Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 11/17

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Audio for today's Pause for Prayer

I wonder, Lord,
what will it be like to go to church
in the Philippines this morning?

How many churches fell,
Typhoon Haiyan's holy victims?

What of churches become morgues?
Chapels now made hospitals?
Pews that now are beds?
Altars hung with laundry
and aisles filled with orphans?

Where will people worship in what's left of nature's sanctuary:
in tents or under tarps?
And who will come to gather
from the huddled masses waiting far too long
for water and for food, for medicine and care,
waiting in long lines
for some sweet sign of hope...

What will they pray
in the Philippines this morning?
Will they sing a hymn to your name?
a psalm of praise?  a sorrowful lament?
Will they listen to the scriptures?
What will they hear you speak in your Word?
Will they break the bread of sacrament
when no other daily bread is to be had?

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Lord, what will it be like to face you
in the Philippines this morning?
To turn to you and wonder,
did you turn away as Haiyan roared
through cities, towns and villages,
through families and their homes,
through the flesh and blood
of those you call your own beloved?

Listen carefully, Lord, as I know you will
for the prayers uttered in painful silence,
prayers offered in tears,
prayers offered in cries of pain
and prayers that rise from places in the heart
known only to you
and to the one who prays...

I wonder, Lord,
what will it be like to go to church
in the Philippines this morning?

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My church is standing tall, Lord,
waiting for your people
who will gather here this morning,
all well fed and fresh from beds
where they slept safe and sound last night,
out of harm's way, safe from danger:
no fear of nature's autumn visit here
or what wind and rain might bring...

We'll lift up in prayer
our Filipino family, our sisters and our brothers
and all who rush to rescue, feed and heal
the ones who mourn their dead
and struggle to survive themselves...

We'll pass the basket when we pray
and I pray we'll be as generous as our means allow
- and I know our means allow a lot...

But I think of those
who'll find it hard to pray in the Philippines today:
not for any lack of faith
but for all that weighs upon their hearts
and stuns their souls
and mutes their prayerful voices...

Let the prayer in my church, Lord,
and the songs our voices sing
raise up the prayer of those who find it hard
to pray today...

Let ours be one voice pleading
all our hurt, our loss and grief
and our deep need for faith and trust
and hope in you...

Open up our hearts in generous giving
and make us one with those
whose burdens weigh so heavy...

And make us grateful, Lord, for all we have
and let us never take for granted
the many gifts you've given
and all that we've received.


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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Rev. Fr. Fleming,
    Thank you again for your thoughtful prayer and message of hope and unity for The Philippines.
    As always, I do appreciate all that you do and give you thanks for being a chosen disciple of Jesus and a loving gift of God to us all.
    May God bless and keep you always!
    Chris A. Quilpa


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