Praying the Lord's Prayer

   It has only been in recent years that I decided to put some time into the study of this prayer and to really contemplate the wording and flow of it. It is the model prayer that our Lord prayed when His disciples asked Him to "teach us to pray".

 Our Father,

  Sit quietly and consider this brief opening to the prayer. The Creator, the One who spoke all things into being, the One who is and was and is to come. The Alpha, the Omega, the Beginning and the End.......and we call Him Father.

 In heaven,

 In heaven, high and lifted up, far above us in might and majesty, full of grace and truth, Ruler of all, think of the majesty and might and grandeur as you speak these two small words.

hallowed be Your name,

 Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty! Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord, high and lifted up, he was so overcome with the holiness of the vision that he cried out " Woe is me! I am undone, for I am a person of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips!" God is holy. His name is holy! As you speak these words consider His holiness and pray that you will proclaim the holiness of His name, that our lives would proclaim the holiness of His name.

 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

 Pray that the work of God will be done in all areas of your life, in the lives of your loved ones, in the halls of government, in the counsels of the nations. Pray for the strength and wisdom to walk out His will and declare His kingdom. Pray that we His people will show forth to the world a piece of heaven on earth in the manner in which we live and love and have our being.

Give us this day our daily bread,

 Consider the things that you have been given and be thankful for them, pray for that which is needed in order to live a life pleasing to God, enough that You might not sin against Him in coveting or thievery, but not so much that you forget that it is in Him that you have life and provision.

 and forgive us our debts,

 Pause and consider the great debts you owe, and how Christ by His own doing willingly paid your debt. Consider how many times a day you fail to even think of God, consider the things that you ought do but do not do, consider the things that you ought to have said but did not say, consider those things that you ought not to have done but you did do, and the things you said in anger, in frustration, things that ought not have been said. There is much to consider as you read these brief words.

 as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Forgive the ones who have wronged you. Remember that this is not a feeling, it is an action and it is difficult. You may not feel it, and I find it sometimes helpful to just tell God, such and such hurt me greatly, I am bruised, I am angry, I am frustrated and I feel no love towards them, Lord help me, I forgive them, I give all this hurt to You and I ask that You would help me work through these things, so that my feelings would become at some point, aligned with my decision to forgive.

 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

 Pray to be spared temptation, pray for eyes that clearly see temptation for what it is, pray for deliverance from temptation, and pray to be kept from evil, to be spared from contending with evil, and pray for discernment to recognize evil.

 

 Our Father, high and lifted up, holy and mighty, may Your name be kept holy in my thoughts words and deeds today, and in the thoughts words and deeds of those I love and of all those who call You Father. May the world in all it's misery see the holiness of Your name when they interact with we Your people. May Your kingdom come today, in my life and in all that I do may I be about bringing Your kingdom to the hurting ones, the hopeless ones, the sick ones, and the desperate ones that You bring into my path this day. May Your kingdom come in such a way that we glimpse a tiny bit of heaven here on this broken earth. May Your will be done in our lives today, as we seek to live for Your kingdom.

 Give us this day that which we need to live it well, to live it with purpose, to live it in faith, to live it as a declaration to others of Your grace and Your mercy towards we who have been given the privilege to call You Father. Give us enough that we might not be tempted to sin against You in our want and desire, and not so much that we forget that all that we have is given to us by You, not so much that we think we provide for our families, not so much that we think that we built this life we have.

 Forgive us our sins, and help us to be more aware of them. We error against You a multitude of times and do not even pause to realize our error. May we be conscious of our actions always, may we guard our tongues and speak only words of life. Forgive us when we fail, for we will fail in our frailty, in our humanness. Forgive us Father and help us to learn from our mistakes. Lead us away from temptation and into Your truth and light. May we hear Your voice clearly if we are about to stray from the path, may we be given the strength to resist the temptation to go our own way and may we be given the grace to repent should we fail. Deliver us from evil, may we recognize it clearly, may we be given strength and wisdom to always resist it.

 For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever.

Amen

 I highly recommend these podcasts if you are interested in studying the depth and riches of the Lord's Prayer. I have found myself going back to these for a listen from time to time.

http://poddirectory.com/podcast/143644/the-lords-prayer-lord-teach-us-to-pray



The Woman at the Well

    Five times married, and the scriptures do not say whether her husbands all died, or whether they divorced her and moved on, all we know is that she had gone through five husbands and was currently living with a man who was not her husband.

  Regardless of what happened to her husbands, that's a lot of grief and suffering. Death, abandonment, infidelity (hers or theirs) all take their toll upon a soul. I expect it is reasonable to say that this woman had experienced more than her fair share of sorrow.

  I expect that she had her moments, face down on the ground, weeping and crying out to God her "why me's" and her "how long's". Since she didn't even bother with the formality of a marriage ceremony with the man she was currently with, I expect she had perhaps given up on things ever changing. Perhaps she thought that she was beyond the hope of her prayers being heard and answered.

  I doubt she had very many friends, if any. She went to the well in the heat of the day, the other women of the village would have already come and gone in the early hours, when it was cooler. She probably avoided them. I can certainly relate to the desire to avoid others due to fear of judgment or rejection.

  So the woman goes to the well, in the heat of the day to draw water, and low and behold the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords meets her there. What an amazing experience for her, a life changing experience, an answer to all the prayers, a source of hope that overcomes all the hardships and sorrows, a friend above any earthly friend.....she, the lowly woman with five husbands and at least one lover, the woman who must go to the well in the heat of the day to avoid the other women, comes face to face with Jesus.

 The experience was life changing, for she who came to the well in the heat of the day, now goes out to tell others, Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did. Do you think he might be the Christ?”

 Orthodox Church history tells us that the Samaritan woman whom Christ met at the well in the heat of the day, was later baptized by the apostles and took the name of Photini which means “the enlightened one". It is said that she traveled to Rome, preaching the gospel and that she was martyred for her faith in the year of our Lord 66.

 You can read more of the Orthodox church history on Photini here:

http://www.antiochian.org/st-photini-samaritan-woman

   In my devotional reading this morning I read about the Samaritan woman at the well and how God is not deaf to our groaning prayers. He will come, He will answer, He will do so in His time, and in just the right manner. If the wait seems long, take heart and do not cease to pray, to not give up, press onwards, for Jesus will come. "So keep praying and cultivate patient, long-suffering faith. There will be a day when you will find Him unexpectedly at the well of your deepest thirst."

Quote is from the book Things Not Seen by Jon Bloom


A Call to Prayer, for the City of Broken Arrow

      It is with great difficulty and a heavy heart that I pen this post. It is not the sort of thing that I enjoy posting, the words come hard, for there is much darkness and in the midst of it all it is difficult to see the light, yet as you read these words, and as you join with me in prayer for the people who have been harmed by this evil, remember that God reigns, the serpents head has been crushed and we behold in this world only the damage done by the thrashing of his body in it's angry death throes.

In late July of 2015 horror came to the city of Broken Arrow. In the early morning hours a 911 call was placed by a terrified 12 year old who did not stay on the phone. He couldn't, because he was murdered by his own brothers. When first responders arrived the scene that awaited them was like some crazy demonic horror movie. Five dead bodies, father, mother, the 12 year old boy who made the 911 call, a 7 year old boy and a 5 year old girl, all murdered with knives and hatchets by their 16 and 18 year old brothers. A 13 year old girl was found, horribly mutilated but alive and an unharmed 2 year old upstairs.

  The men and women that rushed into this suburban home to render aid shall never forget the scenes that assaulted their souls that day. Scenes that most people never have to witness. Even the law enforcement officers who have given years and years of service had never laid eyes on such scenes before. There is a price to be paid for witnessing such evil. Nightmares, daymares, being unable to erase the scenes from your mind no matter how hard you wish for them to be gone. Those of us who love a combat veteran can attest to the power of violence upon the human mind. It takes a toll.

 Shortly after law enforcement arrives on scene a canine and his handler arrive. Footprints on the dew soaked grass out back show tracks and it is hoped that the dog can find the perpetrators of this terrible crime, so that they cannot inflict harm on anyone else. People gather and pray over the canine officer and he and his handler setoff into the night. The two boys are soon found hiding in the bushes.

 While all this is going on, people are laboring over the little 13 year old, horribly wounded, they administer first aid, they pray, the ones who found her, the ones who sit with her until medical aid arrives, the ones who administer aid and load her into an ambulance, the ones who meet her at the door of the emergency room, the ones who fight to save her life. The ones who take care of her daily needs. All scarred, all broken by the horror of her circumstances.

  And then there are the ones called to investigate, to sit in some small room across the table from these children who did this horrible deed. To sit and try and reason with them, try to understand why they did what they did, to lay out the photographs of the scene time and time again, to listen to these young men talk about what they did and why they did it.

  And the community is in shock, the people who lived next door, or down the street, the people who walk past that suburban home every day, horrified at what occurred in their neighborhood, horrified that they had no idea, for surely one should have some sense of evil living next door, but instead they only saw a close knit family, a mom who is said to have loved and doted upon her kids, a father who worked hard to provide for them.

 The below was shared by someone who loves someone who is closely connected to this investigation. I do not know the origin of the quote but it is so very applicable to those who stand in harm's way on our behalf. To our combat troops, to our law enforcement officers, to those who go out daily and face the monsters of this world, and to those who have to see and clean up the aftermath of the deeds perpetrated by the monsters of this world.

"MONSTERS
Those who fight monsters inevitably change. Because of all that they see and do, they lose their innocence, and a piece of their humanity with it. If they want to survive, they begin to adopt some of the same characteristics as the monsters they fight. It is necessary. They become capable of rage, and extreme violence.

There is a fundamental difference, however. They keep those monster tendencies locked away in a cage, deep inside. That monster is only allowed out to protect others, to accomplish the mission, to get the job done.....Not for the perverse pleasure that the monsters feel when they harm others. In fact, those monster tendencies cause damage...guilt, isolation, depression, PTSD. There is a cost for visiting violence on others when you are not a monster. Those who do so know one thing...The cost inflicted upon society as a whole is far greater without those who fight monsters. That is why they are willing to make that horrible sacrifice so that others may live peaceably."

 Pray for the people of  Broken Arrow who have beheld the deeds of the monsters of this world, who have been left to try and make sense of it all, to try and bring justice to it all, and who will bear the memory of the things they witnessed that night until their last breath. 

Pray for this little 13 year old girl, horribly stabbed and left for dead by her own siblings, who will carry the most horrible scenes in her mind for all the days of her life, she has lost mother and father and sister and brothers. Pray for her, pray that God will carry her through the days to come.

 Pray for this little 2 year old, who will probably not remember this event, but who will know of it, and that alone will be a heavy burden to carry as she grows up.

 Pray for those men and women that rushed into that house, who laid eyes upon that scene, who had to stay there, amidst the blood and death in order to do their jobs. Pray for them to have peace, to be able to sleep, to be able to speak to someone about the things that trouble their souls.

 Pray for those men and women who assisted the 13 year old, who gave first aid and comfort, who prayed, who transported, who labored over her injured body and who administered and still administers to her daily needs as she recovers. Pray for them to have peace, to be able to sleep, and that they might have the words of comfort that she needs to hear to get her through this horror.

 Pray for the men and women who have to sit across the table from the ones who did this. Pray for them to have wisdom, pray for them to be able to process the things they hear, pray for them to have peace and to be able to sleep and to be able to do their jobs so that justice might be served.

 Pray for the people of Broken Arrow and for all who know and love them, pray for peace, pray for healing, pray that the light of Christ will shine like the sun through this terrible darkness. Pray for unity that they would all stand together, pray for love, that they would love one another.

 Pray for these two young men, who have discarded all that was in front of them, all that their parents labored to provide for them, all the future joys of family and fellowship, all that is good and right and light, pray for them for of all the souls wounded and broken from the evil inflicted that night theirs must be seared and dead. They have done things that cannot be undone. Although it is difficult, they too need prayer.

   Father God, maker of all things, we come before You in humble prayer for the people of Broken Arrow. A great evil has visited them, evil deeds that we cannot wrap our thoughts around, we cannot understand nor comprehend the why of it all. We cannot fathom how it can even be possible for good to come from such tragedy, such wrongness. But we know that You are God and that You are always working in the lives of Your people. Stand close to the people of Broken Arrow. Bind them close together, help them to love one another, help them to process the things they have seen, help them to bring their brokenness to You who is and ever will be the only One able to help.

  We thank You for the men and women who rushed to give aid and we pray for their souls that Your peace would be their peace, that they would be able to give the things that trouble their souls to You, and that You would bear them. Meet them in the darkness that their very job requires them to walk in. Meet them there and may they feel Your presence with them.

 We give thanks for the two lives saved, and we place them both in Your hands, may You be a father and a mother to them both, may You bring peace, comfort, love and all strength to them both as they grow. May the end result of these two lives saved be a thing of beauty and grace. May they be blessed all their days.

  Lord be with each and every soul troubled by these events, be they those directly involved or those who simply grieve for the wrongness of it all. Grant all grace and wisdom to those who are investigating this. Guard their minds, guard their hearts, hold them close to Your heart that they might not be broken forever by the things they witness.

 We come to You Lord, on behalf of the people of Broken Arrow, for to Whom would we go but You, for You have the words of Life. Bring Life to all these souls wounded by this terrible act of violence.

  Lord I know not how to pray for the two who have done this evil deed, so I leave them to You, I pray Your will be done in their lives, I pray You move them to speak truth, and to fully understand and repent of the evil they have inflicted.

 May Your grace fall like  healing rain upon the city of Broken Arrow and upon each soul that is troubled by the events that occurred on that day in July in the year of our Lord 2015.

"Healing Rain"

Healing rain is coming down
It's coming nearer to this old town
Rich and poor, weak and strong
It's bringing mercy, it won't be long

Healing rain is coming down
It's coming closer to the lost and found
Tears of joy, and tears of shame
Are washed forever in Jesus' name

Healing rain, it comes with fire
So let it fall and take us higher
Healing rain, I'm not afraid
To be washed in Heaven's rain

Lift your heads, let us return
To the mercy seat where time began
And in your eyes, I see the pain
Come soak this dry heart with healing rain

And only You, the Son of man
Can take a leper and let him stand
So lift your hands, they can be held
By someone greater, the great I Am

Healing rain, it comes with fire
So let it fall and take us higher
Healing rain, I'm not afraid
To be washed in Heaven's rain

To be washed in Heaven's rain...

Healing rain is falling down
Healing rain is falling down
I'm not afraid
I'm not afraid...

http://m.fox23.com/videos/news/k9-officer-reflects-on-finding-murder-suspects/vDXnL6/

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/oklahoma-teens-formally-charged-murdering-family-n402226

http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/broken-arrow-woman-heals-community-after-tragic-ho/nm9Sh/

http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/community-rallies-around-survivors-broken-arrow-ki/nm7Pw/


Lady in the Hallway

 

Today, while walking to a meeting I passed one of the cleaning ladies in the hallway. She was sitting on a bench talking to someone on the phone. She was weeping. She spoke Spanish into the phone and the words, although I did not understand them, seeped out grief and sorrow.  You could cut it with a knife. The intensity of the grief and her sobs touched my soul. In that brief moment of me passing by, I felt burdened with her grief and compelled to assist her. I wanted to hug her, perhaps I should have, but she was speaking intently into the phone and I did not want to invade her privacy.

   So I prayed for her as I continued on my way. Her face, the emotion poured out into those unknown words stick with me as I go, stick with me through the meeting and as at last I tear myself away, and walk back down that long hallway, I hope to see her, to somehow communicate to her that I felt her grief, her sorrow, and that I cared.

  She was gone, had moved on to some other area requiring her attention. I find her face still haunts me, and I can still feel the intensity of the emotion as she cried out into that phone.

  She was one of the often unseen, the hard working people who clean up after everyone else, how many people walk past her each day and fail to even speak or smile or acknowledge her presence, for she is often seen as part of the fixtures, perhaps even I have walked past her and not noticed her, not seen her. Today I saw her, her face as she wept her hands as they tightly gripped the phone. I saw her. Perhaps I have passed her countless times, and I probably smiled at her, said good morning, or good afternoon, maybe even held a door open for her so she could get her cart through without struggling….but in all these times I had not really SEEN her.

  Lord, today I saw her, and my heart hurts for her, hurts for her grief. I wonder how many people we fail to see each day? Lord open my eyes, open my heart to the needs around me, to the hurt around me. Help me to see, heal my blind eyes and give me sight that I might never miss an opportunity to meet someone in their sorrow, even if it is just a prayer.

 Lord bless this woman, ease her burden, I know not what is afflicting her so but the sorrow was raw, the pain real.

 Friends, join me in praying for this lady, that she might find comfort and peace in the midst of her trial.


A Prayer For a Friend

No matter the time nor distance, you never forget your best friend from childhood. Mine lives very far away now but she will ever have a special place in my heart. We grew apart, I moved away and we lost touch for many years. I am grateful that God has brought her back into my life.

 She is in a trial right now, one of those difficult ones that very few are called to face, she has been walking this uncertain road for some time now, and tomorrow is a milestone in that walk.

 Lord,

  I am asking for a special blessing for my best childhood friend. You know her situation Lord, you know the burden she carries. Tomorrow is a big day for her and her family, a scary day, an uncertain day, and I ask that she and her family would feel Your presence strong as they venture into it.

 We ask for Your grace in abundance, and Your presence with each and every person who plays a part. We ask that You would grant the words to her as she speaks, that in speaking her heart would be heard and seen by those who listen and that all would be touched by her words.

 We ask for Your strength to the family, that they might be given all that they need to endure whatever comes. We ask that the outcome would be in their favor if that is possible and within Thy will. We ask for Your protection upon them all, and Your guidance and that whatever happens tomorrow, all would be orchestrated by You and no other.

 Depending on what happens, there will be various things that will need to be worked out, and we ask that You would prepare all that is needed.

 Bless my friend Lord, she has been a faithful servant, she is your child, her heart is weary and worn from all of this mess and she ever looks to You for grace and mercy. Lord be her Strong Arm tomorrow, be her Comfort and her Peace, be her Deliverer. Give abundant grace and mercy to all who stand with her, and help hold her up.

Shine tomorrow Lord, shine like the brightest sun. May all that transpires there be for Your glory and the good of those who love You and are called by Your name. Lord my friend loves You and is called by You. Bring great good to her Oh Lord.

I ask these things Lord, with all my heart and soul, I ask them in faith that You love me, and her and her beloved son.

Lord show Yourself strong tomorrow in the life of my friend and her son.

All praise, all honor, all glory to You Lord,

In the name above all names, in the name of Jesus my Lord I pray these things,

Amen




God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!


    Day by day and with each passing moment,
    Strength I find to meet my trials here;
    Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
    I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
    He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
    Gives unto each day what He deems best
    Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
    Mingling toil with peace and rest.

    Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
    With a special mercy for each hour;
    All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
    He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
    The protection of His child and treasure
    Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
    "As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
    This the pledge to me He made.

    Help me then in eve’ry tribulation
    So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
    That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
    Offered me within Thy holy Word.
    Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
    E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
    One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
    Till I reach the promised land.



      The Lord be with you my friend, you shall be in my prayers, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. He loves you so my friend. All things are for a purpose, so trust Him, even in this, trust Him. I shall be with you in spirit.




    And we are His portion and He is our prize,
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
    If his grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
    And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
    And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
    I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
    When I think about the way...

    He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves.
    Yeah, He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves us,
    Oh, how He loves.











    First I Give Thanks.............

    (He's the One who conquers giants)

    My devotional reading today was on Romans, Chapter 1. A rich piece of scripture but today two things were pointed out.

    Verse 8....First,I thank my God.............and Verse 21....For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him,......

     Giving thanks is important, honoring God is important. Our failure to be thankful leads to our failure to honor God and ultimately to our overall failure. Giving thanks and honoring God gives you new eyes to see. Instead of all the wrong you tend to dwell on, you see how abundantly blessed you truly are. Honoring God reminds you of who He is, of what He has promised, of what He expects of you.

    So today, we give thanks for His abundant blessings and for His grace and mercy.

    Thou Eternal God,

    Thine is surpassing greatness, unspeakable
    goodness, super-abundant grace;
    I can as soon count the sands of ocean’s ‘lip’
    as number Thy favors towards me;
    I know but a part – but that part exceeds all praise.

    I thank Thee for personal mercies,
    a measure of health, preservation of body,
    comforts of house and home, sufficiency of food
    and clothing,
    continuance of mental powers,
    my family, their mutual help and support,
    the delights of domestic harmony and peace,
    the seats now filled that might have been vacant,
    my country, church, Bible, faith.

    But, Oh, how I mourn my sin, ingratitude, vileness,
    the days that add to my guilt,
    the scenes that witness my offending tongue;
    All things in heaven, earth, around, within, without, condemn me –
    the sun which sees my misdeeds,
    the darkness which is light to Thee,
    the cruel accuser who justly charges me,
    the good angels who have been provoked to leave me,
    Thy countenance which scans my secret sins,
    Thy righteous law, Thy holy Word,
    my sin-soiled conscience, my private and public life,
    my neighbors, myself –
    all write dark things against me.

    I deny them not, frame no excuse, but confess,
    ‘Father, I have sinned’;
    Yet still I live, and fly repenting to Thy outstretched arms;
    Thou wilt not cast me off, for Jesus brings me near,
    Thou wilt not condemn me, for He died in my stead,
    Thou wilt not mark my mountains of sin,
    for He leveled all,
    and His beauty covers my deformities.

    Oh my God, I bid farewell to sin by clinging
    to His cross, hiding in His wounds, and sheltering in His side.

    (Taken from ‘The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers)



    You are I am!

    I've been the one to shake with fear
    And wonder if You're even here
    I've been the one to doubt Your love
    I've told myself You're not enough

    I've been the one to try and say
    I'll overcome by my own shame
    I've been the one to fall apart
    And start to question who You are

    You're the one who conquers giants
    You're the one who calls out kings
    You shut the mouths of lions
    You tell the dead to breathe
    You're the one who walks through fire
    You take the orphan's hand
    You are the one Messiah
    You are I am
    You are I am

    I've been the one held down in chains
    Beneath the weight of all my shame
    I've been the one to believe
    That where I am You cannot reach

    You're the one who conquers giants
    You're the one who calls out kings
    You shut the mouths of lions
    You tell the dead to breathe
    You're the one who walks through fire
    You take the orphan's hand
    You are the one Messiah
    You are I am
    You are I am

    The veil is torn
    And now I live with the Spirit inside
    The same one, the very same one
    Who brought the Son back to life

    Hallelujah, He lives in me
    Hallelujah, He lives in me
    Hallelujah, He lives in me
    Hallelujah, He lives in me

    You're the one who conquers giants
    You're the one who calls out kings
    You shut the mouths of lions
    You tell the dead to breathe
    You're the one who walks through fire
    You take the orphan's hand
    You are the one Messiah
    You are I am
    You are I am


    (He shuts the mouths of lions)
    (He tells the dead to breathe)

    (He calls out kings)





    Make Me a Channel of Your Peace


    Make me a channel of Your peace

    Where there is hatred let me bring
    Your love
    Where there is injury
    Your pardon, Lord
    And where there's doubt
    true faith in You

    Make me a channel of Your peace
    Where there's despair in life
    let me bring hope
    Where there is darkness, only light
    And where there's sadness, ever joy

    Oh, Master grant that I
    may never seek
    So much to be consoled
    as to console
    To be understood
    as to understand
    To be loved as to love
    with all my soul

    Make me a channel of Your peace
    It is in pardoning that we are
    pardoned
    In giving to all men that we receive
    And in dying that we're born to
    eternal life

    Oh, Master grant that I
    may never seek
    So much to be consoled as to console
    To be understood as to understand
    To be loved as to love with all my soul

    Make me a channel of Your peace
    Where there's despair in life
    let me bring hope
    Where there is darkness, only light
    And where there's sadness, ever joy


          A beautiful prayer, a beautiful song, a beautiful voice. The voice of Franciscan monk Friar Alessandro brings alive this ancient prayer, often attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi.



          It is a beautiful way to start the day and it is the prayer of my heart. A heart that without Christ, has no hope of living out this prayer for any length of time.

    Our natural tendency is to hate, hating is easy, when someone hurts us, or hurts the ones we love, hate springs to the heart fueled by anger, fueled by a sense of injustice......hate is easy, but to love the one who has hurt you? To love the one who has hurt the one you love? This my friends is difficult, of our own strength we simply cannot do it.
     
       Our natural tendency to injury is to strike back, to repay, blow for blow, eye for eye and tooth for tooth, in truth that law was given by God to prevent our true tendency, which was to take life for eye, to take arms and legs for tooth. We tend to desire to take far more than was taken. But pardon? That is totally unnatural to us. Pardon the one who took from me? In my own strength I simply cannot achieve this.
     
      Our natural heart seeks to be consoled, to be understood, to be loved, we seek these things often above all others, but to cast these things aside and seek only to console, to understand and to love is once again beyond out own strength.

      To bring hope to those in despair, to bring light to those in darkness, to bring joy to those overwhelmed by sadness is a worthy way to spend ones life. Were I to be able to do this always, to pour out my life in this manner, and never have anything else, to die in my bed, destitute, alone without any creature comfort, it would be well worth it, and a life well lived.

     It is ever a work in progress, for each act of kindness there are ten that were not so kind. It is very possible that on my way to work this morning, this song on my lips and in my heart, that I will commit murder in my heart against some poor soul who simply is not driving in the manner that I think they should. For each act of compassion done this day at my work, it is probable that I will tilt the scales in the other direction by ten things I miss, ten opportunities to display compassion ignored, and ten more where I deem the person unworthy of compassion.
     
     It is easy to love the lovable, and to love the unlovable when they are family and dear to you, but to love strangers, unlovable strangers, this, this is the true task of living out this prayer.  This is the true struggle and one that I am more often than not a failure at.

     So today, this Monday, this 4th of November, I arise, this prayer on my lips, this song in my heart, and I ask the Lord most high, to open my eyes to the things going on around me, to open my hear that His love and mercy might pour forth upon all that I encounter, that each judgement I make will be His and not mine, that each life I come in contact with might be the better for having seen Him in me, than the worse for having seen me in me.

     Bless this day Lord, this coming week, this month, this year, this very life of mine, take it Lord and make it that which You would have it be, kill all that is within me that is not of You. Remind me always of my failures, never allow me to justify them, do not cease Lord, from the work that You began, do not cease Lord, for apart from You I am nothing.


    The wisdom of Francis of Assisi

    “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”

    “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”

    “The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today”

    “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given.”

    “No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.”

    “If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

    “Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still, when you delight in your vices and sins. ”

    Read more on the life of Saint Francis of Assisi

    http://www.biography.com/people/st-francis-of-assisi-21152679?page=1

    More quotes from Saint Francis:

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/149151.St_Francis_of_Assisi