Category Archives: prayer

Light: The Ending of Advent

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. ~Isaiah 9:2

O Lord, send out your light and your truth…

May your light guide us toward the truth our souls long to know when uncertainty is ever so elusive.

May your truth lead us toward the faith our souls need to have and to hold when reality is again overwhelming.

May your light and your truth bring us to the hope our souls find in your Son’s true light with joy alas exceeding.*

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6 

And so Christmas comes to us all…Amen and amen!

*(based on Psalm 43:3-5)

Prayer: An Upright Heart

February is my favorite month of the year because I love hearts and enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day. Apart from the commercial emphasis on hearts, I find value in dwelling on and living in the light of God’s love.

The following last four lines of Psalm 32 have formed my reflections for this month:

…but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, 

O righteous, and shout for joy,

all you upright in heart. (vs. 10b, 11, NRSV)

Today is also Ash Wednesday. As the journey of Lent begins for this year, I am reminded of the forgiveness, protection and guidance that come with right living before God.

The following has been my prayer this month:

Lord, help me to have an upright heart by conversing with you freely and trusting you explicitly. May your sustaining love help me to love patiently, tenderly and without envy, boasting, arrogance or rudeness. Keep me from insisting my way is best and from being irritable or rude in times of conflict. Lord, may I be found bearing with, believing in, hoping for and enduring always so that goodness is the well-spring of my heart. And when hopelessness besets my soul, may God’s unending love create in me a heart that is happy and rejoices in the greatness of God’s love for myself and others. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. ~Amen and amen. 

Prayer: You, Lord, are my Lord.

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. 

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” 

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight. 

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; 

their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips. 

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 

I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand,  I shall not be moved. 

Therefore my heart is glad, my and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. 

For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. 

You show me the path of life. 

In your presence there is fullness of joy;  in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

~Psalm 16:1-11

As I result of praying Psalm 16 the past few weeks, I have written the following:

Lord, you are my Lord, and ever so gently the your Spirit reminds me that you are good. You, Lord, are the very best part of my life, but I confess I do not always choose to trust in you. Too quickly I can fall into believing I am too much for even you to handle. I seek after quick fixes and find only a false sense of security. 

But You, Lord, are my security. Your goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life and you hold me in your loving gaze. I see you seeing me and my heart is glad, my soul rejoices, and I can finally rest. I am thankful and praise wells up within me.  

Lord, in your presence I experience fullness of joy and forever pleasures. A life of hope is part of my each new day reality simply because you, Lord, are my Lord. Amen and amen!

New Year Prayer: Your face, Lord, do I seek.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

    whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me

    to devour my flesh—

my adversaries and foes—

    they shall stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,

    my heart shall not fear;

though war rise up against me,

    yet I will be confident.

One thing I asked of the Lord,

    that will I seek after:

to live in the house of the Lord

    all the days of my life,

to behold the beauty of the Lord,

    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter

    in the day of trouble;

he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;

    he will set me high on a rock.

Now my head is lifted up

    above my enemies all around me,

and I will offer in his tent

    sacrifices with shouts of joy;

I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,

    be gracious to me and answer me!

“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”

    Your face, Lord, do I seek.

In case you had not noticed, I have been stuck, so to speak, on Psalm 27 throughout Advent and Christmas. The psalmist helped me wonder about fear, favor and forever, through the waiting of Advent and bolstered my Christmas faith. As I started turning my attention toward the year ahead, I revisited the familiar words. 

In the middle of the verses, I stopped to let myself see and feel the psalmist gathering up the confidence to plead with the Lord:

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,

    be gracious to me and answer me!

And then I paused a little longer to hear the intention of the psalmist’s heart in verse 8:

“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”

    Your face, Lord, do I seek.

I have decided that 2020 was a riddle that no one has discovered the answer to yet. As 2021 begins, I place no hope in individual politicians, pastors, pharmaceutical companies or medical professionals to solve it. The reality is it will take the utmost reliance on the Lord and a collaborative mindset to move us toward a confident resolution. 

The gift of Psalm 27 is its boost to one’s confidence.  Our waiting is not over. But we offer others hope whenever we gather up the courage to cry out to the Lord with boldness.  To that end, may our prayer and the intention of our hearts be that of seeking the Lord’s face, regardless of how the days of the new year unfold.

Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger,

    you who have been my help.

Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,

    O God of my salvation!

If my father and mother forsake me,

    the Lord will take me up.

Teach me your way, O Lord,

    and lead me on a level path

    because of my enemies.

Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,

    for false witnesses have risen against me,

    and they are breathing out violence.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord

    in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord;

    be strong, and let your heart take courage;

    wait for the Lord!