Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 3, 2013
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
The best prayers
"Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you
hide yourself in times of trouble?"
"The best prayers have often more groans than words."
~ John Bunyan (Bunyan, John. From his 1662 sermon,
"I Will Pray With The Spirit
A Discourse Touching
The question most frequently asked me as a
minister and chaplain is this, "Would you teach
me how to pray?" This seems to be a universal
heart cry from people of all sexual orientations.
I have heard this again and again, while on U.S. Navy
ships, in inner-city hospices and hospital emergency
rooms, as well as in prisons. Perhaps this is why we
are seeing such a proliferation of Internet prayer
chapels and prayer ministries. People have
universally struggled for words to connect with the
divine, wondering if God hears or cares. Often we
do not know how to pray for ourselves, those we love,
our enemies, and the world we live in.
Please be encouraged and reclaim your prayer
birthright. Our common spiritual heritage is
prayer. Through the cries of our hearts and the
groaning of our innermost being, we can experience
God's loving heartbeat. Prayer, as I understand it,
is simply conversation with God through a tender and
intimate relationship. Sometimes our feelings are
just too deep for words. Prayer is as simple as
breathing our feelings to God!
Other times written prayers can be spiritually
empowering. They have stood the test of time for
good reason. The Gospel stories are a good place
to begin learning about prayer, especially if we
have experienced toxic and abusive religion and
Bible concussions. Jesus spoke against such
spiritual injustice and brought a new and
revolutionary understanding of what God's reign
on earth can look like. We find this summed up
in the revolutionary Lord's Prayer located in two
Gospels (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4).
The most important heart cry to God might be,
"teach me to pray!" Consider reclaiming the
Lord's Prayer from meaningless repetition to
meaningful repetition. The Lord's Prayer can
change the world, cause spiritual and physical
revolutions, transform lives, bring hope, and
usher in the Reign of God. Its boldness can also
change us. There is a reason why John Wesley
cried out, "O give me that book! At any price,
give me the book of God!" (Quoted in Job, Rueben
P. and Norman Shawchuck. "A Guide to Prayer for
Ministers and Other Servants," p. 34.)
God, teach us to pray. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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