Well, Just Pray.l

I like to pray y’all. I like to pray a lot. I tend to tell my friends that God loves to hear our voice, which is true, but I also think  an element of listening that must be involved also. Listening is the hardest part because we don’t like silence or being told what to do for that matter – I’m sure that isn’t the case with any of you and I’m only talking about myself.

I would say that Soren Kierkegaard got it right when he said, “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” May we all be transformed each time we talk to God. I do believe God like to loves to hear our voice and that he does talk back…we just have to listen.

The following list of things is a few things I’m talking to God about right now; I have wrote these things in the form of a prayer  and I’ll say there is a lot we need to pray for in this world. It will take all of us to pray, listen and respond to meet the needs of this world. Don’t forget Christ calls us to love, each other and be in community with one another, even those we don’t like – its hard, I know.

Creator God,

  • We recognize we aren’t as faithful to you as we should be.
  • We recognize your desire for us to respond to you call.
  • We recognize all of the pain and hurt in the world right now, so we pause to pray specifically for those we know who are hurting.
  • We recognize the need for food as some families are hungry and unsure where their next meal will.
  • We see the need for adequate housing, as some families struggle to live in unfair conditions.
  • We pray for safe transportation as the family members heads to work.
  • We pray for quality childcare.
  • We pray for those in the world who don’t know where their next meal will come from or when it will come.
  • We pray for the careless and unconcerned.
  • We pray for those in Nepal who experienced the earthquake this weekend.
  • We pray for our children who have to grow up in a broken and messy world.
  • We pray for leaders around the world.
  • We pray for each other.
  • We pray for our families.
  • We pray for ourselves, that we might be willing to look past our own needs to care for those around us.

Amen.

Let’s be honest I’m sure my small list of things to pray for don’t even scratch the surface of all that we need to talk to God about, so why don’t we all just stop and say a prayer for those things that concern us, but also be willing to celebrate where God is working in the world.

Just pray. As I said earlier, God loves to hear your voice.

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Tremble.

I’ve been able to pause and reflect over the past few days. For the past few weeks I’ve been running nonstop and have been exhausted. Needing to find some Sabbath I took Friday and Saturday to spend time breaking my daily routine and just enjoy not looking at my email, being worried about what was next on my schedule or what all I needed to get done that day. I’ve spent a bit of time over the past few days thinking about this Lenten season and how I have experienced the presence of Christ during this season, I’ve had a hard time putting my experiences into words partly because one of the experiences during this Lenten season involved a trip to Cuba that opened my eyes and have me a better scope on what is happening in another corner of the world.

This morning a friend of mine shared the lyrics of the hymn Were You There on Instagram with his reflections about the hymn, after reading his reflections I began to reflect on the Maundy Thursday service at my church this past Sunday and how the song made me feel.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when He rose up from the grave?

Were you there when He rose up from the grave?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when He rose up from the grave?

I wasn’t there when they crucified or nailed our Lord. Nor was I there when laid him in the tomb. Nor was I there when he rose from the grave.

I can only reflect on how I felt Thursday listening to each member of our congregation drive nails into the cross as the left worship. When it came time for me to drive a nail into the cross I found a spot began to hammer and tremble from thinking about what it was like to have been in the crowd on that day Christ was crucified. All I can do is tremble and think. Guess I’ll just keep thinking, learning, growing, following and trembling.

-Find the lyrics from Were You There at http://www.hymnary.org/text/were_you_there_when_they_crucified_my_lo#media

-Thank you to my friend Lawrence Powers who sparked this reflection.