“Teach Us to Pray”

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Some of our prayers are quiet. We form the words slowly, trying to say what our hearts are feeling. Then there are times when our deepest prayers are little more than a sigh. Words seem to be beyond us. Yet we can pray with the strong assurance that our faintest, truest, deepest prayers are heard.

Some of our prayers have been formed thousands of years ago. We pray the Scriptures: the prayers of the Psalms, psalms of quiet comfort and psalm-prayers born out of deep stress. We often say, and sometimes truly pray the most complete  of all prayers, the Lord’s Prayer, that some lovingly call “the Our Father”. And at times our repentant hearts can only pray “Father, forgive me!”

Some of our prayers are sung. Reaching out to GOD, we sing quietly “I need thee, O, I need thee, every hour I need thee.” Or, reminded of the grandeur of GOD, our hearts may sing, “How Great Thou Art” Whether the song is one of pleading or of praise, it is prayer. Whether you sing in the quiet of your heart, or sing with lifted voice and hands, sing prayers to the LORD”.

Some of our prayers are meant to be full-throated. Six times the psalms call us to “SHOUT to the LORD”. There are times when the depth of pain or the heights of praise can only be expressed with a lifting, liberating SHOUT.

Prayer – LORD, help me to learn new ways to express my heart to you. Amen

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016

 

Strength for Today

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In all the demands of the day ahead, you have a source of strength beyond your own. Far, far beyond. Beyond your deepest doubts and your most persistent uncertainties. Beyond the limits of your wisdom and strength. Our LORD is present in both the calm and the crisis.

No matter what is ahead, things anticipated and things unknown, GOD has a plan for you today and for all your tomorrows. A good plan. A GOD plan.

When a situation feels like uncharted, storm seas, the One who gave you life is with you and promises to sustain you. He speaks both peace for your present needs and a sure promise for your future.

Years ago in a time of almost unspeakable personal crisis, the hymnwriter wrote, “Let this blest assurance control, that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and has shed his own blood for my soul”.

Quiet your heart with our LORD’s promise: “Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me.” (Isaiah 30:15 THE MESSAGE)

Prayer – Quiet my restless heart, LORD. Help me to trust you. Amen

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016

A Very Present Help

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There are times when caregiving can feel like a very lonely vigil. Sometimes an extra pair of hands would make a task easier. And there are times when it would help to have another opinion. Or someone you trust who would listen to your concern or complaint…without rushing to judgment, or being quick to offer “obvious” solutions.

If you have such a friendship, nurture it. Cherish it. Draw on it deeply. It can be life-saving.

The truth is…even in our loneliest, most uncertain times we have such a Friend, one who is “a very present help in trouble”. (Psalm 46:1) Another translation translates “very present” as “well proved”. And still another says that he is “ready to help when we need him”.

Face uncertain situations and today’s most demanding of tasks knowing that “because the LORD is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” (Psalm 16:8)

Prayer – LORD, help me to draw on your presence, your strength and your wisdom today. Amen

Photo courtesy of Ken Jones, copyright 2016