Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category



The man whispered, "God, speak to me."
And a meadowlark sang.
But the man did not hear.
So the man yelled, "God, speak to me!"
And the thunder rolled across the sky.
… But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, "God, let me see you."
And a star shone brightly.
But the man did not notice.
And the man shouted, "God, show me a miracle!"
And a life was born.
But the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair.
"Touch me God, and let me know that you are here!"
Whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.



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The sheep that are my own hear and are listening to my voice; and I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

(Louis Robbe (attr) Schafherde in hügeliger Landschaft)

These days, there seems to be a cacophony of religious voices, all saying different things. 

In matters of faith, only one voice matters.  How will we discern that voice? 

Psalm 46 says: “Be still and know that I am God.” 

Be still.

We modern folk are such poor listeners.  We label each other, we talk past each other, we judge each other, we jump to conclusions, we stop listening.

We want to be heard, we want everyone else to listen to us, we talk to whomever will listen.



No, really, I mean it!  Stop talking (mentally even) and … just …


This song (linked below) reminds us just to take it in, and to give it back.  Not to tell others or to tell God how it is or what we want, sometimes not even to tell God what we need. 

Sometimes, we are just to


And, if we respond,  our response is to “lift a hymn of grateful praise.” 

Nothing more, nothing less.

Heather Prusse sings For the Beauty of the Earth

In thought,  word, and deed, let us praise our God.  As it is said in Psalm 19:14:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

May peace be with you!


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“Through the selection of questions that empower, to the intuitive sacredness of each reframe, the genius of communication shines through in every soul who agrees to sit with presence with other souls who are rapt with pain and drowning in fear. If you are willing to go to their hell with them in every instance, you will be the artist who leads them from the self-imposed prison of skewed perception to the clarity of understanding. In that act of willingness, you will be made a stronger person in your own right.”

From     N.W. Burnett, Calm in the Face of the Storm: Daily Spiritual Practice for Peacemakers, p. 256 (2010)

Illustration Angelika Kauffmann, Artist, “Christus und die Samariterin am Brunnen” (Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well), 1796, Courtesy Wikimedia Commons (public domain in source country and in US)

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Mark the Evangelist Panteleimon2Fol155v

§ 120. [A]t fixed hours time should be given to certain definite reading. For haphazard reading, constantly varied and as if lighted on by chance does not edify but makes the mind unstable; taken into the memory lightly, it goes out from it even more lightly. But you should concentrate on certain authors and let your mind grow used to them.

§ 121. The Scriptures need to be read and understood in the same spirit in which they were written. You will never enter into Paul’s meaning until by constant application to reading him and by giving yourself to meditation you have imbibed his spirit. You will never understand David until by experience you have made the very sentiments of the psalms your own. And that applies to all Scripture. There is the same gulf between attentive study and mere reading as there is between friendship and acquaintance with a passing guest, between boon companionship and chance meeting.

§ 122. Some part of your daily reading should also each day be committed to memory, taken as it were into the stomach, to be more carefully digested and brought up again for frequent rumination; something in keeping with your vocation and helpful to concentration, something that will take hold of the mind and save it from distraction.

§ 123. The reading should also stimulate the feelings and give rise to prayer, which should interrupt your reading: an interruption which should not so much hamper the reading as restore to it a mind ever more purified for understanding.

§ 124. For reading serves the purpose of the intention with which it is done. If the reader truly seeks God in his reading, everything that he reads tends to promote that end, making the mind surrender in the course of the reading and bring all that is understood into Christ’s service.

 (From William of Saint Thierry (d. 1148), The Golden Epistle: A Letter to the Brethren at Mont Dieu 1.120-124, trans. Theodore Berkeley, The Works of William of St. Thierry, Cistercian Fathers 12 (Spencer, Mass.: Cistercian Publications, 1971) 51-52.  Link for source, and other resources on the method of prayer known as Lectio Divina, is HERE.) 

(Image: Mark the Evangelist, unknown artist, 12th Century A.D., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agiou_Panteleimonos_monastery )

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2010 10 08 chicago 098

(for a downloadable bulletin insert for this litany, click HERE)

Voice of a leader says:  From words and deeds that provoke discord, prejudice and hatred,

Congregation replies:    O God, deliver us.

Leader: From suspicions and fears that stand in the way of reconciliation,

Response: O God, deliver us.

Leader: From believing and speaking lies about other peoples or nations,

Response: God, deliver us.

Leader: From cruel indifference to the cries of the hungry and homeless,

Response: O God, deliver us.

Leader: From all that prevents us from fulfilling your promise of peace,

All: O God, deliver us.

Leader: Deliver us from our brokenness, we pray, O God,

All: and by your grace and healing presence deliver us to You …

Leader: To still waters and green pastures,

All: O Creating God, deliver us.

Leader: To the freedom and forgiveness we find in you,

All: O Risen Christ, deliver us.

Leader: To the tough task of loving our enemies,

All: O Jesus, deliver us.

Leader: To joyful service in your name,

All: O Servant of All, deliver us.

Leader: To the promise of a new heaven and a new earth,

To the wholeness of justice,

To the power of your peace,

All: O Holy Spirit, deliver us now and in the days to come.

Closing Prayer

Charge our lives and our churches with the power of your peace, O God. Overcome our fears and self-deceptions with the promise of your presence. Make us signs of your generosity and justice. Light us each day with hope, we pray, so that we may walk in your truth and be love in your Name. Amen.



Note: “The Power and Promise of Peace” was written as part of the World Council of Churches’ “Decade to Overcome Violence” (2000 – 2010).  To download a bulletin insert for use with your congregation, click HERE.

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