Intercede

It is easy to pray for me and mine

For it is “we” that are most oft on our minds

But there are others that need our prayers

Whose voices are sniffled by loads of cares

They may face threats to life and limb

Or merely be burdened by distress within

So let us recall what they need us to do

To step in ask God to care for them too


Padre

Path Ahead

The path before us uncertain

It is hidden by time’s curtain

Wars and their rumour fall on our ears

And we pray and do our best to hold back tears

What the future holds no person knows

As grand plans collapse and guilt is exposed

But I must trust that all is in hand

By the grace of our Creator,

Who the world does command

It will all work together for the good

For those that trust Him as we should


Padre

A Tale of Four Doors: Acts Poem 12

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Liberation of St. Peter – Public Domain

Peter into prison thrown

And the saints for him did pray

For his salvation from the sword

That God would make a way

An angel of the Lord came to him

To lead him from captors free

And through the first and second doors

Then to the Iron Gate – Three

Into the city Peter did flee

To Mary’s house he made his way

And knocked upon that door – four

Behind which the church did pray

Rhoda to his beckoning she did attend

And his presence she made known

But despite their prayers the saints could not see

That he from custody had flown

Are we that way too?

Praying without expectation,

That God will answer our requests

As a rule and not the exception


Padre

Poem 12 based on Acts 12 for February Acts Poems

With Burdens Great

Woman, Prayer, Praying, Christian

Pixabay

Injustice seems it’s everywhere

The world plagued with disease

Financial woes and online scams

And there are far more than just these

These pressures may press you down

Place weight upon you shoulders

But that makes it simpler to offer pleas

For they are best made on our knees

 

Padre

 

Writing Prompt Challenge:  on our knees

 

 

 

Praying For The Seeds Sown

Blur, Close-Up, Girl, Woman, Hands

Pixabay

The Guardian/Observer Group published an article today in which it was reported that the Covid-19 outbreak has led to an increase in the number of British adults turning their attention to matters spiritual.  According to a survey a quarter of adults have logged into online worship services, and twenty percent have “begun to pray.”

This is to the backdrop of a 15% drop in attendance in the Church of England in the past decade.  Various sources have noted that in 2018, 11% of the UK population attended church, and only 2 – 5% in the C of E (2018 Statistics For Mission).  Yet, today’s article shows that “One in five of those who have tuned into services in the past few weeks say they have never gone to church.”

Many of us have prayed for revival.  I am not suggesting that the dreadful disease is the “answer to our prayers,” but rather that it is giving we people of faith an opportunity to spread the word of God.

Let us continue in our prayers.  First of all for the health and safety of society.  We also need to pray for the recovery of the sick, and the comforting hand of God for those who mourn.  But we should also hold up the lives and souls of those who are joining us in our online devotions, and that the seeds that we are sowing there will be as those of that fall “on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown (Matthew 13:8).”

Padre

British public turn to prayer as one in four tune in to religious services

 

 

For Those Who Wait

top view photo of boat near airplane

Photo by Francisco Echevarria on Pexels.com

Where were they heading?

Did any survive?

Did those who did –

Give thanks for being alive?

Whatever their mission

Whatever their fate

Let peace and consolation

Be with their loved ones, who wait

 

War, tragic accidents, those presently in intensive care and isolated from those they hold dear – all things that cause anxiety and heart-ache for those who hope, pray, and wait for their return.  May God grant peace and comfort to all who wait, and in His mercy grant joyful reunions. Amen.

 

Padre

Photo Challenge #313

 

 

 

 

Be Joyful and Pray!

Church, Praying, Prayer, Cathedral, Interior, Building

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

One of my wife’s last public postings as prefaced with I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 – “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In that posting she made mention that I was beginning phased retirement and that we would have some extra time together.  It was extra time, bit all too brief as she passed two weeks later.   But the message resonates for me.  Joy!  yes, I am sad at her leaving, but I have joy over her destination.   But returning to her post she wrote:

“Much as we appreciate your prayers for me, especially as my condition continues to change so fast, I have a lot of spare time at home, so would ask you also to share your prayer needs with me too, so I can pray for you.”

“Pray without ceasing,” give thanksgiving in all things.  I am thankful that she was in my life.  I am thankful that she did not suffer.  I am thankful she was and is at peace.  But even more so I am thankful for her example.  She wanted to use her time of unceasing prayer to lift up the needs of others.

Accordingly, I ask that just as she did, if anyone reading this has prayer needs – please let me know.  I, and Dianne before me, do not need details, only an indication that there is a need.  I don’t want to pry into anyone’s life, nor create a “talking point.”   God will know what the need is – I just need to know to lift it up.

Pray for me too my friends.   I am still getting used to this “new normal,” and I above all want to remain strong.  Your prayers will help me to be so.

Padre

When God Says No

cropped-garden-of-gethsemane1.jpg

Gethsemane  ©Padre’s Ramblings

 

God is not a cosmic Father Christmas, where our lists are checked twice, and then placed under the tree for us.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that God does not bless and prosper us, nor does He never “give in” to our whims.  It is more that God as an omni-benevolent being, gives us what is good for us, and sometimes that necessitates the answer, “No” to our petitions and entreaties.

A few weeks ago some of my students were struggling with the Epicurean dilemma.  If God is truly good, how can he allow evil?  The short answer is that firstly, He is not the author of evil, but rather of free will.  We in our abuse of that freedom, cause moral suffering.  Why have, I deviated from my starting point?  It is to illustrate that when we ask for things like, “God make so-in-so do this or that,” His answer will be “No.”  He will not restrict free will, as that would be contrary to His loving nature.  Just turn the request on its head.  Would you feel as if God (or anyone else for that matter) loved you if they “forced” you into compliance?

Associated with this are the other “No” answers we might receive.  “Let me win the lottery,” or “Make me famous,” may sound like positives, but are they actually what is “good for us?”  God cares about you and like “the birds of the air,” He will provide your needs, not necessarily our greeds.

And there is the ultimate “good” we also have to consider.  The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 7 – 9 wrote, “. . . a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me—so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.” God’s ultimate concern is for our salvation, our spiritual growth, and our relationship with Him.”

This was shown as well in the mission of His Son, Jesus.  Even He received the “negative” reply in the garden at Gethsemane.   Mark notes, “Going a little farther, he [Jesus] fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him [14:35].  “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me.”  Yet not what I will, but what you will [36].”  While not explicit, it is clear in Jesus’ yielding to carry out the plan of salvation, the Father’s will was to hold the course, or more simply, “No.”

We do not always see as God sees.  Our views are limited, and our insights to the consequences flawed.  His never are.  Let us not take the “silence of heaven” or the failure to have our wish list filled in every instance to “evidence” of the lack of a deity, or that that God is mean, but merely that He is looking after us in a way we have yet to understand.  In those instances let us, like Paul trust that His grace is enough for us.

For most of us, we have abundant evidence if we look back upon our relationship with God, that he is there, and that He has provided for what we have needed.

Padre