Prayers for the Journey

earth touches heaven

Earth touches heaven – photo by Coe Hutchison

Here is the week’s round up of facebook prayers. Enjoy

Life is a gift from God,

Let us cherish it

Love is the language of God’s kingdom,

Let us practice it,

Jesus is the way to God’s heart,

Let us follow him.

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God of love and compassion,

God of hope and promise,

God of faithfulness and truth,

May we in all things see your face today,

That we might trust and obey.

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God of wonder and might,

God of glory and majesty,

God of joy and faithfulness,

Help us to see, to know, to trust,

That you are the One in whom all life holds secure.

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Jesus you say

Peace, rest in me,

Peace, hold firm to me,

Peace, trust in me.

You are the way the truth and the life,

May we trust in you and never be afraid.

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God your words are truth,

Your ways are life,

Your purposes are eternal,

May we look to you and never be afraid.

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Lead us Lord Jesus Christ into your ways of righteousness.

Let your truth go before us,

Let your justice stand behind us,

Let your love surround us.

Keep us Lord in the places where your presence shines.

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The glory of God’s presence surrounds me

The wonder of Christ’s love holds me close

The comfort of the Spirit makes me strong

God you who are the three in one, the one in three

Be with me forever.

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Teach us to pray O Lord,

Draw us closer to you, to your world , to each other.

Teach us to pray, O Lord,

With compassion and love and forgiveness.

Teach us to pray, O Lord,

Until all that we are and all that we do,

Becomes a gift of prayer to you.

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Conversations with my Granddaughter: On Prayer by Alex Tang

Today’s post is a contribution for the series Lord Teach Us to Pray, written by Dr. Alex Tang.  Alex is a spiritual director, avid social media technocrati, consultant paediatrician in a private hospital, associate professor with Monash University Malaysia, and lay practical theologian and director of Spiritual Formation Institute in Malaysia. He blogs at Random Musings from a Doctor’s Chair <www.draltang01.blogspot.com>, muses at Kairos Spiritual Formation<www.kairos2.com> and hangs out at Facebook <www.facebook.com/dr.alex.tang>. He is also very excited about his granddaughter who arrived at the beginning of this year.

 
Hello little one,
You woke up very early this morning, didn’t you? Your Mummy noticed that you have been waking up very early but being the good girl you are, you allow her to sleep. You know she works hard at her job in the daytime. You are contented to lie in the dark. Darkness is not scary to you as it reminds you of your time in your Mummy’s womb. It is more than five months since you left that comfortable place to come into this world. To amuse yourself you try a push up. The fact that you are not able to do a push up does not bother you, as you know your body is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Your guardian angel told you this. At this moment you can only lift up your head and you are happy just to do a ‘head up’. You delight in your body, don’t you? Everyday you discover something new you can do. And all the big people become so happy and excited when you show them the new skill you have developed. It takes so little to make the big people happy. You like making them happy.
You then fall asleep, but you make sure you wake up in time to see Mummy and Daddy leave the house. Mummy and Daddy do an important thing called ‘work’ in some far away place so you want to send them off happy. You know that smiling makes them happy so you make sure that they each receive a big one. You do not worry because as they have taken care of you, you know that a very big person (your guardian angel called him God) will take care of them.
After they left you look forward to going to the park with your Nai Nai (grandma). Somehow, watching the fresh morning sunlight brightening the trees and bushes makes you happy. You feel good and fulfilled; a feeling similar to after a good feed at your Mummy’s breasts and you are resting on her, feeling her warmth and softness. You hope you will catch another glimpse of that yellow red bird that flies in the sky. Some big people like to stop and make funny faces or noises at you. You do not mind as this is your opportunity to make them happy. A full blast of your smile and they walk away with lighter steps.  At times some big people walked past you without stopping or looking at you. You feel sad and wish them to be happy.
Then it is back to the house for a warm bath, a bottle of milk and a nap. You hope that you will dream again of the place of brightness, goodness and happiness. In that place there is a sense of that very big person and you like him very much. Then you wake for more milk, to discover new things until you are tired, then sleep. When you wake again, you know Mummy and Daddy will be coming home soon. You can’t wait to be with them and make them happy.
Little one, Grampa is thinking about a blog post for a series called, Lord teach us to pray. I have been reading and thinking hard. Then you smiled at me. You know, little one, you are wise beyond your months. You may not know what prayer is but you know how to pray. You came into being by prayer and into the world by prayer. And now you are a living prayer. You must be what St. Paul had in mind when he taught us to ‘pray unceasingly’. Most big people think that praying is saying words. But you know better. Prayer is being – in connection with the people you love, the big person and the world you are in.

Lord Teach Us To Pray: Sailing Over the Sea of Affliction by Steve Wichkam

 Three_Master_in_Rough_Sea_by_Fitz_Hugh_Lane

Three_Master_in_Rough_Sea_by_Fitz_Hugh_Lane

This morning’s post in the series Lord Teach Us to Pray is written by Steve Wickham, author of “Grow In GOD” ebook, is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, FSIA, RSP [Australia]), a writer, and an active online Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min). His social media links: Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/steve.j.wickham & http://www.facebook.com/stevewickhamauthor and Twitter: http://twitter.com/sjwickhamauthor . View the original post here

This post seemed particularly applicable this morning because Tom is in hospital. Nothing serious but I would appreciate your prayers.

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The lady’s torment, seemingly, was the inability to experience God in prayer:
“Beholding me rowing with laborious toil, the breath of Your divine operations turned in my favor and carried me full sail over this sea of affliction.”
~Madame Guyon (1648–1717)
Of course, we can all relate. Times when God mysteriously vanished from all sensation and view, we were perplexed, really, as to what to do.
The presumption of Madame Guyon’s affliction is her inability to pray with gifted ease; to not have possessed yet, although still only in her teen years, what two spiritual mentors possessed with aplomb. And although our afflictions vary, they are just as tortuous, for they appear impossible for us to be released from.
God’s Miracles – A Truly Marvellous Paradox
Try as we might, as hard as we can, taking care never to give up, we may be farther from our objective than ever. Such an experience is infuriating. We deserve the thing we a richly want, ‘says’ the human mind for things.
But the thinking of God and the ways of God are worlds, even realms, different.
What Madame Guyon experienced, and what we too may have experienced, is the inexplicable miracle of God’s instant gifting. When all efforts ceased and she just came, bereft in her tears, sullen to all effort, and wanting nothing other than God, God gave.
God’s miracles are transformative in a world where the transformative is pricelessly rare. Miracles escape the perception of nearly everyone, let alone their grasp. And just like happiness, God’s miracles elude us the instant we insist on them. If we cannot order humanity around and get what we want, how are we to order God around to get what we want? God desires a particular heart. When that heart comes, God gives.
Understanding this, then, helps us as we come before God, to request of the divine operation that shall carry us over this sea of affliction.
When We Want Nothing Other Than God
The vehicle that carries us over the sea of affliction is God himself. There are no methods, no trinkets, and no programs that do it; only God.
And as we give ourselves over to the divine operation, having nothing of ourselves left over to steer our ship, and even as we experience the temporary misfortune of stormy despair, God breathes through us. Almost as if we rested on the stilled ocean bottom, completely hopeless, God resurrects us in our perfect willingness to commune.
This is a very difficult place to get to, seemingly. But once we have arrived, once-for-all-time do we know how to get back there. We now have the ticket-to-ride. And strangely enough God brings us back there, periodically, as a sweetly glorious reminder of his Presence. This is prayer in its most basic form.
One image: of God there, in the midst of our affliction, with us. This image, this experience, just once, transforms our lives forever. No future affliction will we meet the same way. Fear gives way to faith. And faith is our new way.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

What Would You Grab In A Fire

Waldo Canyon Wildfire - photo by Lane Arnold

Waldo Canyon Wildfire – photo by Lane Arnold

I have just read this prayer poignant prayer written by Lane Arnold and forwarded to me by one of my facebook friends. My heart aches for her and the many others who have lost homes and possessions in these devastating fires that have swept through parts of Colorado forcing at least 32,000 to evacuate their homes.

The Colorado Springs fires may have burned our house but nothing can burn our home. For You, Lord Jesus, Your Presence, Your heart, Your kingdom are our forever home.

A couple of days ago Lane posted this on her blog and its words have resonated with me this morning.

My mind runs as fast as a wildfire. What’ll I pack if we have to evacuate? What’s important to have with me as the fire potentially threatens to hop ridges, careen across canyons, and whirl on the winds?

I look across the room into those sparkling blue eyes of my husband and my son’s thoughtful brown ones. Here are my two greatest tangible values in this home. I can walk away with these two and I will have lost nothing of great value. It’s that simple. My beloveds, here and afar, are my greatest tangible value beyond God Himself…..

What leap out are memories. My heart that’s been pounding full force grows calm, full of prayerful gratitude as I go. Smiles, laughter, even tears come. A snapshot on my desk of my three little ones, singing to me in their yellow slickers one long-ago rainy Georgia afternoon. Photographs my daughter gave me one Christmas from the travels we did together in Australia. The wooden cross in the kitchen from a women I’d mentored. A silly line drawing on the bookshelf, created thirty years ago, which one son found and recently framed for Mother’s Day. A woodcut and poem another son wrapped up for my birthday. The place my husband and I gather and pray each morning for our children and grandchildren. . A tiny angel ornament from a friend who’d been in Haiti. A watercolor from a prayer partner. The collage of childhood photos from my children’s life that greets me each morning upon my dresser. A bookcase full of journals, notes from almost sixty years worth of living. The photo of my husband and I at our high school prom and another one of our wedding in 2008. Love notes from our courtship. A few of these join the stash of things I’ll take with me.

Read the entire post here

Friends, families, community, memories. These are the important things that all of us miss the most when they are gone. It is a shame that often it takes a crisis like this for us to realize it. Nothing else apart from God really matters.

So as you pray for those who have lost homes and possessions this morning ask yourself What would you grab if the fires come your way? and may our hearts well up with gratitude for the friends and family and community   within which God has placed us.

Say YES! to This – My Favourite Green Resources

Reaching for Resources

Reaching for Resources

Ever wondered where I find all those interesting articles I post? Here are a couple of places I monitor regularly.

One of Tom’s and my favourtie magazines is YES Magazine and I wanted to share it with you.

The YES website has posted some great articles in the last few weeks on community. Here are my favourites

Ten Ways to Love Where You Live by Ross Chapin

How to build community here and now—because neighborhoods are more than houses in proximity. Read the article here

Cheaper Together. How neighbours Invest in Community by by Miriam Axel-LuteJohn Emmeus DavisHarold Simon.

Cooperative financing and community land trusts keep rents affordable and homeownership within reach. Read here

Inhabitat: Design will save the world is another great site with very innovative housing and environmental designs like this one:  PHOTOS: Get a Sneak Peek of HWKN’s Giant Blue Smog-Eating Wendy Sculpture Before It Opens Next Week | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

And Grist Magazine is always worth a visit. For example I loved this article Have Sledgehammer will farm

I also love to check out the latest at ECHO, ; Plant with Purpose and A Rocha

Obviously this is only a very short list of possible sites to visit for environmental issues. I would love to put together a more comprehensive list. So what are your favourite sites to visit?

So what are your favourite websites on environmental issues, green living and community?

Reporting on Wild Goose East 2012

Tom & I at the Mustard Seed/Overflow booth at Wild Goose

Tom & I at the Mustard Seed/Overflow booth at Wild Goose

Tom and I are back home after several wonderful days at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina. It was hot, humid and dusty but in spite of that we had a wonderful time. Tom was in fine form talking about intentional community and moving beyond the Western dream and I had fun speaking on reimagining how we pray.

Tom was in fine form

Tom was in fine form

More than anything we enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones. Had lots of good discussions, shared lots about the Mustard Seed Village and Cascadia and just thoroughly enjoyed a relaxed but provokative festival.

Together with fellow Australian Dave Andrews

Together with fellow Australian Dave Andrews

I also loved the grievance wall and the opportunity for people to share their frustrations with life & faith

Grievance wall Wild Goose festival

Grievance wall Wild Goose festival

What I didn’t enjoy – having to check for ticks every day and came home covered in itchy bites.

Uninvited guests

Uninvited guests

You can check out my complete festival album on facebook. enjoy

Still to come for the summer – Creative World Festival in Mission B.C. and Wild Goose West 

Prayers for the Journey

earth touches heaven

Earth touches heaven – photo by Coe Hutchison

This week’s round up of prayers is written from North Carolina where I am attending the Wild Goose Festival.

Teach us to pray O Lord,

Draw us closer to you, to your world , to each other.

Teach us to pray, O Lord,

With compassion and love and forgiveness.

Teach us to pray, O Lord,

Until all that we are and all that we do,

Becomes a gift of prayer to you.Teach us to pray O Lord,

Draw us closer to you, to your world , to each other.

Teach us to pray, O Lord,

With compassion and love and forgiveness.

Teach us to pray, O Lord,

Until all that we are and all that we do,

Becomes a gift of prayer to you.

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The glory of God’s presence surrounds me

The wonder of Christ’s love holds me close

The comfort of the Spirit makes me strong

God you who are the three in one, the one in three

Be with me forever.

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Lord God almighty,

You are a shield of love,

You are a rock of protection,

You are a God of unfailing love.

I trust in you with all my heart,

My future is in your hands.

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Here is a beautiful prayer written my my friend Gerard Kelly for his twitter feed @twitturgies.

Rumours of your kingdom God rise around me. The soil itself stirs. The winds bring whispers of you. My heart too cries welcome

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God protect and bless us,

From enemies seen and unseen.

Be like a pillar of fire before us,

Be like a cloud of glory around us,

Be like a rock of safety beneath us,

Keep us Lord in the shadow of you wings.

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let us rejoice and sing,

For the wonder of God’s love.

For the joy of Christ’s salvation.

For the glory of the Spirit’s presence.

Let us give thanks and praise,

For we are surrounded by a shield of love.

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