Tag Archives: prayer

Nothing Ventured …

Maybe some say, “I know human love, and I know something of its power to heal, to set free, to give meaning and peace, but God’s love I know only as a phrase.” Maybe others also say this, “For all the power that human love has to heal, there is something deep within me and within the people I know best that is not healed but aches with longing still. So if God’s love is powerful enough to reach that deep, how do I find it? How?”

If that is really the question, if we are really seeking this power, then I have one thing to say–perhaps it is not the only thing, but it is enormously important: ask for it. There is something in me that recoils a little at speaking so directly and childishly, but I speak this way anyway because it is the most important thing I have in me to say. Ask, and you will receive. And there is the other side to it too: if you have never known the power of God’s love, then maybe it is because you have never asked to know it – I mean really asked, expecting an answer.

I am saying just this: go to him the way the father of the sick boy did and ask him. Pray to him, is what I am saying. In whatever words you have. And if the little voice that is inside all of us as the inheritance of generations of unfaith, if this little voice inside says, “But I don’t believe. I don’t believe,” don’t worry too much. Just keep on anyway. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” is the best any of us can do really, but thank God it is enough.

– Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat

How Many Times?

 

Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this?”
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now

Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I go to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this?”
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now

Though I walk,
Though I Walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, Please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strenth?

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this?”
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

In the Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Debris hang on basketball post near thousands of houses damaged after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city

Last year, my husband and I went to see “The Impossible.” It’s a movie, based on a true story, that follows a single family in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. It was an intense yet inspiring movie, as the way each family member survived and reunited was nothing short of miraculous. At the end, however, both my husband and I had the same response. “What about everyone else?”

We both clearly remembered the tsunami; we were in India at the time. Whole regions along the coast where my husband grew up (Chennai) were devastated by the surging waves. Over 220,000 people died, making it one of the most tragic earthquakes/tsunamis in history. Deaths were reported as far away as 5,000 miles from the quake’s epicenter. I guess after a movie that portrayed such an intense happening, we had expected some sort of reference to the many lives that were lost, a remembrance of those who were not reunited with their loved ones, those who didn’t have a home to return to. Without that, something was missing from the movie.

On Friday, Typhoon Haiyan slammed onto the shores of the Philippines, leveling entire villages and leaving tens of thousands of people dead or unaccounted for. Many communities have not yet even been reached, so the total number of lives lost could be far higher than originally estimated.

After a certain number, things start to blur. We have a hard time comprehending just how much a thousand is. Ten thousand. Twenty. It easily becomes a mere statistic. We gloss over it and say, “What a tragedy” and go back to our lives. But for that incomprehensible number of people, life will never be the same. Even now, survivors are starving, struggling to find water that won’t leave them with dysentery, stumbling over the ruins of their homes, hoping against hope to find their missing family members.

What if that was me? What would I want? What would I be hoping for, praying for?

Definitely, that I wouldn’t be forgotten, overlooked. That it wouldn’t be seen as just another sad story in the news while people go on to making their plans for the holidays, people with their homes, lives, and families intact.

What can be done in the aftermath of such a tragedy? A lot.

Look up relief organizations and see what you can do to help. Consider, instead of spending as much on Christmas gifts this year, making a donation towards relief efforts. Your friends and family will understand; maybe you could all do it together.

Remember. Remember that after things get “back to normal” for many, they will never be completely normal again for thousands of people. It will take not weeks, not months, but years to rebuild after such complete devastation. And even after that, the loss of a family member or friend leaves a hole in someone’s heart that lasts a lifetime.

And pray. Pray for the comfort and healing of those whose lives and homes have been torn apart. Pray for the strength and wisdom of relief workers. Pray that more people will seek to help in some way. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to
Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there
will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship
will be our sweet portion there.

[Photo used from “All Voices: After Haiyan“]

What A Friend

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge,
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you;
you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to
Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there
will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship
will be our sweet portion there.

Words: Joseph Scriven (1857)

Sometime this week (most likely for “Saturday Stories“) I will share the story of Joseph Scriven. One amazing guy.

Live the Questions

road in the darkYesterday I posted a song, “Help Me Find It“, that is a prayer on finding God’s will for one’s life, or perhaps for a stage in life. Sometimes, though, we don’t find it right away. Sometimes we feel we’re walking in dark, aimless or at the very least directionally-impaired.

Here is advice from a poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, from his book Letters to a Young Poet … advice for just such times:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not now seek the answer, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything.

Live the questions now.

Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

A Reason, A Purpose

At times I think that in my life I’ve done more harm than good.

And I regret not having done those things I know I should.

 

At times it seems as if a mountain blocks my way

And though I’ve heard “It comes to pass,” the sorrow seeks to stay.

 

At times I feel the way is harder than my heart can bear

Times I reach out and feel that there is nothing, no one, there

 

At times I seek to pray but cannot say a word

And I admit I wonder if a single prayer was heard

 

Then there are times that joy abiding comes to fill my heart

Times I understand that I play a special, unique part

In a theme that runs so deep it was formed before time started

In a love so vast that from it none could e’er be parted

 

In a reason for this life that calls unto my very soul

In a purpose helping others find that which makes them whole

In a meaning that goes beyond life’s passing, changing times

Whispered by the One who is writing my soul’s rhyme

 

[Reblogged from Bonita Jewel’s Weblog]