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
Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
It is so easy to take worries on ourselves. We forget to turn it over to God and let it go. Or we may turn it over and keep picking it back up. Maybe, we think, we can handle it ourselves. Maybe we know better.
The truth is we are sometimes arrogant enough to want to hold on to the worry and not let it loose. God will take over if we let him.
Gracious God, you must wonder why we insist in holding on to things that you can take and carry for us. Help us to turn lose and let God.
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.
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?
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
Time is something we take for granted. We think we have an unlimited amount. We don’t. That is a blunt statement but true. Because our time is precious we need to choose our priorities carefully. Do you set aside time for prayer? Do you take time for church? Do you read the Bible? We tend to put these things on the bottom of the list. Make sure you keep your priorities in order!
Gracious Lord, you allotted each of us time to follow you. Help us to remember what is important.
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
“There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.” —William P. Merrill
To me, music is not like prayer, it is prayer. I can sit in the church and listen to the music and be pulled out of myself. Attending a service where everyone sings out can touch my soul. I can be move to tears by a beautiful hymn. I thank God that he has gifted us with music.
Thank you god, for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. AMEN
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
We have a God who loves us and wants to care for us. Too often, we want to be in charge. If there is a problem in our life we want to fix it. We should, with prayer, turn it over to God and let it go. We just keep wanting to pick it back up.
Loving God, you know how we can’t turn things over to you and let go. Help us to remember that everything is in your hands and no matter what you will be with us. AMEN