Oct 252015
 

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I usually post the Weekend Prayer Prompt on Saturday…but am spending this weekend catching up from being away from home three weekends in a row.  Laundry.  Housecleaning.  Cooking.  Taking a nap.

I didn’t want you to miss this prompt from Rachel.  Ken & I are in the yucky-long part of waiting for some prayers to be answered.  We need this prompt.  Maybe you do too.   

At the beginning of this week, take a moment to grab your prayer journal and pray for all the unknowns and “not yet” in your life.

 

Friends,

 
All of these (Abel, Noah, Abraham & Sarah, Isaac, Jacob) died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them.
~ Hebrews 11:13
 
In a classic line from the movie The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya mutters, “I hate waiting.” His sentiment echoes a disgruntledness that we sometimes feel in faith: a frustration that God has not yet fixed the world, a disappointment that God has not yet fixed us, a despair that a new day may never come.
 
Yet our ancestors in faith, who did not see the fulfillment of everything God had promised them; our ancestors in faith who at times struggled with God when life was uncertain & the way was unclear; our ancestors in faith saw glimpses God’s dream and they embraced it as though it was already part of the present.
 
Pause to pray for tomorrow — for all that is known and for all that is unknown — believing that God is faithful across time. (Here is my post for today.)
 
Peace to you,
Rachel
Aug 152015
 

SummerPrayer

An excerpt of the 31st psalm:
 
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress.
My eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also,
for my life is spent with sorrow
and my years with sighing.
My strength fails because of my misery
and my bones waste away.
But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand.
(Psalm 31:9-10, 14-15a)
 
Through all things, in moments of delight and days spent in sorrow, whether we are bounding in joy or weary to the bone, our times are in God’s hand.
 
Pray for your time: the hours, the seconds, the seasons. (Here is my Friday post.)
 
Many blessings,
Rachel
 
P.S. Did you dive into my new book Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-weary Christian this summer? I would welcome your review on Amazon! Thank you.
Aug 082015
 

SummerPrayer

Friends,

 
Perhaps my favorite assurance of scripture, repeated throughout the Old and New Testaments:
 
Do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10)
 
Pray over a fear that is unsettling your spirit. And give thanks that God is our God. (Here is my Friday post.)
 
Peace to you,
Rachel
Jun 062015
 

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Friends,

 
As the sun sets here on the US East Coast, as backs bend and stretch to ease from the day, as our spirits sigh, we pray with the psalmist:
 
If you, O LORD, should measure us by our sins, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, and abundant grace for the sake of your glory. Now I wait for the LORD. My soul waits and hopes. (Psalm 130:3-5, adapted)
 
Lay down your confession of wrongdoings before God for this past day, for this past week, and wait upon God’s grace. (Here is my Friday post.)
 
Peace to you,
Rachel
May 292015
 

SummerPrayer

Friends,

 
Often I turn to the Revised Common Lectionary (a three-year cycle of scripture readings) to find a prompt for our prayers. The Old Testament text on the lectionary schedule for this coming Sunday is Isaiah 6:1-8, and as I read it yesterday, I couldn’t get past the image in the first verse:
 
I saw the LORD sitting on a throne, high and lofty;
and the hem of the LORD’s robe filled the temple.
(Isaiah 6:1)
 
In Isaiah’s vision, the hem alone of God’s robe — the elaborate cuff at the end of God’s holy train — was so grand in size and beauty that it filled the entire temple. Yet even in its grandeur, the hem was only the edge of the breathtaking image of God.
 
I invite you to be awed with Isaiah today and to pray, “How beautiful is your robe, O God.” (Here is my Friday prayer.)
 
Blessings all,
Rachel
May 092015
 

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Friends,

 
Sometimes a prayer prompt stumps me, even as I write it. This week’s prompt reflects on the language of God’s victory in Psalm 98 — language that I don’t often use in my own faith — and consequently I’ve been at a loss for words. (These are the words I finally found.)
 
If/when you feel stumped for words in prayer, or if a particular prayer prompt doesn’t resonate with you, don’t be afraid to simply sit and be, without words, with God.
 
The LORD has declared victory; the LORD has announced exoneration of the nations, in remembrance of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. Now all the earth has witnessed the victory of our God. (adaptation of Psalm 98:2-3)
 
Be glad and be at peace before God in prayer, trusting in God’s victory.
 
Many blessings,
Rachel
 
P.S. If you know some kids who are trying to find words for prayer, I recommend the beautifully-illustrated Writing to God: Kids’ Edition
Apr 262015
 
I apologize for not posting this until Sunday.  I was at a retreat yesterday and didn’t get my details in order in time.  When I finished speaking I turned on my phone and it was blowing up with news about the earthquake in Nepal, Tibet and parts of India.   This prayer prompt is perfect for this situation as well… Hope you still have a free moment to sit with your Bible & journal with this Weekend Prayer Prompt.

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Friends,

 
My prayers today have been full of starts & stops as my spirit strives to hold onto the painful truth of the Armenian Genocide (marking its 100th anniversary today) and of the continued violence against African Americans in the U.S. (with Baltimore in the news most recently).
 
Often when my prayers falter, I return to Romans 8:
 
We know that the whole creation is groaning in labor pains, as we ourselves groan with waiting. … Yet the Spirit helps us in our weakness, and when we do not know how to pray, that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. (verses 22-23 and 26, adapted)
 
May your prayer today be a sigh, a longing for God’s healing and justice in the world. Here is my post for today.
 
Peace to you,
Rachel
Apr 182015
 

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Friends,

 
During a retreat I led this past week, surrounded by the gorgeous natural scenery of the high desert in central Oregon, I provided the following prayer prompt:
Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet
and your face is lovely.

(Song of Solomon 2:14b)

 
Begin your prayer (to adapt the words of a Rodgers & Hart song) by confessing, “I am a fool for your beauty, O God.” 
 
Here is the prayer that I wrote during that retreat.
 
Blessings,
Rachel
 
 
P.S. — If you’d like me to lead a retreat for your church or organization, drop me a note and let’s brainstorm together!
Apr 112015
 

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Friends,

 
Following the resurrection, Jesus appears to different clusters of disciples. When Thomas has not yet seen Jesus but some of his friends have, he says to them:
 
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in Jesus’ hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)
 
What have you seen that helps you believe in Jesus? What have you touched that bolsters your faith? Pray with thanks for the tangible signs that point you to Jesus. (Here is my post.)
 

Blessings,

Rachel
Feb 152015
 

Weekend

Friends, writers, pray-ers,

 
With the season of Lent beginning on this coming Wednesday, February 18, a reminder that you can sign up for  a daily prayer prompt. Amidst the busyness of Lent and the busyness of your inboxes, I hope that you will receive these daily prompts as an invitation to pause, breathe, reflect, and pray.
 
Here is today’s prompt:
 
When they had crossed the Jordan, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” (2 Kings 2:9)
 
I’ve often wondered about Elisha’s request; a double share of Elijah’s spirit seems a little greedy. Couldn’t Elisha have managed with a single share or even — given Elijah’s greatness — half a share of Elijah’s spirit? Why didn’t Elisha say, “If I can just be half as faithful as you, Elijah”?
 
But then I wonder if Elisha was perhaps awed to fill Elijah’s shoes and overwhelmed to look around him and see the dire need for a prophet — someone to speak truth to kings and to bring healing to people. Perhaps Elisha asked for twice the spirit to overcome his lack of courage. I can appreciate his fear, especially on days when it seems the world will not survive its own hatred and violence.
 
I invite you to pray for courage. (Here is my prayer today.)
 
Blessings, 
Rachel