1/16/21

Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 1/16

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Lord...

When someone has provoked me,
make me patient in response...

When something has distressed me,
give me strength to work it through...

When someone has annoyed me,
give me kindness and good will...

When something has gone sour,
help me face it and move on...

When fiction's masked as fact,
help me to seek and find the truth...

When someone's let me down, teach me
to live with disappointment...

When someone has offended me,
help me forgive, help me forget...

When politics enrage me
help me speak what's fair, what's just...

When things aren't as they should be
show me the way to make real change...

And, Lord...

When I've provoked my neighbor,
make me the one to calm things down...

When I've distressed my friend,
may I be quick to heal the hurt...

When I've annoyed a colleague,
help me restore what I've disturbed...

When I spoil someone's joy,
help me sweeten what I've soured... 

When I'm envious and selfish 
make generous and grateful...
 
When I think I'm always right
help me see the other side...

When I've betrayed an other's trust,
help me repair the harm I've done...

And in all things, Lord, I turn to you
in whom I find my peace...

In all things, Lord, I trust in you,
in you I find my hope...

Amen.




     
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1/15/21

NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 1/15

Seems now, Lord, that even on clear and sunny days
there seem to be clouds hovering,
leaving us in the shadows
of doubt and disappointment, 
fear and confusion... 

Looks like we need a light
brighter and warmer than the sun, 
strong enough to pierce and disperse
any clouds gathering to threaten
our serenity, our dreams and our hope...

Give us that light, Lord,
send us that light and be that light
in the night, in the darkness,
in the shadows clouds leave in their path...
 
We pray for that light for all, Lord,
but especially for first responders;
and for those suffering from Covid
    and families and friends
        unable to come to their bedside; 
and for those with no paycheck,
    with cupboards to fill and bills to pay;
and for children with no place to go
    and no one to play with;
and for the lonely, depressed, 
   the homeless and forgotten;
for all who know the gathering gloom
   and scan the heavens in search of your light...

The sun's not doing it for us, Lord:
we need your light:
    to warm our hearts
    to brighten our spirits, 
    to lift our thoughts,
    to shine with promise,
    to enlighten our thoughts,
    to raise our minds and hearts to you...
 
Lord, let your face shine upon us:
hear us when we call, be gracious
and answer our prayer...
 
Protect us, Lord, while we lie awake 
and watch over us when we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

Amen.

Lord, Let Your Face Shine Upon Us  by Marty Haugen
 
 

Lord, let your face shine upon us,
let your face shine upon us,
let your face shine upon us.
 
Listen to my song
hear me when I call, O Lord, my God,
be gracious, hear my prayer.

You have called my name,
set your seal upon my heart,
you hear me when I call.

Fill me with your joy,
grant to me your peaceful rest
to dwell in safety with my Lord.

 

  

  
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Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 1/15

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Sometimes I wish you weren't so mysterious, Lord,
but you are, so since I can't fully understand you:
   let the mystery of your presence 
      wrap me in your arms;
   let the mystery of your mercy 
      wash away my sins;
   let the mystery of your word
      shape thoughts and my ideas;
   let the mystery of your justice
      guide my choices and decisions;
   let the mystery of your love 
      flow freely through my veins;
   let the mystery of your Spirit 
      fill my every hope and dream;
   let the mystery of your wisdom 
      crown all my heart's desires;
   and let the mystery of your peace 
      settle deep within my soul...
 
Sometimes I wish you weren't so mysterious, Lord,
but you are, so since I can't full understand you:
   let me revel in your mystery,
   as your mystery dwells in me...

Amen.
 
   



   
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1/14/21

Good question! What's our answer?

 This link will go live on Sunday morning, January 17

  

  
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NIGHT PRAYER: Thursday 1/14


As you know, Lord,
a friend of mine is in prison
and the lock-down of this pandemic
has been his daily reality 
since long before the virus came a-callin'...

The covid numbers in prisons keep rising
but the vaccine is coming their way
and not, I hope and pray, 
a day too late for my pal...

Out here on the street, Lord, I know I've had it 
with this locked down way of life.
I can't imagine living locked up,
guards at every turn, my every move observed, 
barbed wire all around: No Exit.

My friend gets out this fall, Lord,
and he wrote last night to tell me
that in all the excitement of this prospect,
even greater is his growing peace and calm
to know that freedom's on the way:
and in that regard, Lord, 
I envy him...
 
So, make room in my heart, Lord,
for a place where peace and calm might grow;
where serenity unshackles the stress
   of all that locks me down;
a place for you to come and make your home,
a place where I am free
to hope, to love, to be...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I keep calm watch with you
and asleep, rest freely in your peace...

Amen.
 



 

  

  
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Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 1/14


 
I've missed you!
 
We hear that a lot, Lord,
in these pandemic days of lock-down
and quarantine and social distancing
- and it's nice to hear those words!
 
It's comforting to know we're missed,
that we make a difference,
that our presence counts,
that our absence leaves a void,
that others wait for our return,
our being around, our being near
- that others miss our being with them...
 
There's a lot of things folks say
that make us feel good, Lord:
   I’ve missed you!
   Anything I can do to help?
   Of course I understand...
   Yes, I forgive you.
   I love you!
 
And all of these are words you say Lord,
to all of us - all the time!

In fact, 
you never stop saying just those things to us
precisely because
   we wander away,
   we need a lot of help,
   we wonder if anybody "gets" us,
   we need your mercy
   and without your love - we're lost...

For all you say, Lord, all the time,
we give you thanks and praise...

Open our ears, our minds and our hearts
and don't let us miss a single word of love
you speak to us all day long and through the night...

Amen.


  

  
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1/13/21

Heal our nation: prayer in troubled times


  

  
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NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 1/13

 
I'm working on Sunday's homily, Lord,
and the gospel where Jesus asks Andrew,
What are you looking for?
 
Great question, Lord!
In fact, that might be the question 
of anyone's/everyone's life...
 
What am I looking for? What do I want?
And whom do I seek and desire, Lord?
 
A teenager might ask these questions
or a young adult or someone in middle age
or even, maybe, someone who's getting near 74...
 
I know I've asked these questions, Lord,
again and again and again -
and I haven't yet got all the answers 
- or is it just that some answers
change, morph and (hopefully) mature
as life and years and time go by... 

One thing I'm sure of:
these questions are worth asking
(and asking again and again and again)
if only to deepen the response I make:
What am I looking for? What do I want?
What do I seek and desire, Lord?

These are good winter questions, Lord:
things to consider on long cold nights 
or while snow quietly blankets the earth,
leaving a soft sprawling carpet, a natural prayer rug 
for my heart's reflection and musing... 
 
Thanks for asking the question again, Lord!
Keep those questions quick in my heart,
alive in my prayer, no matter how old I grow... 

Give me wisdom and patience to find some answers,
again and again and again...

And more and more, Lord,
may life with you be all the I seek
and may you and your love be all I desire...

Protect me, Lord, while I lie awake
and watch over me as I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

Amen.
 
Only This I Want by Dan Schutte
                                        performed by Saanjei
 

Refrain:
    Only this I want:
    but to know the Lord,
    and to bear his cross,
    so to wear the crown he wore.

1. All but this is loss,
worthless refuse to me,
for to gain the Lord
is to gain all I need.

2. I will run the race;
I will fight the good fight,
so to win the prize
of the kingdom of my Lord.

3. Let your heart be glad,
always glad in the Lord,
so to shine like stars
in the darkness of the night.

 

  

  
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1/12/21

Pause for Prayer: WEDNESDAY 1/13

 



 

  

  
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NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 1/12


 
Lord, I miss the warm, joyful glow of my Christmas lights
but still with me is a gift from under my tree:
a vermilion Amaryllis,
a friend I now call Amy...

She came as a waxed bulb 
with just a nub of topside green
- and clear instructions: add no water!

(What a grace, Lord - a plant I cannot harm!)


Then, with the speed of a weed,
Amy's nub became a stalk,
then buds, soaking in the sun, 
blooming orange red, 
warming me in turn
- a gift that keeps on giving...
 
Amy doesn't fear the virus, Lord,
she knows nothing of vaccines,
she's not registered to vote
and she's immune to fear and worry...
 
She lives to share her beauty,
nothing more is on her mind,
nothing less concerns her soul:
she is yours, Lord, yours alone,
though for the moment,
shared with me...

I thank you for Amy's beauty, Lord,
but even more for her unspoken wisdom:
her witness to you, her Maker,
her faith in you,
that you will always care
for each one you've created...
 
Lord, make me more like my friend, Amy:
warm me with your grace,
bring me to my full growth;
free my soul of doubt and fear;
help me live to share your glory,
to be yours and yours alone...
 
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake,
keep me safe while I'm asleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...
 
Amen. 
 
Though Christy Nockels wrote this song in 2019, it has amazing
relevance to our circumstances now in 2021. 
 
 

Talk about a winter
The world had never known, 
Talk about a silence
That hardened up the soil;
No more life left in Eden,
But You knew the time would come...
'Cause You were growing up a family
That You would call Your own,
And through a fragile people
The Light of Life would come, 
And when it seemed like we'd never see Spring, 
Heaven gave a King! 

Like an Amaryllis, blooming at Christmas,
When everything was cold and dark 
Your love broke through and You shined
With the brilliance of summer,
Right in the middle of winter!
You came surprising the night,
Like a Christmas Amaryllis...

Here I am waiting 
In a winter of my own
If it's gonna be this cold here
Why couldn't it just snow?
At least I could say through the pain 
That it's somehow beautiful...
And everybody knows that the time to bloom is spring,
But You're asking to break through the hardness of this freeze
And You say that You're with me
And I can make it through anything....

Like an Amaryllis, blooming at Christmas,
When everything is cold and dark 
Your love breaks through and I shine
With the brilliance of summer,
Right in the middle of winter!
Somehow surprising the night 
Like a Christmas Amaryllis...

There are the rare and beautiful treasures
That grow when it's coldest
When nobody's watching...
Sending a message to a sleeping world
That You are here with us now
And You are making all things new again...

Like an Amaryllis, blooming at Christmas,
When everything is cold and dark 
Your love breaks through and You shine!
With the brilliance of summer,
Right in the middle of winter!
Ever surprising the night, 
Like a Christmas Amaryllis
You're still surprising the night 
Like a Christmas Amaryllis...

  

  
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