Saturday, July 21, 2012

Praying 10 minutes today: SUNDAY 7/22

.
Find a quiet time and place to pray... take a few deep breaths...
be still... and know that God is near...

A word to reflect on:   
Who will separate us 
   from the love of Christ?
Trial or distress, or persecution, 
   or hunger, or nakedness, 
      or danger, or the sword?
Yet in all this we are 
    more than conquerors
because of him who has loved us...
- Romans 8


(Before moving on to the reflection below,
   spend some quiet time with the scripture verse above...)
  
 There are times, Lord, 
   even days and weeks and seasons
when I feel cut loose from your love,
when you seem distant, absent
   and anywhere except right by my side...

But you have promised to be with me always,
   especially in hard times,
and I know you keep your promise:
   you are faithful to your word
      and you will not let me down...

Trials and distress I know well, Lord,
   and in just such times, when I reach for your hand,
      it often seems I grasp little more than air...

Have you left me?  abandoned me?  
Has something come between us, Lord?
Have I been separated from your love?
So it seems, but I can't believe that's true...

What will separate me from your love, O Christ?
Trial or distress?  Fear and anxiety?
Worries about tomorrow?
Temptation?  Grief and loss?
Depression?  the blues?  

Are any of these more powerful than you, Lord?
No, of course not.
Yet each of these has strong arms
   intent on pulling me from your grip,
      from your protective hug,
   to steal me from your presence,
   to tempt me to think some sadness
      might separate me from your healing love...

Who will separate me from your love, O Christ?
The people I fear?  those I envy?
The ones who've hurt me in the past?
Strangers on the street? Faces in my dreams?
Those I've hurt and disappointed? 

Are any of these more powerful than you, Lord?
No, of course not.
Yet each of these has power over my thoughts,
   my heart, my mind, my soul.
Each of these would kidnap me
   from the cradle of your love,
      and seduce me from the warmth of your embrace...

Let me see what I fear for what it is, Lord,
   and nothing more...
Let me see whom I fear, Lord, for who they are
   and not be fooled by masked bravado... 
Let me see your strength, Lord, your strong arm
   and the power you have to bind me to yourself...

Help me see that in your love and with your love
   your strength is mine if I surrender 
      to you who have conquered everything I fear
         and anything that would keep me from your side... 

Yet in all this we are more than conquerors
because of him who has loved us... 

Show me your love, Lord  --  today.
Show me how your love is greater than this day's anxiety,
   this day's worries, this day's sadness,
      this day's trials and distress...

Show me your love, Lord -- today.
Show me how your love is greater than those I fear,
   those who've harmed me, those I envy,
      those who haunt my dreams and memories...

Show me your love, Lord  -- today,
   and how the love you have for me is stronger
      than anything or anyone threatening to separate me
         from the promise of your presence by my side...

Help me remember, Lord, 
   that nothing is going to happen today
      that you and I can't handle together -
and that when I'm weak and fearful,
   your love will supply the strength I'm wanting...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
   help me take a deep breath and trust in you
      and in the strength you have ready to help me...

In the stillness here, let me know that you are near,
   that you are by my side, that with your help
      there's nothing ahead I need to fear...

Stay close enough to take my hand,
   put your hand on my shoulder,
      and remind me that nothing can come between us,
         that nothing will separate me from your love, O Christ... 

To ponder and pray over...
When do I feel separated from Christ's love for me?
What gets in the way?  Who gets in the way?
What do I fear I won't be able to handle today?
How do I need the Lord's strength -- today?
What will I ask of the Lord today?
From this prayer time, what word or phrase will I keep with me
   to carry through the rest of my day? 

(After you spend some time with these questions,
   pray the reflection above one more time...)

Here are some tips for praying 10 minutes a day.  If you find these daily prayer reminders helpful, please let me know - and share them with others.  You'll find an archive of these daily posts here.

 
 
   
Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr. Fleming,

I post your prayers everyday in our prayer group and they know that they are your prayers. Here's a lovely comment from one of our members:

"Fr. Fleming's reflections are truly inspiring. They are direct, richly detailed, and up close and personal in prompting a soul's very personal dialogue with a Human God...who loves infinitely and waits patiently in our hearts. Thank you."

Thank you Fr. Fleming for making us closer to God through your daily prayers. Have you ever considered publishing these in a book, maybe ebook?

God bless.

Austin Fleming said...

Thanks for sharing this with me - it's much appreciated.

A collection of my prayers is something that's a real possibility. I'll write about it as plans become more concrete.