Prayer

it’s a time to pray…

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August was a long month for Senator Larry Craig. If you’ve watched the national news, or local in Idaho, you’ve undoubtedly heard it all. Of course, you and I won’t ever know exactly what happed that day in an airport bathroom. We have accusations from a peace officer and we have a plea of guilty to lesser charges… and we have the national circus that comes to town when there’s the smell of fresh blood.

My question is for us of faith… for we who should never be caught viewing a human being as anything other than a beloved of our God, regardless of seen and unseen brokenness. Where do our concerns and priorities lie? Do we value the political spectacle of Senator Craig’s situation over the obvious brokenness in his own life and the life of his family? Are we Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and Moderates, Communists and Anarchists, and all the political spectrum therein, before we are disciples of Christ? I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question. I mean it as a serious “this really needs some attention” question, because the answer to the question will determine how we respond. Some of us are immediately drawn to the political feast and others may be scared into silence and shame.

Will we respond with prayer for a man and his family, or respond with ridicule and malice, or silence and apathy? I’m not debating guilt here, I’m wondering about healing. I’m not asking if he should or shouldn’t have made his resignation, I’m asking about hope. I’m wondering if we have any role in the healing and hope, or if we only interact with this particular human being in the political arena. Under what circumstances do we cease to have spiritual obligations to our fellow, broken beings? When do we stop carrying obligations of forgiveness, words of life and peace, and humbled service?

So, Sunday morning we raised Senator Craig before God’s throne, along with his family, for healing and help. That in this time of undeniable pain and hurt, God would do the needed work of peace, making whole, and giving joy.

The world doesn’t need another Democrat. The world doesn’t need another Republican. The world can’t really do much with another howl of “hypocrite!” or bout of snide laughter, or silent judgment.

The world could use some folks on their knees in prayer and on their feet in love… the world could use a fresh perspective on things.

Prayers…

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So I’ve been trying to be faithful this year to the Orthodox Lenten fast as well as practicing daily Orthodox prayers. I found a little bookstore and got me a chokti to practice the Jesus Prayer, and seem to have lost it. I dug out one I tied myself a few months ago and have been using it instead.

The Jesus Prayer is simply, “Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” It is said in repetition to focus and center one’s soul and mind… a prayer and a meditation, and most definitely a yearning of the heart.

I have found myself often repeating the prayer for a while until I’m calmed and ready to move forward in prayer… then I start expanding into prayer requests and petitions in the same model of the prayer, something like, “Lord Jesus Christ, the Giver of Peace, hold Brad in your love.” I will repeat the prayer, but give myself lots of freedom of expression to explore the praise and lauding of Christ, the specific petition and the relationships involved… Lord Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, heal Brad, your disciple. Lord Jesus Christ, Love and Author, give your peace to Brad, your man by faith.

And here’s my favorite line from the trisagion prayers that I am trying to hold faith with on a daily basis… “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.” At one point I am instructed to say this thrice, and it’s a high point of my prayers. I think it’s the stir I feel in my soul when I say the words, Holy Mighty.

Peace.