God’s Fire Kindled in Our Hearts – A Morning Prayer

I am working on a set of morning and evening prayers for reflection and meditation. Some like this one are based on Celtic prayers and their connection of prayer to every part of life. Kindling the fire was a very important part of the day that invited the fire of the Spirit into their lives.
Lord may we enter this day..003I am working on a series of morning and evening prayers which I thought you might enjoy.


Celtic Retreat This Weekend

Celtic cross retreat 2011

Celtic cross decorating altar retreat 2011

Our 21st Annual Celtic retreat is only a few day away. There is still time to sign up and the weather promises to be perfect. Our theme this year is thanksgiving and gratitude. Join us for a time of prayer and worship with Celtic musician Jeff Johnson, for times of meditation and contemplation. Join our rich fellowship together as we share pot luck meals. Join with us in dedicating the beginning of the first building of the Mustard Seed Village. Join us in creating a prayer wall and prayer flags. Walk the prayer trails and soak in the beauty of God’s creation. This will be an awesome weekend and we would love to celebrate it with you.

An outdoor cathedral amongst the trees

An outdoor cathedral amongst the trees

As a sneak preview here is what I wrote for the introduction to our weekend.

Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honours me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God. (Psalm 50: 23)

Giving thanks, living in gratitude for the rich and abundant blessings of God, being content to sit, enjoy and absorb what God has provided now, in this moment, this is indeed the pathway to God. This is where we often see the salvation of God revealed. One of the hallmarks of our faith is contentment in all circumstances even in the midst of pain, suffering and struggle. This only comes when we take time to pause, reflect, recognize the gifts of God in our lives and be grateful. To grow in intimacy with God and move deeper into that loving union we all so desperately crave we must learn to live in gratitude for what each moment holds.

This kind of faith does not come easily to us. It must be learned through discipline and commitment. Discontent is built into our society. Our consumer culture encourages and manipulates us to be envious and discontented. No matter what we have, enough always seems just beyond the horizon. So how can we learn to say with Paul:

I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil 4:11-13 NLT)

After hearing a discourse on gratitude, my friend Sue and her husband Chuck decided to begin each day by naming ten things they felt truly grateful for. “The discipline worked a new muscle, but over time, it became a natural part of our day. We found ourselves not only “naming” thankfulness in the morning, but looking for things to add to our list all during the day. Our hearts smiled. We grew expectant.”

More recently after meditating on Philippians 4:6, Sue developed a new discipline every time she asked God for something, prayed for a person, or expressed fear and anxiety. She forced herself to stop and be present in the moment. Then, she named something related to her request that she was truly grateful for – before asking anything. A sense of peace and calm followed. Now, the prayer often seems secondary, the need less urgent and the sense of God whispering, “I’ve got it covered” more clear.

At the end of this retreat we will share the Eucharist together, a very appropriate part of the thanksgiving celebration. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word eukaristos meaning “to give thanks” and it is often referred to as “The Great Thanksgiving.” As we come to the communion table we remember and we give thanks for all that Jesus has done for us through his life, death and resurrection. We give thanks for all the things he has done that reveal the love of God to us, all the things that made him a leader worth following. At the same time we should remember and give thanks for the many blessings we still experience every day as we share our lives with him and with all God’s creatures.

However in the midst of taking communion we are reminded that we cannot fully enter into the great thanksgiving of God when so many people in our world are without a place to live, nourishing food to eat, and adequate health care. In the midst of our own thanksgiving we should be doing all that we can to make sure that no one in our society or indeed in our world is hungry, cold or sick. We will only be able to fully celebrate with thanksgiving when all the world’s people are able to share in the bounty of God’s world together not just for a day but for the rest of eternity.

So let us give thanks today for all that God has lavished on us in anticipation of the day when we will join together with all God’s people in the great thanksgiving feast of the kingdom.


Prayers for the Journey – A Weekly Summary

Prayers to light the way

Prayers for the journey - Daily thoughts to light the way

Once more we are at the end of the week and here are the prayers that I have posted on facebook. I have also included the beautiful Celtic prayer The Rising which I think is a great prayer for All Saints Day and I know that some of you may have missed it when I posted it earlier in the week.

God may I honour you with gratitude, and give thanks in all things

May joy bubble up and overflow through good times and in bad

May I keep to your path in abundance and in scarcity

And rejoice always in the wonder of your salvation


Lord jesus Christ you are the refuge of my soul,

Father God you are the strength of my heart,

Holy Spirit advocate and guide you are the shelter of my life

God who comes the three in one and one in three

How amazing to know nothing can separate me from your love


Let us entrust our lives to God and live with Christ at the centre

Turning from our self centred ways to give ourselves in love for neighbour

Let us go forth to follow the clouds of witnesses that have gone before

Men and women from every tribe and nation, every time and age.


God create in our hearts images of love
Plant them, grow them, bring them to harvest
May they bear fruit
In acts of mercy, deeds of justice, ways of compassion


God creatie in our hearts images of love
Plant them, grow them, bring them to harvest
May they bear fruit
In acts of mercy, deeds of justice, ways of compassion


May we live always in response to God’s love

May we choose life, act faithfully, follow trustingly

May we love God, obey Christ, hold fast to the Spirit


THE RISING – Celtic Prayer

Let us go forth

In the goodness of our merciful father

In the gentleness of our brother Jesus,

In the radiance of his Holy Spirit

In the faith of the apostles,

In the joy praise of the angels,

In the holiness of the saints,

In the courage of the martyrs.

Let us go forth

In the wisdom of our all-seeing Father

In the patience of our all-loving brother,

In the truth of the all-knowing Spirit,

In the learning of the apostles,

In the gracious guidance of the angels,

In the patience of the saints,

In the self control of the martyrs,

Such is the path for all servants of Christ,

The path from death to eternal life.

Tools for Prayer – Prayer Beads Anyone?

Making prayer beads at the Celtic retreat

Making prayer beads at the Celtic retreat

Prayer beads are a tool for prayer that many protestants are both unfamiliar with and a little skeptical of.  I only came across them a couple of years ago when a friend at church started holding classes on how to make and use them.  I must confess that I do not use them often as they remind me too much of the worry beads that my Greek uncle used to incessantly run between his fingers.  However I have many friends who use them on a regular basis and find them a great aid to meditation.Also we had the kids make them at our recent Celtic retreat and there were lots of questions raised about how to use them.

Prayer beads are also known as the Anglican rosary or Christian prayer beads.  It consists of a loop of 33 strung beads which are used as a focus for prayer.  This particular way of using prayer beads was developed in the mid-1980s by Lynn Bauman in the United States participating in a study group dealing with methods of prayer. The beads have since been adopted or adapted by many other denominations.   They blend the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope and the Roman Catholic Rosary.

The use of prayer beads helps to brings the user into contemplative or meditative prayer—really thinking about and being mindful of praying, of being in the presence of God—by use of mind, body, and spirit. The touching of the fingers on each successive bead is an aid in keeping our mind from wandering, and the rhythm of the prayers leads us more readily into stillness.

The prayer beads are made up of twenty-eight beads divided into four groups of seven called weeks. In the Judeo-Christian tradition the number seven represents spiritual perfection and completion. Between each week is a single bead, called a cruciform bead as the four beads form a cross. The invitatory bead between the cross and the wheel of beads brings the total to thirty-three, the number of years in Jesus’ earthly life.

Praying with the beads
To begin, hold the Cross and say the prayer you have assigned to it, then move to the Invitatory Bead. Then enter the circle of the prayer with the first Cruciform Bead, moving to the right, go through the first set of seven beads to the next Cruciform bead, continuing around the circle, saying the prayers for each bead.

It is suggested that you pray around the circle of the beads three times (which signifies the Trinity) in an unhurried pace, allowing the repetition to become a sort of lullaby of love and praise that enables your mind to rest and your heart to become quiet and still.

Praying through the beads three times and adding the crucifix at the beginning or the end, brings the total to one hundred, which is the total of the Orthodox Rosary. A period of silence should follow the prayer, for a time of reflection and listening. Listening is an important part of all prayer.

Begin praying the Anglican Prayer Beads by selecting the prayers you wish to use for the cross and each bead. Practice them until it is clear which prayer goes with which bead, and as far as possible commit the prayers to memory.

Find a quiet spot and allow your body and mind to become restful and still. After a time of silence, begin praying the prayer beads at an unhurried, intentional pace. Complete the circle of the beads three times.

When you have completed the round of the prayer beads, you should end with a period of silence. This silence allows you to center your being in an extended period of silence. It also invites reflection and listening after you have invoked the Name and Presence of God.

Here is a beautiful Celtic prayer created by Sister Brigit-Carol, S.D. www.solitariesofdekoven.org that you might like to try

The Cross
In the Name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Invitatory
O God make speed to save me (us),
O Lord make haste to help me (us),
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Cruciforms
Be the eye of God dwelling with me,
The foot of Christ in guidance with me,
The shower of the Spirit pouring on me,
Richly and generously

The Weeks
Pray each phrase on a separate bead.
I bow before the Father who made me,
I bow before the Son who saved me,
I bow before the Spirit who guides me,
In love and adoration.
I praise the Name of the one on high.
I bow before thee Sacred Three,
The ever One, the Trinity.

For more information on prayer beads and a selection of great prayers to pray with them click here