Prayers for the journey

I have already posted many of this weeks Light for the Journey prayers as blog posts, but I know some of you like to share these with friends and having them in one post helps. I have reposted the prayer from yesterday because of its popularity
Enjoy!
Lord I breathe in life.004

God may I enter this day with joy.
May I search for your ways,
And follow your paths.
May I look for your presence,
And uncover your dreams.
May I commit all I am and all I do
Into your care.
Amen

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

There are confusing voices
distracting us from your Word,
persuasive voices
demanding to be heard,
drowning out the still small voice
we have listened to before,
bringing a new philosophy
that has no place for you.
Forgive us
when we doubt your Word,
forgive us
when we are led astray.
Grant us a faith that is strong,
and wisdom to distinguish
between Truth
…..and that which is not.

(http://www.facebook.com/faithandworship?ref=hl)

This is the day that God has made,
May we work hard
and share God’s gifts
with friends and neighbours
with colleagues and foes.
This is the day that God has made,
may we work hard
and we share with Jesus
in the poor and the oppressed
in the rejected and abandoned.
This is the day that God has made,
May we work hard
and share with gratitude
God’s gifts generously given
Full measure overflowing like manna,
Not for us alone but for the renewal of all creation.

Christine Sine http://godspace.wordpress/,com

God I breathe in your life,
And find your strength
Made perfect in weakness.
Christ I breathe in your love,
And inhale your fragrance
Interwoven through all creation.
Spirit I breathe in your peace,
And am engulfed by your presence
Surrounding me on every side.
God who is One,
God who is three,
I breathe in you.

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

When faith is tested to the limit
and we stumble,
forgive us.
When feet stray from the path
and we wander,
forgive us.
When our neighbour is in need
and we walk by,
forgive us.
When the voices of this world
drown out your whisper,
forgive us.
When love draws us to your feet
in repentance,
forgive us.

http:faithandworship.com

Lord Jesus Christ
let us breathe in your love
In all its wonder and beauty.
Lord Jesus Christ
Let us drink in your mercy
In all its grace and patience.
Lord Jesus Christ
Let us stand in your presence
In all its glory and majesty.
Lord or earth and heaven,
Let all that we are and all that we do
Draw us closer towards you.

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we shout for justice,
And as one we fight against oppression.
May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we seek God’s righteousness
And as one we sing God’s praise.
May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we climb God’s mountain,
And as one we enter the promised land.
May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom,
And as one we enjoy its peace, and abundance and love.

Prayers for Teachers and Their Students

Here in the Northern Hemisphere teachers and their students are preparing to go back to school. It is a stressful and busy season for many. I have reflected on this a lot since reading this beautiful back to school liturgy. I think that all teachers, and students need prayers they can say throughout the day to bring their centre back to God who sustains them.

The following prayers were written with this in mind.

Lord I breathe in life.004

 

This is the day that the Lord has made,
May we work hard
and share God’s gifts
with friends and neighbours
with colleagues and foes.
This is the day that the Lord has made,
may we work hard
and share with Jesus
in the poor and the oppressed
in the rejected and abandoned.
This is the day that the Lord has made,
May we work hard
and share with gratitude
God’s gifts generously given
Full measure overflowing like manna,
Not for us alone but for the renewal of all creation.

 

The Celtic Way of Prayer

The Celtic Way of Prayer

The third book I read this last week is The Celtic Way of Prayerby Esther de Waal. I have read this book a number of times over the last 10 years and never fail to gain fresh insights about the Celtic Christian movement and its lessons for us today.

This time I was particularly impacted by the comment:

They saw the world through eyes washed miraculously clear by continual spiritual exercise; they was with “rinsed eyes”. They was with such clarity because the seeing came out of contemplative vision (96).

This concept is one that I need reminding of time and again. Taking time to see the world, with contemplative vision so easily gets lost in the midst of busyness. Living in the present, being alive to the world around, totally listening to God, looking and listening for the sacred in the midst of every mundane act of the day, finding in the world in which we live the reflection of God’s invisible world, these are the things that I keep coming back to.

A couple of days ago in my post Am I Fully Recognized for What I am I wrote: for Celtic saints all of life was organized in light of spiritual realities. It was the same for the Trappist monks I wrote about yesterday. The centre of all things is meant to be the spiritual reality of our relationship to God. It is this that should control our time, our rhythm of life, our use of resources.

As I continue my journey this is the focus of my thoughts. The questions that keeps revolving in my mind is: What would it be life to give myself totally to God? How can I organize my time, my habits, my thoughts and actions to become instruments of spiritual formation? I hope that you will continue to walk the journey with me. And to guide me today I pray this prayer – one version of St Patrick’s prayer known as “the deer’s cry”

This day I call to me;

God’s strength to direct me,

God’s power to sustain me.

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s vision to light me,

God’s ear to my hearing,

God’s word to my speaking,

God’s hand to uphold me,

God’s pathway before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks.

Business secrets

Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks by August Turak was the second book that I read last week. To be honest this book frustrated me a little because of Turak’s underlying assumption that capitalism is the only possible business model that works and I felt that at times he justified what and how the monks do things to fit that model.

In spite of that I found the book very helpful. It is well worth the read for any Christian business person really wanting to put God and God’s purposes at the centre of their lives. Hopefully it will also encourage us to ask the seldom asked question: what should a Christian business look like?

The business model that the Trappist monks use confounds all our usual business principles. Turak quotes USA Today as saying: “The monks break every rule in Business 101 except attention to quality.”  They only work 4 hours a day. They do no marketing. They are not profit driven and they don’t feel they need to make more product this year than last.

They are people passionately committed to their mission of selfless service to God and others who happen to have a business. Business success for the monks is merely the by-product of living a life of service and selflessness. (7).

He goes on to say that he feels part of the reason for their success is that they tap into the hunger within all of us for transformation from selfishness to selflessness, believing that it is this longing that produces passionate commitment to a business, transcending profit making as motive. He points out that though many businesses start with this passion they don’t finish with it. The key to 1500 years of success:

they not only incorporate personal transformation into their missions but institutionalize this process through methodologies such as… the Rule of St Benedict. (13)

A colleague of Turak’s commented that the monks have the advantage of free labour. Turak’s response:

The most important issue is why monasteries get this level of commitment from people and our secular organizations do not?

This I think is one of the most important questions Turak asks, especially for people of faith seeking to establish a business. Transforming people from selfishness to selflessness, calling them to something beyond themselves and their own success, putting faith in the process and in the One who has designed it, these are all important lessons that come out of this type of approach. It is not the drive to be successful, to make a lot of money or to be well known that should motivate us. Or in other words:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and God will give you everything you need. (Matt 6:33 NLT).

 

Imaginative Learning or Contemplative Action.

imagination first

Tom and I have just returned from vacation, and as per usual, I took a stack of books with me, some of which I will share with you over the next few days. One is Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of Possibility by Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon. I was particularly struck by Capacities for Imaginative Learning they share. Originally designed for arts and education, the authors feel however that they are guides for life.

It is an inspirational and thought provoking book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to increase their creativity.

What struck me is how closely these “capacities for learning” parallel contemplative practices and the spiritual discernment process we have used for many years in MSA. They open our eyes and ears to new ways of interacting with the world. They help us become creative, imaginative, able to solve problems in out of the box ways. From a faith perspective they open us up to the presence of God in all things and increase our awareness of God’s involvement in all the creative processes we engage in to shape our work and daily life.  I thought you would find them interesting:

Noticing deeply: identifying and articulating layers of detail through continuous interaction with an object of study

Embodying: experiencing a work through your senses and emotions, and physically representing that experience.

Questioning: asking “Why” and “What if” throughout your explorations

Identifying patterns:  finding relationships among the details you notice, and grouping them into patterns

Making connections: linking patterns you notice to prior knowledge and experience (both your own and others)

Exhibiting empathy: understanding and respecting the experience of others

Creating meaning: creating interpretations of what you encounter, and synthesizing them with the perspectives of others.

Taking action:  acting on the synthesis through a project or an action that expresses your learning

Reflecting and assessing: looking back on your learning to identify what challenges remain and to begin learning anew.

In the Power of the Triune God

Celtic cross Mayne Island

One of the spiritual disciplines that is really helping during this season of my life is the writing of prayers. Celtic Christians believed that life was embraced on all sides by God and that God was present alongside, behind, before, above and below. They experienced God as guest, fellow traveller, friend, fellow worker, brother, companion and comforter. This has certainly been my experience over the last couple of weeks.

I hope that you enjoy this prayer I wrote a couple of days ago with these thoughts in mind.

I will enter this day

In the power of the triune One.

God of life,

Christ of love,

Spirit of guiding.

Ignite within me a fire of love,

Its flame in my heart for all to see.

Let it shine for neighbours

And be generous to strangers.

Let I express compassion for friends,

And show forgiveness to foes.

Let it reach the lowliest creatures that live

And exalt Christ’s name which is highest of all.

This day and every day

Triune God,

Creator of life,

Christ of love,

Spirit of guiding,

Ignite within me a fire of love.

You Are the Peace of All Things Calm – Another Celtic Prayer

Here is another beautiful Celtic prayer that I find relaxing and comproting.

Lord you are the calm.002

A Tree Planted by Water – Kimberlee Conway Ireton

Today’s post is by Kimberlee Conway Ireton, author of The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year and a forthcoming memoir, Cracking Up: A Postpartum Faith Crisis.

Blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
who meditates on God’s law day and night.
Such a one is like a tree planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.

Psalm 1:1-3

Psalm1_tree

Almost three years ago now, in the throes of postpartum depression, I desperately grasped at anything that would help me channel my out-of-control thoughts away from the fear that choked me. In the midst of this darkness, my friend Susan offered me a lifeline.

She mentioned over dinner one night that she was memorizing Ephesians.

“The whole book?” I asked, incredulous.

She nodded and pulled a little black Moleskine out of her bag. Inside, the words of Ephesians were pasted, six to eight verses at a time, onto the left-hand pages. The right pages were blank. “For my notes,” Susan said. “Or for keeping track of how many times I’ve recited it.”

I paged through the little book, and something in me stirred. “May I—may I join you?” I looked at her. “I want to do this, too.”

The following Monday, Susan brought me my own little black Moleskine, its pages already pasted with every verse in Ephesians, and I began to memorize the words.

When the fear stirred, I forced myself to recite Ephesians. When I realized my thoughts were swirling chaotically, I forced them into the channel of Ephesians. These words became my prayer in a time when I had no words of my own to say, no words of my own to pray.

Week after week, I added new verses to the ones I already knew. It took me ten months, but I memorized every last word in that book. Even now, two years later, I still have them etched in my memory.

Since then, I have memorized half a dozen Psalms, part of 1 John, and large chunks of John 10 and John 17. Currently, I am beginning to memorize Colossians 3. I do this memory work slowly, a verse every week or so. But a verse a week adds up over time to a whole lot of verses.

I say all this not to boast. (Well, okay, maybe a little, which tells you just how far I’ve still to walk before I am renewed in my mind.) I say it to encourage you to memorize Scripture, too, to show you that you can.

To put on the mind of Christ, it is important, Dallas Willard writes, “to draw certain key portions of Scripture into our minds and make them a part of the permanent fixtures of our thought.” He continues, “This is the primary discipline for the thought life. We need to know them like the back of our hand…and then constantly turn them over in our minds as we go through the events and circumstances of our life.”

I came to the place of needing Scripture as the nourishment for my mind out of desperation. My mind was a dark and scary place, and I needed something other than my own frightening thoughts to fill it.

On the other side of that darkness, I continue to memorize Scripture and turn it over in my mind day after day because I want my mind to be filled with the light of Christ. I want it to be full of the thoughts and images that occupied His mind when He walked on this earth. I want to abide in Him and have His words abide in me.

And so, I continue, slowly, one verse at a time, to feed myself on the words of Scripture, to root them in my mind, so that I no longer conform myself to the patterns of the world or my own destructive thought processes, but can be transformed by the renewing of my mind.

If you feel nudged or pulled to plant the words of Scripture deep in your own mind, why not choose a favorite Psalm or Gospel or epistle passage to memorize? I have a sheet of memorization helps that you can use if you want, but the easiest way to memorize is simply to read 4-6 verses over and over again, day after day. Stick them on your computer monitor, your bathroom mirror, your kitchen sink—wherever you spend a few minutes several times a day—and read them a time or two every day. By the end of a month, you’ll have them memorized. Then, as you’re stuck in traffic or waiting in a line somewhere, say those verses, so that they affix themselves to the walls of your mind, a spot of beauty and light and peace in the midst of the anxious swirl of your thoughts.

Prayers for the Journey

Thank you O Lord

Lord as I enter this day,
May your fire be kindled in my heart.
May the flame of your love burn bright within me,
May its spark ignite your love in others
Warming the lonely,
Comforting the grieving,
Protecting the vulnerable.
This day and every day
May your love shine bright for all to see.

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

When heart is heavy,
body weak,
life filled with sadness,
spirits low,
when days are lonely,
dark with cloud,
preventing sunshine
breaking through;
remind us that you are
never further away
than a whispered prayer
can reach,
never closer
than when we’re weary
and on our knees.

(http://www.facebook.com/faithandworship)

One of my favourite Gerald Manley Hopkins poems:

Glory be to God for dappled things-
For skies of couple colour as a brindled cow,
For rose moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches wings;
Landscapes plotted and pieced-fold, fallow and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle trim.

All things counter, origninal, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift slow; sweet, sour; adazzle; dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change;
Praise him.

———————————–

When we call out your name
in times of hardship
or in our despair
and fail to hear your voice
or see the answer we desire,
forgive our impatience.
When we pray for healing,
freedom from fear
or relief from Satan’s grasp,
and grow weary of the task
of continuing with prayer,
forgive our lack of faith.
Your ways are not ours,
but in all things you are God,
your love and justice
will always prevail.
In your time and in your way
you will answer all our prayer.

(http://www.facebook.com/faithandworship)

Lord Jesus Christ,
your ways are good
and I praise you.
Your purposes are true
and I exalt you.
Your compassion never fails
I lift my eyes to you in adoration.

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God.

— John O’Donohue (from “To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings”)

With thanks to Philomena Ewing

http://blueeyedennis-siempre.blogspot.com/

For all answers to prayer
gracious Lord, we thank you.
For a touch bringing healing
and lives made whole.
For the sharing of comfort
when the season is cold.
For one door that opens
and another one closed.
For the unseen blessings
of sharing your word.
Gracious Lord, we thank you
for all answers to prayer.

(http://www.facebook.com/faithandworship)

You are the God of eternal patience, ever waiting, ever planning, ever working towards a purpose of which we have just a glimpse.
Our vision is often more limited: by our own concerns, by our own fears, by our own imaginations.
Yet in these things there are seeds: the work of your spirit opening our mind and stirring our actions towards something greater than even we see.
Grant us, in this time of worship, a measure of grace to continue to wait in hope, to wait in expectation, and to wait with an openness to the fullness of Your purpose.

God of all ages, you have repeatedly planted the dream in unlikely people.
We remember the vulnerable and barren Abraham, whom you chose to father a multitude long before (and after) it seemed possible.
You called Moses to lead a transformation, even while he was part of a power which was at the heart of that problem.
Amos was a shepherd and tree-keeper in another part of the world when you sent him to your people with a unique message.
And Hosea – a man with deep family relationship issues – becomes a bearer of hope in the midst trouble.

Your eyes, O God, have ever been lifted to a future beyond our vision, yet one of which you give us glimpses.
Though we barely understand, and though we do not trust our capacity to see it through, we pray that you would continue to lead us through.
For you have not only shared the vision with us, You have poured out Your Spirit upon us, empowering us to do, and to be…
In our worship, we declare Your glory
In our prayer, we seek Your wisdom
In community, we begin to understand the wonder of Your grace.
In our surrender, we declare our trust in You.
Lord, we praise You!

Gary Heard http://the-eighth-day.blogspot.com/

Lord, let us walk into this day
Your light before us,
Your shield behind us,
Your friends beside us.
Lord, let us walk into this week
Your life before us,
Your strength behind us,
Your love around us.
Lord, let us walk from this place,
Your wisdom before us,
Your truth behind us,
Your breath within us.
Lord, let us walk into the world,
Gratitude in our hearts,
Thanksgiving on our lips,
Joy in our spirits.
Lord, let us walk into your loving presence,
In the name of the One who loves us,
In the name of the One who cares,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One in Three, Three in One.

Christine Sine http://godspace.worpdress.com/

Gracious and generous God,

We remember all the gifts you have given us,
We remember how lavishly you have provided,
We remember how lovingly you have cared,
We remember especially that greatest gift of all,
Jesus Christ our Saviour,
And we give you thanks.
Amen.

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

On this our journey of faith
we trust in you alone, Good Shepherd,
guiding us
along a path you are familiar with,
leading us
beside green pastures and quiet waters,
feeding us
your word as refreshment for our souls,
steering us
from that which might tempt and divert,
protecting us
from that which might harm or destroy.
We trust in you alone, Good Shepherd,
on this our journey of faith.

(http://www.facebook.com/faithandworship)

We listen

 

 

Our Families Shape Not Just Us But our Organizations

With my Mother at her 90th birthday

At our MSA staff meeting just before my recent trip to Australia, we discussed the importance of our families and how they impact our work.

Our families shape not just who we are but also what we are as an organization.

I am very aware of that as I reflect on how my mother influenced my life. I am so grateful to God for her and the ways that she helped shape all I am and do. Even in her death she continues to influence me and shape my work, MSA and the life of others. I am so grateful to the many of you who have prayed and comforted me over these days and for the encouragement from those of you who have drawn strength and faith as I shared my journey.

Here is a complete list of the prayers and blog posts I wrote during this important journey.

Am I Fully Recognized for What I am 

 Tributes to My Mother

 Heavens Gates Have Opened Wide

 Today I want to Go Home

Prayers for the Journey

Tears, Tears, Tears 

Comfort in the Midst of Waiting

Not Embarrassed to Share About Death

It’s Hard to Watch Your Mother Die 

Love Hurts But It’s Worth It