Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 7/24

I know so many people who are waiting, Lord,
    waiting and waiting and waiting for change...

People waiting for change in others,
    in others who show no sign of change...

People waiting for change in their own hearts,
    change for the good, for the better, for you...
People waiting for you, their Lord, 
    to change whatever they can't change themselves...
People waiting for change in our discourse:
   how we speak, how we listen, how we come to the truth...
People just waiting for a change in the weather,
    to sunshine or rain, depending on need...
People waiting for change in our nation,
    for reason's defeat of chaos and violence...

People waiting for change in their marriage,
   in their family, at work or at school...

People waiting for change in the Church,
   Spirit inspired and true to the Gospel...

People awaiting a change for the poor,
    for change in the ways we share the world's goods...

People waiting for great change to happen,
    change to turn the world around right...

People waiting for an end to change,
    for things to be stable, firm and secure...
We want all kinds of change, Lord:
   usually we want it sooner than later
and more often than not we prefer that change come 
   at minimal cost to ourselves....
But change is hard and change comes slowly:
   it disturbs, disrupts and rubs against the grain,
it comes at a price, it asks a lot, 
   though seldom not nearly as much as it gives...

Help us change what we need to change, Lord,
   and open our hearts to all the ways
your Spirit moves within and among us,
   changing our lives every day.

Lord, grant us the serenity 
   to accept the things we cannot change,
      to change the things we can,
         and the wisdom to know the difference...





NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 7/23

Over the years I've posted this prayer several times.  It's taken from: 
A New Zealand Prayer Book (He Karakia Mihinare o AotearoaI suggest you pray the text very slowly, three or four times - or more, with Ravel's peace-filled Pavane as the musical setting for your prayer... These are words to take your time with...

Pavane by Maurice Ravel performed by Lyon National Orchestra

It is night...

The night is for stillness...
     Let us be still in the presence of God...

It is night after a long day.
     What has been done has been done;
     what has not been done has not been done:
     let it be...

The night is dark...
     Let our fears of the darkness,
     of the world
     and of our own lives
     rest in you...

The night is quiet...
     Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
     all dear to us,
     and all who have no peace...

The night heralds the dawn...
     Let us look expectantly to a new day,
     new joys,
     new possibilities...

In your name, O God, we pray... 

Protect us, Lord, while we're awake
and watch over us as we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, await the new day's dawn...





A math problem in this Sunday's gospel!

Join us for prayer at 10:00 on Sunday morning
   and help us crunch these numbers!





Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 7/23

There's no limit to your patience, Lord:
   you always offer me another chance,
      a new beginning,
         a fresh start...
There's no end to your mercy:
   it flows forever freely, 
      deeper than the ocean,
         wider than the sea...
No lock upon your heart, Lord:
   you draw me free from all my sins,
      you wash me clean of all my guilt,
         you love me back to your embrace...

Your heart's wide open, beckoning,
   "Draw near, come close, don't be afraid!
      I wait for you, there's room for you,
         a place for you:  I want you..."

You couldn't make it easier
   but I delay, demur, and can't decide
      to take that step and dive
         into the depths of your sweet mercy...
And so I need a new beginning, Lord,
   your gift of grace, gently pushing
      'til I jump and fall into your arms
         and you hold me in your peace...

     Image source






















In the quiet hours of night, bless the Lord!  
(Psalm 134)
Bless the Lord! 
In all things as they come and go, bless the Lord...

When you just can't get to sleep, bless the Lord...

When you sleep through two alarms, bless the Lord...

When you cut yourself while shaving, bless the Lord...

When there's no time left for breakfast, bless the Lord...

When it really is a bad hair day, bless the Lord...

When the traffic's stop-and-go or worse, bless the Lord...

When your day begins with bad news, bless the Lord...

When you've double-booked appointments, bless the Lord...

When your friends and family let you down, bless the Lord...

When doing your best seems not enough, bless the Lord.. 

When nothing fits or works or helps, bless the Lord...

When you're all alone and need a friend, bless the Lord...

When you want a nap before it's noon, bless the Lord...

When you're way behind and in the weeds, bless the Lord... 

When your guardian angel's M.I.A., bless the Lord...

When you've tried and tried - and tried again, bless the Lord...

When folks just ask too much of you, bless the Lord...

When your backlog crowds today's agenda, bless the Lord...

When your finest work is overlooked, bless the Lord...

When the day drags on and on and on, bless the Lord...

When you can't make any headway, bless the Lord...

When that damn device is on the fritz, bless the Lord...

When the day just really stinks, bless the Lord...

When it's Tuesday - not yet Friday, bless the Lord...

When you wonder if it's worth all this, bless the Lord...

When you're not sure what God wants of you, bless the Lord...

When you just don't know what next to do, bless the Lord...

When you're unsure where to turn or go, bless the Lord... 

In joy and sorrow, bless the Lord...

In good and bad times, both alike, bless the Lord... 

When, at long last, this old day is done, bless the Lord...  
When you toss and turn and lie awake, bless the Lord!
In your sleep and in your dreams, bless the Lord!
The Lord protect and keep you through the night,
the Lord be there to greet you when you rise
   to bless the Lord, bless, the Lord,
   in all things as they come and go - bless the Lord!

(If the music widget below doesn't appear, click here!)

Psalm 33: In the silent hours of night
In the silent hours of night bless the Lord.

O come bless the Lord, all you who serve the Lord,
who stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.

Lift up your hands to the holy place
and bless the Lord through the night.

May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who made both heaven and earth.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. 





Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 7/22

Image source

Through the ups and downs of life,
be my firm and level ground, Lord...

In between the twists and turns,
be a straight path for my steps...

In my comings and my goings,
be the place my heart calls home...

In my spirit's highs and lows,
be a breath of hope within me...

In the back and forth of choosing,
be the wisdom in my choice...

In the fits and starts of growing
be the strength of my endurance...

In the ebb and flow of tides,
be the harbor where I dock...

Midst the ins and outs of problems,
be the answer to my prayer...

In the rise and fall of plans, 
be my confidence and trust...

And among my wins and losses,
be the prize I cherish most...







NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 7/21

praying over crosswalks, Lord...
I'm not sure how they get there
but I'm guessing there's a device for this,
a spraying machine on wheels, 
pushed by the steady hands of a DPW worker,
probably in the middle of the night... 
White lines lay themselves down in the street
solely for my safe passage, 
my protection and my welfare:
crosswalks have no other reason to exist...
And you paint lines in my heart, Lord,
in my mind, in my thoughts, in my conscience, 
all to keep me in line, to protect me,
to safeguard my crossing the streets of life,
the busy and sometimes dangerous intersections 
that crisscross the map of my journey home to you...
Truth be told, Lord, 
I sometimes don't wait to cross at the corner
where you've drawn the lines to keep me safe;
and sometimes, even at the corner,
I step off the curb without looking left and right,
walking into harm's way, paying no attention to you, 
my crossing guard, ready to lay yourself down
on the lines that cross my path,
drawn only to save me and keep me safe...
With the brush of your word, Lord,
you carefully paint your lines in my heart,
marking your walk with your cross on my soul:
a path to follow, the way to go
to pass through the traffic of all my troubles
and find my way to the other side
where you wait to welcome me home...
Protect me, Lord, as I pace through the day
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might walk the way of your truth
and asleep, rest in your peace...
(If the music widget doesn't appear below, click here!) 
Lead Me, Guide Me by Doris Akers 

I am weak, and I need Thy strength and power
To help me over my weakest hour;
Help me through the darkness Thy face to see,
Lead me, O Lord, lead me.

Lead me, guide me along the way;
For if You lead me, I cannot stray;
Lord, let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, O Lord, lead me.

Help me tread in the paths of righteousness;
Be my aid when Satan and sin oppress.
I am putting all my trust in Thee,
Lead me, O Lord, lead me.

I am lost, if you take your hand from me;
I am blind, without Thy Light to see;
Lord, just always let me Thy servant be,
Lead me, O Lord, lead me.






Pause for Prayer: WEDNESDAY 7/21




NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 7/20

Even though this day may end
   with all my troubles unresolved,
Even if I go to bed tonight
   and only toss and turn,
Even if my heart is heavy,
   burdened with my fears:
You are by my side, Lord,
   always by my side...

Even when my thoughts are dark
   and thick clouds dim my vision,
Even when I'm short on hope
   and don't know whom to trust,
Even when I feel alone
   with none to call for help:
You are by my side, Lord,
   ever by my side...

Bright your light that guides me
   safely through the shadows,
Warm your light that shows the way,
   the path I'm called to walk,
Sure your light that shines for me
   when I am lost and lonely
For you are by my side, Lord,
   at all times by my side...

Protect me, Lord, in the dark of night
   and watch over me as I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
   and asleep,  rest in your peace...


(If the music widget below doesn't appear, click here!)
The Clouds Veil by Liam Lawton

Even when the rain hides the stars,
Even though the mist swirls the hills,
Even when the dark clouds veil the sky,
You are by my side

Even when the sun shall fall in sleep,
Even when at dawn the sky shall weep,
Even in the night when storms shall rise,
You are by my side You are by my side

Bright the stars at night 
That mirror heaven's way to you.
Bright the stars in light 
Where dwell the saints in love and truth.

Deep the feast of life 
Where saints shall gather in deep peace.
Deep in heaven’s light 
Where sorrows pass beyond death’s sleep

Blest are they who sing 
The fellowship of saints in light.
Blest is heaven’s King.
All saints adore the Lord, Most High.




Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 7/19

When I am consumed by my problems -
stressed out about my life, my family and my job -
I actually convey the belief
that I think the circumstances are more important
than God's command to rejoice always...
Surfing Face Book, Lord,
I came across this quote from Francis Chan
and it stopped me right in my tracks!
I get it, Lord, I understand the meaning
   - even all too well!
I so often worry, I'm so often consumed
by just such things and more -
   as if you weren't by my side,
   as if you didn't hear my prayer,
   as if you didn't know my needs,
   as if you didn't have my back,
   as if you hadn't given your life for love of me,
   as if I needed anything more
      than your mercy and your love...
You never wish me ill or hard times:
   you only desire my healing and peace...

You never lead me to worry and brood:
   you always invite me to hope and to trust...
You take no delight in my drooping spirits,
  you call, you command me to always rejoice!
Deepen my faith in you, Lord,
lest I ever convey that I count my troubles 
beyond your help or your command
to rejoice always, to always rejoice 
in your love and in your grace...

If the video below does not appear, click here!

Rejoice in the Lord Always