Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 2/23

Living plants have been generated from the fruit of a little arctic flower, the narrow-leafed campion, that died 32,000 years ago, a team of Russian scientists reports. The fruit was stored by an arctic ground squirrel in its burrow on the tundra of northeastern Siberia and lay permanently frozen until excavated by scientists a few years ago. (New York Times 2/21/12)

The plant in the photo above is one generated from the fruit of a flower that died nearly 32,000 years ago: about 30,000 years before Christ!  The NYT piece is a story about natural matter and how scientists have coaxed something abandoned and frozen for 32 millennia to blossom to new and beautiful life.  Of course: the earth, the plant, the squirrel, the tundra and the scientists were all fashioned by the hand of God.  Is Mother Nature not the feminine face of our God?

Imagine... if this is what God can do with a plant frozen 32,000 years ago, what might God do with you and with me - this Lent?

What might you do in my life this Lent, Lord?

Will you heal the hurt I've carried for so long? 
Will you reconcile me with those I'm estranged from?
Will you give me the strength to break a bad habit?
Will you lift me up out of my grief?
Will you help me forgive the one who has offended me?
Will you forgive in me what I can't forgive myself?
Will you give me courage to face my fears?
Will you deepen my faith in you and your love?
Will you help me to love the folks I don't like?
Will you stand as a guard at the doors of my lips?
Will you give me wisdom to make good choices?
Will you move me beyond my self-imposed limits?
Will you open my heart to pray for my foes?
Will you fill my soul with your Spirit's gifts?
Will you bless me in ways I've not yet imagined?
You might, you can and you could do all these things,
so I pray for the grace to welcome you, Lord, this Lent
and I pray for the grace to open myself to your plan
and I pray for the grace to work with you
as you work in me to bring to life 
    what I thought was dead,
to bring to harvest
    what I thought was lost,
to mend and heal 
    all my broken parts,
to draw me near
    where I've feared to go,
to give me the courage
    to do what I must,
to become the person
    you made me to be...

Nothing's beyond your power, Lord,
so I pray for the grace to bend to your hand
as you coax and draw from me
    a life I'd forgotten was mine,
    gifts I may never have opened,
    strength beyond any I'd hoped for,
    wisdom to do the next right thing,
    mercy enough for making peace
        with my neighbor, with you and myself...

As an ancient seed 
    frozen and hidden so long ago,
find me, Lord, and bring to life
    all that's hidden within my soul...

A scripture to help with today's prayer...
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. (Matthew 6:25-34)




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