Thursday, January 21, 2016

Night Prayer



This week and next week, I will be leading a study "PRAYER: Whispers, SHOUTS, groans! for my church's women's ministry program. We will spend two sessions discussing the meaning and purpose of prayer, kinds of prayers, examples of prayer in the Bible and conversational prayer. Prayer takes many forms but it is always a spiritual communion with God, a two-way conversation, both speaking and listening required. The language of prayer is full of whispers, SHOUTS, and groans! Thomas Merton's reflection on prayer is this: "Prayer is an expression of who we are... We are living incompleteness. We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment."

 As you contemplate "prayer" and what it means, ask yourself a few questions. Is my prayer life satisfying? Do I sense the presence of God in your prayer time? What is necessary for me to develop a richer prayer life? As I have pondered these questions recently, I find room for a deeper relationship desired but sometimes neglected. I encourage you to keep a devotional/prayer journal. Any size or style that fits your personality will do. I use mine to record devotional thoughts, to keep words or phrases or quotes I read in my study time, and as a place to write prayer requests, mine and others. Sometimes I write out my prayers, not always. This week I share a prayer I wrote several years ago infused by one Scripture verse. Praying God's word is always prayer! - dho

I get up in the middle of the night to thank You;
    Your decisions are so right, so true - I can't wait
    till morning!  Psalm 119:62

Loving God,
    The night sky is filled with luminaries that light the darkness.  Angels whisper evening songs to my weary soul. I do not notice. As sleep gently calls, I forget that I have breathed the morning air, listened to laughter, seen the evening sky appear. Another day! 
     Something disturbs the rhythm of my sleep, summons my soul.  In these sleepless moments, the Holy Spirit is waiting and listens for my response. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!  
    Father, when I fail to see the beauty of Your day, remind me with a glorious morning to take my breath away, a soul laugh that only a listening heart can find, and a night sky crowded with stars like diamonds that demand a lingering look. My heart should burst with unmeasured thankfulness! These are Your ordinary gifts! I simply miss them in the hectic hours and scheduled chaos and saturated time. 
    Give my heart the desire to breathe, to listen and to see the ordinary with extraordinary intention. Grant my soul the desire to breathe, to listen and to see Your Extraordinary Gifts of Love, Grace, and Joy! Let me find Your extravagant gifts in every day! Let me say Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    Refresh my spirit! Refine my faith! Restore my love! Renew my strength! Rebuild my trust! Reclaim my soul!  Amen.  ~dho