the spirit of the Lord

61 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
    to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and release to the prisoners; (Isaiah 61:1)

It is not a little thing to claim, that the Spirit of the Lord is upon someone.  Nonetheless, I know that the Spirit of the Lord is upon me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and release the prisoners.

Isaiah felt a sense of calling.  He knew what God wanted him to do.  Did he feel equipped to do these things?  Because I feel a sense of calling and know that the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, but still I have so many times felt inadequate, unequipped, and unsure of how and what I could do to be faithful to my calling.

This morning, I pray that God would equip me.  God help me to feel your help.  I know I can’t do what I was called to do on my own.  Lord, have mercy!  Come quickly to my aid.  Because I am sinking little by little into self doubt and losing confidence in my abilities.  And yes, I do remember as I write this that when I lose confidence in my abilities, you can still use me, maybe even more so, when I acknowledge my weaknesses and see that you are strong and that you can accomplish great things through and in me still.

all who are falling

The Lord is faithful in all his words,
    and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling,
    and raises up all who are bowed down.

(Psalm 145: 13b-14)

I read this passage earlier this morning.  then started feeling like I was failing in my attempts to do my studies.  And I went to read this passage again and it occurred to me that I am falling, as I feel I am failing.  And those who are falling, God will uphold because God is faithful and gracious.

I’m failing.  I’m falling.  But,

It’s not about me.  It’s about God loving me first and me loving God back.

So I have a deadline which seems nearly impossible to meet as I haven’t made much progress in past two days.  I do feel anxious.  I do feel like I am failing.

but the saints are those who fall and get up, and the saints keep marching on!  If God would uphold me even as I’m falling and failing, I will try again today to make some progress on my writing!!!

prayer

I usually am unsuccessful in following up with New Year’s resolutions.  So it makes sense not to make any.  But I just made one.  My new year’s resolution is to start each day reading the daily lectionary.  I just can’t manage my life and it feels like a run away train.  But if I can slow down to read the Bible, to meditate on the word of God, I think I could be alright.

God, help me today and everyday to live for you, to live being in your presence, and to live not being afraid to fail.  Amen

prayer – Monday 05122014

Dear God,

It’s amazing God.  You’re amazing.  All these years, years after years, months after months, day in and day out, there you are.  You are in my life.  You are in my emptiness.  You are in my depths…depths of void, of confusion, of absurdity.  I needed rest, and You gave me rest.  Sleeping 3 days straight, well, that was a blessing.  Being sick didn’t feel like a blessing, but it gave me an opportunity to reset.  My mind feels fuzzy.  But I think slowly I am getting clarity.  I want to return to my first love.  God you re-ignited in me the desire to return to you.  Not just to pray for others, or to pray when needed, but you have started something new in me today.  I want a regular, constant, consistent relationship with you God.  Help me.  You have waited for me and I know you’re ready.  Well, now I’m ready.  I want a living relationship with you, God.  Where do we start?

This is the psalm I’m thinking of as I write this prayer:

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. 17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end —I am still with you. 19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me— 20 those who speak of you maliciously, and lift themselves up against you for evil! 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. 24 See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139)

“Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?” I feel the truth of these words intensely this morning.  I want to know these words, to praise you for being made “fearfully and wonderfully.”  I don’t feel that I was wonderfully made.  Yet for sure you have made me fearfully and wonderfully.  Help me God this morning to feel that I am your beloved, having been made wonderfully by You.

You are my God

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you” (Psalm 118:28)

Dear God, you are my God.  You have created me, you have sustained me, you have brought me out of darkness, you gave me life that I could live, testifying to your goodness.  You have healed me, God, from an unrelenting depression.  I am now working as a chaplain helping others who need to be comforted.

In a thousand years, I did not imagine I would ever recover.  I thought every moment being crushed in pain was the life I would know until my death.  You are my God and I give thanks to you.  You have shown me mercy I did not deserve but desperately needed.  God, help me to remain helpful, not to lose heart at the first sign of difficult or discouraging emotions.  Let my life be an encouragement to others who need you.

God, you know my thoughts and my desires even before I can clearly articulate them myself.  God help me to be a faithful servant, good steward of the resources you have given me.  Thank you, God.  I praise you, for you are my God.

you have become my salvation

“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21)

I thank you, God, for today.  I have the day off from work.  And I am able to relax, drink coffee, read the Bible and to pray.  I am so thankful this morning for my life.  Lately, I have been feeling sad and unmotivated on weekends, which at times cause me to think life is but a misery.  God, give me strength and hope that I can live through such moments/days of sadness and hopelessness.  Let me live in reality that you are my salvation!

three surgeries

Three of my friends are going to have surgeries in the next month.  Two of them are my age and it’s quite sobering.  Have we really gotten old enough that health is no longer something we can take for granted?  I provide care to sick people all the time.  It’s my job, my vocation, my calling.  Lately, I have had to care for my friends as well.  I’m grateful to be the one providing support rather than needing the support.  I am grateful I can be helpful to those who are in need.  I wish my friends weren’t sick.  I wish God would heal them completely.  I hope they wake up from surgery and recover without complications.  One of my friend has a brain tumor.  I’m saddened, deeply.  Why?  God, why?  There are no answers, at least none that I can discern.  But I know this.  God is with us.  In sickness and in health, just as newly weds vow to each other, God is with us in sickness and in health.