Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

A Prayerful Hymn for Haiti

posted by nsymmonds

Ephesians 5:19 encourages us to speak to one another with songs, psalms and spiritual songs, making music to the Lord in your hearts. In fulfillment of this verse, the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette and her husband Bruce wrote “In Haiti There is Anguish” to be sung to the hymn “Beneathe the Cross of Jesus”. It is their hope that this hymn will help churches respond to the tragedy in Haiti following last week’s earthquake. But let us not reserve the use of this hymn just to our time in church but to our daily lives as we look forward, with hope, to the inevitable restoration, healing and renewal of Haiti and its people.

In Haiti, There is Anguish



(” Beneath the Cross of Jesus “)

In Haiti, there is anguish that seems too much to bear;
A land so used to sorrow now knows even more despair.
From city streets, the cries of grief rise up to hills above;
In all the sorrow, pain and death, where are you, God of love?

A woman sifts through rubble, a man has lost his home,
A hungry, orphaned toddler sobs, for she is now alone.
Where are you, Lord, when thousands die-the rich, the poorest poor?
Were you the very first to cry for all that is no more?

O God, you love your children; you hear each lifted prayer!
May all who suffer in that land know you are present there.
In moments of compassion shown, in simple acts of grace,
May those in pain find healing balm, and know your love’s embrace.


Where are you in the anguish? Lord, may we hear anew
That anywhere your world cries out, you’re there– and suffering, too.
And may we see, in others’ pain, the cross we’re called to bear;
Send out your church in Jesus’ name to pray, to serve, to share.

Text: Copyright © 2010 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Churches affiliated with the National Council of Churches USA have permission to use the hymn.


The Eucharist Diet: “What’s with the Water?”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

January 19, 2010

Day 18

Weight: 201 lbs

Weight lost: -5


Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this [natural] water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


Down one more pound… And I ate to my heart’s content yesterday. What’s seems to be changing is what makes my heart – and stomach content. That’s the wonder here…

I woke early this morning and as usual began the day downing a 16 oz. glass of filtered water. Water. Water is almost everything, at least it’s mostly everything. My body is 62% water. According to what I’ve read I’m suppose to drink eight 8 oz. glasses a day, just to keep my levels balanced. Water.

Jesus uses the image of water to describe himself and the gift of life he brings to us. Today as I downed my first glass I pictured that water filling me and washing me and feeding my thirsty cells. I’m naturally thirsty and I need this simple abundant gift. I also pictured – and prayed as I did – that the water itself was Jesus himself. The water he gives quenches my deeper thirst for purpose and belonging.


So today, as I down my eight glasses, I’m going to use those moments as triggers for prayer.

“Thank you for thirst that builds my desire. Thank you for water that quenches that desire. You give me all I need and passion to see that need met. Today, as I need natural water. I also need supernatural water. Thank you for both! In Jesus.”

“The Eucharist Diet” adventure is my six month experiment taking daily communion and tracking and posting the results in my personal life, relationships, health, and body fat percentage. 


A Prayer for the Welfare of Haiti

posted by nsymmonds
It has been one week since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. The death toll is ever increasing and the destruction has yet to be rebuilt, but despite these perilous conditions there is still an outpouring of compassion from people of all stripes. That outpouring includes ’round the clock prayer from people of many faiths. In the next few days I hope to share prayers that have emerged from other faith traditions for the people of Haiti. To that end, I am glad to have the opportunity to share a prayer for the welfare of Haiti by Associate Rabbi Steven Exler of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. I encourage all that would to welcome this prayer and see it as a spiritual effort toward the restoration of the island of Haiti and it’s people.

May God who blessed our patriarchs Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov, and our matriarchs Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah
Bless and heal all those wounded in the earthquake in Haiti.
Merciful One, whose strength and might fills the earth,
Save and rescue those who are trapped,
Return those who are missing, and
Strengthen and comfort the families of those who have died.
May the One who heals the sick and supports the fallen
Strengthen the hands of Haiti’s leaders and her doctors,
And the hands of all those engaged in volunteering and rescuing at this time,
And put in their hearts wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.
So may it be your will, and let us say: Amen. 
 -By Steven Exler and Mishael Zion


A Prayer in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we remember the birthday of a great American, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will hear a great deal about the man and his mission over the next hours. And so we should. But I have noticed a strange neglect in our observances: we seem to forget that King was first a Baptist pastor whose convictions and courage for the cause of civil rights stemmed from his faith, and commitment to the Bible.

The God of the Bible is a God of justice, who stands with the poor and oppressed. Faith not politics drove King’s passion. He saw his strategy of non-violent resistance as a way to honor Jesus in the face of injustice. Wouldn’t it be fitting to make prayer as much a part of this day of honor as speeches and rallies?


King was a man of faith and a man of prayer. Today, as we celebrate the advances our society has made against the blight of racism, and as we also recognize the distance we must still travel to become a fully just and good society, it’s fitting to offer a prayer for justice alongside with our commitment to work for justice. For God along can heal the rifts in our nation. Today, in honor of Martin Luther King, we fall on our knees and again ask God for his grace…

“God, our world needs justice. We acknowledge that all true goodness must come from you. We must obey and act, but you give the convictions and courage and strength to bring about the true changes needed. Today we thank you for the life of Martin Luther King Jr. We ask for your blessing in the cause he championed, the drive for racial justice in America. We thank you for progress already achieved, and we ask you to help us finish the work. Today, bring a new spirit of peace in our nation. And may your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”    

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