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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 6, 2005

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 6, 2005 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our new book of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2005
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 6, 2005

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our new 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.

      Be sensitive to your life experiences

      "Give ear to my words, O LORD;
      give heed to my groaning."
      Psalm 5:1

      Prayer is learned by praying.

      Reclaiming a tender, loving, intimate, and sacred name
      for God in our prayers often brings spiritual
      empowerment. For Jesus, his favorite name for God
      was "Father." His use of this name is mentioned more
      than 240 times in the Gospels. Once would have been
      significant. God was his dearest, beloved, and loving
      heavenly parent. But the Psalmist in today's Bible
      verse would have found that to be a revolutionary and
      radical way to pray.

      Some twenty-first century people find both "Father"
      and "LORD" highly offensive sacred names. They prefer
      more inclusive and less patriarchal names for God. Yet
      others love to use one or both names in their prayers
      and refuse to use any others.

      Both public and private prayers call for sensitivity to
      life experiences. As a professional minister, I have a
      responsibility to pray publicly with the greatest of care.
      Far too many children have experienced a history of
      physical or emotional abuse, rejection, or incest
      usually by a male parent, neighbor, adult friend, or
      relative. I know a number of children who have been
      abandoned by their fathers. One of my young friends
      had a father who committed suicide. For them, our
      American celebration of Father's Day is often a day
      of pain and anger rather than of appreciation and
      gratitude. To insist that any of them pray to God
      as a father figure seems cruel and insensitive.
      Forcing them to do so could actually hinder and hurt
      their prayers and cause deep spiritual damage and
      resentment.

      Ancient wisdom reminds us that we can only pray as
      we can. When I visit people in hospitals as a
      chaplain, many ask for prayer. Before praying, I
      usually ask what their favorite or preferred name
      for God is. This shows respect and as a result our
      shared prayer time is more effective and strengthening.

      So if "LORD" or "Father" is offensive and painful,
      find other sacred names to empower your prayers.
      Consider searching for new tender names for the Holy.
      I know many use alternative names such as "Dearest,"
      "Beloved," "Tender One," "Loving Healer," and "Mother-
      God." God has many names and delights in hearing
      them spoken by us in prayer.

      A saying reminds us that prayer is learned by praying.
      If traditional names for God block your prayers, then
      experiment with new ones with holy boldness. Ask God
      for your own uniquely personal sacred name for your
      prayer life. Search with all your strength for an
      intimate, loving, and cherished name for God and your
      prayers will be enormously empowered. You may even
      find yourself surprised with joy.

      Holy One, bless our prayers as we try out new names
      for you. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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      this book on our Web site at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/product_details/BookRevLivingAsTheBeloved.htm

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