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God Tramples Our Enemies

Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.  With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.  Psalm 60:11-12 NIV

Here it is Friday—already. I planned to post this blog at the beginning of the week.  Somehow the days slipped away. I let other things take higher priority. I’m not alone. It’s a universal problem with humans.  Maybe Friday reminds you of things undone on your to-do list, too.

When I read the above verse, I recognize familiar foes:  laziness, procrastination, fear, perfectionism, busyness, disorganization, and self-doubt.  These enemies make me feel like giving up instead of doing those things that are important in my walk with God.

You face these or other enemies, too.  God promises to help.  Let’s ask him together.

Dear Lord, Trample our enemies and bring us to the place where we can overcome every setback.

 

 

 

Prayer for a New Day

Contributed by Sister Gemma from Annunciation Monastery

Oh Holy One, with the dawn of this new day, clothe me with patience, compassion, humility and gentleness. May these be my robes to give you glory as I go forth, in faith, to embrace this day with a heart filled with gratitude.  And over all these virtues enfold me in LOVE!  You who adorn the earth with beauty, clothe me with Your image, Your love!  Amen.

 

Prayer

In return for my friendship, they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. Psalm 109:4

I’ve known trouble.  But I am a woman of prayer.

Troubles at work, troubles at home.  But I am a woman of prayer.

Discouraged by unmet expectations and fizzled dreams. But I am a woman of prayer.

Disappointed by people and situations. But I am a woman of prayer.

Felt isolated and alone.  But I am a woman of prayer.

Lots can go wrong. But I am a woman of prayer.

More than just a grocery list to God, but a relationship that allows me to press closer and receive His comfort.  Though things go wrong—and they always do—I rest in this relationship.

I am a woman of prayer.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18a NIV

I keep the following paragraph taped to my desk.  (Sorry, I’ve lost the name of the author.)

“Don’t worry about whether God is saying “yes” or “no” to your request.  Don’t be downcast when the answer is not in sight and quit concentrating on faith formulas and methods.  Just commit every prayer to Jesus and go about your business with confidence.  He will not be one moment too late in answering, and if the answer you seek is not forthcoming, say to your heart, “He is all I need.  If I need more, He will not withhold it.  He will answer in His time and in His way.  And if He does not fulfill my request, He must have a perfect reason for not doing so.  No matter what happens, I will always have faith in His faithfulness.”

 

 

EVERY SPARROW

 

He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.  He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.  Psalm 72:13-14 NIV

Dear Lord, you are a God who knows every sparrow.  You are big enough and wise enough to know every thought and intent of every heart.  You know every person in the whole world by name—first, middle and last. You remember every birthday.  You understand every secret sorrow.  You know the strengths and weaknesses of every human who has ever lived. Your thoughts are always on us.  You are all compassionate, all merciful, all loving.  No one is lost in the shuffle.  No one is overlooked.  You send rescuers to help the oppressed.  You pity those in trouble.  You have compassion for the weak and needy.  Your heart breaks for those who are suffering.

Give us the eyes of faith to see you in the darkest place and to feel your loving care. We commit our sorrows to you. We pray for those who are suffering.  We lay our burdens at your feet.  Shine your light upon our darkness.

Amen.

 

 

Lessons from a Labyrinth

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While on a writing retreat at Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, North Dakota, I had the opportunity to walk a prayer labyrinth.  I’d heard of them only in magazines and learned that a labyrinth is not a maze where one must decide between two directions, but rather a single winding path in the shape of a huge circle.  The labyrinth at the monastery was made out of field stone and lay in the midst of beautiful green prairie. The goal is to pray while walking to the center of the circle.

A labyrinth is an ancient pattern that is to remind us of our spiritual journeys.  When I first walked up to it, I had a surge of confidence.  It looked easy.  I wasn’t too far into the journey when it took a sudden turn and took me in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go.  I later found out the entire labyrinth is a mile long though it looks much smaller.  I followed the winding trails, tried to quiet my impatience by focusing on the journey rather than the destination.  I found a robin’s egg shell and enjoyed the lovely song of the meadowlark.  The evening sky showed blue against the green grass of a wet prairie.  Puffy white clouds drifted across the heavens.  And then I was at the center, the place of my destination.

So much like life.  Always harder and longer than you expect.  Many twists and turns that can either discourage us to the point of giving up or else teach us to enjoy the journey rather than focus too much on the end result.  It reminded me of  Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress, my own spiritual marathon, and Jesus who leads  every step of the way.  Though we may think we will never reach our goal we may be sure that eventually we will–as long as we follow the path one step at a time.  And it helps to do it prayerfully!