Daily Prayer :: Water

Encouragement for a lifelong journey of faith

April 20, 2018 — I Do Declare

Today’s Bible reading

Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
    so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height;
    from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
    to set free those who were doomed to die,
that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,
    and in Jerusalem his praise,
when peoples gather together,
    and kingdoms, to worship the Lord. — Psalm 102: 18-22 

More thoughts for meditation

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things can be mended. Not with time as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” –  LR Knost

Let us declare, together, the goodness of God. We all have stories of times we were trapped and grieving. Can we share our testimonies? Some of us came from traditions where testimony was a regular part of worship. In some cases it was done well, and it was edifying. In others, it might have been less than ideal. Let us bring back the art of the testimony so that “people yet to be created may praise the Lord.” Let us share our stories of joy and transformation. Tell your cell. Tell your family. Tell a stranger. What is the Good that has been done in your life?

Suggestions for action

Worship God in telling your story. Share something that has changed in your life. Maybe a New Year’s Resolution. A transformation from the season of lent. Or a joy that might have surprised you.

Pray: Open my eyes to the ways you have set me free and resurrected that which I thought was gone. Amen.

 

April 19, 2018 — I Know You

Today’s Bible reading 

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
    you are remembered throughout all generations.
You will arise and have pity on Zion;
    it is the time to favor her;
    the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold her stones dear
    and have pity on her dust.
Nations will fear the name of the Lord,
    and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
For the Lord builds up Zion;
    he appears in his glory;
he regards the prayer of the destitute
    and does not despise their prayer. — Psalm 102: 12-17 

More thoughts for meditation

Shane Claiborne is quoted as saying, “Perhaps there is no more dangerous place for a Christian to be than in safety and comfort, detached from the suffering of others.” We know that the Lord hears the prayer of the destitute. But do we hear their prayer?

This section of the psalm first reminds us of God’s greatness. “But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations.” And it ends with God’s passion and compassion, “he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer.”

How can we be more like God? Whose prayer are we despising or avoiding? Where do you find the difficulty to love or understand? We are to be the hands and feet of God. In some areas we give and give generously. We work in social justice; we march, and go to rallies. We give our money, our time, our energy. And we can celebrate the good work we do. But the question comes to me, who am I still despising? Let’s not grow complacent in our good works, but ask ourselves, who is next? Who else can we love? And what do we need to transform in us to see the world as God sees it.

Suggestions for action

Take a different path today. If there is someone you avoid or a place you don’t like to see, be present to them. And pray for someone or something that you usually struggle to love.

Pray: God, help me to be more like you and love those who I struggle to see as you see.

April 18, 2018 – I Wither

Today’s Bible reading  

I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
    like an owl of the waste places;
I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
All the day my enemies taunt me;
    those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread
    and mingle tears with my drink,
because of your indignation and anger;
    for you have taken me up and thrown me down.
My days are like an evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass. — Psalm 102: 6-11

More thoughts for meditation

One common reaction to trauma is avoidance. We often avoid stress, conflict, and even our own wounds. But when avoidance is extreme, or when it’s the main way you cope, it can interfere with your emotional recovery and healing. You may have heard advice like, “just try not to think about it” or “don’t dwell on it.” But if you avoid your feelings all of the time you will stop yourself from growth and even healing.  

Sadness feels like it sticks to us. We worry if we start crying, we’ll never stop or if we engage in the sadness it will overtake us. C.S. Lewis writes, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

Let us be the desert owl flying and soaring through the waste places. Let us bear witness to our pain and the pain of others. We are not alone on this journey. Let us not avoid the pain, but soar through it. Let us love and be loved- even if it feels our heart will break.

Suggestions for action

Share your hurt with someone else. Tell someone else about the days that feel like an evening shadow; or the areas that we are withering away like grass.

Pray – In my distress I cry to You, Lord. Hear me and hold me, dear God.

April 17, 2018 — I Forgot Myself

Today’s Bible reading 

For my days pass away like smoke,
    and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
    I forget to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
    my bones cling to my flesh. — Psalm 102: 3-5 

Thoughts for meditation

What have you forgotten to do for yourself lately? We forget to iron our clothes, or we leave our cell phone at home. We forget someone’s birthday or to get together with a friend. Sometimes we forget physical things like food. The day gets so busy that we come home, with bellies rumbling, and not until we recount the events of the day, do we realize we forgot to eat.

But what about our spiritual food? How many days have our spiritual disciplines and practices been forgotten? How many meetings, retreats, and devotional times have we come to, feeling completely ravenous? The days feel so long, yet they are flying by. A month, a year, a lifetime is over in a flash. And in those most dark and distressing times, we may feel our hunger grow, and yet nothing being done to quell it.

Sit in the distress of the Psalmist who in the darkest moments is crying out to the creator. What is crying out in your body? What are your bones crying out for? It’s time we feed our souls with friendship, vulnerability, connection and hope.

Suggestions for action

Do a body scan. Set your timer for 5 minutes. Start with noticing your toes, and move up to the crown of your head. Notice each ache and pain. Each tense muscle. Each feeling that arises as you notice your body. The body keeps score. Listen to it and ask what you can do to heal and comfort the yearning you feel.

Pray – I am hungry. Feed me. I am thirsty. Quench my thirst. I am longing. Surround me. Lord, be near to me.

 

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