Daily Prayer :: Water

Encouragement for a lifelong journey of faith

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October 23, 2020 — Wilderness

Today’s Bible reading

When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water. Isaiah 41:17-18

More thoughts for meditation

“Since I know plenty of people who have been hurt badly, both physically and otherwise, without sensing [safety], I stay curious about where [safety] comes from. Maybe it is an effect of early childhood experience. Maybe it is a denial mechanism. Maybe it is the grace of God. Whatever it is, I have no control over it. All I can do is pay attention to what happens when I am lost in the wilderness, with no ability to help myself. At this advanced level, the practice of getting lost has nothing to do with wanting to go there. It is something that happens, like it or not. You lose your job. Your lover leaves. The baby dies. At this level, the advanced practice of getting lost consists of consenting to be lost, since you have no other choice. The consenting itself becomes your choice, as you explore the possibility that life is for and not against you, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.”  — Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

Suggestions for action

Take a few minutes to walk outside, if you’re able, or open a door or window. When or where have you felt lost? Do you feel lost right now?

Collect one small object before you return inside or choose an inside item before you close your door/window.  Add this object to the altar you began earlier this week, or begin creating your altar if this is your first object. As you move through your day, pause to look at your altar.  Consider the words of God found in the Book of Isaiah, the prophet: “I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”

October 22, 2020 — Walking

Today’s Bible reading

While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. Jesus said to them, “Follow me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him. At once they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus. – Matthew 4:18-22 

More thoughts for meditation

“Jesus walked a lot, and not only during the last week of his life. The four gospels are peppered with accounts of him walking by the Sea of Galilee, walking in the Temple, and even walking on water. If Jesus had driven a car instead, it is difficult to imagine how that might have changed his impact. Surely someone could have loaned him a fast horse. Instead, he walked everywhere he went, except for a short stint on a donkey at the end. This gave him time to see things, like the milky eyes of the beggar sitting by the side of the road, or the round black eyes of sparrows sitting in their cages at the market. If he had been moving more quickly—even to reach more people—these things might have become a blur to him. Because he was moving slowly, they came into focus for him, just as he came into focus for them.”  — Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

Suggestions for action

Take a few minutes to walk outside, if you’re able, or open a door or window. While you’re walking, or just seeing through a door or window to the outdoors, slowly look around. Take time to see and feel around you. What might you have missed if you were in a hurry?

Collect one small object before you return inside or choose an inside item before you close your door/window. Add this object to the altar you began earlier this week, or begin creating your altar if this is your first object. As you move through your day, pause to look at your altar and ask God to help you notice God’s work in yourself and in others. Write down your prayer, or what you notice, and tell someone about it.

 

October 21, 2020 – Hunger

Today’s Bible reading

Jesus took his disciples with him to the village of Bethsaida, where they could be alone. But a lot of people found out about this and followed him. Jesus welcomed them. He spoke about God’s kingdom and healed everyone who was sick. Late in the afternoon the twelve apostles came to Jesus and said, “Send the crowd to the villages and farms around here. They need to find a place to stay and something to eat. There is nothing in this place. It’s like a desert!” Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.”

But they replied, “We have only five small loaves of bread+ and two fish. If we are going to feed all these people, we will have to go and buy food.” There were about 5,000 men in the crowd. Jesus said to his disciples, “Tell the people to sit in groups of 50.” They did this, and all the people sat down. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and fish and handed them to his disciples to give to the people. Everyone ate all they wanted. What was left over filled twelve baskets. – Luke 9:10-17

More thoughts for meditation

“We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.”   — Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

Suggestions for action

Collect one small object before you return inside or choose an inside item before you close your door/window.  What do you sense in your body right now? Are you hungry or tired? Are you feeling energetic? Does something hurt? Do you feel relaxed or anxious? Spend some time paying attention, and talk about these things with God, who already knows.

Collect one small object before you return inside or close your door/window. Add this object to the altar you began earlier this week, or begin creating your altar if this is your first object. As you move through your day, pause to look at your altar to remember your need for the Bread of Life.

October 20, 2020 — Sheep

Today’s Bible reading

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” – Exodus 3:1-5

More thoughts for meditation

“Reverence requires a certain pace… The bush required Moses to take a time-out, at least if he wanted to do more than glance at it. He could have done that. He could have seen the flash of red out of the corner of his eye, said, ‘Oh, how pretty,’ and kept right on driving the sheep. He did not know that it was an angel in the bush, after all. Only the storyteller knew that. Moses could have decided that he would come back tomorrow to see if the bush was still burning, when he had a little more time, only he would not have been Moses. He would just have been a guy who got away with murder, without ever discovering what else his life might have been about. What made him Moses was his willingness to turn aside. Wherever else he was supposed to be going and whatever else he was supposed to be doing, he decided it could wait a minute. He parked the sheep and the left the narrow path in order to take a closer look at a marvelous sight. When he did, the storyteller says, God noticed.”  — Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

Suggestions for action

Take a few minutes to walk outside, if you’re able, or open a door or window. What do you sense (see, hear, touch, taste, smell) that suggests the presence and power of God? 

Collect one small object before you return inside or choose an inside item before you close your door/window. Add this object to the altar you began yesterday, or begin creating your altar if this is your first object. As you move through your day, pause to look at your altar to remember God’s power and presence.

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