Sharing in Prayer
Steve Bolie of Clive, IA, USA
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps. -Psalm 85:8, 10-13
Spontaneous, public prayer has never been one of my skills. With preparation I can offer an appropriate prayer for a sacrament, but I usually avoid spontaneous prayers. As to personal, private prayer, Mavis, my wife, and I have relied on thoughts and concepts rather than trying to construct complete sentences. This practice has served well except in developing fluent, public prayer.
The increasing acceptance of written sacramental prayers-ordination, confirmation, and blessing of children, and for worship-has been freeing. In a past age when work was more manual labor than it is now, people may have had time to meditate and pray while doing routine work (think of a farmer doing field work for hours a day). In contrast, much work done today is less routine and requires mental rather than physical effort. Writing out public prayers has allowed busy people to devote time and energy to preparing a coherent prayer without the necessity of memorizing the prayer or relying on words to come on the fly.
Another way this development has helped me is in writing prayers for peace for our congregation and for the daily Prayer for Peace service at the Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA. For the first 23 years of that daily service, I only considered writing prayers for peace when I was envious of a friend’s prayer being used. In recent years I have submitted several prayers that have been used.
Often, when I start to write a prayer for peace, I don’t know what I will say. Just as often, I’ve decided on a descriptive word for God-Creating God, Revealing God, for example. The prayer has developed quite easily from that beginning and I have been blessed by the Holy Spirit providing thoughts and words.
The take-away for this experience: you, too, can write and submit prayers for peace. You and the church will be blessed, and peace will expand in the world.
Editor’s Note: Follow the link for guidance to submit a Prayer for Peace https://www.CofChrist.org/submit-prayer-for-peace
Help us see beyond our dark places and find our way closer to your loving light.
Healing for Broken Spirits
Begin with quiet prayer. Ask God to help you detect some “sore places” in the body of Christ and God’s creation. Become aware of people who feel separated, wounded, or left out. Reflect on or write a short journal entry of healing words to at least one person who comes to mind. Ask God for words that will touch this person’s broken spirit like healing ointment. Keep this person in your heart and prayers today and act on any ideas that come to bring blessing and wholeness.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.