Prayer, Plain and Simple

The Eucharist Diet: A Gourmet Christian

March 2, 2010

Day 60

Weight: 195 lbs

Weight lost: -11 lbs

I’m meeting my friend Brian in 30 minutes to talk about how to make a feast. Serious. Brian is a professional chef – for real – and he’s something of a genius when it comes to food and hospitality. We’re going to talk about the connection between food and following Jesus. Brian has some ideas I want to hear about… See what strange things happen from focus! I’ve been focusing on food in my walk with God for 60 days and now I found myself planning feasts as steps of discipleship.

It’s not a new idea, really. Jesus loved to eat. We see him again and again in the Gospels feasting with friends and foes and strangers. And the early church made hospitality one of the core requirements of leadership. In fact my willingness and capacity to bring people into my life and home around a meal is really one of the non-negotiable elements in my elevation of influence in the Church.

So I’m going to see what I can learn from Brian. I’ll let you know what comes of it. I’ll also share with him what I’m doing with this Eucharist diet. It might be interesting to him, lover of food and lover of Jesus that he is!

“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.

As of today, the “official” U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.7% but officials are warning of more bad news for February. Estimates are that payrolls fell by another 50,000 last month lifting unemployment to 9.8%. And this does not include the long term unemployed who have stopped looking for work. These are difficult days…

God cares about our practical needs. In Jesus’ great model prayer – we call it “The Lord’s Prayer” he urges us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” This plank of the prayer recognizes that we need simple, down to earth provision and we can bring that need directly to God. Just a few paragraphs later in his long teaching recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 6, Jesus promises that God, our Father, is aware of our need for provision and will respond when we ask. “Ask and you will receive,” Jesus adds.

Today we offer a model prayer for anyone seeking employment and the resources necessary for life.

“God, I would never imagine presuming on your favor, unless you had graciously offered your love. You have offered, and so I do ask. You have so many wide concerns; what am I in this vast universe that you should care for me? But the truth is, you do care. You invite me to call you “Father,” and to put my trust in you for the big and small things in my life. Today I come with a specific and pressing request: I need a source of provision. I acknowledge, as you say, that you are my true source. But practically, you deliver your grace through specific, down to earth channels. I need to connect with one of the specific sources right now. You promise that you will supply everything I need. I did not create this promise and the expectations it engenders. But I am choosing now to take you up on your commitment. Today, I’m asking for employment, and a way to work that will purchase for me and those who depend on me a sustainable income. Give me opportunity, and contacts, relationships, and a creative mind to consider all my options. Put me into contact with the right people. Give me favor when I speak to them. And with all the contacts I’ve already made, bring my name and what I bring to the table front and center to those considering my case. God, my Father, I’m asking specifically for a job, soon. I’m asking that you would place me in a situation that fits my gifts and experience and desires. Give me a role where I can serve and contribute to a meaningful organization. And now, when it’s most difficult, give me faith and hope to continue walking, so that I can have the strength to believe you and to help those who depend on me to believe as well. I pray this in Jesus’ name, trusting your words and your promises. I am hoping and expecting an answer! Thank you.”

Early this morning, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Santiago, Chile. At the writing of this post, the death toll was reported to be at least 147 people, but the numbers are bound to rise. Please join us in prayer for the people of Chile and the surrounding areas which are on tsunami warning.

Heavenly Father,

We come to you humbly beseeching your help for the people of Chile. This year, we have already seen the devastating effects of earthquakes on the island of Haiti and the most devastating of those results were being uncovered in the hours following the earthquake. We pray that if it is within the realm of possibility, that this earthquake will not produce the great tragedy which is still being dealt with in Haiti. We focus our thoughts and prayers on those in Chile who have survived this quake, but also on those who are yet surviving possibly under rubble and collapsed structures. We pray for the strength and perseverance of the emergency workers who have been tasked with saving lives and recovering bodies. We know that you will put no more on them than they can bear. For those who are awaiting news on their family and friends in Chile, we pray that you would grant them patience and peaceful spirits. As the surrounding lands prepare for the possible tsunami, we pray that you would give every person knowledge, wisdom and discernment. We pray for a quick recovery and restoration of the city of Santiago, Chile and protection for the surrounding regions. We know that you will perfect every need which concerns every person in the midst of this tragedy and we certainly believe in your sovereignty. May all who can and will, be compassionate and charitable toward the people of Chile and may everyone pray without ceasing. 

In Jesus’ Name,

Yesterday, Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year old SeaWorld trainer was killed by Shamu, the park’s captive killer whale. Please join us in prayer for Dawn’s family and friends in their time of loss and also pray for every trainer who works with animals at all SeaWorld locations and zoos across the country and the world.

Heavenly Father,

The words don’t come easily right now, but I still approach you asking for prayer. I come asking that you would be in the midst of Dawn Brancheau’s family and friends as they mourn her passing. May you comfort each family member and friend who will fondly remember Dawn in the weeks to come and weep because she is no longer with them. I pray that their weeping will only last for a moment and you would bring joy into their lives by remembering how much they loved Dawn. We thank you that you blessed Dawn with a heart for your creation and we pray that he spirit for training animals would live on through her fellow trainers at SeaWorld and all across the world. As SeaWorld continues to let their trainers interact with the animals, I pray for knowledge, wisdom, and discernment on the part of management and on the part of every person who has to closely interact with the animals. May each person who must come into contact with Shamu treat him with tender love and care. I know to some this is inconceivable and to many it seems like the appropriate thing to do would be to take him back to his natural environment–and while I agree with the latter sentiment–I do pray that as long as he is under the care at SeaWorld he would be treated well. I pray for protection for every worker at every zoo who has to work closely with animals who may attack them. May they remember that these animals are your blessed creation and always consider that in their care of the animals. In turn, may all of the animals be imbued with your love. May all hearts turn to prayer for Dawn Brancheau, her family and her friends as well as those who have passed due to similar circumstances and everyone who works at every SeaWorld and zoos across the world.

In Jesus’ Name,


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