Sunday August 31, 2014

IN MY PRAYERS I frequently like to tell God what I want. I begin my day with list in hand: “Today, God, I need answers for this problem; I need resources for this issue; I need you to clear up this situation, change this person, resolve this crisis,” and so on.

Real satisfaction comes, however, when I pray differently. “Lord, thank you for what is set before me today. Help me to recognize and enjoy the special blessings you will offer me. I am going to choose to be thankful.” Another way of looking at this is to make being satisfied of higher importance than getting full. You see, getting full is something we can control. We are in charge of choosing. We can do the things that will fill life up, but satisfaction is something we need help with. We sometimes need assistance from God in order to say, “I have the gifts and opportunity to be satisfied right now. I already possess what is necessary for joy.”

- Rob Fuquay

Friday August 29, 2014

FROM THE FIFTH CENTURY on, spiritual guides taught the use of the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The Jesus Prayer comes from two scripture sources. One is the prayer of the tax collector in the Temple: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). The other is the cry of the blind man by the road near Jericho who calls out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38).

A short form of the prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” The prayer’s shortest form is simply the name Jesus. Especially in Eastern Christianity people have been taught to repeat this prayer constantly as a way of praying without ceasing. With the help of a teacher, people learn to coordinate the prayer with breathing so as to “inhale” the presence of Christ and to “exhale” all that keeps one from loving God.

Thursday August 28, 2014

A MOTHER MAY ALLOW a child to fall sometimes and be distressed in various ways for its own benefit, but out of love can never allow any kind of danger to come to her child. And though our earthly mother may allow her child to perish, our heavenly Mother Jesus can never allow us who are his children to perish. For he is almighty and all wisdom and all love and none is like him, may he be blessed.

Often when our falling and our wretchedness are shown to us, we are so fearful and greatly ashamed of ourselves that we scarcely know where to hide. But then our courteous Mother does not want us to flee away. Nothing would suit him less. He wants us then to act like little children. For when they are distressed and afraid, they run quickly to their mother. If they can do no more, they cry to their mother for help with all their might. That is what he wants us to do, like a meek child, saying, “My kind Mother, my gracious Mother, my beloved Mother, have mercy on me. I have made myself foul and displeasing to you, and I cannot change it except with your help and grace

Wednesday August 27, 2014

FOR FAITH TO GROW, we must be open and listening to God through scripture, prayer, worship, music, nature, people, and the circumstances of our lives. Then we must be obedient to God’s will and direction for us as we discern them. True Christian faith leads us to involvement with others and sensitivity to their needs.