Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mid-week Prayer

Dear Lord,

I have been praying without ceasing, and phew! I'm worn out. There is so much need around me. So many opportunities to ask for your divine presence, healing, and help.

Diagnosis, prognosis, unemployment, and discouragement. Small requests and Giant worries. These just scrape the surface of the troubles of the people who need you - strangers and loved ones alike.

It's a good kind of tired. I feel close to you each time I pray on another's behalf. I'm getting better at letting go of the outcome and knowing that your will will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Thanks for the Heaven-on-Earth moments too. When my daughter listens and follows instructions on the first request, when there's an opportunity to help a mama whose overwhelmed. When technology makes it possible to stay in touch with long-distance friends. When we see geese flying together in the sky. Thanks for taking my breath away and for reminding me how grateful I am to have every one of these breaths.

All this prayer and need, more prayer and more need is changing me, God. Help me to be quiet and hear your words. Help me not only to hear your words, but to heed them too.

And so it is, Amen.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mid-Week Prayer

Dear God,

I lift up the calamities of Earth to you tonight. They are too many to count.

Please be with the people of the Philippines. The suffering and devastation is immense. It boggles the mind and confounds me. Please ease the pain, hunger, and confusion. Help make the roads clear for deliveries. Help coordinate efforts of many good organizations so that the relief and comfort can be shared with the greatest number of people in as smooth and efficient way possible. Be with those who are so desperate that they are choosing violence and looting as a means of survival. Create pockets of good in the midst of all that awfulness. I pray that the prayers and contributions of people all over the world would be a blessing to each soul in need. Be with families who have been separated and children who may be alone and afraid. Ease it all with your presence and the presence of helpers.

Lord, please be with the people in my own community who do not have adequate shelter and warm clothing for the temperatures that will continue to drop. Please create warm pockets physically and spiritually that can bring comfort. Open the hearts of those of us who are warm and protected. Let us not rest easy while others are cold and miserable.

The one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy is fast approaching. Please be with the families who lost loved ones that day and the community as they prepare to relive that horrific day. Thank you for the strength and resolve that community has demonstrated to move forward in peace and love. Help others to be inspired by their example. Please help those mamas, daddies, sisters, brothers, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, classmates, and teachers feel you ever so close in the coming days.

For the painful things that I am not aware of, I pray for your comfort and presence to dwell there too.

In the name of your Son, Jesus, I pray,

The Words that Count

While Mama’s naturally drawn to healthy foods, she can eat whatever she wants and doesn’t gain weight. It would be a blessing if she packed on a few pounds. On the other end of the weight spectrum is Daddy. He doesn’t like veggies unless fried okra counts. He likes couch time and a handful of chips.

Caught in the middle is Sweet Girl. She likes Daddy’s leniency with soda, chips, and candy, but also knows Mama’s mantra: eating healthy food is good for you.

Now she’s learned some new words outside the home: fat and skinny. She’s working out if one of the words applies to her. Sweet Girl is six. She has an athletic build. She’s neither heavy nor willowy.

The other night she leapt into Mama’s lap and said something about being skinny. This is what Mama said: “You are healthy. That’s the most important thing I care about when it comes to what you look like. I also care about you being smart and funny…” The conversation became a word game. She added some words to the list and echoed some of the words Mama threw out. Mama’s list included being compassionate and showing kindness.

Without missing a beat, Sweet Girl said, “I am kindness.” Mama prays that Sweet Girl can concentrate on the words that count amid all the other words that will swirl around her… and that she’ll grab a cup of greek yogurt when she needs a snack.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Late Week Prayer

God of Light and Love,

I've been thinking about big things this week.
How easily we humans separate ourselves into "better than" categories, so I prayed.
How frightening it is to release our children into the hands of schools, teachers, and other caring people, so I prayed.
How life is not fair in big and small ways, so I prayed.
How a beloved friend may lose employment, so I prayed.
How I miss my grandma and good friend Lois every single day, so I prayed.
How bad it feels to be misunderstood, so I prayed.
And then I remembered how wonderful it is to be surrounded by amazing friends, and I gave thanks.
I remembered how beautiful your creation is during Missouri autumns, and I gave thanks.
I remembered how you healed my dad when he was so sick, and I gave thanks.
I remembered how much I love being my daughter's mama, and I gave thanks.
I remembered the new baby born into our friendship circle, and how much her mama prayed for her arrival, and I gave thanks.
I remembered how satisfying it feels to do hard things and grow resilient, and I gave thanks.
Mostly, Lord above, I give thanks that I have you to lean on and to look up to.  Thank you for loving me and all of your creation so very much.
And so it is, Amen.