Tuesday, June 15, 2010
So many friends are going through difficult times right now. I get overwhelmed when I sit down to pray for all the needs on my heart. Sometimes I just don't have adequate words to express the depth of my concern, the angst I feel for them, the desires for God to meet them in the midst of their sufferings. Then I read this today and knew I was on the right track.
"I remember Charles saying that he hardly knew how to pray for himself, much less anyone else. 'So I just say their names,' he said, 'and sort of picture them in the last place I saw them. Then I am quiet for as long as I can be, just sort of lifting them up in my mind, looking at their face, trying to see what it holds. And for a while it seems that I am carrying a part of whatever they are having to carry.' To the Father, on that last night with His friends, Jesus said, 'I lift up to You those You have given me.' To lift up those who have been given to us, and to whom we have been give, is all, and possibly everything, that we can do.'Father Almighty,' we pray, 'we offer prayers to You for those whose lives are linked to our.' And there they are, in those places where they were the last time we was them. We can see the way their hair curls around their ears just so, and the twinkle in their eyes, and the hint of something unnamed that hides in the edges and folds of their smiles. We have been given to them and they to us, by virtue of blood and gene pool or by virtue of relationship and covenant. We are not alone, and neither are they, no matter how lonely we seem, all of us and any of us, at times.
We entrust all who are dear to us to Your never-failing love and care, for this life and the life to come, knowing that You will do for them far more than we can desire or pray for. Kyrie, eleison - Lord, have mercy."
Living Prayer, Robert Benson
This reminded me of something else I read a while ago: Prayer of the Teacup
("The first 15 minutes of each day I reserve for the saints on earth. I begin my day with a cup of tea. As the steam from my cup ascends to the heavens I walk with all my favorite strangers into the heart of God. There is a bit of the stranger in everyone, even friends. This dawn prayer becomes a sacred moment of yearning. I yearn for God to bless my friends and name them one by one. Sometimes I do not even name them. I simply see their faces in the ascending steam. I receive the persons who come into my memory and I give them back to God.")
I stand at my window and watch
one by one the stars all leave me
I am having tea with the dawn
the first ray of sun descending
into my teacup
into my heart
The steam of my tea ascending
to the heavens
into God's heart
The yearning in my heart streaming
to the heavens
into God's heart
And God, standing in the heavens
watching the sun rise in my heart
leans down to breathe in
the first rays of my yearning
and names it morning prayer.
Seasons of Your Heart
from my journal:
Sometimes word are not enough to express the prayers in my heart and mind - silence say it best - allowing my spirit to communicate with God without words getting in the way. Sometimes silence with God feels empty like nothing is being communicated when in truth so much more is being "said" than when I use my words. Thank You Papa for this special way to pray.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
A breath prayer is a short 6-8 syllable sentence that you can prayer in one breath. Some might call them "popcorn prayers" because you can pop them to God quickly. My breath prayer for the last year has been "Breathe on me, Breath of God." I love how I can pray that at any moment of any day and it gets me in touch with God's Presence in and around and through me. I was reading my last year's journal today and here are some of the thoughts that spoke to me again.
Breathe on me, Breath of God
Fill me with life anew
That I may love what You love
And do what You would do
(Edwin Hatch from the blue book p 63)
If God is the One in whom we are to live and move and have our being, then I want my every inhale infused with His Presence, my every exhale an extension of His love.
Margaret Feinberg, Sacred Echo, p21
I loved how she stated that: every inhale INFUSED with God's Presence; every exhale and EXTENSION of His LOVE. Oh that I might increasing become more aware of God in me as I breath in, breath out, 24/7!
Friday, June 04, 2010
How do you react in a storm? Peter got scared, even with Jesus asking him to walk on water to Him. Funny though, when Peter began to sink, Matt 14:30-31 says Jesus IMMEDIATELY took his hand and saved him. It occurs to me that Jesus is always available to me. As soon as I turn to Him, He is IMMEDIATELY there for me. This speaks to me of how much He loves me and is concerned for me and of His companionship with me. I can take comfort in knowing His Presence is with me, always. It is my awareness of Him that changes when I call on Him. Because He lives in me, He really is IMMEDIATELY available. Even when I do not "feel" His presence, He IS there.
Thank You Jesus that You want to be here with me IMMEDIATELY whenever I call on You or need You. It is Your delight to do so. You have the power to do so. You are big enough and good enough to do so. Help me remember to cry out to You in and out of storms.
When Jesus says to Peter, "Why did you doubt?" I see that not said as a word of correction but as a smiling Jesus encouraging Peter not to give up on Jesus so easily or on himself either.
Psalm 94:19 When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul.