August 8 Prayer
‘Prayer is to our soul
What rain is to the soil.
Fertilize the soil ever so richly,
It will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains’
St. John Vianney
I dreamt of rain last night and the garden was flourishing.
We can have all the knowledge and truths in our heads but without the rain of God's presence upon us we will not flourish and grow.
Let us remember this week's prayers and quiet our souls. Let the rain of his spirit fill the cracks and hard places in the ground of our being.
Where do you see the hardness of your soul in need of softening?
See the gentle rain come to saturate those cracks and loosen the soil so the seeds may germinate and burst forth.
Pause here to pray …
‘We are so in need of your spirit to touch us today
So we humbly come in prayer.
Rain down on us with your encouragement and rest.
Here we stay for a while
For our rest is in you alone.
Would you water the soil of our souls today as we seek you in prayer.
We remember your voice upon the waters of the storm telling us
To take courage and not hide in our fears.
We see your strong hands of love
Holding us in the center of your truth.
Help us to make room for you to clean out our minds of the things that cause offense,
and change the way we think about others .
We pray for your glory to shine through us
Your church .
We ask for you to send the rain of your presence upon our land as we pray daily.
To heal and restore and soften the cracked, hard places and cause your seeds to grow.
Let your grace that we most need today be poured out into our souls so we in turn may give this grace to others .
Let all of us be complete in all of you so the world may know this rain is the love of God.
It is an invitation to life forevermore. It is the answer we are all longing for if we only can sit in the sheer silence to hear the questions that are deep inside .
We find you here.
We receive your rain and say thank you!
We love your presence
Rain down on us!
August 7 Prayer
To be a follower of Christ He tells us to ‘Lose your life to find your life.
Give up your own ways, take up my cross, give up the world to find and save your soul.’
Let go of the hold on your life.
Do not be scared to lose your life for letting go of the things you hold onto are not the real you.
What is the most real, most true, most you?
What part of the real you have you lost due to holding onto what you think is you?
These are big questions without quick answers but will be discovered over time.
See Jesus come to you now with only love and longing in his eyes. He offers his hand to you with an invitation to follow him and let him lead you in his divine dance.
Up you rise and follow as your feet become light and the burdens you carry are tossed aside until your soul soars with his.
You completely forget about your own life because you know you belong here with Jesus and the Father and with the Spirit inside you.
Feel that empty space inside you become filled with belonging, with wonder, with completeness.
‘In God alone is my soul at rest’
Be at rest in your soul as you respond in prayer.
‘There is no better place to be than here with you, Jesus.
I let go of all of me to be made complete in all of you.
Whenever the world entices me with its whirlwind of striving to gain control and I fear the letting go, let me take your hand unto your dance floor and rest there with you.
I let you take the lead. and I will follow.
As I find rest there with you, please open my eyes to the longing of others to belong.
For in your expansive embrace there is room for all who desire to be here too.
Make room in my heart for all of me so I may receive the others that complete you. For all of creation is a part of you.
May we be one in knowing how much we are your beloved children, your bride, your church.
May we offer to the world that is striving so hard, the invitation to ‘come and find yourself in losing yourself....come join in the dance of freedom to set all free and make right what has all gone wrong.
Find rest for your soul.’
May your kingdom come in fullness through us, your beloved, this day,
and find our true selves in your loving embrace.
Peace to you!
August 6 Prayer 2Pet.1,2Cor.4:6-10,1John3;1
We are His glory here on earth, image bearers of light, hope and grace. His majestic glory is to shine forth in darkness. We are his beloved children and apart from him, we are not our own. One cannot bear an image if it is not there.
Let all the negativity, shame and wrong thinking about yourself and God begin to rise and let it fall far away from you now.
When we look to the cross we see weakness, brokenness and sin. Our struggle is his struggle.
When we look into the face of Christ there is his glory to be magnified and displayed through his resurrection. He chose to bring his life, his glory, his light and plant it in our own bodies. So we are one with Christ in glory, we are members of the glorified Christ!
So let’s look to the cross in faith and see our own weakness, brokenness and sin. Let’s look upward to his glory, as the eyes of Christ are on the Father, his might, his power to overcome. His glory to burst forth like the rising sun through us, his body.
Hold that image in your mind now.
Pause, breathe and Pray
‘O majestic glorious trinity, you who desire to dwell in us, we yield to your image being formed in us.
We are weak and cannot bear your image when we portray our own false image without you.
Touch us now with the fire of your glory.
May we receive your word over us. We are your beloved children, your temple where you shine forth your glory.
May it be so in us, your church this day. May we lay down our own false images and bear only yours .
We look to the cross of Christ and see ourselves there and we look to your glory, who you truly are and see ourselves there with you. Make us attentive to your glory light today and how you want to shine through us.
All glory be to the Father,the Son and the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning.
Shine your light in us!
‘According to the grace God has given to me’ 1Cor.3:10
‘The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness and God's rest was given to them from far away.’Jer.31:1-6
Sit still for a moment, being open to the grace of God given to you now.
Let the blessing of God's presence be made known to you in a fuller way as you notice your own lack and need.
‘He brings streams in the desert and will build you up again. Again you will rejoice, again you will dance and sing, for He comes to build and plant in you his everlasting love that will bring a full harvest.
Wherever you find yourself today, what grace do you need to be drawn closer to God?
Let him deepen his life in you.
Pause to respond to this life of grace in you,
“ We say yes to seeing the streams of living waters in the desert places of our souls.
We say no to that which drags us downwards and away from your life giving presence. Show us the distracting thoughts and opinions that we are to let go of now.
May your grace be found this day through the window of another's soul when we look into their eyes.
May we be a window of grace and blessings to others when they look into our eyes.
May our hands offer blessings of kindness and care and find the grace in giving .
May we find your rest in receiving.
Draw us every closer to you, to plant in us the hope, faith and love that becomes grace to the world.
August 4 Prayer
‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and seek my face and turn from your offensive ways.’
‘If’,....that’s a condition and request from God.
...And what is He asking us to do?
And, What causes us to offend God?
The religious leaders were offended when Jesus broke their traditions and ways of thinking. They offended God when they got stuck in their old ways of thinking and traditions. Matt.15
‘Listen and understand,’ Jesus tries to explain to us.
‘Insight gives patience and virtue to overlook an offense’ Pr.19:11
So here we pause and ask our merciful God for wisdom and understanding.
‘Jesus, you are one with the Father and He is one with you. You give us the holy spirit to live in us as you live in them.
Help us to clean out our minds to allow you to enter into our heart rooms and change the way we think.
May you plant your spirit of oneness within us so we are able to overlook an offense.
Help us to stop imitating the ideal and opinions of the culture but let us be inwardly transformed by your spirit through a total reformation of how we think.
May our lives be lived as beautiful, pleasing and perfect in your eyes. Romans 12:2
May this be so throughout all of your people who are called by your name, humbled before you.
We pray to the Lord, heal our minds, our hearts and our land.
Make us one as you are one
In Jesus name,
August 3 Prayer-PS..61, Matt.14:22-33
‘Hear my cry, O Merciful One, listen to my prayer; From the depth of my being I call to You, for my heart is faint.’
Read the story in Matthew when Jesus appears walking upon the stormy waters toward the boat where his friends were battling the waves against them.
They were afraid and terrified when they saw Jesus coming. His very words to them were ‘Take heart, be brave, it is I.’ And that was just enough for Peter to hear to be able to walk out into those stormy seas with Jesus.
Sometimes we are called to rest and shelter in the bow of the boat with Jesus and sometimes we are called out to join him right in the middle of the storm.
Where is he calling you right now as you face the wind and waves against you?
Where is Jesus in the midst of all the troubles we are facing in our world today?
What do we all need to be able to walk through these times?
Are we open enough to see Jesus and hear his call of faith for us to arise, take our place with him in the middle of the storm and speak the words take heart, be brave, these storms will surely pass. Can we ask for the faith to believe and the authority to speak to the wind and waves of disease and conflict and say, be still, be gone, In Jesus name?
Think of all the times God has provided a miracle for you and met you in your direst need.
Now listen to hear the words of Jesus to you, where you are, in the middle of this storm.
After the great miracle of provision Jesus performed by feeding the five thousand hungry followers he went to be alone and prayed.
Let’s pray now ,
‘O Merciful One, you listen to our distress and worry about all that is going on around us. You see the wind and waves that batters against our faith. We listen to your voice now and look for your coming and calling us out to join what you are doing.
We pray in agreement with you to eradicate this pandemic all around the world. For the fear and confusion and division to be stilled.
Give us eyes to see you in our midst and to take heart, your heart of courage into our hearts.
May we be bold enough in our faith to walk right into the storm with you and speak to the wind and the waves to be still.
We are afraid and have little faith. Fill us with your spirit of courage and hope and the power to love one another this day.
Help us to come out where you are and not to hide in our fears.
May we be the face of compassion and confidence that you are the Merciful One toward others. May we lead them to the rock that is higher and stronger and surer than what the world structures can offer. For you alone are our refuge, your steadfast love conquers all fears. Let our minds be clothed by trust, our hearts informed by Mercy to know your peace and joy.
Grant us help to answer the call, strengthen us with pure resolve. With You, our Beloved, we shall triumph and be free!
‘God has put his love on the line for us by sending his son to die for us, so why would we ever question his love? His love always stands, is unshakable and does not condemn us, His prayers are always for us to triumph. Nothing in the universe has the power to dismiss his love towards us.’
So what can come between us and his love?
...I can be distant, I can be selfish, I can be unaware, but this does not change God's posture of love towards me.
What comes between you and the love of God?
Pause to share those things about yourself with the Holy Spirit of love.:
‘Lord, Jesus, you always look at us through your eyes of love. Thank you for your sacrifice that we should never forget how much you love us.
We lay down our own agendas and barriers that get in the way of your love.
Help us to await your very presence of love today until our whole being is saturated with peace.
Let us live out of this place of knowing we can not earn your love but may we yield to it. Let your unshakable love be present in our posture toward others so that we do not condemn another human being for being different than us.
Your love conquers all and you pray for us to triumph over our own sin. Show us today what is getting in the way of your love and teach us how to walk in confidence that you will remove it. That nothing on this earth can come between us.
Let us return again and again to your love today in every way we fall short may we once again return.
For you have given everything for us
May we give everything for you.
In your glorious name, Jesus, we pray,
‘Do all things for the greater glory of God’ 1Cor.10:31-33
As you come to prayer today let the warmth of his loving presence fill your whole being.
Whatever we do comes out of being filled with the Holy Spirit of love. Otherwise our actions will be self seeking and for our own good not for the good of others. Paul tells us that in whatever we do, to do everything for God’s glory. Choosing the greater things, the higher road is choosing to follow Jesus.
‘And make sure you’re not offending anyone, any other group or any part of God’s church over your personal preferences. I try to please everyone in all things, rather than doing what is best for me; I do what is best for others.’
Notice Paul says he tries to please everyone and not give offense to anyone.
A seemingly impossible task in these times, for whatever we do or say can be taken in an offensive way.
So what do we do? How do we ‘live for the greater glory of God.’
St.Ignatius of Loyola was a nobleman in Spain during the 15th century that coined the phrase after St.Paul. Only during recovery from having his legs seriously shattered in battle did he come to a place of surrendering his life to Christ. His salvation came through reading about the life of Christ and of other followers who lived for the greater good and for the glory of God. This inspired him to answer the call to lay down his sword and follow a new way.
So maybe this is a good place to start. To lay down our swords, the hill we think is so important that we miss the opportunity to lead others to Christ with love. Maybe our church and our lives could be an example to inspire others to follow too.
Pause humbly before the Lord now and let your heart be cleansed of any self-seeking or personal preferences that offends another.
“ Lord Jesus, we desire you, we long for your ways to be made manifest through our lives, so we now lay down our swords of our own ways before you.
May we know your deep love for us that everything we do will be for the greater good of others.
We cannot do this out of our own will but from the inspiration of your Holy Spirit.
Help us today, to attend to your spirit within us in everything we do and in every thought we have of offense, stop us there to turn over our thoughts to you.
Fill us with your very life, with every breath we take for the greater glory of God.
‘You have given all to me, and to you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace for that is enough for me.’
The word came to me...I went down to the potter's house, “Can I not do with you, house of Israel, just as this potter has done? — this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel.”
Let God's message be revealed to your heart now.
Think a moment about what it would be like to work with a piece of clay on a potter's wheel.
Years ago I tried this on an old manual wheel.
The kind you have to spin with your foot and it takes a very strong body with steady hands and sure arms to hold the clay shaping it into a perfect pot. One that will not burst when fired in the hot kiln.
I could never quite get this art perfected because I was not strong enough though I tried and tried. I had a friend that was much bigger and stronger than I and he could work the clay like magic to create a container of beauty and function.
Notice that God speaks to Jeremiah about shaping the house of Israel, His people, He is wanting to reshape and re-center them as He chooses for his pleasure and purpose. In His strong and steady hands.
What do you suppose God is saying to his people today and what is the desire for his collective church in these times? Yes we are the clay in his hands as individuals to give him permission to work with us and shape us but how do we collectively allow him to work with us together?
Let his spirit guide us now as we pray with one voice,
‘Lord, have your way with us as we attend to your shaping and recreating us into a vessel for your purpose.
Help us to listen collectively to your voice and message as to what you are doing with us together.
We let your strong arms hold us in your hands to re center us on what is your good and perfect will.
That which is true, beautiful, just, honorable, and worthy of praise for your glory.
May we have willing hearts that are pliable for you to shape us into one vessel strong enough that under fire we will not break.
When we get stuck in our own ways, opinions, and bias, keep us from spinning off and hold us in the center of your truth.
Your hands of love will keep there.
Make us one as you are one,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Make something beautiful out of us!
May the world see you glory here in your church a vessel of beauty, purpose,acceptance and grace.
You are the potter we, your people are the clay.
Have your way in us today.
Jesus tells Martha who had come to meet him on the road in her grief that Lazarus her brother will rise again after his death. She knows her brother will live again in the afterlife but Jesus speaks of another realm . He opens her eyes to see that he actually is the resurrection and life.
If we believe in him then we will live and never die- ever.
‘Do you believe this?’ he asks Martha.
This is where her proclamation of faith rises, ‘Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the One who is coming into the world’
Sit with the image of Jesus and Martha having a conversation together.
What do their faces look like and how are they looking at each other?
When we are in grief our true raw selves are exposed as we cannot hold that part of our broken hearts together. We say what we think inside.
This is where Jesus appears with us in our true feelings and questions.
‘If only you had been there’ Martha shares with her friend, Jesus.
You can feel her anguish in her honest questioning.
He then asks her,do you believe this?
And she comes to believe and understand who he really is,so much more than she ever thought possible.
He asks us the same.
Do you believe this?
How does he want to come into the world as life where we are dying?
Can we come to him now with our honest questions and in our grief to grow in our understanding to believe He is the One?
Pause here to offer your complete self to God and give him your questions and grief of what could have been but is not yet.
‘ Lord, we thank you that you chose to reveal yourself through Jesus the One and only One that brings life into the world.
We receive this life in us now to believe in what seems impossible to us.
May we come to believe in your resurrected power giving life where we only see death.
May we have open eyes to see what you are doing in the waiting time.
May our faith grow in expectation of the life that you are pouring into us that will be extended into the world around us.
We give you our hands as your hands. To be with you as you are entering our world each day.
Gracious God, through our faith and friendship with Jesus, join us to one another in love.
We welcome You into our homes as Martha did to be with us.
May your church be the place where faith rises and proclaims who you are, the anointed one revealing the way to the Father through the spirit of hope.
We lift up all of those that are suffering in grief today that the comfort of the Holy Spirit may be present to them.
We receive your faith, hope and love this day.