Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Praying for Problems

Monday, October 29th, 2018

When it gets unbearable, it’s worth remembering: These are the problems that you didn’t know you asked for when you were praying for those blessings.

— Chidera Eggerue, What a Time to Be Alone

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 29, 2018

Lifting People Up in Prayer

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Intercession is really no more than loving people in prayer. It means setting their faces before us and sitting in their presence, still and quiet, for long enough to find out who they are and what they need — in short, for long enough to love them. In prayer meetings one often hears the words, “Lord, we lift up so-and-so before You.” As a formula this can grow tiresome; nevertheless it is exactly what we are to do. In our hearts we lift up people before the Lord, setting them above ourselves, above and beyond all our personal opinions and prejudices. We lift up people to God in order to see them not with our eyes but with His. Without this divine perception, we cannot pray rightly. We cannot bless others until we see them as God created them to be, pure and blameless.

— Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People, p. 197-198

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, December 31, 2015

Praying for Others

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Much of what goes by the name of intercessory prayer is not true intercession at all, but judgment. People pass judgment on others and then use prayer to try to get God to reinforce those judgments. We use our own standards to decide what others ought to be like and how they should change, and then we pray, “Lord, please change these people so that they’ll be more like me.” Once people have conformed to our standards, then (i.e., never) we will love them.

This is entirely backward. We need to love people first, unconditionally, and only then will we know how to pray for them. True intercessors know that they can do nothing to change anyone else. Only God changes people. Knowing this, intercessors abandon all need to exercise influence over others, and out of this abandonment true prayer is born.

If we wish to pray effectively for others, we will never hold their faults against them, never reject them for their failings. It is not that intercessors are unaware of people’s faults — but they are even more aware of the real person beneath the faults, the perfect child of God inside the rough exterior, and this is the person they choose to relate to and pray for. They pray not so much for the outer shell to be corrected, but rather for the spirit within to be encouraged and strengthened. If change is to happen, it will happen from the inside out. People do not change when their knuckles are rapped but when their inner beings are flooded with light.

— Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People, p. 196-197

[Photo: Abbaye de Royaumont, November 4, 2005]

Intercessory Prayer

Friday, May 18th, 2018

When you want to give the audience an emotion — whether in acting or in singing or in writing — you have to be on the other side of the emotion. In talking with one of you, I likened it to intercessory prayer. When you are praying for someone, beware. Do not manipulate. Do not try to control. Do not try to order the universe. You simply move through into that person and then offer whoever it is to God. But, again, you go through and out and on other side of emotion. If you are manipulative with your character — one you’re playing, one you’re writing about, or one you’re praying about — then it doesn’t work.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 222

[Photo: Rhein River, Germany, from Burg Rheinstein, July 1997]

Verse of the Day – A Prayer for my Friends

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

— Colossians 1:9-12

[Photo: Burnside Farms, May 8, 2018]

Partnering Prayer

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

Prayer is a primary means for partnership with God. Prayer is an act of willing participation in the mediation of God’s love. Our prayers somehow play a role in the restoration of all things. Thus, prayer truly matters since God is looking for willing partners who will welcome his healing love into this broken world.

Partnering prayer is also an act of yielding and surrender. In spite of some popular practices of prayer as militant proclamations that ‘pull down heaven,’ Christlike prayer is kenotic, cruciform and willing — not coercive, demanding or manipulative. Parnering prayer listens first to seek God’s will, rather than attempting to impose our will in the world in his name. Partnering prayer is founded and funded in the mercies of God, and is therefore best directed at invoking those ever-ready mercies. How or in what form God chooses to deliver his mercies is finally his domain. We can make requests and petitions, but delivering our demands and dictates seems to me out of order.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 156-157

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 6, 2018]

The Positive Cycle of Prayer and Love

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

There is such a positive cycle between prayer and releasing love. When we pray we are asking for ourselves, or for someone else, or we are giving thanks; we are thinking loving thoughts of ourselves and others and, in doing so, we are releasing more love. The more love we release the purer our prayer becomes because we are able to pray with more compassion, and so our prayer becomes more authentic.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 25

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 6, 2016]

Do not be Anxious about Anything.

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

Verse for the day:

[Photo: Skerries harbor, Ireland, July 2001]

Listen

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Inspiration comes far more often during work as things get rolling than before you sit at the typewriter. This is because the largest part of the job of the artist is to listen. To listen to the work and to go where it tells you to go. And this involves faith. Letting go of your own control and having faith in something you do not control.

To pray is also to listen. To move through my own chattering to God, to get beyond those words to that place where I can be silent and then listen to what God may have to say.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Wheaton College Writing and Literature Conferences, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 132.

Assisted Prayer

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Every time you pray you are talking directly to God. Regardless of your belief in angels, angels are praying with you at the same time, adding power and strength to your prayer. This is one of the tasks God has given the angels. We never pray alone.

— Lorna Byrne, Stairways to Heaven, p. 236