As we enter the immeasurable beauty of this new day, we are reminded that you are doing something new in the world and in our lives. The prophets of old spoke about your love for, your faith in, and your readiness to make all things new. The undeniable reality of this moment is that your compassion and comfort have brought us into this newness. When we survey the changing landscapes of our souls; we see dramatic signs of you at work. The raised valleys, flattened mountains, and level ground of our lives do not pave the way for a greater sense of grief, sorrow, pain, and longing. No, they call out, God is doing something new; something far beyond our finite realities and expectations. We thank you today for the opportunity to embrace God’s newness as we journey towards Bethlehem. May the newness of God’s unfolding Kingdom take root and grow within our lives today.
In Jesus’ Name,
The cruciform center of my faith,
Is inhabited by one the three,
Intersecting wood unites,
This mysterious Trinity,
Within the nailed reality,
My soul begins to ignite,
I know not how to begin,
As I confess my sins,
In day or night,
Without and within,
These three persons,
With my soul,
As the God of old,
Who made me whole,
To be free,
Among his family,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
As the distance narrows between night and dawn, we feel the gentle breeze and know you are prompting us to go forward. Today we continue our journey with you. Amid the crooked paths of our lives and the mountain like obstructions we’ve created which alter how others see God; may we straighten the roads and move the mountains as your messengers today. May our lives be living witnesses to the three dimensional reality of your Good News. Thank you for calling us out of our darkness and to be bearers of the Word. May we comfort those who mourn. May we offer forgiveness as we have been forgiven. May we offer strength to the weak and may we see your kingdom in the community we call home.
In Jesus’ Name,
You are a God of unexpected places, times, and designs. The early morning fog of our minds brings us to this day; when we are stepping into the misty realities that surround us. We do not know where you will appear but we know you are already there; in that place, in that moment, beyond our comprehension anticipating our arrival. You have called us from the safety and sanctity of our homes into a world mired in the seasonal expectations of stuff and stress. May we hear the Good News today that our journey toward Bethlehem allows us to move through the demands which diminish our ability to witness to your presence in our lives. May we hear the Good News today that our journey allows us to walk away from the unneeded, embrace the necessary, and learn from our past. May we hear the Good News today that we do not make the journey to Bethlehem on our own; we take each step in the presence of the living God; the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Deborah, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, David, Bathsheba, Mary, Jesus the Christ, and even us.
In Jesus’ Name
The sun has set above the western waters. As the dying embers of day fade and night grows round us, we pray for safety in the hours to come. As we traverse the paths which lead us from the journeys we’ve made to the rest we seek, we know that even in darkness we follow His light of love. As you have borne our faults this day, may we be instruments of healing for the wounds of others which need to be mended. As you’ve listened to our prayers this day, may we hear the stories of others which need to be told. As your loving-kindness has woven threads of mercy through the unseen moments our lives, may we embrace this gift so that we may be more willing to give of ourselves tomorrow. As we find refuge this night, may your Spirit guard our souls so we find peace.
In Jesus Name,
Holy Spirit, come and do a great work among your people this day. As you have brought us into the cool air and warm sunshine, we know your presence is real and working in our lives. Where there is chaos may you bring order. Where there is sadness may you send messengers of joy. Where there is emptiness may your presence bring abundant mercy. Where there is hope, may we step forward, step up, and be counted among those who believe, share, and witness to the Kingdom of God. Let us continue to proclaim blessings upon the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, the hungry, the merciful, the peacemakers, and those who seek after you despite being told, “it will never work.” Forgive us when we are tempted to despair. Forgive us when we are lured into settling for anything other than the message you preached. Hear our prayers, this day and forevermore.
Jesus never gives us more than we can bear. Are we sure about that? If we never had more than we could bear, why would we need Jesus in the first place? If we could bear everything, we don’t need Jesus. I prefer to have more than I can bear and need Jesus to bear the stuff I can’t do on my own.
Richard’s Daily Prayer
October 2nd, 2014
What a day! Center our hearts and minds as we go into this evening after the business and chaos of this day. Bring our focus around to you. May we take a moment of silence to listen to your words of direction and guidance for our lives this evening. We thank you for being there, one step ahead of us, during each minute of this day. As we reflect on the day that has passed, may we focus on the positive, the good, and the places where you worked in our lives today. Prepare us tonight for service and ministry tomorrow. We love you God. Thank you for loving us.
Jump-starting Your Prayer Life:
1. Try five minutes of prayer. Focus your thoughts on:
a. What you’re grateful for
b. Why you’re grateful for these thing
Write those two questions down on a note card. When you find your focus drifting on your mind starting to wander, take a glance at the card and read the questions again. Do this over and over if you need to. Remember five minutes is all this takes.
2. For a slightly longer exercise, try 10 minutes of silent prayer. Put yourself in a physical spot, a place where you can stop and listen to the world around you. As you’re listening to the wind rustle leaves, birds, even cars driving down the street, what is God saying to you within and among these sounds? What thoughts come to mind while you are listening?