Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Wonder... at Christmas

I read this today:
A wondering question is an invitation to ponder and reflect on a situation, a feeling, or an issue... Wondering is a marvelous, open-ended connection, linking the imagination to the spirit. (Quoted from https://network.crcna.org/childrens-ministry/wondering-about-wondering)
That reminded me of a favorite carol.
I do not hear it too often on the radio,
but its words and haunting melody echo in my heart:

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
That Jesus my Savior did come for to die
For poor ornery people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky 
When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall 
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King 
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

On dark cool winter evenings,
I find myself singing
with my face and eyes
turned to the stars
as I stroll aimlessly,
meditatively singing,

I wonder...
what moments of awe and wonder
will be revealed this Christmas?

I wonder...
what part of the Christmas story
will come more alive for me this year?

I wonder...
in what ways
in whose face
will I meet the Christ Child this year?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Prayer when Overwhelmed

Dear God,
Their needs are so great.
Their pain so deep.
Your people hurt.

They cry out to me saying,
"Pastor, can you help me?"
"Pastor, will you pray for me?"
"Pastor, where can I go?"

I get overwhelmed with the needs:
sick and in hospital,
homeless and hungry,
broken and addicted,
abused and scared,
dying and alone.

So much need,
So much hurt,
too much for me.
So Lord, I turn to you.

You, O God, have moved with compassion 
for your people in the past:
"The Lord said, 'I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them...'" Exodus 3:7-8a 

You hear us when we cry to you:
"When the righteous cry for help, 
the Lord hears, 
and rescues them from all their troubles. 
The Lord is near 
to the brokenhearted, 
and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:17-18

Come and carry these burdens,
for I cannot.
Come and heal your people,
for you have and you can.
Come and make us whole!

Today I pray to you, O God.
It seems that's the best I can do.
I claim your promise to Paul:
“My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Let it be so for me today!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Prayer for Overcoming Perfectionism

grant me
the serenity to stop berating myself
for not doing things perfectly,

the courage to forgive myself
when I am doing the best I can,

and the wisdom to know
that I am worthy of love
and that you already love me
just the way I am.


adapted from "The OTHER Serenity Prayer" by Eleanor Brownn
found at http://www.eleanorbrownn.com/

Monday, July 22, 2019

Prayers for Going Away

Prayers for Going Away

Going Away to Camp

In the beauty of your world, O God, 
you show us how great your love is. 
Be with (insert name) as s/he goes away to camp. 
Open her/his eyes to the wonder of creation and, in it, 
let her/him draw nearer to you. 
Let her/his play be joyful. 
Let her/him encounter wonder and surprise as s/he learns. 
Let her/his rest be peaceful. 
Keep (insert name) well and safe, 
in the knowledge that s/he is deeply loved 
by you and by us, 
who hold her/him dear in our hearts for ever. 
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Going to College 

Gracious God, 
your Holy Spirit instructs our hearts in the ways of life. 
In going to college, your beloved (insert name), 
has set aside a time of learning and preparation for her/his life’s work. 
Through all the years ahead, make her/him hungry 
for wisdom tempered with love. 
Help her/him discern the truth in all that s/he learns, 
in the people s/he meets, 
and in the choices s/he must face each day. 
Keep her/his mind alert for the rigors of study and exams. 
Keep her/his body safe and well. 
Give her/him a heart bold to question, 
yet alive to your wonders. 
And assure her/him always of your love and ours, 
through Christ, your Wisdom made flesh. 

For the Family Separated During Military Service 

God the fountain of all mercy, 
your love is made known to us in the love of others: 
Surround this family with the support 
and care of our community as they watch 
and wait for (insert name)’s return; 
grant them patience, hope, and quiet confidence, 
until the time of reunion; 
through Christ, we pray. Amen.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Thank you, God, for birthdays.

It's my birthday!
Some people don't like their birthdays.
They stop counting them;
they'd rather not be reminded of how old they are.
For some it's just another day.

I like my birthday.
I like the singing (even when it's out of tune!).
I like the cake, prune cake's my favorite!
I like the text messages and Facebook posts.

For me,
my birthday is a time
to look back
to hear the story of my birth one more time,
a story of wonder, laughter, and joy,
to think about the all the different things I have done
and opportunities I've had.

A day to reflect on your hard at work in my life.
Perhaps we should do that everyday.
But there are some milestone days
that seem set aside for reflection.
My birthday is one of those days.

So today,
I will reflect.
I will remember.
I will wonder at the things you
have been doing in and through my life.
And I will wonder more
about the things yet to be revealed.

Thank you, God,
for my birthday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Night Prayer

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.


This prayer is from Night Prayer of A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (page 184)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Overwhelmed... God will help

Some days are just
The list to be done is long.
The list of people to call is long.
The list of needs is great.
The list of things that need attention is growing.

On days like today,
I feel overwhelmed.
Like the waters are rising, rushing
threatening to sink me.

some days I just get frustrated and give up.
Some days I dig in my heals and fight.
Some days I cry; some days I get angry.
Yes, none of that is healthy.

Today I want to do this differently.
I want to turn to you to ask for your help.

Then I hear you saying,
"Do you remember how to eat an elephant?"
No, Lord, I don't want to eat an elephant...
"It's just a saying... take it one bite at a time."
Ok, Lord.
One small bite.

So I make a list.
I organize my list.
I ask for help from others-- delegate.
I close the door.
I set a timer for 30minutes.
I work at the list.
Today it was the simple things first.
Sometimes it is the hardest thing first.
When the timer goes off, I stand and stretch.
Then go again.
By lunch, the list has many things marked off.

Thanks, Lord.
I needed your help.
I still don't think eating an elephant would be healthy...
but I get what you mean.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." -- Matthew 6:34 The Message

Thanks, Lord.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Remember that You ARE God's Beloved!

I needed to hear this today:

Remember today that you are Beloved!
Receive that!
Live into that.

Stop for a few minutes
Close your eyes
Open your hands
Take a deep breath

Breathe in Love
Breathe out fear
Breathe in Belovedness
Breathe out self doubt
Breathe in love for the unique creation you are
Breathe out comparison
Breathe in Love
Breathe out Hate of self and others
Breathe in Your Belovedness

Rest in this great Love.

You are Loved! 

“You are my Beloved, 
and on you my favor rests!” -- God

The above prayer/reflection shared from: