Quiet my thoughts

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. ~Jer. 29:11 (CEB)

“Dear Jesus, during this day help me quiet all the thoughts that fill my head- where I must go, whom I must see, and what I must do. In their place, give me a sense of your order, your peace, and your time.

Help me to understand that you are in control, and I can trust you with my day. Help me to realize that nothing on my to-do list is important if it is not what you want me to do.

I give all my tasks to you and trust you to bring order to them. In these moments, dear Jesus, come to me, be with me, and free me from the tyranny of ‘to do.’” Amen. ~From Quiet Spaces by Patricia F. Wilson

To gain my soul

Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives? ~Matt 16:26 (CEB)

“What I most desire for you is a certain calmness which recollection, detachment, and love of God alone can give. St. Augustine says that whatever we love outside God, so much the less do we love [God]. It is as a brook whence part of the waters is turned aside. Such a diversion takes away from that which is God’s and thence arise harassment and trouble. God would have all, and [God’s] jealousy cannot endure a divided heart. The slightest affection apart from [God] becomes a hindrance, and causes estrangement. The soul can only look to find peace in love without reserve. ~ From The Royal Way of the Cross: Letters and Spiritual Counsels of Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fenelon

Heavenly Father, I am nothing without You. My heart races, I feel lost and alone without You. Help me to not have a divided heart so that I may find the peace and love I need for this day. Amen.

Spiritual Discipline

Train yourself for a holy life! While physical training has some value, training in holy living is useful for everything. It has promise for this life now and the life to come. ~1 Tim 4:7b-8 (CEB)

“By participating in Christian disciplines, we live out our desire and intention to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. As we do so, we are encouraged, instructed, healed, challenged, loved, renewed, and beckoned to God and godly living.

While it is true that God is in every when and where and that many other things besides disciplines contribute to our deepening relationship with God, we discover that it makes a meaningful difference in everyday life when we set aside time, space, and ourselves to be more fully present with and attentive and responsive to God. Disciplines are like faithful companions on the way. The benefit we seek and desire most is deepening companionship with God. We come away from other pursuits to listen for the still, small voice that is our beloved Savior, the Holy One, our Creator, God.” ~From Holy Invitations by Jeanette A. Bakke

Lord, how magnificent are Your ways. The more time I spend with You the more I desire to know You deeper. Guide this time with You, O Lord, so the relationship will grow even stronger. Help me to continue to hear Your still small voice as I journey through this day. Amen.

Solitude

Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer. ~Mark 1:35 (CEB)

“Solitude is obviously intended to be far more than just being physically alone. It is the way we form a habit of retreat, creating a space and a time when God can speak to us. Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have some place in your house that could become a place of retreat. Some people have a favorite walk that becomes a ‘prayer walk.’ Every large city, despite the noise and crowds, has places of great solitude and peace. Often city center churches are examples of this. What is certain is that if we create a place where we can regularly turn to God, [God] will meet us there. There, as Amma Syncletica said, ‘it is possible to be a solitary in one’s mind while living in a crowd.’ Time spent with God in solitude will always bring a harvest. The problems we have outside the solitude will seem different when we return to them refreshed and strengthened. The surer sense of our relationship with Christ that solitude brings spills over into everything else we do. When Moses came down from his solitude on Mount Sinai, his face shone (Exod. 34:29-35). For you, too, solitude can be a place of transfiguration, a meeting place with the living God.” ~From The Interior Mountain by Simon Peter Iredale

Come away with me O Lord, to a quiet place where I may hear your voice as it whispers to me. May the solitude I seek in this moment give me the strength needed for this day. May my face shine from being in Your Presence. Help me remember throughout the rest of this day to stop and listen for Your voice so that I may know more clearly the way to go. Amen.

Come to me, O God

“My God, I lift my face toward you now like a hungry child asking to be fed. My soul is starved; my flesh years for the touch that only you can give. Come to me, O God, and stay with me; I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me as you will, and whatever you do with me, I thank you. I am prepared for anything; I will accept everything so long as your will is accomplished in the totality of my living.

My God, I give myself to you, placing myself in your hands as a gift of love. It is necessary for me to give myself to you in confidence and without reserve because I love you, and I know you love me also.

Reach down inside me now, O God, and change the gears that race and roar. In place of turmoil give me peace; in place of frenzy five me patience. Then shall I be more like Jesus, who taught us to make room for you in our hectic days.

Teach me, God, to make room for you in all the events and affairs of my days. Then I shall find rest. Then I will be at peace with my self and with you.” ~Norman Shawchuck

True spirit

And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you that they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ~ Matt. 6:16-18 (CEB)

“How can I make room in my life for the things that really matter? This question plagues most adults in the developed world. We have so many things, so many activities, so many opportunities, and so many responsibilities. Is it possible to find a place for God in our busy lives? Many have answered the question with a resounding, no. Others have answered by filling every moment of every day with activity until there is no time even to think about God. Others yearn to find that sacred space and time but just don’t know how or where to look.

The saints who have gone before us left a legacy of experience in living with God. One learning they pass on to us is the value of fasting as a spiritual discipline. Fasting makes room for God in our lives. The discipline required to relinquish food or entertainment or anything else can often be the opening that admits God more fully into our lives.

Is there a way for you to find regular time and place for God in your life without fasting or giving up some things? Probably not. Therefore the real question becomes, What do you feel called to give up in order to find room for God in your life? Fasting for a season may give you the space, time, and energy to make room for God in your busy life.” ~A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, Rueben P. Job

Almighty God, deliver me from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections, I may worship you in spirit and in truth, through Jesus Christ Amen.  

Sins of the spirit

If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins. ~Matt. 6:14-15 (CEB)

“But there are two sins, not of individual deed, but of spiritual condition, which cannot be forgiven; that is, as it seems to me, which cannot be excused, passed by, made little of by the tenderness even of God, inasmuch as they will allow no forgiveness to come into the should, they will permit no good influence to go on working alongside of them; they shut God out altogether. Therefore the man guilty of these can never receive into himself the holy renewing saving influences of God’s forgiveness. God is outside of him in every sense, save that which springs from his creating relation to him, by which, thanks be to God, he yet keeps a hold of him, although against the will of the man who will not be forgiven. The one of these sins is against man; the other against God.

The former is unforgiveness to our neighbor; the shutting of him out form our mercies, from out love- so from the universe, as far as we are a portion of it- the murdering therefore of our neighbor. It may be an infinitely less evil to murder a man than to refuse to forgive him. The former may be the act of a moment of passion: the latter is the heart’s choice. It is spiritual murder, the worst, to hate, to brood over the feeling that excludes, that kills the image, the idea of the hated.” ~ From The Creation in Christ by George MacDonald

Father in Heaven, Help me to love my neighbors as You love them. Help me to see past my own opinions and judgments.  Allow others to see Your mercies through me. Amen.

To forgive as God forgives

If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins. ~Matt. 6:14-15 (CEB

“There are various kinds and degrees of wrong-doing, which need varying kinds and degrees of forgiveness. An outburst of anger in a child, for instance, scarcely wants forgiveness. The wrong in it may be so small, that the parent has only to influence the child for self-restraint, and the rousing of the will against the wrong. The father will not feel that such a fault has built up any wall between him and his child.

But suppose that he discovered in him a habit of sly cruelty towards his younger brothers, or the animals of the house, how differently would he feel! Could his forgiveness be the same as in the former case? Would not the different evil require a different form of forgiveness? I mean, would not the forgiveness have to take the form of that kind of punishment fittest for restraining, in the hope of finally rooting out, the wickedness? Could there be true love in any other kind of forgiveness than this? A passing-by of the offence might spring from a poor human kindness, but never from divine love. It would not be remission. Forgiveness can never be indifference. Forgiveness is love towards the unlovely,” ~From Creation in Christ by George MacDonald

Guide me this day O Lord, in all I say and do. My I see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears, and love with Your heart. Amen.

Jubilee

The LORD God’s spirit is upon me,

because the LORD has anointed me.

He has sent me

to bring good news to the poor,

to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim release for captives,

and liberation for prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD ‘s favor

and a day of vindication for our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

to provide for Zion’s mourners,

to give them a crown in place of ashes,

oil of joy in place of mourning,

a mantle of praise in place of discouragement.

~Isaiah 61:1-3a (CEB)

“Forgiveness can be the great cleansing action that allows one to begin again. Retribution or restitution is not enough. They serve as payback but they do not allow for the deep scouring that is necessary to truly start anew. The ancient Israelites knew the principle well for they instituted the practice of the Sabbath year. Each seventh year was set aside so that everything could begin over again: Fields lay fallow and all debts were forgiven. This crucial period of rest was seen as necessary for the harmonious functioning of society and the fertility of the land. The earth can be depleted, our societies become imbalanced and unjust. Similarly, as individuals and as families we require a time of absolution so that we might truly begin again and become fertile fields that yield a rich harvest.

The prayer most identified with Christianity, one taught to us by Jesus himself, incorporates the crucial insight that forgiveness is a key ingredient as we live into the promised kingdom.” ~ From The Time Between by Wendy M. Wright

Heavenly Father, send a Jubilee my way. Help me to rest so that from my life a rich harvest may grow. Amen.

Set free

Make your ways known to me, LORD;

teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth—teach it to me—

because you are the God who saves me.

I put my hope in you all day long. ~Psalm 25:4-5 (CEB)

“That which is unforgiven holds us captive. We are imprisoned by the hatred and malice we clutch in our hearts. I do not mean to suggest that forgiveness is easy or even that it is a swift process. No. When wrongs have been committed the last thing one wants, or even should do is claim that the transgression should be overlooked The aftermath of betrayal or injury is unavoidably rage, hate, self-blame, flight, and fight. It is a long and painful process to move through the stages of healing that must be named and claimed as part of you, the pain allowed to work for you, the injurer must rightly be blamed, and power and strength returned to the injured. The, knowing you have experienced pain and overcome it, forgiveness can some as a free act.” ~From The Time Bewteen by Wendy M. Wright

Set me free this day O Lord, from the pain and fears I carry around with me. Help me to gain the strength I need to place blame where it belongs, claiming only my part. Help me to face what needs to be faced so that I may go about my day with a lighter spirit. Amen.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries