Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 6, 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
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."
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
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
Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order
using our convenient secure shopping cart and pay on line
using your credit card! http://www.ChiRhoPress.com
"Living as the Beloved" is available for $20.95 each
plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies are
$15.75 each plus shipping and handing. You can find
this book on our Web site at
Subscribe to the Chi Rho Connection, our free twice-
monthly electronic newsletter, and this Chi Rho
Reflection, the weekly meditation, by sending blank
e-mail to mailto:ChiRhoPressemail@example.com.
To unsubscribe, mailto:ChiRhoPressfirstname.lastname@example.org.