We all need down time. We have to have time to think, to just sit, to listen for God. God has told us that He speaks in silence. Time in silence, doing nothing, is not time wasted. It is time to “be.”
Take time to sit in a chair with your hands rested on the arms and let silence wash over you. We all need that.
Intimate God, you wait so patiently for us to acknowledge your presence. Help us to take the time to hear you. AMEN
The following is a version of the Lord’s Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book. There are so many reasons why I love this form. It’s description of God moves me to tears. “Loving God, in whom is heaven:” makes me sit and ponder on its vision. “In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.” We are hurt and we hurt others. It is so easy to see it in this version. I encourage you to read and think about the prayer. You may love it or you may hate it but it will help you think.
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.
For God Himself works in our souls, in the deepest depths, taking increasing control as we are progressively willing to be prepared for His wonder. ……………Thomas R Kelly
God has been with us our whole lives. Fod knows the depths of our soul. He knos our prayers before we say them and out rhoughts before we form them. But God doesn’t intrude into our lives. He wiats patiently until we are willing to let him in. He only steps in as far as we open ourselves. But if we are willing, he will show us his kingdom.
God almighty, help me to open the door of my heart and let you see me as I am. AMEN
I have been a worrier my whole life. My grandmother always told me to “sit down in that chair and worry as hard as you can and then get up and see if it did any good.” Needless to say it never did. God tells us not to worry but to count on him to care for us. If only we could shut off the worry. Each time worry pops to the surface turn your mind to God and his promises and keep doing it!
Amazing God, you have made a promise to us. Help us to take it to heart.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.–———–James 1:5
There is a difference between learning and wisdom. We can take classes forever and read everything we find but it does not give us wisdom. Seeking God and reading his word adds wisdom. Wisdom is also earned by living. If we pay attention as we live our lives we will grow in wisdom each day.
Most wise God, help us to seek your wisdom and grow in it each day. AMEN
Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence. —–Henri Nouwen
Prayer is important. Prayer is not something we do lightly. We need to pray. We need to thank God for everything that he has given us. We need to praise him and tell him so. We should never think of prayer as just an opportunity to ask for things that we want. This is too often what we do. As Nouwen tells us prayer is the breath of life. Remember that.
Amazing God, let our prayers be as incense that rises to you. AMEN
Faith is not the acceptance of centuries-old traditions but an attitude which grows from within. —Henri Nouwen
We need to learn about our traditions. The stories of those who have gone before us and struggled with the same questions are important. But that is not all we need. We have to take the next step and spend time with God to let Him infuse the soul. Time with God is critical to our growth and faith.
Intimate God, you are with us always. Help us to stop and just BE with you. AMEN
I don’t know if you have read about the life of Julian of Norwich. I have included the info from Wikipedia.
“Julian of Norwich (c. 8 November 1342 – c. 1416) was an English anchoress and an important Christian mystic and theologian. Her Revelations of Divine Love, written around 1395, is the first theological book in the English language known to have been written by a woman. Julian was also known as a spiritual authority …”
Her life was difficult but her faith enormous. As an anchoress she withdrew from secular life and is believed to have live in a sparse “cell.”
This is her most famous saying and I often lean on it when life seems fragile. Just repeat it over and over and said enough will help to bring peace.
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. Nelson Henderson
God does not just expect us to do things that help right now but also things that will help those to come. The most important of these is to live as he lived. In this way we will draw people to him. To preach is good, to talk about Christ is good and those things help ……but if we live like him no explanations are necessary. Our actions will show his love.
Jesus you call us to follow you in all that we do. Help us to do this so that others will also follow you. AMEN
Today I was moved again by music. I have included the first verse and refrain.
Lord, you have come to the lakeshore
looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones.
You only asked me to follow humbly.
O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me,
kindly smiling, have spoken my name.
Now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me;
by your side I will seek other seas.
It is such a simple request. “You only asked me to follow humbly.” In the song the response is to leave the boat and job behind and simply follow. Can we do this?
Caring Lord, to follow is all you ask of us. Why is it so hard for us to follow? Help us. AMEN