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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Move to

To any of my random readers I am making the move to Word Press. My new blog site is I am looking forward to using the expanded features that come with Word Press. I am hoping that the new site will also inspire my writing more. I have a bunch to say, just need to get it down in print. Come back and visit later this week I promise a real cool announcement about Common Cupboard!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Morning Prayer by Brain Spahr

My friend Pastor Brian Spahr who blogs at Thinking out Loud posted this on his blog today. I wanted to share it with my friends. Fixed Hour Prayer (also known as The Daily Office) is a long standing tradition in Christianity and has its roots in Judaism. I have been on a similar journey for the past several years using fixed hour rhythm of prayer to focus my heart on the Lord through out the day.

Morning Prayer by Brian Spahr

Yesterday I shared that I am seeking to become not just a person who prays... but rather a person of prayer. One of the ways I am pursuing this has been through "fixed hour prayer" (morning and evening... although at this point I'm much better at te morning) using a "breviary" or prayer book as my guide. This may sound a little strange to some, but I am finding that for me it has been having a profound impact on my prayer life. Currently I am using a celtic prayer book called "Sounds of the Eternal" as my guide. There is a simple service of prayer for morning and night that includes brief scripture readings (although I generally go off on my own here... reading more that the few verses they have included), prayers of thanks, prayers for other people, etc. There's also space within the "form" for silence and my own words as well. I've never been too sure about praying prayers that someone else wrote with no knowledge of me or the context in which I live, but I think one of the things that I'm discovering is that prayer is more than just my words. It is more than just a conversation between me and God. Prayer is a conversation between God and the community of God's people. As always, yes, God is interested in me and what I have to say, but quite frankly there are times when I don't know what to say... when I don't know what to pray. This is where I am finding that praying these prayers is changing me. This morning is the perfect example. In a few hours, along with a team from our church community, I will be delivering groceries to families in a low income neighborhood in our area. As I was praying this morning I found my thoughts to be all over the place. My times of silence were being invaded by thoughts of my to-do list and other distractions. I was frustrated by my lack of focus, but instead of trying to force things any further I decided to move forward to the closing prayer for the morning in my book. Here's what it said:

In the many details of this day
let me be fully alive.
In the handling of food
and the sharing of drink
in the preparing of work
and the uttering of words,
in the meeting of friends
and the interminglings of relationship
let me be fully alive to each instant, O God,
let me be fully alive.

Those were not words that I could have come up with on my own this morning, but they spoke when I could not. This is the prayer I was longing to pray this morning, but could not find the focus or the words to pray on my own. We often pray that the Spirit will intercede for us when we have no words... when our groans are too deep for words to express (that's right from the Bible BTW). Maybe one of the ways the Spirit intercedes is by giving us words shared with the community of God's people across oceans and time and all that is in between through simple words on a page.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Last 24: Gethsemane to the Grave ... Station 1

1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethesemane
(Mark 14:32-42)

((Directions for use
* Indicates a change of reader.
Bold indicates said together.
Bold Italic indicates said one after another.))

* Lord, you brought along your
closest friends to a place of prayer …

"My soul
is overwhelmed
with sorrow
to the point of death,"

"Stay here.
Keep watch."

* In agony
Before the One who sent you,
Your life,
Your source,
Your only help,
Your father,
and ours.

"Abba, Father,
everything is possible for you.
Take this cup from me.
Yet not what I will,
but what you will."

* We know not fully your agony.
Knowing the father’s love,
Knowing his power,
Knowing that everything is possible,
Yet even as you say “not my will,”
In the silence …

((Long pause, for silent prayer))

* In all that we have experienced
Few have sweat great tears of blood.
Yet, at times, we have sensed
Messengers of heaven strengthening.
They strengthen you now
For this lonely way
Of our salvation.

”Simon, are you asleep?
Could you not keep watch for one hour?
Watch and pray
so that you will not
fall into temptation.
The spirit is willing,
but the body is weak."

* We like Simon are
But shifting sand.
We desire to be strong
But we are weak.
We desire to be alert
But we slumber.

* Awaken us
To the pain around us.
Awaken us
To the call of angels.
Awaken us
With strength to answer
When you call.

((After a pause for silent prayer. Then one by one pray.))

Your will be done.

* Rise we must.

* Wake us from our slumber.

* Call us to action.

* The hour has come.