Lord, watch over us during our trip.
This will probably be the last posting to this blog until after October 11th.
I cannot help but have a thankful heart because my heart is over-flowing with my appreciation for God and all the ways that I am blessed.
Each new day is a wondrous time of discovery, a time of giving thanks for all my blessings. (Colleen Zuck, et al., Daily Word For Healing, p. 199)
Photo: Cape Henry, VA
It amazes me, and I know the wind will surely someday blow it all away
It amazes me, and I'm so grateful that You made the world this way.
(John Denver in Thinking Outside the Church by Jennifer Leigh Selig, p. 306)
In the Islamic religion, there are five pillars upon which the pathway to God rests: One of them is prayer. There are five times a day specifically set aside for the practice: upon waking, at noon, in midafternoon, after sunset, and before sleep. Besides specific times to pray, there are specific ways to do so, including phrases uttered and prostrations repeated while facing toward Mecca. All these specifics, however, are only to serve the main intention of prayer as commanded in the Koran -- to be in constant communication with the divine.
While the directions for prayer are specific, what is perhaps more interesting for non-Muslims is the content of Muslim prayers, which is universal. According to Huston Smith in his classic book "The Religions of Man," there are two great themes to Muslim prayer: praise and gratitude, and supplication.
Supplication does not mean asking for things or favors (please let me win the lottery, please get me that promotion), but rather, asking for qualities (please make one more loving, more devout, more worthy of grace and mercy).
Prayer -- however, whenever, wherever practiced -- is clearly a way to connect with spirit. Much of the collected wisdom on prayer supports the Muslim belief that the most important contents of our prayers are praise, gratitude, and supplication, and that the specifics are only there to support the intent, which is to be in constant contact with the divine. (Jennifer Leigh Selig, Thinking Outside the Church, p. 41-42)
Lord, we pray that you bring healing to our friend, Janet, during this time of medical crisis. Guide her husband, Jim, as he deals with the members of the medical profession. Give wisdom to all of the people who are assisting in her care.
Lord, watch over our daughter and her friend during the vacation in Europe. Bring them both back safely to us.
Give us patience as we deal with the many members of the health care profession. Give us strength to persevere when we have questions or don't understand procedures that they are not bothering to explain.
Lord, we ask for your presence in the lives of all our sick neighbors, friends, co-workers, family and loved ones. Give strength to all in the medical profession who look after us when we are ill.
I thank God for the story of Peter. I do not know a man in the Bible who gives us a greater comfort. When we look at his character, so full of failures, and at what Christ made him by the power of the Holy Ghost, there is hope for every one of us. But remember, before Christ could fill Peter with the Holy Spirit and make a new man of him, he had to go out and weep bitterly; he had to be humbled.
(Andrew Murray in His Passion, Day 187)
I pray that I may willingly submit to whatever spiritual discipline is necessary. I pray that I may accept whatever it takes to live a better life. (Alan L. Roeck, Look To This Day, 27 August)