Don Wiley of Murrieta, CA, 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. -Psalm 85:8
In the early days of the Park Church, it was common to have animals in the church, companions of the homeless and occasional visitors walking their dogs in the park. It was a rented historic building, one of the first churches in the community that had been moved to Magee Park in Carlsbad. We had refreshments before the service, and a couple of dogs and a macaw bird were guests that day. Stackable chairs were arranged in rows facing the portable podium, and I sat in the front row getting ready to speak.
Just before I was to stand and share, Sheila, a beautiful golden retriever sitting on the floor in the row behind me, walked up to me, put her paws on my knees, and licked my cheek (gave me a kiss) before returning to her spot next to her owner. This surprised everyone because she had never done anything like this before, and I had not been friendly with her before.
Sheila knew something and gave expression as only she could do. God shares with us in so many unexpected ways. How is God speaking to you?
“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8)
The Prayer of the Heart
Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.
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.