I’m so distraught today over how people are treating each other in our world. I pray that God would ‘change the prevailing winds’ – in my heart, in the hearts of his people, in our culture, in our politics. I’m overwhelmed and at a loss for words.

In the past when I’ve felt the way I do now, I’ve turned to music – to beg, to listen, to find comfort, to believe. Today I’m sharing here music I’ve titled The Strongest Prayer I Know (for the little ones). When I first wrote it, I had in mind the millions of little ones who  were not allowed to be born alive; afterward, I realized it is about many more ‘little ones’ – all who are neglected or despised and considered of little value. This music has often been my prayer when I have no more words to pray – other than “Lord, have mercy”.

There are three parts: the first is a repeated cry for God to hear; the second is Jesus giving us a quiet wake up call, a chance to listen and change our ways; the last is reminding us that, in the end, our Great Shepherd will lead his little ones to the place he has prepared for us.

Here is a link to the music, posted on my other site.  I invite you to listen and pray with me.

The Strongest Prayer I Know

Holy God, who entered our world as the Word,
the Word of truth, of love, of light, and of life,

When we speak words of error, hatred, darkness and death
have mercy:

May those listening see our lies for what they are,

And may you awaken our conscience and grant us repentance;
may you change our very hearts to make them clean, wholly loving you and our neighbor, whoever that neighbor may be.

When we speak words of truth, love, light and life
have mercy:

May those listening take heart and have hope,

And may you grant us the joy and gladness you have always purposed for us,
to be your people with your Word living with us and in us.

Holy God, may your Word be spoken and cherished in all places and by all people.

Through your Son, Word of God, Jesus,
amen.

dw, 7Jul19

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As some of you know, from time to time I compose prayers. This one has been brewing in me for quite some time, but I have recently felt an urgency to finish and post it. I pray it may be one of those very small seeds that grows and in some mysterious way provides a place of rest for weary souls.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

p.s. A list of other prayers posted on this site:

  1. I started becomingflame.com a little over 18 months ago, have kept with it, and I think the original About page still describes what I’m up to.
  2. I look forward to writing each post and to being surprised each time at what actually comes together.
  3. I read differently now, always being on the lookout for things to share here. I like that.
  4. The most difficult part of each post is finding a photo – it usually accounts for 90% of the time it takes me to finish and publish a post.
  5. I’ve learned that I don’t like writing prose – makes me feel like I need to explain everything as though I’m writing to an audience of brains instead of hearts-and-brains-connected. Just sayin’…that’s where I am right now.
  6. I’ve met dear people whom I’ve grown to love and who have contributed significantly to me through their writings and interactions. Someday soon I’ll share links to their blogs.
  7. I seem to have become a significant site for finding Mary Oliver’s poem “Praying” – that post is far and away the one most visited on my site, getting views almost every day. (What better honor could I have? I can’t imagine one.)
  8. I worry that my more conservative friends and family think I’ve gone over the edge, have “drunk the kool-aid”. All I can say is that I love Jesus more now than I ever have, that I feel more compassion for others than I ever have, and that I love sharing that here in language that is hopefully fresh and alive.
  9. I’m aiming for your hearts, because I think God is aiming for mine.
  10. Who say’s I need a 10th?

Grace and peace to you…

dw

 

 

CHRISTIANS MUST ALWAYS NOURISH in their hearts the fullness of joy. Try to do that, sisters and brothers. I have tried it many times, and in the most bitter situations, when slander and persecution are at their worst, I have united myself intimately with Christ as my friend, and I have tasted a sweetness that all the joys of earth cannot give. It is the joy of God’s intimacy, the profoundest joy the heart can experience, even when people don’t understand you.

Romero, Oscar. The Scandal of Redemption (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 35). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith— being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire— may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

Harper Bibles. NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 87282-87287). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

 

All desires but one can fail. The only desire that is infallibly fulfilled is the desire to be loved by God. We cannot desire this efficaciously without at the same time desiring to love Him, and the desire to love Him is a desire that cannot fail. Merely by desiring to love Him, we are beginning to do that which we desire.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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You have made it simple,
so simple only a child,
or some childishness within us
we haven’t trampled in our trudge to adulthood,
has the precociousness and audacity to believe:
that the mere act of turning to You
guarantees a smile
beckoning us to come sit
and be blessed.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

 

 

Better than hoping for anything from the Lord, besides His love, let us place all our hope in His love itself. This hope is as sure as God Himself. It can never be confounded.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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It doesn’t matter what we do,
you and I,
as long as we are together.

No need for lavish blessings
or miraculous signs;
just You hovering near me will do.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

 

If I believe that He can love me, I must also believe that I can love Him. If I do not believe I can love Him, then I do not believe Him Who gave us the first commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole mind and all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sentences on Hope

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The system of church doctrine I learned and lived under for too long told me I was incapable of loving God.  I’m beginning to believe, instead, that those who preach such doctrines are the ones incapable of loving God or of admitting that many people, in fact, do.  Their own systematic theology keeps them from the experience they need and long for.  My prayer: Lord, give us all the simple love and courage of Mary, sister of Martha, who chose “the good portion” – sitting at your feet, loving you with all her heart.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com