Lent – The Wilderness

“With deep devotion, Francis dwelt in the heavenly mansions in complete-emptying. He remained for long periods hidden spiritually in the wounds of the Crucified Christ. For this reason, he sought solitary places where he could cast his soul entirely upon God.” – Thomas Celano, Italian Friar, Poet and Author

The Lenten season begins Wednesday, March 6, 2019. And like Saint Francis of Assisi, I, too, will be seeking solitary places, fasting and praying ‘hidden spiritually’ in the wounds of my Crucified Christ.

What is God calling me to do?

What fire is calling me to put out? Doubt? Or is he stoking a fire within me?

Jesus: “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is unclouded, your whole body is full of light. But when your eye is evil, your body is full of darkness. 35 So be careful that the light in you isn’t darkness. 36 If your whole body is full of light and not darkness, it will be as bright as a lamp shining on you.” Luke 11:33-36

I will examine the Rev. Martin Luther’s “Two Kinds of Righteousness.” What kind of private Apostle am I? “The Apostle means that each individual Christian shall become the servant of another in accordance with the example of Christ.” ‘Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”’ Luke 23:34

Whatever God’s calling me to do

I know that what God may be calling me to do is grounded in Nehemiah’s prayer:

4 When I heard this, I sat down and cried. I mourned for days. I continued to fast and pray to the God of heaven. 5 I said, “LORD God of heaven, great and awe-inspiring God, you faithfully keep your promise [a] and show mercy to those who love you and obey your commandments. 6 Open your eyes and pay close attention with your ears to what I, your servant, am praying. I am praying to you day and night about your servants the Israelites. I confess the sins that we Israelites have committed against you as well as the sins that my father’s family and I have committed. 7 We have done you a great wrong. We haven’t obeyed the commandments, laws, or regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses. 8 Please remember what you told us through your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations. 9 But if you return to me and continue to obey my commandments, though your people may be driven to the most distant point on the horizon, I will come and get you from there and bring you to the place where I chose to put my name.’ 10 These are your servants and your people whom you have saved by your great power and your strong hand. 11 Lord, please pay attention to my prayer and to the prayers of all your other servants who want to worship your name. Please give me success today and make this man, King Artaxerxes, show me compassion.” Nehemiah 1:4-11

I continue to rebuild the walls of my life. I know God is asking me to bare all as Luther writes, “Therefore they put off the form of their own righteousness and put on the form of those others, praying for their persecutors, blessing those who curse, doing good to evil-doers, prepared to pay the penalty and make satisfaction for their very enemies that they may be saved. (Matthew 5:44). This is the gospel and the example of Christ.”

You do what God as called you to do. You show up. You put one foot in front of the other. No matter how big the call. No matter how small. You have no idea what God is calling you to. But he needs you. He needs me. He needs all of us.” Father Mychal Judge, Franciscan Friar, Catholic Priest, and Chaplain to the New York City Fire Department.

ASHES

My Lenten Prayer

Dear Lord, bring clarity to my confusion. Rescue me and bring rhythm to my calling just as you set the sun and the stars to motion in precise rhythm of day into night and night into day. Instill within me the patient endurance to enlighten me of my specific mission and to complete the mission with the wisdom and maturity through an unwavering faith in Christ. Grant me confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. Help me to watch with You in your passion, that I remain awake to the infinite power of Your Love. In Him, give me courage and strength. Amen.

May I ask for your prayers during this Lenten season?

My Spiritual Journey

The Prayer Journal’s blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!

I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook: Facebook/ThePrayerJournals/PrayerPrompts
Twitter: @PrayerPrompts
Email: Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

Our Place of Hurt

We all come from a place of hurt. Some people continue to reside in their place of hurt never choosing to leave. Other people wear their place of hurt like a well-worn, cherished article of clothing that is threadbare, torn and tattered. They slip on their place of hurt with its’ comfortable expectations rather than investing in something new like forgiveness. While other people look at their place of hurt from afar with acceptance, knowing that it will always be there – that place of hurt. They know that there is a better place to visit like peace.

Many of us, who are observers, and possibly some of the participants see these places of hurt in other’s faces, in their body language or in the interactions with others at family gatherings during the holidays, funerals, or other events with friends or co-workers. We may look away or beyond these places of hurt not wanting to get caught up in it or in an effort not to invade their private place of hurt.

These occasions remind us or return us to our own places of hurt. We either wallow in or escape from these family or social gatherings as soon as we are able often vowing never to attend the next one. Yet escapees often do return, whether it is out of a sense of obligation or perhaps out of chance at hope. We take the chances that hope has settled in that place of hurt in others or has taken root in our own. A hope for peace.

My own place of hurt

When I reflect on my own place of hurt, I can fall into any one of those categories I have mentioned. My place of hurt was written in all those lost journals I wrote about in my last post here on The Prayer Journals. As I mentioned in that last post, I can see now how my lost journals were my safe-haven. A place where I daily communicated to God about my place of hurt. A safe-haven where I could learn how to forgive, accept, and live apart from that place of hurt by writing it out and meditating on God’s Word with peace in my heart. In losing those journals, God has shown me to look forward to that place of peace and not backward to the place of hurt.

My prayer journal is my safe-haven where I can hash it all out with God rather than from my place of hurt with others.

Sadness

How do we interact with others in recognition of our own places of hurt?

Our places of hurt will always be there just as sin in our lives is a constant reminder that we must always drink from the well of peace and not from the well of sorrow. The well of peace is found in God’s Word. Peace comes through writing it out in my prayer journal. My place of hurt will only fully cease to exist with I reside with God the Father in heaven. I begin again with new prayer journals.  Until I reach my heavenly home and with a renewed sense of hope and desire not to reside or wear my place of hurt (or other’s place of hurt for that matter), I will invest in forgiveness and seek that place of peace in God’s Word.

Attitude of Christ

From today’s prayer journal

Dear Lord, and gracious Father, forgive me for my unwillingness to see others as You see them from their place of hurt. I judge by my own place of hurt, my own standards and reject those who do no measure up. I often do not listen to those who can help me, but rather from my own selfish needs. I fail to hear those who need me and to share You with them.

Father, You see each one of us in our place of hurt through the eyes of Jesus Christ and accept us for His sake. You hear each one of us despite what we wear and in that place wherever we reside knowing we need Your forgiveness and mercy.

Father, teach me to have the attitude of Christ in seeing and hearing others in whatever circumstance I find them. Give me a full measure of your understanding and compassion, so that my actions and words reflect only You and the fatherly love and mercy You have given to me.

I love You. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, Amen

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals’ blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!

I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.

Blessings on your day,
Sheri

Connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook: Facebook/ThePrayerJournals/PrayerPrompts
Twitter: @PrayerPrompts
Email: Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

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