Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Prayers of the Ordinary ~ Wednesday


Wednesday arrives on your doorstep to announce a new day, what is awaiting you today?  Pause with me to ponder, “what is on your mind and in your heart right now?” 


The phrase, “beautiful ordinariness” is one that I am living with this summer.  So often we crave, cultivate, and want to create the “special and spectacular”.  We deeply desire the extraordinary.  We live in a world where internet influencers are famous for being famous. 


Where constant comparison chatters chaotically in our minds throughout the day offering unhelpful color commentary to how we live our lives in the light of what we see/read about others. 


Where we think our thoughts are facts rather than seeing how our brains can twist and turn things that may or may not be true; how our minds can come up with countless fictional problems to be solved.  We can hoard feelings, past hurts, words someone said to us, storing all that in boxes within our hearts.  On top of that we constantly return to rummage around those internal boxes reliving the pain. 


We keep striving because boredom or feeling unnecessary is too difficult.  We volunteer and go to meetings and keep our calendars fill believing that if we rest, we rust. 


It was once believed that because of modern inventions, the forty-hour work week would be more than cut in half and people would have abundance of leisure time.  Seriously, the economist John Maynard Keynes once said his grandkids would work just 15 hours a week!  We bought into the script that if you work hard now, one day you can enjoy your retirement.  How often do we keep on keeping on, perhaps seeing life as a struggle rather than an adventure? 


We need a grace of enough-ness to intercede and interrupt, O God.  We need a love that we don’t earn, but is given.  Just given.  God’s love is not deserved because of good actions, or right beliefs.  God love is…just because.  Hear God saying to you, “You are beloved so that you can be in that love.”  Please re-read that statement.  We connect to the Source of Love to be a source of love.  Love is generative and generous.  God calls us to compassion that we might offer in words and actions this day.  We receive the peace of God’s Presence that the world needs more than ever.  My prayer for you on this Wednesday is that you would know and live from a place of unconditional love and unceasing grace.  That this holy truth would be experienced and explored in your life today.  May the “beautiful ordinariness” of this day open you to the One who is co-authoring your life every day.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Prayers for the Ordinary


God of Tuesdays, where some of what was left undone yesterday greeted me with a “Good morning!” when I opened my eyes today.  God of appointments and to-dos lists that clamor for attention and energy.  God of blank, open, spaces when I might be tempted to fill with one more “thing” because the deep desire to be needed and necessary.  Meet each of us in this moment.  Thank you for rest last night, even for those moments we tossed and turned like Jacob who wrestled with You at night.  Remind us, O God, that life is not a math problem to solve, but a mystery to experience.  Thank you, O God, for cups of coffee and tea that warm us from the inside out.  Thank you for food that nourishes us, even for leftovers in our refrigerators or things we glance past in the cupboard.  Thank you for bowls of cereal and sandwiches and ripe, red strawberries or tomatoes or peppers.  Thank you for music that moves our souls.  Thank you for books that inform and inspire.  Thank you for friends we can call today to connect and catch up.  Thank you for this day.  May this minute of naming and noticing the goodness of life and offering our gratitude continue to be a way we move through every minute today.  Invite us to pause when we go to an appointment to give thanks for cars or people to drive us.  Awaken a thankful heart for doctors who see us and staff that cares for us.  Grant us words of gratitude for our church and Your love embodied in others.  Open our lives to sense the Sacredness of this Tuesday whatever may happen, trusting that You are with us.  May such trust continue to be a theme for countless Tuesdays to come.  In the name of the One who entrusted his whole life to You, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Prayers for the Ordinary


God of Monday mornings when a new week is before us – we glance over the events on our calendar and the blank spaces there too.  What would it mean for every event and gathering this week to be an offering to You, O God?  How can we live trusting in the promise that You go before us every day this week so that where we are, there You are already there also?  What would it mean that whether we are walking into a doctor’s office or meeting or the grocery story, You are the one who opens the door and welcomes us into that space and place?  Help us live this way, O God, today.

God of this last week in the month of June – we think back on the moments that have filled our days the last few weeks.  

~ We name to You a moment of JOY during June. (Name aloud a time you felt God’s presence).  

~ We name to You that which sits uneasy in our hearts and weighs on our souls.  (Name aloud those people and places where you are not sure what to do or say or a pain you have grown weary of carrying).  

~ We name to You a time when we could taste grace and felt love like the summer sun warming our skin. (Name aloud the thoughts that swirl and stir within you as blessings).  

Meet us here, O God, in the sacred stillness of this moment.

God be with each of us in the beautiful ordinariness of this week.  Receive, renew, restore, replenish, and revive us to let our lights shine.  Help us be open to the lights of others we encounter, for in our causal conversations You often show up unannounced and can catch us unaware.  May the holy rhythm of planting, watering, watching, harvesting, sorting, and resting continue to be a pace and pattern that is woven in our lives this day and week.  In the name of the One who is the Lord of the Dance, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday Prayer


Please pray with me.  God who moves in our lives with a hope and healing, we know Your wisdom needs only a few millimeters to find room to reside within us.  Thank you, God, for moments this week when asking whether something needed to be said, now, by me was helpful or even adverted creating more animosity.  Thank you, God, that You need only a split second to help me write a better story.  I share with You times I said some snappy come back that hurt someone.  Or moments I treat my words as if they are scoring me points on that mythical (but does-not-exist) scoreboard.  I still can see life as a balance sheet where if I don’t speak, I don’t win.  Help me continue to listen to the stories I tell myself, then give You, O God, room to revise my story with the one You are prayerfully co-authoring with me.  May such space help me and be a blessing to those I encounter today.  In the name of the One who loved to tell Your story of endless love, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

This Moment Called, "Now"


As we pause to breathe and be today, what is stirring within you that you want to offer to God?  What is unresolved or unsolved in your life?  What blessings are blooming in your life?  Hold that which is part of your story called, “this week and this day” for a moment.


Breathe in God’s presence and peace…breathe out one thought you’d like to share with God..

Breathe in the desire we have to fix and repair…breathe out a person and place that is bugging or bothering you, releasing the person or place to God.

Breathe in the goodness and grace…breathe out a blessing you can name.


Now, repeat the above as many times as you need this morning.  Each time beginning by breathing in God’s presence and sharing with God what is stirring within you; then what is bugging or bothering you; then a blessing.  All three are important in writing the narrative of YOUR story called, “right now”.  I pray this moment this morning leaves an impression on the story you are telling yourself and will tell yourself every hour today.  With God’s love and blessing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Morning Meditation


I pray yesterday you found yourself slowing down before you said the first thing that came into your mind.  I pray you are having fun experimenting with different ways you can hold, examine, and let God bless what you want to offer this world before tossing and throwing words out there.  Such intentionality and prayerfulness in how we move and interact and be in this world is a blessing. 


I wonder what struggles are you facing as you live a different way?  Maybe your friend wants to know why you are not as quick with the sarcasm as you were last week.  Maybe your family member is frustrated that you are not joining in bashing and blaming “those” people, but are now speaking with less edge to your words that can turn down the temperature.  Or maybe you felt frustrated because a conversation moved on and you felt like you never got a chance to contribute.  It is like when you are trying to enter a jump rope being swung by two friends and others keep hopping in before you have a chance.  We want to have the most lines in the story of our lives, and we want to be the one who is seen as witty and pretty and bright (to quote the song from The Sound of Music).  There will be tension in this prayer practice.  There will be plenty of chances for you to fall back into your usual way of speaking first and asking questions letter. 


A few weeks ago, I preached on the Parable of Wheat and Weeds ~ how we think we have the weeds all figured out, classified, and categorized.  How the weed Jesus was talking about might have been darnel that looks just like wheat until the harvest time.  I know my words have pulled plenty of weeds that ended up really being wheat, if I had just waited.  What we are doing this week is that “waiting, watching, watering” part of the parable rather than thinking we can race from planting to harvesting.  We are living in the resting time when the field needs to lay fallow before constantly spreading more seeds around.  I pray you will return to the wisdom of that parable, holding it as a way God might get a word in edgewise with wisdom for you. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Morning Meditation


How did yesterday go?  Did you try to employ the three questions:

~ Does this need to be said? 

~ Does this need to be said by me?

~ Does this need to be said right now?


Was there a situation when this was helpful?  Did you find yourself trying to remember the questions?  Was there a frustrating experience when the moment passed, and you didn’t get to chime in because these three questions slowed you down?  Are you wondering, in a fast-paced world, if such questions can really be helpful to yourself or others?


By no means do I think these are the only questions that could improve the quality of our communication and connections and stories we are telling ourselves and others.  Recently a church member offered these three great questions she asks:

~ What should I say?

~ How should I say it?

~ Who should I say it to?


Or maybe you remember the philosophy of Socrates who said we should ask: Is this true?  Is this kind and good?  Is this necessary to say? 


If one of these sets works better for you, great!!  Or you are welcome to create and compose your own three questions that help you reflect before you respond.  Part of engaging the internal editor and our co-author God is giving some space before we speak or write or send that text.  One of the blessings of email and text is that you can write it and walk away before sending.  Most of the time, when I come back to what I have written after taking a walk and asking these three questions, I end up editing and grateful that I didn’t just push “send” immediately.  We need space to reflect.  We need space to listen and let God offer wisdom.  We need grace and love to come alongside to help.  I pray you will find ways this week to lean in and listen for God who is co-authoring your story that is unfolding right here and now this day. 


Prayer: Writing God, weave in space today where You can help me prayerfully ponder how I respond to others I encounter.  Help strengthen muscle where my first step is to breathe and be open to You rather than thinking I have the perfect response and don’t want to miss my moment.  May such a prayer practice bless our world to be more thoughtful, intentional, and clear in with what is in our hearts.  Amen.

Prayers of the Ordinary ~ Wednesday

  Wednesday arrives on your doorstep to announce a new day, what is awaiting you today?   Pause with me to ponder, “what is on your mind and...