Refresh Me, Remind Me, Release Me

autumn-leaves-close-up-600x400
Lord, there are days when my prayer life stagnates. When the old trusty prayers fail to inspire. When new words won’t come. Everything is dry as the desert. On these days, I ask you to come to me in a new way. Help me discover fresh ways to see you, to talk with you… to know you. Refresh my desert days with living water.

Lord, there are days when I forget to pray at all. When signs of you are all around me, but I fail to see them. Instead my mind focuses on the endless “to do” list. The daily distractions of the outer world. On these days I ask you to send me a reminder of your loving presence. Help me to see your authorship in all that surrounds me. Guide me from my wandering with a gentle reminder.

Lord, there are days when I find myself stuck. Clenching my fist tightly around a past hurt or a stubborn mindset. This holding on becomes a holding back. On these days, I ask you to grant me permission to let go. Release me from all that holds me in chains. So that I might move forward in love and action and inspiration.

Amen.

A Prayer for this Day

bars sunset

There will come a day…

When words are not used like knives,
to cut down and decrease.

When the meek and lowly are raised up
and valued as God’s treasure.

When all weapons are cleared from the land,
melted down in a mighty fire of peace.

When the poor dine
on milk and honey and dignity.

When freedom is not reserved
for a privileged few, but ALL.

There will come a day…
But it is not yet this day.

This day
We can only turn to our God for guidance
To shine Holy light on human weakness and injustice;

To raise up prophets and soldiers
of peace and love

To forge us with the fire of equality and grandeur,
until we are strong like steel.

Raise up
Shine down
Speak truth
Dig deep
All in all

Loving God,
Show us the way
On this day.

AMEN.

Images of God

God is Light
Loving God, be my LIGHT
Source of my innermost being
Illuminating my path
Dispelling the darkness
Shining in the faces of the least of my brothers and sisters

Loving God, be my SHEPHERD
Bringing me to safety
Guiding me and leading me home
Whether one or one hundred
I am found

Loving God, be my ROCK
Safety and permanence
Ancient presence
Providing stability to cling to when the world tilts and swirls
You cannot be moved

Loving God, be my LIVING WATER
Refreshing streams flowing over dry, cracked earth
Quenching my thirst when I wander through the desert
Washing me clean with gentle mercy
The source of life in You

AMEN.

A Breathing Prayer

dandelion-22399_1280
I breathe.

Lord God, You gave me the breath of life
A Divine Spark moving within
Dawning awareness that I am Your beloved child

I Breathe deeply.

ImmanuelYou are with me
Abiding in me and around me and through me
Surrounding me with extravagant love and mercy

I breathe slowly.

Jesus, You are my Cornerstone
A firm foundation to cling to when worry and fear
Threaten to steal the breath from my body

I breathe in and out.

I am drawn into Your presence, Loving God
Welling up with peace, love, and grace
Until You are ALL in ALL

I breathe in Your Holy Presence.

AMEN.


 

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I am the Lord Your God


I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD

Blessed be God who frees us from all burdens

That which holds me prisoner—
Lord you are MIGHTY with breaking these chains

That which presses on my soul—
Lord you are STRONG with compassion to take my yoke upon You

Blessed be God who keeps His promises

That which holds me back from the Promised Land
Lord you are FAITHFUL with promises kept—

That which keeps me lost in the desert—
Lord you are PATIENT with teaching me Your paths

Blessed be God who comes to us with outstretched arms

That which leaves me weak—
Lord you are STRONG with my name written on the palm of Your Hand

That which brings me to the foot of Your Cross—
Lord you are STEADFAST with love that endures forever

AMEN.

One Seed

seedling

ONE SEED

The kingdom of God starts small
What is small?

Individual acts of compassion
A gentle speaking out against injustice
A kind word, a sweet smile
One meal for someone who is hungry

One
One act
One word
One smile
One meal

Surely one is not too much too ask

One pebble tossed into a pond
Creates ripples that grow outward and onward
Creeping
Spreading
Growing
Until one is not small but ALL

A more compassionate people
A world free from injustice
A resounding chorus of loving words
Beaming smiles reflecting peace in our world
Abundant nourishment for all who hunger

Loving God
If you will plant—I will sow
A tiny seed of love growing strong within my heart
Until I am a mighty branch
Unshakable
Providing shade for the least and last of God’s creatures

AMEN.

A Morning Prayer

sunrise

 

A MORNING PRAYER

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
What is it that you ask of me this day?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Wake me from my slumber with your gentle calling.

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Who is it that you wish me to serve today?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Reveal yourself to me.

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Where will send me on this day?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Here I am! Set me on the right path.

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
When will you answer?

Speak Lord, your servant is listening;
Work in me and through me…in your own time.

Amen.

Love Enough

Last week’s post, What Does it Really Mean to Trust God, came at a perfect time for me.  Tomorrow I send my twin boys off to their first day of high school.  Four more years before they strike out on their own, to see what the world and our God holds in store for them.  The ticking of the clock is deafening.  And so I wrote this prayer to help me remember what I have always known.

Kindergarten

LOVE ENOUGH

Loving God,
The day draws nearer
when my children will fly out into the world.
To discover, to fall, to grow, to cry
To choose, to lose their way, to find it again.

Fear grips my heart with icy fingers
What if…they choose wrong?
What if…they fall hard?
What if…they do not find their way?

I want to hold them back,
gripping them with my own icy fingers
Hands that used to let go all the time
Taking first steps, riding a bike, getting on the school bus
Why is it so hard this time?

Have I done enough?
Have I prepared them…enough?
Have I taught them…enough?
Will I ever be ready…enough?

I sigh a little
And cry a little
And pray a lot.

And then one thought echoes in my frightened, restless mind.
“Do not be afraid.”
And I remember
What I have always known.

They are in YOUR hands
And that is enough.

AMEN.

The Cracked Pot

As a follow up to my last post, Broken and Beautiful, I offer you this simple and lovely parable about a flawed pot.  Take some time today to think about how your flaws might be working toward a special purpose.

Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, 2009

Photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto, 2009

A Water Bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one-and-a-half pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes my water to leak out all the way back to your house.” The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, we would not have such beauty.”

~Source unknown

PRAYER

Divine Creator, you are the Water Bearer, cleansing us with mercy and forgiveness. Your water refreshes us like newly fallen rain.

Heavenly God, your amazing love has the power to set us free and make us whole. May we always turn to You for forgiveness and healing.

God of Love, bless our “cracked-pot” days, when we cannot see past our brokenness and flaws. May each crack become a place where your grace may enter.

 

Be Still

 

Be still and know that I am God

100_6952Mighty God, all I need to do is look at your marvelous and audacious act of creation to know that you are God.  Light and day.  Land and sky.  Seed and stars.  Bird and lion.  You created us from dust and breathed life into us.  In your image you created us.  Help me always remember this first and ancient moment of connection with you, my Divine Creator.

Be still and know that I am…

Loving God, when Moses approached your glory at the burning bush, he asked for your name. You responded simply “I AM.” Isn’t that just like you!  Giving Moses a name that is not really a name.  Be with me during those times that you are mysterious and hard to know. Do not remain a hidden God.  Draw me close to you in intimacy and companionship.

Be still and know…

Infinite God, I know that my human brain cannot begin to comprehend all that you are. Help me to know you.  Reveal yourself to me in your Word, in those around me, and in all of creation.  Infuse me with the spark of realization that you are All in All.

Be still…

Patient God, being still is not easy for me.  I have no problems stilling my body, but my mind is another story.  Racing thoughts about what must be done, what must be worried over, what must be controlled and managed.  Help me sink into the quiet, like a green meadow or a peaceful stream.  Let the stillness become a new way for me to hear you. Whispering to me.  Calling my name.  Singing me a love song.

Be…

You breathed life in me so many years ago so I could BE.  Not do, or accomplish, or fret, or undertake, or organize, or control.  Just BE.  Give me a glimpse of your heavenly dream for me. Help me be according to your will.

AMEN.