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

 

© 2016-2019 All Rights Reserved

The Worthless Prayer

In my last post, I wrote about our place of hurt. Our place of hurt is as individual as each of us. Its’ origins are varied as well.

It is easy to get stuck in the sinking sand of despair when any slight can take us back dwelling in our place of hurt. I remember a time in the summer of 2016 when I was utterly stuck in my place of hurt. Since the summer of 2009 after losing my career and executive title, I struggled to find a new career, even while establishing a contract landed a position finally that would put me back into the career that helped my family attain a comfortable lifestyle. A former colleague had referred me to a company I was very familiar with, the interview went well and the person who interviewed me said she was passing me onto the next step in the hiring process. In less than 24 hours later, I received a standard rejection notice by email.

Like a punch in the gut, all the air went out of my body. I was in total shock.

“I don’t understand, God!” I wailed internally. “I don’t know what else you want from me. I don’t know what else to do!”

The only way I can describe the despair was I felt hollow. I had nothing left to give.

Worthless

In that moment, my sense of unworthiness was at its’ peak. I told my husband, I don’t know what else I can do. After literally submitting hundreds of online resumes’, interviews that always held out promise, I was beyond being despondent.

I could not even begin to pray. I literally just didn’t have any words. I would look at the blank page in my prayer journal in the darkness of my despair and close the cover. Then I turned to reading God’s Word and I opened my prayer journal once again. Although I did not have the words, God certainly did. I began to re-write my favorite bible verses in my prayer journal and other verses I had learned through my daily devotional readings. Inspirational quotes from some of my favorite authors began to flash on my social media feeds that described their countless rejections. God was talking to me.

I prayed on God’s promises.

Shortly thereafter, I had an interview within an industry similar of my contracting business, but it would mean learning and starting something new all over again. I told my husband that if I didn’t get this job, I was done interviewing. I was giving up.

I simply prayed, “Dear Lord, help me to accept and trust in my future. Amen”

I was still in my car 30 minutes after finishing the interview when I received a telephone call from the human resources recruiter telling me I had the job if I wanted it. I gratefully accept the job.

The Worthless Prayer

Guess what? Within two years my position was eliminated along with almost 600 of my co-workers. The company had decided to exit the industry.

Was my prayer worthless?

You may have seen the same memes or inspirational devotions that I have that read, “God always answers prayers. His answer may be “yes,” “no” or “not yet.”

I do NOT believe that sentiment for one split second. I have since come to believe that God always says, “YES!”

God says, “Yes, I hear you.”

God says, “Yes, I love you.”

God says, “Yes, you ARE worthy.”

God says, “I did not sacrifice my son, Jesus Christ to say “no” or “maybe.” He died for you! If you only accept and trust your future to me.”

When I was re-writing God’s promises in my prayer journal, they were becoming etched into my heart. I knew God would provide me another employment opportunity.

Our Place of Hurt

When my colleagues and I were all standing in that conference room listening to the president of the company tell us about the decision to exit the industry, how the dissolution of the company would play out, and how long we would have our jobs I looked around the room and saw all those places of hurt in my colleagues’ faces. I had been in their shoes in the summer of 2009 and I prayed I would not put those shoes back on and walk in my own place of hurt again.

My place of hurt originated when I was a child and I have often visited that place of hurt. It’s difficult not to go to that place of unworthiness, but the more I trust God with my future, I don’t stay long in my place of hurt for very long and the visits become further and further apart. I pray my way out of it even when I don’t have the words.

I am worthy. God even gave me the words to pray – HIS words. His promises.

Within two weeks I would again begin a new another new career in a different industry. I didn’t even stay to collect my severance package.

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From the prayer journal

Dear Lord, teach me to trust the Spirit You have breathed into me. Give me grace to believe Your Word, which I am made me Your child. Help me to understand that I am worthy because I belong to You. Enable me to live without despair and accept again the new life of my Lord, Jesus Christ. Lead me in joy by teaching me to no longer build walls of fear that protect myself from coming to You in prayer even when my words will not come out.

Father, help me to live in that joy where others can see You in my faith and service to You wherever and in whatever capacity you place me.

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

May I pray for you?

We all have our place of hurt. Wherever and whenever your place of hurt originated or if you visiting that place of hurt right now, just remember you are worthy.

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
© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved