Prayer is breath

Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence. —–Henri Nouwen

handsPrayer 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

Be with God

Faith is not the acceptance of centuries-old traditions but an attitude which grows from within. —Henri Nouwen

time with GodWe 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

Music

“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.

music

Thank you god, for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. AMEN

Hope

Prayer breathes hope, and a prayer without hope is a sinful prayer. John Sergleff of Cronstadt (1829-1908}, My Life in Christ.

hope4This 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

give it

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

A prayer

incense

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; let it be.

The night is dark. Let our fear 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

from Night Prayer in “A New Zealand Prayer Book.”

There is very little that needs saying after this. Absorb carefully each line and sleep peacefully.

Gratitude

thankful

We always seem to spend time telling God what we want or think we need. We can get into the habit of putting ourselves first in our prayers. Every single day there is something to be grateful for. It may only be that today I woke up. Maybe we need to start each day by thanking God for life. It is a good idea to keep a “blessing book.” A place where we write down the things that are good. It helps us to get the right perspective on life. Thank and praise God every day!

Gracious God, I know you are glad when we pray even if it is just for ourselves. Help us to see the things that deserve gratitude and thank you for them. AMEN

Strength inwardly

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

Plutarch
Our inward selves is what guides our outward journey. If we don’t work on the inside then we don’t have the strength that we need each day. The only way to work on the inside is by prayer, scripture reading, meditation and time spent with God. Each day we need that grounding to tackle the day. Don’t skip these steps.

within

God of learning, you have given us the things that we need to live each day. Help us to use them. AMEN

 

Pray

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.

Robert H. Schuller

stop

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