John 14:26 But the Advocate, the HolySpirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
We don’t talk very often about the Holy Spirit but it’s tasks are very important. It dwells within us and quides us every day. The Hebrew scriptures attribute 6 characteristics to the spirit.
In the Hebrew Masoretic text the “Spirit of the Lord” is described with six characteristics (wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord), and then the last characteristic (fear of the Lord) is mentioned a second time. (yes Wikipedia but accurate)
We carry the Holy Spirit with us all the time. It is there to guide our ways and hold us when times are hard. It is an advocate…one who speaks for us and with us. It is a gift from God.
Life together is the best … except when it’s not. Life together will reveal our “control issues,” and expose us at our best and at our worst, and a lot of mediocre in between. Struggles are signs of invitation as we live out our lifelong conversion to Christ. Look on the people to whom you belong and remind yourself: “I need you.” And that will make all the difference.
– Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
This was written back in January. It seems as if it was written for us right now. We are certainly finding out about ourselves in a way we never imagined. We see clearly those we need and even more clearly the Christ that is there for us. This is a time to draw nearer, seek him more often and listen for his voice. It will be there.
But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today;
Sometimes it is hard to explain why bad things happen and it can make some question if God is there or if he cares. I am sure that those fleeing Egypt felt deserted as they struggled on their journey. They had to be reminded (just as we do) that God is there and never leaves us.
God never moves. No matter how you feel…whether lost or alone…God never moves. Sometimes our emotions and feelings get in the way and we feel deserted. Down in the depths of darkness when we can’t see, can’t pray, immobilized, God is still there with us. We have to remember that.
Prayer is as natural as breathing. Sometimes we may pray without even knowing like smoke lifting toward the sky. But we do have to pray. We have to keep at it. There is no formula for prayer although we can use a formal prayer. Sometimes it is easier to recite something we have memorized but don’t be afraid to reach out to God in anyplace at any time.
You can pray out loud if you want. Sometimes my prayers are sung as in a meditative song or chant. God is listening no matter what. Be persistent in prayer. Keep on…keep on…keep on even if you feel that there is no one there. Feelings can get in the way. PRAY NO MATTER WHAT!!
The past few weeks I have been blessed with what I call “God moments.” These are times when with eyes open we can see God working. One was at a visit to meet a surgeon and schedule surgery on my thyroid. In my experience most surgeons are good at their job but not the greatest at bedside manner. This physician was the exception. He made me feel heard, understood and I could sense his compassion. The surgery is not a difficult one as long as it goes as expected.
Following seeing him I was ushered to someone to schedule the surgery. In her cubicle there were Biblical quotes and words of encouragement.She was kind caring and efficient. My surgery was scheduled for the week following Thanksgiving. She remembered my desire to have it over as soon as possible and when the Dr. decided to work on this Friday called to offer that date to me. I accepted with pleasure that she remembered. She then took the time to pray for me and my surgery.
As another of my friends says “the arangels were at work.” I could see God’s hand in all that has happened and pray for the best outcome. God is present in our lives if we just take the time to see it.
I have often wondered how people manage to get along without some sort of faith. I definitely could not be an atheist. When things go wrong I need someone to share it with me. I have friends who do but sharing it with God is different. There is something special about leaning on God and knowing that I am loved and understood. I don’t know what people do who don’t have anything to fall back on. In my darkest moments I am held up and cared for. For me, God is there and always will be.
A prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book of the Anglican Church. This is another of the prayers that I find so dear to my heart. The wording always makes me think in a different way. See if you like it.
Be present, Spirit of God, within us, your dwelling place and home, that this house may be one where all darkness is penetrated by your light, all troubles calmed by your peace, all evil redeemed by your love, all pain transformed in your suffering, and all dying glorified in your risen life. Amen.
Think about us being the dwelling place of God and his home. I plan to use this prayer every day.
I have been doing intercessory prayer for many years. Some times I really feel the anguish of those on my list. At other time I feel as if I am just reciting names. I am sure that God hears every name and I am forgiven for my lack of attention but I can sense the difference when I am present in their pain. I love this statement from Br. Geoffrey
Intercession True intercession, the sort that Jesus shares with the Father, is not just a detached impassioned shopping list of the needs of the world, nor is it informing God of something God knows already. Rather, it is a profound, loving, and costly holding up of others who are on our hearts before God. True intercession is being with God, with the people on our hearts.
Yesterday I experienced a “God moment.” I was at a physicians office and he indicated I needed to schedule some surgery. The surgery is a simple one but you never know what will be found. A woman came and led me to her desk to set everything up. I was moved by the fact that in her cubicle there were wonderful quotes from the Bible and other words of encouragement. I mentioned that I was happy to see those words in a somewhat stressful moment. She and I began to talk about our faith and her compassion and caring were present in every word. Before I left she and I hugged.
We wonder if we can see Jesus in our everyday lives but he is visible in people we meet. He was there with us as we talked and shared. Open your eyes. Jesus is there.