Advertisement

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Thanksgiving Prayer: Patience

posted by nsymmonds

The holiday season brings with it its fair share of expectation, but sometimes with expectation comes the inability to wait patiently for a thing to happen. Some of us are working toward the respite of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and we say, “I can’t wait to board that plane, train or automobile to see my family and friends.” Some of us are looking toward the season of Advent where we will spend some 24 days looking forward to the birth of Christ and we say, “I can’t wait for that joyous occasion.” Some of us are looking forward to Christmas day where will get to celebrate the birth of Christ and for some reason get gifts to commemorate the occasion and we say, “I can’t wait to see what I will get/I can’t to see if they’ll like what I give.” I am definitely a combination of all of those people and more. There is alot I can’t wait for, literally and figuratively. But, I know that patience is absolutely necessary. It’s not just necessary, it is a fruit of the spirit that should be manifest in each of us. So today’s prayer is for patience.

Advertisement

Heavenly Father,

I thank you heavenly father for always being patient with us. Though we may turn our backs on you a thousand times, when we turn back around you are waiting for us, patiently. As we navigate this season I pray that you would give us all the patience to wait for those things which you have for us. It is tempting to say what we can’t wait for and sometimes go after those things, but you let us know in your word that they that wait upon you shall renew their strength. Renew our strength so that we may wait on you and be patient. All good things will come to us in your perfect time, we only need the patience to keep holding on to you. Give us patience to wait for your good and perfect blessings. Give us patience to wait for our rest. Give us patience to look forward to the season ahead of us and remember that Thanksgiving is no one day to look forward, but it is everyday that we are alive that we celebrate it. We give thanks for all that you have done for us on this day and the ones past and we patiently await our future. In Jesus’, Amen  

 

Advertisement

A Prayer for Veterans on Veterans Day 2009

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Wednesday (tomorrow) is Veterans Day, 2009. It’s fitting for us as a free people to publically and intentionally acknowledge, thank and bless those men and women who have paid a heavy price to insure our liberty. Freedom, as they say, is never free. To all the veterans, we thank you.

My wife’s father, Al, is 88 years old. He served in WWII in the South Pacific and endured unspeakable horrors, including, months of near hand to hand combat and a life and death battle with malaria. Few of us can comprehend the pain combat soldiers like Al have borne. We may not know; but we can express our gratitude.

The cost is not so distant as WWII. Every day vets of more immediate wars in the Middle East are returning to attempt to embrace a new destiny after their military service. To them and their families we also express our gratitude. The horrible events at Fr. Hood this week reminds us just how dangerous their lives are, and how fragile our peace remains.

Advertisement

For all our efforts to say “thanks” and all our commitment to help our vets recover their lives once they return (and God knows we must do all we can!) in the end we cannot do enough. No governmental service can repay all they’ve lost. No holiday in their honor can make up for the hours lost, the innocence lost, the loves, limbs and lives lost. We cannot do enough. “Thank you” is too easy and too slight a return.

But we can pray for our vets. We can ask God to make up the balance, to cover the debts we as a society (often ungrateful) can never make up. We can pray and ask for blessings beyond our human treasure. Join me, and together let’s bless our vets.

Advertisement

“God we thank you for commissioning men and women in the defense of freedom. We honor those who honor and protect us, in many cases laying down their lives that we might live free to pursue our own destiny. Every soldier takes their oath knowing they may be called upon to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Lord, we cannot repay this gift they give us. For those who have suffered as a result of their sacrifice, we ask for supernatural healing, favor, peace, and in some cases, forgetfulness. Lift from them the cares and burdens of violence. When they return home, give them opportunities to fulfill their own potentials and dreams. Open doors for them, even when some doors are closed. God, Bless our veterans. We pray this in Jesus.”

Follow me on Twitter  

 

Advertisement

Thanksgiving Prayer: Breaching the Berlin Wall in My Life

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I’m holding a jagged piece of concrete, about the size of hand. One side Is flat, and covered with brilliant blue paint, the other porous and broken. 20 years ago today someone, among tens of thousands of jubilant Germans took a sledge hammer to the Berlin Wall and this particular piece broke free. A few months later it arrived in the mail sent to me by a friend living in Berlin at the time. Today, along with the rest of the free world, I’m remembering the miracle.

The blue paint indicates that this particular section of the Berlin Wall faced the west side. West Berliners had made the Wall a kind of shrine to the hope of freedom and reconciliation. They covered their side of the barrier with graffiti, some political, some deeply personal. Rally cries of liberation had been etched beside the names of friends and family who, though no more than ten feet away in real space remained a world apart. Did this small smudge of blue paint once represent the name of someone’s sister? Did it once serve as part of a spray painted word, “Freedom!”? Was it a sliver of a prayer, “God, save us!”?

Advertisement

I don’t know the specific story behind this real “piece” of history, but I cherish it as a reminder that impossible walls can come down, that God does do miracles, that barriers to destiny, though they stand for decades, can, in a moment, the right moment, fall to dust without a gunshot. The breach can and will be spanned.

I’ve had Berlin Walls in my own life, spans of rocky barriers that have divided me from people I love, from God’s destiny for me, from a full and complete relationship with God himself. But that’s now past. At one specific point in my life, one miracle-day when it seemed most improbable, God lifted the oppression and I had courage and capacity to take a hammer to the wall. When I did, down it came. I can say it straight: I have been reconciled by God’s grace in the power of Jesus Christ. I no longer have any excuse for any fragment of slavery! As Paul the Apostle put it, “The one who Jesus has set free is free indeed!” Sure, at times I still retreat behind lines of separation. I hide from love and accountability and intimacy. But the truth of the matter is that I now live in a post-wall era. Any wall in my life is one I imagine and choose. I’m a free agent.

Advertisement

There’s a great ancient song in the Old Testament that relays this message and articulates my thanks for The freedom I’ve been granted. It’s Psalm 103. It begins: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” And one of the benefits mentioned… “He redeems my life from the pit.” There it is. Said and done. Sealed and delivered. God has lifted me out of the prison of the pit of emptiness. He’s broken down the walls robbing me from opportunity and freedom. Liberty is a done deal. And my role now is simply, “Don’t forget it!” When I remember to say “Thank you, God, for setting me free,” I’m remembering that freedom is my present state.

Advertisement

“God, thank you that 20 years ago you delivered a miracle and empowered freedom-loving people to break down the Berlin Wall. Thank you for the courage this gives us to believe that walls in our lives can come down. Thank you too you have already accomplished the ‘blows’ to the biggest barrier – the span of hard rock that has separated us from you. Thank you that in Jesus you have already ‘redeemed our lives from the pit.’ Help us to remember what this cost you, and the benefits you deliver to us in the process. Help us now to appropriate the gift of freedom we have been given. Help us to nurture the relationships we’ve been granted and the tasks that give us meaning and advance your purposes in the world. God, we’re free! In Jesus was say ‘Thank you!’

Follow me on Twitter  

Advertisement

Lincoln’s “Proclamation of Thanksgiving” – No Separation of Faith and State

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I wonder how the ACLU would have responded to Abraham Lincoln’s “Proclamation of Thanksgiving” issued in Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863. He sure was no advocate of the “separation of faith and state.”

During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders. While perhaps not as immediately strategic as his war room decisions or as revolutionary as his Emaciation Proclamation, Lincoln’s America’s National Day of Thanksgiving declaration has proven one of the most enduring and unifying gifts ever given by an American president to his people.

Advertisement

It began with a simple citizen request. Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, wrote Lincoln urging him to declare “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She made her case, saying, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.” The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”

Lincoln, who’s religious faith underwent a profound transformation while in office, moving from Deism back to the Calvinism of his youth (See his great “Second Inaugural” to glimpse Lincoln’s spiritual conversion.

Advertisement

On April 1, 1864, Secretary of State William Seward, under direction of Lincoln crafted the following declaration in Lincoln’s name.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

Advertisement

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

While we do and should maintain a clear separation of “Church and State” – that is protect both religious institutions from governmental power and governmental policy from any specific religious institutional control, we most certainly shall not have separation of “Faith and State.” Lincoln sure didn’t advocate divorcing prayer from policy!

 

 

Previous Posts

A Prayer Against Cancer
This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else —not only in ...

posted 11:38:08am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

God Can Work With Anything We Give Him
"He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the Lord your God loves you." (Deuteronomy 23:5) Need a miracle? Got fish? Got bread? Boom! God can make a picnic out of anything we give Him. Perhaps you've messed up your life beyond ...

posted 6:18:54pm Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Experience a Vibrant Life
And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and LIFE. (John 6:63) These instructions are not empty words—they are your LIFE! (Deuteronomy 32:47) Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep ...

posted 8:30:32am Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Think Lovely Thoughts
The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. (Isaiah 8:11) Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of ...

posted 8:04:02am Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for a Reality Check
“This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!”   2 Chronicles 24:20 "If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much ...

posted 10:19:51am Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.