have that mountaintop experience but even the disciples had to come down. Life intrudes. The thing is whether will feel it or not God is always there….always holding us. So we need to turn loose of wanting a certain feeling and just choose to know He is there. We will still yearn for Him and maybe that is enough.
Loving God, sometimes we want to feel your presence…want some assurances….want writing on the wall. Forgive us for our feelings and teach us to accept your presence whether we feel it or not. AMEN
God definitely has a sense of humor. Just when you think that you have everything in place the whole plan falls apart. I am sure that God wants us to stay flexible and follow His plan. Sometimes it is not the plan that we had in mind or even wanted to follow. When things hit us like a pie in the face we have to maintain a sense of humor. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves, wipe the pie off our faces and follow God.
Loving God, I am sure that you laugh at us a lot but hope that we can get up and do your will. Help us to learn to move ourselves out of the way and follow you.
Life is not a bed of roses. Things happen that cause us pain. We can get discouraged. But God never promised that life would be perfect. He did promise that he would be with us every day. His strength is there for us no matter what. Take a deep breath and lean on Him. He can take it!
Loving God, thank you for being there every moment. We are blessed that you carry the burden when we can’t. AMEN
There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
God made a covenant with the people of Israel. He promised them a future with descendants. He promised that he would never leave them. He sent his son to take on our sins. He did everything he could to let us know his love for us. Remember those promises. The sun will rise tomorrow and there is always hope. Hope can support us when things look bleak. God give us hope.
Gracious Lord, you did everything to show us your love. Remind us that you are with us always and in your presence is hope. AMEN
We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all. Eleanor Roosevelt
None of us wants to love where there is no love in return. Many times we are afraid to get in too deep….afraid of being hurt. The thing is that we have to take a chance or else spend out life with no experience of love at all. It helps to understand that the one sure love is the love of God. His love will never fail us. We may not always feel it for feeling are mercurial but he is there. He has promised us that nothing can ever separate us from his love. He keeps his promises.
Loving God, help us to remember that your love is steadfast and always with us. Teach us to love others as you have called us to do. AMEN
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
A number of years ago a Quaker friend said to me “act as if,” She was talking about how we act every day. If we act as if we are happy we may end up feeling better. If we act as if God is important in our lives just the action can cause us to draw nearer to Him. What we do and how we behave does make a difference. Look in the mirror each morning and choose how you will act that day.
Wondrous Lord, help us to choose each day to act in a Christian way. Remember, we may be the best Christian example someone knows.