Prayer Journal2021-01-13T14:31:25-08:00

Wayside 15-minute Prayer Team Journal

Thank you for joining the prayer team as we strive to be intentional about prayerfully connecting to God and one another during this time.

A few notes for our journal:

* Each day will have a prayer prompt such as a scripture, or a simple prayer offered as a springboard.

* Under each daily post you are invited to comment with any reflections, noticings, or additional prompts or prayers you are finding helpful.

* Please do not name others in your entry in order to honor privacy and confidentiality.

February 24, 2021: Prayer Journal

Consider this Nigerian prayer:

God in Heaven, you have helped my life to grow like a tree. Now something has happened. Satan, like a bird, has carried in one twig of his own choosing after another. Before I knew it he had built a dwelling place and was living in it. Today, my Father, I am throwing out both the bird and the nest.

Submitted by Steve Sherwood

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 8 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 24th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 23, 2021: Prayer Journal

Consider the song The Medicine written by Dee Wilson

There’s a sickness here that threatens to divide us
And we’re all afraid to say its name out loud
But, Lord, I know that you can heal us of this virus
So, we need you, we need you right now

There’s a darkness here that’s dangerous and aggressive
It getting harder every day to shake its power
But, Lord, I know that you can free us from oppression
So, we need you, we need you right now

Cause we don’t know what to do
So, we turn our eyes to you
We’ve run out of words to say
But if you come and have your way
You can save us from ourselves
Before our wounds hurt someone else
We need you now

What does it mean to have compassion for another?
How can I claim to love a God that I can’t see?
If I can find the will to harm and kill my brother
Cause he neglected to look like me

I can speak the words of men and songs of angels
I can give all my possessions to the poor
But if your love can’t move the mountain of my hatred
Somehow, I missed you, and I need you so much more

We need you now
We need you now
We need you now
We need you now

Submitted by Erin Macy

What imagery stands out to you? God we do need You now.

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 7 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 23rd, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 22, 2021: Prayer Journal

Consider this “Prayer For Needing Help” by Liturgies for Parents

We know this season
requires sacrifice
Help us be gentle with ourselves
As we show up In unexpected ways and in unexpected days
We need Your Help, O God

We don’t know how to hold
The weight of expectations
And we feel our limitations
As we navigate pressures
And parenting
And politics
And a pandemic
We need Your help, O God

Meet us here in our humanity
For Your power is made perfect
in weakness
And may the gentleness we
give ourselves
Pour out in our interactions
With our families
And our neighbors
And even those who leave us scratching our heads
We need Your help, O God

Submitted by Sammie Eilert

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 6 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 22nd, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 21, 2021: Prayer Journal

Psalm 32

Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Submitted by Steve Sherwood

Pause in God’s presence. God is a safe hiding place. Experience the wrap-around love God has to offer especially when you share your inner life with Them.

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 5:16-47 in our community lenten reader

By |February 21st, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 20, 2021: Prayer Journal

She Did What She Could

Ever since reading the book, She Did What She Could: Five Words of Jesus That Will Change Your Life by Elisa Morgan, each Easter I think about this “Easter story” again. As a symbol of preparing for Jesus’ burial, Mary of Bethany poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet, and while others criticized her for being wasteful, Jesus said she had done a good thing. He said, “She did what she could.”

Mary acted out of her relationship with Jesus – because she had received love, she gave it. It was her act of worship to God.

Most of us care about poverty, injustice, the sick, the marginalized, world peace, and more. But we get weighed down with our own agendas, our own worries, our own little worlds. We worry that we are too small and insignificant to really make a difference in our community and/or in the world. But there is something we can do.

We’re not going to get it right all the time, but we’re called to live love. God will honor that.

Read Mark 14: 3-9. Then ask yourself these questions:

1. What if Mary hadn’t opened that perfume and poured it on Jesus? What if she had done it in private, or decided to wait until later? Jesus would still have done what He came to do, but would Jesus have been encouraged and affirmed? Would it have meant so much to Jesus? Would he have called it a “beautiful thing?” Mary did what she could when she could do it.

2. What motivates you to do what you do for others or for Jesus? Is it out of a sense of guilt or obligation? Or is it a result of a relationship with someone or with Jesus? How could you make it an act of worship?

3. Our “to do” lists get long. We are told we can’t be everything to everyone. But maybe we do the wrong things instead of the important things. What should be on your “to do” list? Like Mary, what could you do?

Like Mary, I am inspired to do what I can.

Submitted by Ginny Birky

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 5:1-15 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 20th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 19, 2021: Prayer Journal

Consider the song “God is Love” by Chris Renzema

How great this love
Oh, it’s moving all my mountains
It’s perfect love
It’s casting out my fear
How great this love
Oh, it welcomes me like family
And anywhere I go
It meets me there
‘Cause He is good
And He is God
What I earned
It’s not what I got
And He is just
Yet also kind

What I deserve
It’s not what I find
What more could I say about Him?
My God is love
How great this love
Oh, it’s faithful through my failures
It’s trusting love
It’s with me ‘til the end
How great this love
Oh, it’s closer than a brother
This is love
He died so I could live

Submitted by Cara Bartlett

What imagery stands out to you? How do you experience God as love?

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 4:27-54 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 19th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 18, 2021: Prayer Journal

“I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”

– Maya Angelou

Submitted by Rachelle Staley

Meditate on the wise words of Maya Angelou. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you in what ways you in particular can do some good today while keeping in mind that “good done anywhere is good done everywhere.”

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 4:1-26 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 18th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 17, 2021: Prayer Journal

Psalm 6

“LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint;
heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, LORD, how long?
Turn, LORD, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the LORD has heard my weeping.
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.
All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.”

Submitted by Steve Sherwood

Try your hand at writing your own psalm of lament today (there are innumerable simple guides how-to online). Whatever has you “worn out from groaning,” God does hear your cry for mercy and accepts you and your prayers. You are not alone.

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 3:22-36 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 17th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 16, 2021: Prayer Journal

Consider this poem, “Blessing the Dust: For Ash Wednesday” by Jan Richardson from her book Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons.

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners

or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.

Submitted by Nancy Thurston

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 3:1-21 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 16th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 15, 2021: Prayer Journal

Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney

Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney is a “[womanist] biblical scholar, author, prist, and professor of the Hebrew Scriptures… ‘Womainism is interested in the well-being of the entire community, and that especially means the wel-being of those who are vulnerable and often exploited,’ Rev. Wil explains. ‘To get there, we start by listening to Black women… I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacbo, but I also believe in the God of Hagar, Sarah, Keturah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah,’ Rev. Wil says. Not only do the stories of these often-forgotten women teach us , but by naming them, we show them respect. ‘Saying a person’s name is very important in African-derived cultures,” Rev. Wil says. ‘So it’s important to say their names.’

The names we use for God are another important part of Rev. Wil’s teaching too. Language matters; the way we speak about God determines what and who we value most. So Rev. Wil asks her students to think about the question: ‘What is your God language and why?’… Rev. Wil asks her students to imagine hearing scripture with the feminine gender of God’s Spirit still present in the words. Some examples include, She rested on them,’ ‘The Spirit of God came upon David,’ and ‘She made me.’ This last phrase is in the Hebrew Scriptures more than 30 times, usually describing God’s Spirit urging someone to take action.”

“What is your favorite word for God?”

[excerpts from “Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints” by Daneen Akers]

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 2 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 15th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 14, 2021: Prayer Journal

Sun 2/14  – Coretta Scott King (1927-2006)

“Coretta Scott King was one of the most influential women leaders in our world. Prepared by her family, education, and personality for a life committed to social justice and peace, she entered the world stage in 1955 as wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and as a leading participant in the American Civil Rights Movement. Her remarkable partnership with Dr. King resulted not only in four children, who became dedicated to carrying forward their parent’s work, but also in a life devoted to the highest values of human dignity in service to social change.

Mrs. King traveled throughout the world speaking out on behalf of racial and economic justice, women’s and children’s rights, gay and lesbian dignity, religious freedom, the needs of the poor and homeless, full-employment, health care, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament and environmental justice. She lent her support to pro-democracy movements world-wide and consulted with many world leaders, including Corazon Aquino, Kenneth Kaunda, and Nelson Mandela.”

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members … a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.”

What might you do in service to social change? May we remember and live out Coretta Scott King’s noticings –  a community with a heart of grace and soul generated by love.

[illustration by Kadir Nelson, excerpt from The King Center]

For further reflection, today we’re reading John 1 in our community lenten reader.

By |February 14th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 13, 2021: Prayer Journal

Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933)

“Charles Tindley is known as one of the “founding fathers of American Gospel music.” The son of [enslaved parents], he taught himself to read and write at age 17. He was a driven young man, working as a janitor while attending night school, and earning his divinity degree through a correspondence course. In 1902, he became pastor of the Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the church where he had earlier been the janitor. At the time of Tindley’s death, his church had 12,500 members…

Tindley wrote over 40 hymns in his lifetime. His “I’ll Overcome Some Day” was the basis for the American civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome,” popularized in the 1960’s.”

“When the storms of life are raging, stand by me. When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, Thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.”

What songs inspire you? What songs drive you forward? What songs give you hope? Take time today to surround yourself with music and explore artists you’re unfamiliar with.

[excerpt from Blue Letter Bible]

By |February 13th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 12, 2021: Prayer Journal

Georgia Gilmore (1920-1990)

“Georgia Gilmore, a single mother of six children with no formal education, worked for white families as a cleaner, a cook, and a nurse. When the [Montgomery Bus] boycott started, she founded the Club From Nowhere, an underground organization of maids, service workers, and cooks who prepared and sold sandwiches pies and cakes, and who collected donations in the service of black freedom. Gilmore’s visionary activism became an example for other neighborhoods, other communities.

When Gilmore’s employer found out about her political activities, he fired and blacklisted her. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped her turn her kitchen into a “restaurant” and it became a hub for people involved in the boycott. Her [food] became a conduit for political connection and for political action.

Her kitchen connected all kinds of people in the civil rights movement… King himself often held secret meetings at her home since he could trust her and her food. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy ate in her kitchen… Georgia Gilmore was a leader and a visionary.”

“You cannot be afraid if you want to accomplish anything. You got to have the willing, the spirit and above all, you got to have the get-up.”

Georgia Gilmore was able to use what she had (a passion and talent for the culinary arts and an ability to organize) and was able to make a huge impact in the civil rights movement. How might we use what we have to further justice and peace in our community? How might we cultivate “the willing, the spirit and… the get-up” in ourselves and in one another?

[excerpt from Equality Archive]

By |February 12th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments

February 11, 2021: Prayer Journal

Mary Fields (1832-1942)

“When her friend [nun, Mother Amadeus] was sick, she rushed to look after her… Mary stayed on to help out. She took care of four hundred chickens and drove a stagecoach to transport visitors to and from the convent. One night, wolves attached the stagecoach. Mary fought them off all night long, and in the morning she made it back to the convent safe and sound…

She spent ten years working there until a man complained she was making two dollars more than him each month… There was a shootout: six guns were emptied in the back of the nunnery, and the man was injured. The bishop fired Mary and gave the man a raise.

Mary opened a restaurant, but because she gave food to everyone, whether they could pay for it or not, she went out of business in just a few months.

At sixty, she applied to be a mail carrier. She got the job because she was the fastest person to hitch up a team of six horses. She was the second woman and first African American woman to work for the United States Postal Service… In her spare time she babysat children, spending all the money she made to buy them presents.”

Mary’s life shone with generosity, courage, and resiliency. In what ways can we grow resiliency in ourselves and those in our care? How might you be an extension of God’s generosity today?

[excerpt from “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2” by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli ]

By |February 11th, 2021|Categories: Prayer Journal|0 Comments
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