A Quiet Day

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:2

A quiet day. Jesus is in the tomb. It is all over. His body was taken down and wrapped for burial. On this day he is gone. Take time on Holy Saturday to pause and think about what sort of day it was for the disciples.

Prayer: “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Taize

 

Jesus, Jesus

To holy people the very name of Jesus is a name to feed upon, a name to transport. His name can raise the dead and transfigure and beautify the living.”           John Henry

 One of the most amazing ways to pray is to simply repeat the name of Jesus. It is a soothing and enlightening way to meditate on God. Somewhere in the process our petty problems seem to disappear and we can feel “the peace that passes all understanding.” This may not happen every time but if you continue the practice it will come. I often use this song repeating it over and over.

 

Prayer: Lord, we have asked you before to teach us to pray and you gave us The Lord’s Prayer. Help us pray our way into your presence in many different ways. Amen

 

Music touches the soul

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.       William P. Merrill

Inspiring-beautiful-music-quote1

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 in praise can touch my soul. I can be moved to tears by a beautiful hymn. I thank God that he has gifted us with music.

Prayer: Thank you God for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. Amen

 

Prayer changes us

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
Soren Kierkegaard

mother theresa

One of my favorite prayers talks about God’s unchangelessness. God never changes I count on it. But if we spend time with God in prayer we are different. Don’t forget to spend time with God. He is worth the effort.

Homework: Take time to pray for five minutes each day this week.

Prayer: Faithful God, you wait on us to come to you. You are there with us but we don’t talk with you. Help us to take the time to be with you. Amen

 

Use this prayer

This is the prayer we used today at Ash Wednesday Service. It is a prayer we all should use.

prayer photo

Most holy and merciful God,
we confess to you and to one another,
and before the whole company of heaven,
that we have sinned by our fault,
by our own fault,
by our own most grievous fault,
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, O God.
We have shut our ears to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our past unfaithfulness, the pride, envy, hypocrisy, and apathy that have infected our lives, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to share the faith that is in us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our neglect of human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our false judgments, our uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us, we confess to you.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Restore us, O God, and let your anger depart from us.
Hear us, O God, for your mercy is great.

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.

The-dark-night-of-the-soul-is-when-you-have-lost

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.

Get ready

What are you doing to prepare for the Christ child? There are so many ways that we can focus on the meaning of Christmas. Take advantage of at least one if not more.

Focus-on-Christ-this-Season-and-Every-Day-After

Put unused items in a box to be delivered to the needy

Read your Bible every day. A good place to start during Advent is with Isaiah or one of the Gospels about the birth of Christ. 

Take time to pray for your needs and the needs of others

Thank God each day for all that he has given you

Befriend someone who is alone

There are many more things to do…but focusing in these last weeks will make Christmas more special

Night Prayer

Tonight I want to share the prayer I shared on my other blog https://worrylessjourney.com/2018/12/09/what-has-been-done-has-been-done/

It is a night prayer from the liturgy “Night Prayer” from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have long love the prayer and have shared it before but it fits advent perfectly and is worth sharing again. I use it every night before sleep. Peace be with you.

night sky 2

Lord,
it is night.

The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.

In your name we pray.
Amen.

 

You don’t answer

Psalm 22: 1-22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
    and by night, but find no rest.

bad things happen

This Psalm is used during lent. It is a cry for help. We also cry out to God for help and we don’t always see an answer. It is one of the difficult things that Christians deal with. Why would a God who loves us so leave us to suffer? It seems that either God is not there or not answering. I wish that I had a perfect answer to this problem. I don’t but I do trust that God loves us and wants the best for us. The best may not be what we expected.

I heard about a minister who was dying with a very painful disease. Everyone was praying for him to be spared. It did not happen. What did happen is that the pain stopped and the last days of his life were blessed to be pain free. For this he thanked and praised God.

Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not what we asked but it always is the answer of our loving God.

God of mercy, we know you hear our prayers and love us beyond measure. Help us to not expect to know all the answers. AMEN