Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Tag

Bring Him Home   Leave a comment


This week I am starting a new tradition on my blog.  I am posting a song on Fridays which speaks to me each week.

In light of the violence that we are experiencing in places within our nation and the Middle East, as well as the Ukraine, I have decided to share a song that I believe many parents can relate to in regards to their children.  It is a prayer that takes place in the midst of the musical, Les Miserable.

The Delivery   Leave a comment


Message in a bottle.

Message in a bottle. (Photo credit: elvis_payne)

I have come to learn a very important fact of life….  sometimes the way that you deliver a message has a great bearing on the way a message is received.

One of the difficult tasks that a leader must perform is communicating information to a person or group of people which may cause great angst, anxiety, or even anger.  As a leader, I always struggle with this task and I often wish that there was someone else that I could send to deliver the message.  However, there are times when only you are the appropriate person to be the deliverer of the words.

Whenever I face such  a situation, I start by sharing it with the Lord through prayers.  You notice that I used the word prayers because I lift the situation to the Lord multiple times before I need to share whatever potentially troubling information must be shared.  My next step is to seek others to pray that the Lord will give me courage, wisdom, and the correct words when the time arrives.  One of the reasons that I rely on prayers is because I cannot think of any person who was as adept at delivering information that my Lord, Jesus.

My next step is to think about how I am going to deliver the message.  I have learned that choosing the location and timing is an important part of the delivery.  I must be mindful of events leading up to my conversation.  I must strive to choose the proper setting for sharing my words with the individual(s).  Then I must choose what words to share.  These things are so important because it impacts how the message is received.  The same message can be delivered without consideration to these details and could result in a very negative response by the receiver(s).  However, if I take time to consider these details, while the message still may be disturbing to hearer, the words may be better received.

Time spent on creating the message is important.  Time spent on determining the delivery is just as important.

A Leader’s Prayer   Leave a comment


Alabaster Sins

(Photo credit: Washthebowl)

This week I seem drawn to prayer more so than other weeks.  As I was sitting in my office this morning, I was thinking about today’s post.  There were so many topics that came to mind but the one that seemed to reoccur was my need for prayer.  So I decided to share this prayer with all of you:

Lord, I pray that you give me the courage to lead.  Many times I feel that the situations facing me are too overwhelming.  I question how I will be able to lead the people who you have entrusted to my care.  How do I help them find ways of living in meaningful and positive relationships?  How do I help them work through their differences and find common ground?  There seems to be so much disharmony.  It appears that behaviors are antagonistic and divisive.  As problems mount, relationships strain and so many view breaking relationship with one another as the solution.  Words are said which are hurtful and destructive.  Plots are generated.  Troops are rallied.  Sides are chosen.

Then Lord, you remind me that you have called and equipped me to be a leader.  This is not based on any great ability that I have or any great wisdom that I possess.  This is based on the fact that as a leader devoted to you, I am led by you.  The situations that are being faced are not dependent on me but upon you.  You have promised to give me words when I need them.  You have promised to give me ideas when they will be beneficial.  You have promised to help me listen better when that is the right course of action.  You have promised to provide solutions that I am able to assist in implementing.  So I pray that you help me do a better job of following you and in so doing I will be a much better leader.

Thank you Lord for reminding me that this is not about me but all about you!  Thank you for granting me your wisdom.  Thank you for giving to me your strength.  Thank you for calling me back to your feet so that I may learn.

So my prayer this day, Holy One, is that I may sit at your feet, follow your path, and lead as you teach me to lead.  Help me to keep my focus upon you and provide the way for others to turn their focus to you.  Help me to be an example that others may choose to follow as I follow you.

In Christ’s name.  Amen.

Prayer Power   3 comments


Praying Hands (Dürer)

Praying Hands (Dürer) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was leading a meeting yesterday that had some potentially very difficult matters to resolve.  I had shared with others the concerns that I had regarding the direction the meeting might take.  Many people, definitely including myself, were praying about this meeting.  I can clearly state that the power of those prayers was strongly evident to me at the end of the meeting.

Here are the proofs that prayer power has an impact:

  • Instead of being in discussion an hour later than I anticipated, we ended all our work about an hour early.
  • The difficult decisions that had to be made were discussed civilly and decisions were made in a positive manner.
  • There were wonderful, uplifting surprises that happened throughout the meeting.
  • The general atmosphere of the meeting was upbeat and not divisive as I had feared.

While I am aware that many people contributed to the positive outcomes of the meeting, I am convinced that the greatest impact on the meeting was the Lord.

So let me stand as one that definitely believes in the true power of prayer.

Be Present   Leave a comment


403x403xar136606055914914.png.pagespeed.ic.befRD2Bt-fLike most people in the United States, I sat in shock once again as I watched the news from Boston come across social media feeds and on television stations yesterday.  Another event in the life of our nation that caused all of us to bring into question our perceived safety.  Another event that led to an endless number of questions, some of which will never be answered.  Another event that extended out of some form of hatred and would stir up other thoughts of hatred.  Another event which leads people to make assumptions and make statements that may not have any truth to support them.  Another event that causes many of us to ask, “How do I respond?”

A colleague of mine posted on social media the great value of being silent.  The statement came out of response to some other statements being posted which already assigned blame for the Boston explosions on specific people or groups of people.  Those at the heart of the investigation have not even released names of potential suspects or evidence of links to any specific groups.  However, people in hurt and anger begin to lash out at others who they think might be the culprits.

Whenever tragedy occurs, whether on a large-scale level or on a personal level, many people wonder how to respond or what to say.  I think the greatest rule of thumb is to be present.  If on a personal level, take time to be with the person or persons involved in the tragedy.  You do not even have to say anything other than “I am here.”  On a larger scale, you can still be present with words such as, “You are in my prayers,” or “My spirit stands by you.”  There really are not “right” words to share but there are plenty of “wrong” words to share.  However, there is never anything wrong with being present.  Many times, that is all people need to know, that they are not going through this alone.

So as I pray for all who have been impacted by the tragedy in Boston.  As I give thanks for all the bystanders and emergency personnel that responded swiftly and with great skill.  I am present in spirit in Boston this day.

 

Patience   5 comments


Calm water

Calm water (Photo credit: palestrina55)

Alright, it is confession time once again.  I must confess that I struggle with the concept of being patient.  I can justify this struggle so many different ways but the truth is that I am not a very patient person.  I see things that I want to accomplish and I go full steam to try to make it happen.  I see situations that I want corrected or changed and I exert much energy to make  those corrections or changes a reality.  I struggle when caught in long lines.  I hate been slowed in traffic.  I detest being part of mob because the group does not move at the pace I would like to move.  I could continue but I think that you have a sense of this struggle which rages inside of me all too often.  While I would like to say that I have made improvements in this area, I am not too naive to state that I have a very long ways to go in this battle.

Over the last few weeks, I have been forced to work on patience.  I have had to remain patient with my son as I saw him struggle with pain and set backs.  I have had to remain patient as the healing process has taken its course.  I have had to remain patient as hour upon hour there has been little to no rest.  I have had to remain patient as I have waited upon medical staff and sat in waiting rooms.  These have been lessons for me and given me the opportunity to make headway in my struggle with patience.

I never include a request for the Lord to give me patience when I engage in my daily prayers.  My fear is that if I make such a request, the Lord will be more than willing to allow opportunities for me to practice this discipline.  However, even though I do not request such assistance, the Lord, who is extremely benevolent and knows what I need even though I do not utter the words, often gives me lesson opportunities.

Today, as I reflected on the pace of my son’s recovery, these words came into my mind:

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalm 46:10, NIV)

This reminder to “Be still” for me is the key to my need for patience during this time.  I need to rest in the arms of my Lord right now.  I need to remember that God is God and I am not.  I cannot “fix” my son.  I cannot take away his pain.  I cannot speed up his healing process.  I need to remember that God is in charge.  I need to take the opportunity to be still in the Lord and to have confidence that the Lord is at work even when I cannot see it concretely.  I need to have patience.

 

Back On Track   Leave a comment


 

gratitude

gratitude (Photo credit: nathalie booth)

After a long hiatus, I am finally back in the saddle of every day life.  I would not say that I am back to normal (partly because I am not sure I have ever achieved “normal”) because I am still assisting in providing care for my son who finally got out of the hospital Sunday afternoon.  Nights are still fragmented by the need to provide pain medication every three hours.  However, I am back in the office for the first full day since July 10.  Because I am trying to re-establish my regular routine, writing my blog post is part of that.

Today, I just want to reflect a bit over the days since July 10.  These days have been filled with many ups and many more downs.  For a person who likes to manage as much in life as possible, encountering long periods when aspects of life are completely out of my control  have caused a lot of emotional and spiritual fatigue.  Watching your child suffer and knowing that there was little that you could do was extremely frustrating to me.  While I hope that my words of comfort and my attempts to provide calm in very difficult situations had some value, I knew that I could not take the pain away, nor could I wish quick healing into existence.  I struggled at times to keep an eye on the end goal but knew that I had to constantly remind him of that goal.

I am forever grateful for the many words of encouragement and the endless barrage of prayer that have been sent our way.  The ability for me to keep individuals updated via Facebook was a blessing because I was also able to regularly see the words that others would post on each update.  It reminded me that there were so many people who cared and who were offering support from so many different places.  As I mentioned before we ever went to the hospital, having a community of support is vital and rewarding in these situations.

So as I attempt to continue to be constantly available to my son while returning to the office and trying to fulfill my responsibilities, I want to say thank you.  Thank you to those who have been a constant strength to me and my family.  Thank you to those who have offered prayers and encouragement.  Thank you to those who have offered to provide whatever relief is possible.  Thank you most of all to the Lord who has walked this path with us from the beginning and who continues to provide healing for my son.