Daily Prayer :: Water

Encouragement for a lifelong journey of faith

May 26, 2022 — The need for change

Taking care of plants is a lot like tending to your soul. With some time and attention you can see what is there and nurture what is possible. This week we will practice writing psalms as a way of tending to our hearts and expressing something beyond ourselves.

Today’s Bible reading

Rise in your anger, O Lord!

    Stand up against the fury of my enemies;

    rouse yourself and help me!

Justice is what you demand,

    so bring together all the peoples around you,

    and rule over them from above.

You are the judge of all people.

    Judge in my favor, O Lord;

    you know that I am innocent.

You are a righteous God

    and judge our thoughts and desires.

Stop the wickedness of evildoers

    and reward those who are good.

 

God is my protector;

    he saves those who obey him.

God is a righteous judge

    and always condemns the wicked.

If they do not change their ways,

    God will sharpen his sword.

He bends his bow and makes it ready;

 he takes up his deadly weapons

    and aims his burning arrows.

 

See how wicked people think up evil;

    they plan trouble and practice deception.

But in the traps they set for others,

    they themselves get caught.

So they are punished by their own evil

    and are hurt by their own violence.

 

I thank the Lord for his justice;

    I sing praises to the Lord, the Most High.

Psalm 7:6-17

 

More thoughts for meditation

Aglaonema plants are beautiful. The multi-patterned varieties can thrive in various settings and conditions as houseplants.

But there are clear indicators when the plant is not getting what it needs to be healthy and grow. Droopy or curling, yellow or brown leaves, or a soggy stem show that conditions are not favorable. These visible signs of distress indicate the need for a change.

Suggestions for action

There are so many signs of distress in our world that cry out for change. Try using the Psalm above as a guide for writing your own prayer for justice. Let your anger, grief and fear be present alongside thanksgiving for what you know God can do.  There is no wrong way to do this. Just express yourself honestly before God.

May 25, 2022 — Uphold those who are falling

Taking care of plants is a lot like tending to your soul. With some time and attention you can see what is there and nurture what is possible. This week we will practice writing psalms as a way of tending to our hearts and expressing something beyond ourselves.

Today’s Bible reading

Psalm 145

The Lord is faithful in all his words

    and gracious in all his deeds.

The Lord upholds all who are falling

    and raises up all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to you,

    and you give them their food in due season.

You open your hand,

    satisfying the desire of every living thing.

The Lord is just in all his ways

    and kind in all his doings.

The Lord is near to all who call on him,

    to all who call on him in truth.

He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;

    he also hears their cry and saves them.

The Lord watches over all who love him,

    but all the wicked he will destroy.

 

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

    and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

 

More thoughts for meditation

The Mother of a Thousand plant gets its name from the baby plantlets that continually appear on the tips of its large leaves. This plant is constantly generating life. As the plantlets take form, little hair-like roots reach out, preparing to find their way into soil or gather moisture from the air. When they fall off, the little plants take root wherever they are able and soak up the nourishment they need.

Suggestions for action

Choose someone, or a group of people, to uphold in prayer today. Imagine God as mother, providing, caring and loving them, generating life and nourishment to sustain them. Use the psalm above as a template to write a psalm for them. 

May our Mother God uphold all who are falling and raise up all who are bowed down.

May 24, 2022 — Lifting up of hands

Today’s Bible reading

I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;

    give ear to my voice when I call to you.

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you

    and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

 

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;

    keep watch over the door of my lips.

Do not turn my heart to any evil,

    to busy myself with wicked deeds

in company with those who work iniquity;

    do not let me eat of their delicacies.

 

Let the righteous strike me;

    let the faithful correct me.

Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head,

    for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.

When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,

    then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.

Like a rock that one breaks apart and shatters on the land,

    so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.

 

But my eyes are turned toward you, O God, my Lord;

    in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me

    and from the snares of evildoers.

Let the wicked fall into their own nets,

    while I alone escape.

Psalm 141

 

More thoughts for meditation

The Maranta leuconeura is commonly called a prayer plant. It grows long, jointed ‘arms’ covered with deeply patterned, oval shaped leaves. Every evening, the plant raises its leaves, like praying hands at the close of the day. In the morning, its leaves lower in a posture to receive the light. This pattern of movement follows the cycle of the day and night, every 24 hours. 

Suggestions for action

Follow this pattern of movement with the plants, the earth and the sun. Begin and end your day with prayer. This psalm of David above is a prayer of preservation from evil. What lines resonate with you? What prayer of protection do you need today? From what evils? Write your own psalm about that and return again to it at night. Try to reflect on God’s protection for you throughout the day.

May 23, 2022 — Intricately woven

Taking care of plants is a lot like tending to your soul. With some time and attention you can see what is there and nurture what is possible. This week we will practice writing psalms as a way of tending to our hearts and expressing something beyond ourselves.

Today’s Bible reading

Psalm 139 

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

    you discern my thoughts from far away.

You search out my path and my lying down

    and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

    O Lord, you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before,

    and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

    it is so high that I cannot attain it.

 

Where can I go from your spirit?

    Or where can I flee from your presence? 

If I ascend to heaven, you are there;

    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

If I take the wings of the morning

    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

    and your right hand shall hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

    and night wraps itself around me,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;

    the night is as bright as the day,

    for darkness is as light to you.

 

For it was you who formed my inward parts;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

    Wonderful are your works;

that I know very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.

In your book were written

    all the days that were formed for me,

    when none of them as yet existed.

How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!

    How vast is the sum of them!

I try to count them—they are more than the sand;

    I come to the end—I am still with you.

 

More thoughts for meditation

Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves unfurl slowly; emerging from a deep, burgundy- colored sheath. This tiny leaf can grow to be wider than the span of a human hand. The intricate pattern of veins on each leaf are all interconnected. 

Contemplate your own hand. Study your palm, its patterns, your fingerprint. What does it reveal to you about your Creator?

Suggestions for action

Every last detail of your body and your being are known by God. Try writing a psalm to God about that. There is no wrong way to do it. If you need a model, follow the pattern or direction of the psalm above, but put in your own words.

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