Hope

Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them.           Vincent McNabb

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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

 

 

You are still needed

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Chronic illness, whether mental or physical, is so draining. It can be a struggle to get through each day. It takes the knowledge that God’s love is with us no matter what. Even if life is difficult it is still important and you have something to share with the world. When I visited sick and shut-ins as a parish nurse they always felt they could do nothing to help anyone. I reminded them that prayers are needed and possible even though ill. There is always something we can do to help heal the world.

God brings hope to pain

Sometimes life is painful. It doesn’t matter whether the pain is physical, mental or both. Pain can bring on anxiety and fear. it makes us question if there is anything that can help us. We wonder where God is or if he is there at all. But even in the darkest pain there is hope and hope comes from god.  God turns us to hope and helps us learn from the pain. We are like pottery made beautiful by the fire of the kiln.

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A light in the darkness

Have you ever felt so far down that you couldn’t see any way out? This is what happens to those who contemplate or choose suicide. Living in this kind of darkness is miserable. Strangely enough many of the mystics have been there. It is called “the dark night of the soul.” This is when you can’t imagine God being with you. You may not be able to pray at all. Your belief in God is shaken to the core.

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Even though I have never been so far down as to contemplate suicide I have been in a place where I can understand that suicide feels like a peaceful solution. When we are in this place I have felt one thing that has brought light into the darkness: the prayers of others. If you feel yourself sliding down into darkness send out a plea for help. Ask others to pray. Know that they are praying and those prayers will be your lifeline out of the abyss.

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.

If someone asks you for prayer follow through for you may be someones light.

Turn away from fear

Psalm 27: 1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

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We are afraid of so many things. We fear not being liked. We fear losing the things we have accumulated. We fear not having enough. We fear being alone. I could go on and on. Yet there is no reason for this. We must turn to our God and push away fear. God is with us…what more do we need?

Understanding God, you know our fears and our weaknesses and yet we are loved. Help us to turn to you and away from fear. AMEN

Safety with God

Prayer is essentially about making the heart strong so that fear cannot penetrate there. ————-Matthew Fox

The more that we spend time with God the more he becomes our home. Home with God is our safe place. When we are held in his countenance we are secure. Fear is let go as we rest in his arms. Pray, pray, pray, not always with words. Silence with God is prayer too.

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Intimate God, if we come to you and ask to dwell with you we will be in a safe place. That safety can remove fear. AMEN

Did we move?

If God seems far from you who has moved? ————-Suzanne Boyd

 

God is with us all the time. The problem is that we are not always with God. It is so easy to think that God is not listening to us or doesn’t answer our prayers. We begin to think that maybe God isn’t there at all. In actuality, God has not moved at all. We are the ones who have stepped away.

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Patient God, we often stop paying attention and feel distant from you. Remind us that we are the ones who moved. AMEN

Speak out

Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is. –———-Rollo May

Apathy is a dangerous thing. It can lead us to do nothing and see a Hitler arise. We have to speak out against evil. We cannot ignore it. We cannot wait for someone else to take care of it. We must speak.

Jesus never sat back. He always spoke out.

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Gracious Lord, help us to have the strength to speak up against evil. Help us to not be afraid. AMEN

Fear not

Fear is not an unknown emotion to us. —–Neil Armstrong

All of us have known fear and we will know it again until life ends. It is what we do with the fear that matters. We may not be able to think it away or push it down into some dark place. The trick is to keep on in spite of it and hold on to God for support. I love the part of the 23rd psalm that says “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Comfort is available to us. We just have to ask.

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Ever present God, you are there waiting on us to call. Comfort us in our times of fear. AMEN

Afraid?

It is human to be afraid. It is what we do about it that matters.……….Suzanne Boyd

Sometimes we can’t help being afraid. Sometimes if we are not afraid then we can’t see the situation clearly. The question is what do we do when this happens?

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We often have to begin with a deep breath and another assessment of the moment. In the next moment we must turn to God. Prayer asking for his aid and  sitting quietly just letting God surround us helps. Picture yourself held in his arms. Seek his peace.

This may not solve the problem but it will remind you that you are never alone. We are always in God’s care.

Intimate god, you have promised to be with us no matter what. Help us to see you. AMEN