Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let Us Pray II...

I’ve very much enjoyed the discussion about the St. Francis Prayer and the Serenity Prayer. Famous prayers are very interesting to me…I’m always intrigued with trying to understand what makes them catch on with people…why they strike a chord with the public…what makes us relate to them...what makes them become classic or iconic.

When I was growing up, every meal always began with “God is great, God is good; Let us thank Him for our food; By His hands we must be fed; Give us, Lord, our daily bread. Amen.” I actually think that that simple little prayer is quite profound, but every night before I went to bed I also had to say this dreary little verse:

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
And if I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."


That’s really a horrible thought to send a kid off to bed with…the preparation for early death, with the idea that you might not make it until morning! Sweet dreams. If you add to that “Don’t let the bedbugs bite”, it really makes going to bed the scariest part of the day.

But there is also a version of this prayer that is more positive in outlook:

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
When in the morning light I wake,
Teach me the path of love to take."


And another recent version:

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Guard me Jesus through the night,
And wake me with the morning light."



Those versions of the prayer I can live with. Here are two more famous prayers for your consideration and discussion.


Prayer of Mother Teresa

Dear Jesus, Help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go, flood our souls with your Spirit and life. Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through us and be so in us that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Let them look up and see no longer us but only Jesus. Stay with us and then we shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be light to others. The light, O Jesus, will be all from you. None of it will be ours. It will be your shining on others through us. Let us thus praise you in the way you love best by shining on those around us. Let us preach you without preaching not by words, but by our example by the catching force the sympathetic influence of what we do the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.



Prayer of Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone.

_______________________________

Speaking of prayer, be in agreement with us about the details of the Israel trip. Jimmy Carter's visit there has, for some reason, forced the meeting to have a two or three week delay. If it's a two-week delay it would fall on the week of the church anniversary and Judah's graduation, which of course would mean that we would have to cancel. If it's a three week delay it would be fine (except that it might fall on Mom's 70th birthday, which I think we could work out...we'll see). There's another one scheduled for the fall, but I'd really like to go ASAP. The bottom line is that it needs to have the same flow that the Korea trip had. The Lord will perfect that which concerns us.

God is great...God is good!

38 comments:

Erik said...

Hello grand blog community! Please pardon my intermittent exchange lately.

The prayer by Thomas Merton – Oh do I hear That !!!! Yes and Amen !!!!

The prayer by Mother Theresa , I echo every word, both of these are real, direct, and from the heart. This one by Mother Theresa, the fragrance of The Lord, the contact every soul can feel that comes into contact with our soul, oh yes!! We shine to the those around us as an expression of our praise to Hosanna, -- of course !!!


This all reminds me of what Pastor Debye said at the end of service last Sunday, about the sons of Isaac loving the sons of Ishmael, the trip to Israel, the painting of Jesus washing the feet with the flags and some world leaders seated. – In our, and seems like the world’s perception, the sons of Isaac seem to have the edge, the power – if so, then the sons of Isaac have every reason to serve the sons of Ishmael, to take the initiative to wash their feet with no requirement. Love, respect, honor them first. I assume the sons of Isaac refer to the European and Jewish progeny, which I guess is the Western ‘world’ or what we call the ‘developed’ world. Funny that that is what we call ‘us’ and call ‘them’ the developing world. A little ego centric?? Anyway, since we, the G1 of the G7 , especially, have every reason to wash the feet of those we believe to be superior to, super especially those in the west who think we follow Jesus The Christ. What a great way to follow Him, not as the political, economic , or military queens and kings we already are , but as The Servant Kings and Queens that have real sovereignty. The kind that supersedes all others, of yeah, again, like The King of Kings. Unless, of course, we really do not believe all that stuff, and instead have made our money, political power, and military might God. What was that about serving one or the other, Mammon or God? I suppose we are at that crossroad. Do we have the crown as the Servant King, or give it up to the next one favored by Mammon?

Check this out, in the foolish confound the wise – CITN is the deciding factor, from the metropolis of Conyers, west is in, west is out. Athens (Greece) ancients may not see the humor, but I do. What will it be ? Last-First, or First –Last ? All up to us, as the world waits with baited breath. … Stay Tuned.

Kettly said...

Bonjour, (Good Morning)

My Prayer of Adoration and Worship
Through The Spirit!

I cry “Abba Father” in appreciation, gratitude, wonder, and joy at knowing God and enjoying His presence. As His creation, I have the privilege of saying “O Father, how blessed I am to have You, to rest in Christ’s redemption, to have the Divine Comforter as my Advocate and heavenly Helper. O Father, I love You, adore You, and I bow down before You!" What a wonder it is to step into the throne room of heaven and behold the King and heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus, on the throne! How indescribable is His gaze of delight upon me. Why, does He love me so? Humble, yet believing, I embrace His love and say I believe You, Lord. I believe that You love me with an everlasting love. May I keep this ever before me and abide in Your love. May this always be the crown I wear each day that I am crowned with Your lovingkindness. AMEN!

This is one of my many Prayers I wrote to God!

Bishop as you said on your post your steps are order. And I know the will of God, will truly indeed perfect everything for you. Trust and believe on that!

God Bless!
K.

dgm2007 said...

THE Prayer of Mother Teresa really awesome. I've been in such a peaceful place and last night it was really disturbed. I mean just by the prescene of another person. it was a true wrestling of the spirits. and it just showed my that by walking in the spirit interference will come up but. By living in peace and acting out of love any adversarial spirit will be bound. Awesome post once again... I hope everything works out on the Israel trip Sounded cool. Im sure the Spirit will guide you. Be careful of like sounding voices the peace of God will come when a decision needs to be made..

linda said...

I am glad to know that I am not the only one who was weirded out by the first "lay me down to sleep" prayer. Once I realized what we were saying I would make sure that I got a bad attack of the yawns because I did NOT want to die before I woke up, my poor sister always had to finish that prayer for us.

Loved the prayer of Thomas Merton. It is nice to know that there are others like me. Did you ever feel like you were always flying by the seat of your pants and the only prayer that you can verbalize is please don't let the seams rip today.

Have a great day :)

Laura said...

Hey Bishop

Really is this real.
Mother Teresa's prayer is what I have basically been praying for the last 12 years.
Thomas Merton's prayer is kinda how I've been praying about this weekend.
I know it's time to put things back in order.
Isn't it funny the things you struggle with are the same things that can also set you free.
Thank You for last night (prayer).
I wrote this poem about prayer.
Just wanted to shareit with you.

Pray

I pray for you
Pray for me too
Prayer is a gift we give to one another
Just as the Father does with our sisters and brothers
Pray for healing
Pray for the promotion
Pray for wealth
Pray for me and pray for yourself
Prayer works when you believe
Don’t listen to the serpent who deceives
Prayer can take you very far
It works much better than making a wish upon a star
Prayer can put miracles into motion
Open your mouth and pray with devotion
Prayer is all you really need
For the Father hears and gives when you believe

Laura Benson
4-1-2007

Last nights word was heard and received. Thank You

Jennifer Westray said...

Good Morning Bishop,

I thought I was the only one that found the "Now I lay me down to sleep" a creepy prayer before bed. But I had heard another version that I am teaching my son. "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. The Angels watch me through the night...and keep me in their blessed sight"

That is one that I can deal with a bit better that he can understand.

I'm really enjoying this blog today.

Have a great day!

Jennifer

DoubleBack Alley said...

Sahib,

Dovetailing the last two posts. Saw the interaction with PM and thought of another song which strikes a chord with the theme today of memories that resonate. I don't think that I have ever heard the song, "Amazing Grace" sang corporately or individually without some show of emotion. I think it shows the intimate emotional connection with our soul and carnality, not necessarily the spirit (but possibly) and reminds us that we really are searching for the perfection that is within us. I have heard "Shout to the Lord", but you and PM obviously have a different experience than most others. Oddly enough, the only other song that causes me to similarly stir is the National Anthem, especially with a flyover.

Maybe the songs have to do with the sacrifices made by others to make my life better and the pride I feel to know that I am in a community that believes it has a responsibility to the world, even if misguided at times.

The BITN community here experiences grief, joy, hardships, accomplishments, tragedies, and victories on a daily basis. It prides me to know that I share in those with all of you. I can cry with you and laugh with you because you are part of me. I love you all very much.

Say goodnight Gracie.

Ain't God Good?

dgm2007 said...

WOW Laura. that prayer was so what i needed to hear. ive been praying over my friends without them knowing and some awesome stuff has been going on. from the inside out. that poem is so powerful. nice Job. i check this thing a little too much.. :)

Scribe38 said...

Good Morning Family:

Its good to feel welcomed in a place where you know that people not only care, but are praying for you as well. I've been going through some terrifying ordeals lately and still am, but Bishop said that the Lord SHALL PERFECT all that concerns me, and I must believe that because I have nothing else to stand on. In the meantime, its taking alot of energy just for me to be here today, but God instructed me to plant this seed, which will hopefully help someone else, and in the meantime produce a harvest of exactly what I need right now as well. Here is a word that God gave me yesterday:

Written: Wednesday Evening /
16 april 2008 @ 1454 Hours

"Shout Hallelujah! declares the Lord of Hosts, for no weapon formed against thee shall prosper. For this is the day that I- Lord Almighty have made and you shall rejoice and be glad in it. Stand in Awe of Me through mine Goodness, Grace, Mercy, and glory, for surely I have covered you on every side. let the redeemd of the Lord thy God RISE UP, as every knee bosw and every tongue confesses that Emmanuel the Christ is Son of the Living God. Be still and know that I am God. This is the day that the Lord has made and you shall rejoice and be glad in it. Standfast! and bear witness to the Glory and Salvation of the Lord thy god in the land of the living. No weapon formed against thee shall prosper and every lying tongue that has risen up agains thee has been silenced, condemned, and proven to be in the dead wrong! I am the Lord thy God and worthy to be magnified and glorified at all times. I am not a man that I should lie, neither the Son of Man that I should repent. Therefore, choose ye' the fateful day whose report you shall believe and what master you shall serve. I am faithful at all times and mine solemn word shall not return to you void. Therfore, shout Hallelujah! for the just / righteous shalllive by FAITH and every high thing that has exalted itself above mine word and the calling that I have placed upon your live has been cast down and destroyed. So, what then, shall you say to all these things? If I- JEHOVAH GOD Almighty be lifted up, then I shall draw all persons near unto Me. Do not give up, for I shal keep you safe in the midst of all adversity, wherefore the terrors on every side have been demolished. Stand in awe of mine presence, for I am truly the On-time God. Rest in Me, for I- the Lord thy God have perfected ALL THINGS concerning you and your household nad you shall not be without nor made a mockery or, nor put to shame. Rejoice, for I have covered you from all sides and commanded the immediate release of all necessary provision. So, watch me deliver the manifestation without fail because you praised me in the eye of this storm. Stand still and know that I am God and you are neither forgotten or forsaken.

Selah... AMEN.

G8TRGRL said...

... o.k, this used to mess with me, "Rock-a-bye baby, in the tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks the cradle will fall, down will come baby, cradle and all"!

Breaking tree limbs, tumbling babies...Aaggghh! Lullaby or lulla-nightmare?

The prayer by Thomas Merton... mmmm. Profound.

My 11 year old, coming to me this morning, telling me "be strong and courageous", from Joshua 1:9. Little does he know how prophetic a word that is to me. Nice to know he is paying attention on Wednesday night... :o)

Dennis Caldwell said...

Hello Blogger Family,
Prayer Hmmm. I guess prayer is the single most important part of my life. I say that with all earnest. Because to me prayer is the connection that I have with the one that is in control of all my life; I really believe that. So if I were to start a day without prayer, to me it would be like taking a walk across a six lane freeway without even looking either way. You would be quite fortunate if that day turned out well. Although I believe God in His mercy does look out for those that are less inclined to consult with Him. Otherwise the world would be utter chaos. But I believe that I have been called to a higher level of communication with God, not to “look down on those” who are not; but to “look out for them”. To each his own, one has this gift another has that. We have to work out “our own” salvation and some are called to help others in the process. Prayer is one of those tools given for such a work. So I pray; I pray for everyone everywhere all over the world; I pray for all kinds of things that I don’t even understand but God does; and of course my immediate family and concerns. But sometimes I pray very BIG PRAYERS that even scared me at the first. Then I thought; “who do you think you are anyway”? But verses in the bible kept coming to me about how we should pray for the salvation of all men and for those with authority over us. Well this thought just kept expanding until it became “global”. Then I thought again “really, who do you think you are’? Then God reminded me of the things He has said in His word about these things and seemed to be saying to me; “do you not think I meant it when I said to pray for all men, and all in authority, to speak to MOUNTAINS and they would move, to believe what you pray for, to pray for my will to be done, is not my will to bring salvation, reconciliation, restoration, and Peace to the WORLD?” So I said OK God but I don’t know why you would ask a peon like me to do such an awesome thing. He didn’t seem to like that last statement much, so I have some issues I am still working on; don’t we all. Anyway this has developed into my writing down some of my prayers as you all have already read. I do this partly because I am such an analytical thinker and it really bugs me if I think I did not say something “just right”. A tendency which the Lord showed me would not work the first time I stepped into the pulpit. But one I still have not gotten over; so I write things down and then I rewrite them and then I rewrite them; OK I think you got it. Also this habit of writing down prayers is I think partly hereditary. My Mother, Father, and Grandmother all had a habit of writing down prayers. I remember finding little pieces of paper around the house when I was growing up that had little short prayers written on them my Mother had written. This all started about 20 years ago when I was reading in the gospels how that Jesus went out early in the morning before daylight and before the others were up and began His day with prayer. I thought if the Son of God needed to start His day with prayer; how much more do I? It was then that I realized that I really only prayed when I thought I needed something or when it was “appropriate” you know at church or something. I was embarrassed and ashamed to say the least. So I made a commitment to not begin a day without prayer even if it was for only five minuets, even if it made me later that I would like to leave the house. Then God really blessed me in those times and made me aware of another part of His calling. I have kept that commitment by the grace of God all these years, even is some very pressing circumstances at times. But I have been blessed, I have heard the voice of God, and have been instructed by the Spirit; what greater privilege could there be? That five minuet commitment has developed over the years into my getting up extra early every morning, sometimes as much as two hours early to meet with God sit before Him Pour my heart out, pray “BIG PRAYERS” and listen to His reply. What an awesome wonderful blessing and privilege to meet with my creator and the creator/master or the universe every morning! I hear Cat Stevens in the back of my mind singing “morning has broken” I had better go, no telling what is coming next and I have been rather long winded this morning.

Shalom,
Dennis

Iz/JOY said...

While it's not a "famous" prayer, somewhere along the way our family began reciting this one @ meal times:

Rub a dub dub,
Thanks for the grub!
Yay, God!

To some, this may seem sacrilegious. But, it always evoked laughter around our table & stimulated an appetite for conversation. I can't think of better ways to enjoy a meal with loved ones than simply acknowledging divine Providence with genuine appreciation.

The "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer is familiar. So well rehearsed, that my older sister & I often embellished our own versions of it to ward off the overwhelming, impending ickiness.

Enjoyed Mother Teresa's & Merton's prayers.

Merton's is more pertinent to our recent trip. Had never been to the area, had no expectations, didn't feel anything about going, one way or the other.

But, once we arrived - WHOA. My spirit leaped inside and somehow, I instinctively "knew" - "this" must be "that". As in, another piece of a prayer puzzle.

My prayer would probably be similar to Merton's:

Lord, where we goin'? You're gonna be there, too. Right? I mean, I know You say You are. So, that's gotta mean You are everywhere... I'm takin' you, kinda. But, You'll already be there when I arrive.

I know it's an evil generation that asks for a sign. But... can Ya, anyway? Will there be angels to help out? In different forms, I mean.

Like... that college girl who only packed her hair dryer for carry-on, back at the airport. Nobody would ever suspect her of being one of your messengers, Lord.

But, she was. She ministered laughter without even knowing it. Who couldn't overhear her phone conversation to her room-mate, back @ college, wherever.

"I mean people everywhere, right? So, I'm like, dude, you're kiddin'. I gotta take off my shoes? And like, I'm so tired. And the place is like, so crowded.

So, it's like... there's no way I'm goin' without my mom. So, I'm buggin', "Mom. Ya gotta get down here!" And she did. And then, I've gotta take another flight and they're askin' what's up with this hairdryer!"

And how 'bout this, Lord - the homeless guy in the park. He wanted me to help him fly his kite from a fishing pole.

Was that another of Your messengers? Because, I never would have caught that, outright. His whole appearance was kinda scary at first.

But, then I remembered how You said to be careful entertaining strangers & went with it. Afterwards, the whole area smelled sweet. Like waffle cones in an ice-cream shop.

Then, when he smiled, his broken, yellowed teeth didn't seem as menacing as when he first spoke to us from his wheelchair.

I bet that other guy @ the park gate was one of Yours, too, huh? The guitarist who played, "All along the watchtower", so well. And nobody seemed to notice his bucket up against the wrought iron fence.

But, I thanked You. (just in case)

Amen

Dennis Caldwell said...

Big AMEN Kettly, Loved your Prayer, it’s a keeper!

Great poem Laura, can I copy it with your sig. for my blog sometime?

Doubleback alley, I wondered if anyone else had that experience with the national anthem.

G8trgrl, that rock-a-by-baby tree top thing made me wonder too, what were they thinking?

Bishop, you know God has always got something up his sleeve that he doesn’t let us in on till it can really freak us out. He is just like that, shows His interesting, fun-loving, sense of humor side.

Charis, Eirene, Agape,
Dennis

peacemaker said...

Love the second version of the bedtime prayer. ..."When in the morning light I wake, teach me the path of love to take." Makes me wish my kids were little again so I could hear them plant that into their dreams each night.


Mother Teresa's prayer...made me emotional.

Merton's prayer...made me emotional.

What's with all the emotion lately?? And strange cravings for things beyond the ordinary.

I think I might be pregnant.

Maybe pregnant with...a brand new version of me! Can't wait to see what I look like this time.

Here's to being born again!!

PM

PS,
I hope you recieved my words about Korea. Israel is no exception. I know there is alot going on but try and not over-plan. Stay Present...the plans will work themselves out.

LP in SC said...

Time for a sing-a-long, LP style...

Blurk, blurk, blurk the blog
Gently in the stream,
Merrily, joyously, living victoriously,
Cyber world's a dream!

Just saying "hey."

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Erik…masterpiece…really solid gold stuff…

Merci beaucoup, Kettly…

Thanks, DGM…and you can never check here too much…

Linda, there’s a very, very fine line between flying by the seat of your pants and walking in the Spirit…

I’m glad you got a word before you went on your trip, Laura…

Thanks, Jennifer, and welcome!

DBA, Amazing Grace is a completely separate thing…it’s so much a part of our collective consciousness that it’s not even a song any more…it’s something more...it's a shared experience. I actually love the Star Spangled Banner, but America the Beautiful is the one that gets me every time…

Scribe, the word is near you, even in your own mouth…

Welcome, Gr8trgrl, and you’re right about Rock-a-bye baby…what was that about?

Good stuff about prayer, Dennis…

Cool, Izumi…

Peacemaker…“pregnant with a new version of myself?”…love it! Message received about the trip…it’s all good…

Overcomer said...

Hi Bishop,
Great site!

I was meditating on the 23rd psalm last night and thinking about what a Good Shepherd Jesus is. He promises to never leave us. He says he will supply all of our needs. He will direct our paths. Soon, my fears and racing thoughts were washed away by the comforting words and images of the Lord as my Good Shepherd holding my hand and leading me beside the peaceful still waters. No more thoughts about tomorrow and everything I need to finish at work...No more thoughts about issues that I truly cannot control or change...No more thoughts about my future...I just kept reciting the Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want until I was fast asleep.

God truly is a Good God and all that we will ever need. In Him we are complete. The Universe declares His Glory in everything. I remember watering my plants last year when the drought was so bad and the branches and leaves on some of the bushes literally moved and seemed to be clapping in thanksgiving for the much-needed drink of water. I smiled and thought about how God said the rocks and stones will cry out and the trees will clap their hands and praise Him if we don’t. So we can rest knowing that He is a Good Shepherd who cares for us and is ever interceding for us to be one even as He and the Father are one. We can surrender and Trust Him to lead us down that perfect path that God has preordained for us.

G8TRGRL said...

Thanks for the welcome... posting anonymously no more... sort of! :o)

Divine coincidence. Opened up my copy of "23", and it was bookmarked from a while ago, on pg.38 (Part 2: A time of stillness, #7) I re-read the page and it resonated to me a similarity in what Merton is saying in his prayer. "Just follow the Shepherd from where you are right now and don't worry about the missing pieces of the puzzle because, at the end of the day, all that really matters is that you know Him".

Perhaps he too was inspired by that Psalm?

Isn't today amazingly gorgeous? A "Chamber of Commerce" day for us here in the Atlanta area. The blue of the sky today is beautiful, and the fresh, new green on the trees... ahhh, spring in Georgia.

Hope you all have a chance to enjoy the beauty of your day, wherever you are!

Scribe38 said...

Hello Family:

Its me again... here's a short story I wrote a few years back that God told me to post, so I pray that it reaches whoever needs it.

Excerpt taken from the book entitled:

“Trees along the Scenic Trail”

{Not Yet Published: [DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION!!!] )

Author: C.FORD

Email: az289@bellsouth.net

Written: Tuesday, 12 September 2006 @ 1445 Hours

“Out of Sugar?”

Nearly everyday, for approximately seven years or so, I have been drinking green tea. One of my East Asian friends from the past advised me of the health benefits of green tea because she was aware that my immune system had been compromised as a result of my time spent in the war zone while serving in the army.

During a period of financial struggle, I was out of green tea for almost three weeks. I purchased green tea from a specialty market because of the purity and quality of the products, which were directly imported from Japan. When I finally managed to get a little money in my hands to take a trip to the market so that I could restock on my favorite green teas, life was good! It was almost a week after I had refilled the top shelf of my pantry with green teas, then I found that I was nearly out of sugar. One morning, I made myself a cup of the wonderful Jasmine Green Tea, only to realize that my last two teaspoons of sugar had been used the day before. Although a bit perturbed at the situation, I began to debate whether or not I would / could drink my cup of tea. It would have been an easy remedy to simply walk to the store and purchase more sugar; however, I had no money to do so.

In my state of dismay, GOD spoke to me in reference to the seeming dilemma at hand with the tea and sugar. The voice of the LORD said: “Cheryl, previously, your immune system was low and you felt poorly when there was no green tea at your disposal. I then blessed you with enough money to purchase the teas that you needed. Now, that you have begun to feel better by providing your body what it needed in order to function properly for the past week, you are at an unnecessary fork in the road. You are out of sugar and there is no money. So, what are you going to do? There is nothing to sweeten the medicinal potion with. Are you going to allow sickness to overtake you again because you do not feel that you can handle the taste of the tea without it being sweetened?”

When I processed what had been spoken to my spirit, I sat down at the table, began to meditate, and drank the cup of tea until it was finished. It was not the usual taste that I had grown accustomed to; nevertheless, the health benefits were all the same. After drinking my morning tea for almost one and a half weeks without sugar, I got used to the taste. After all, it was not the worst thing in the world.

The voice of the LORD cam to me again. GOD state: “I took you through this process to share some untapped truth with you. The green tea is likened to my Holy Word. It is helpful, promotes healing and divine health when used regularly. However, my people usually only want to eat and drink those things that are pleasing to the senses, while having extra sweeteners to swallow it down. Whenever MY WORD is not delivered through or by a vessel or device that the people are partial to and familiar with, either they are not told what they care to hear, then they have mind to disregard the word. The method of delivery is likened to the sugar which sweetens the tea so that it is palatable. If there is no sugar, honey, or imitation sweeteners available, does this make the tea not good to drink? Or, do my people simply need to grow up, swallow my word and all its many benefits of growth, while realizing that although it may not taste the same without the additives, it is still the exact same drink, but only it its purest and rawest form? Therefore, whenever they find themselves out of sugar, DRINK THE TEA ANYWAY. It may not taste the same, yet nonetheless as helpful for the body.”

When I grasped this most valuable revelation, I was overjoyed! As the time came that I was blessed with money again to purchase sugar and some other things, it no longer mattered to me if my tea was sweetened or not, as long as I reaped the full benefits of drinking the tea. From that day forward, every time I added the two small teaspoons of sugar to my tea, the experience of sipping a cup of hot green tea was not quite the same. It seemed a bit sweeter and more rewarding than before. It matters not as much if we are out of sugar: (our favorite delivery method), as it does when we are out of green tea: (THE PURE WORD OF GOD)!

AMEN

Written: Tuesday, 12 September 2006 @ 1445 Hours

Laura said...

Bishop

Things are looking much brighter today. I called my stepbrother and it was a good conversation. His son and Heather are on each others myspace.
The only part I am going to miss is being here Sunday.
I'm going to miss being able to share in the worship.
I know your word is going to be off the chart. I guess I'll have to get the cd when I get back.
My stepmother doesn't have a PC so I won't be able to stream.
Spread the Word shepherd man. Catch ya when I get back.

dgm/2007
Thanks & isn't cool how real prayer works. Just keep praying with belief.

iz/joy
Cute non famous prayer. We also had one when I was growing up.
Good food, good meat, good God, let's eat. Cute and to the point.

Dennis
Thanks I glad you enjoyed the poem.
Answer is yes with my sig.

Isn't it funny how we can speak into our future and not know it but be able to look back and see where we should go?
I'll play catch up l8ter.

famman87 said...

I find it very interesting that in these famous prayers of famous folks that they do not ever seem to petiton for anything specific, but i get the sense thaat somehow everything is covered in the requests that ARE spoken.

I honestly have to admit that I had never before heard the Merton prayer. I believe that I will print that one off and post it on my 'fridge for daily perusal...What a new way to think.

I can't say that I have ever really taught my children that frightening little prayer. A little to morbid to fall asleep to. I have just tried to let them be open with God, and speak their hearts to Him. I want them to understand that He wants to commune with them all of the time and converse with them like they will with any of their "best" friends.(Almost, my son IS 15.LOL)

Need to practice what I preach just a little bit more...

Dennis, I have really just recently began the practice of start-of-the-day prayer for myself, and understand what you mean. I have for a long time started the day declaring "this is the day...", and prayer with my kids,but not much more. I feel a real difference in my personal peace now that I start the day with more time with Him. One of the great things to come out of my "stuff" that I've heaped on myself...

Wake up and fall asleep with conversation with Them daily, now. Not sure how I'd make it some days without...

Seems like the blurkers are coming out in droves these days.Awesome!!!

Much Love...

Anonymous said...

Scribe 38, the answer to your question is within you. Pay careful attention to the word that was spoken "to" you first and then "through" you. Thank you for your obedience to His spirit. You are a tremendously blessed woman of God and He is faithful to perform that which he has committed to you. He loves you eternally and His unfailing love endures forever. Stand still and know that he is God. He has every situation already worked out for you!

God has promised to supply your basic needs, as He promised "He will" supply all of your needs according to "His riches in glory". The whole earth is filled with His glory and declares His majesty. He has 1,000 cattle on a thousand hills. He loves you so much, just rest and enjoy His love today. I send it you in the spirit, receive the love of God.

Your strength and energy and power and victory are in Him. He gives you the zoe of God. The same zoe that raised Jesus from the dead, belongs to you. Use Jesus as an example when He lifted His hands to the father and said "Father, I thank you that you always hear me". Scribe He hears you, this thing we call mammom is just an instrument to be used for His Glory. Do not be weary in well doing! And the story about the green tea, put you absolutely on your A game as a writer. Awesome, well done.

Erik, you are truly a spiritual man with the mind of God. You are a shining star for Jesus and for the world to see! Continue to salt and light!

Laura, may the Lord go before you. It is well, rest in Him and know that He is God!

Peace and Joy...al(l) ways

Donald said...

I had never read or heard Thomas Merton's prayer before, but I can understand perfectly well why it would catch on. It is from someone who admits that there are times that he doesn't have a clue about anything, but the mere fact that he believes God is in control of his life reassures him that everything will pan out. Who among us cannot relate to that?
God must really crave that type of sincerity.

Avatar said...

Here. Listening.

Agreeing for ordered flowing trip details.

I'd never heard Merton's prayer either.
What donald said.

Powerful call to the G1, Erik.

Love y'all. very much.

Ebony said...

a) after reading Mother Teresa's prayer, I want to officially slap upside the head the people who EVER doubted her covenant with God because "she never said the sinner's prayer". Church folk *scoffs*

b)I think prayer touches so many people because it's something that we all, no matter where we are on our journey, value and appreciate. It makes me feel good to know I'm being prayed for, and vise versa. It's also something we can all do. We can't all preach, not everyone's a bible scholar, the mission field isn't one size fit all, but we can all go before the throne and petition, and that's very cool.

c) The Israel trip will still come Bishop, and the timing will be right. And you'll know it because you'll have favor from touchdown to takeoff.

d) I want to ask BITN to pray for my school. In addition to taking the CRCT next week (THE BIG STATE TEST *cue scary music*), one of our administrators has taken a job as a principal. So, I want to lift up my students, to do well on the test and that there be no testing anxiety. And, that Dr. Mallard is blessed, highly favored and seated in Heavenly places on her new endeavor.

famman87 said...

General prayer request, if y'all wouldn't mind. My uncle(in-law)is having surgery to remove two brain tumors in the morning. He is a great man of God, and any prayers will be greatly appreciated.

thanks, fam...

Avatar said...

With you, fam. Speaking health to your uncle and wisdom to the doctors.

Dennis Caldwell said...

Famman87,

I pray for your uncle, I pray that the Spirit of God would just begin to touch his body right now. I see God/Jesus there in the room with him laying his hand on him and saying “be well of this affliction” I see the Spirit of God begin to move into the blood stream and into the cells and nervous system flowing all through his body and up into his brain. I see the Spirit attacking the tumors from every side as light attacks darkness. May his healing be speedy and may he receive the comfort of the Lord and know that it is He that touches him. The room is filled with the light of the Spirit, there is a powerful presence right now, receive Him in Jesus Christ Name, Amen.

Tom said...

First up,let me put myself in agrement,Fanman87,with everyone else for your Uncle in-laws complete healing and absolute restoration.

Bishop Swilley,I think the reason these prayers resonate with so many is because the speak to our deepest desires.The Saint Francis prayer speaks to our desire to be significant and matter in our world.The Serenity prayer speaks to our desire to be at peace with ourselves,others and our circumstances.The Mother Teresa prayer speaks to our desire to be Christ like or to manifest the Christ in our lives.And the Thomas Merton prayer speaks to our need to know the will of God in our lives.

Bishop this may sound crazy but on hearing of your trip to Israel I can't get out of my head Kippling's poem,The Ballad of East and West.

East is East and West is West
Never the twain shall meet
Til all stand presently
Under Gods great judgement seat.

I just believe your going and God is going to do something great.

God bless everyone.

Donald said...

Hey famman, it was good to meet you last Sunday.
I'll be praying for your uncle-in-law. Let me share a praise report with you about brain tumors.
My oldest brother emailed me a couple of years ago and asked me to pray for him because he had been unable to sleep for weeks. I thought he was probably exaggerating, but my sister-in-law told me that he actually had not slept in weeks.
He had some tests ran and it turned out that he had a brain tumor about the size of a chicken egg. He had surgery and had it removed. The doctors told him that it was cancerous and even with chemotherapy and radiation treatments he would probably only have about 18 months to live.
Since the tumor was located on the frontal lobe he was told that his personality would probably be greatly altered because a good bit of the brain tissue had to be removed.
Unfortunately they were wrong. He is still his same ornery self. It is sort of mean to say this but when we were told that his personality would be altered, we said, "OK, so what's the down side to this conversation?"
But he is totally healed. I have an MRI photo taken before the tumor was removed which showed a huge area of inflammation, another one taken after the surgery which showed a dark smooth area where the tumor was removed and another one taken several months after the surgery which shows new brain tissue where the old brain tissue had been removed. This last picture looks like there was never a problem to begin with. The doctors told my brother that they had never seen that before.
I don't know how severe your uncle-in-law's instance is, but I'll assure you that a death sentence is not always a death sentence.

LP in SC said...

Nice color... and is the print larger or can I just see it better with the color change? Anyway, I like it.

Just wanted to recognize the prayer requests & let you all know that I'm praying too.

Have a good night, all...

famman87 said...

Thanks everyone so much. The prognosis is very good(90-95% total success rate is what they say.) So He is already working on the situation. I will fill you all in the AM.

BTW Avatar, about the Wonka thing, covenant AND Him playing... (Wait, scratch that, reverse it...)

Some words from Mother's Finest...
"I just want to thank you for the love"...

Thanks for the love...

Anonymous said...

Bishop, I like the picture of you with the backdrop of all of the cars. You look pretty cool there!

I liked the black as a background better I think because well you have God's mysteries in you so out of the mysterious comes Light!

You bloggers are really very dear to me! I always say, I am not going to write anything but there is such a Unified Synergy now, I believed it is ordained.

God is perfecting everything that concerns "US" (unified synergy).

Good night and sweet dreams!

Peace and blessings...

Laura said...

Hey Bishop

I promise last log in tonight.
LOVE the larger print. I won't have to bother with my reading glasses now. Love all the art work.
You did great.

Kettly said...

Famman87,

This is a short little prayer for your uncle:

Dear Lord,
In my illness I know how important my doctor is to me. Thank You for him, for his kindly spirit and his competence. Do not let him become tired and worn by his many responsibilities. Grant to him the grace to heal me and all of his patients. Keep our good doctor in your loving care. Amen.

FAMMAN87,
Remember when someone close to us is ill, we often feel so helpless. And in truth we are. This is the time for calling in the specialist, standing back and waiting, hoping the experts can do what cannot. Nevertheless, we keep asking
“Is there anything I can do? The answer is: Yes, of course there is. We can call in the greatest Specialist of all-God in His mercy.
LODR WHERE WE CANNOT HELP_ YOU CAN….
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR UNCLE?
K.

Kettly said...

Again..... Famman87,
These are some Scriptures on Healing:
Bless the Lord,O my soul,and forget
not all His benefits: who forgiveth
all thine iniquities;who health all
thy diseases.(Ps.103:2,3)

MY PRESENCE SHALL GO WITH THEE,AND I WILL GIVE REST.(EX.33:14)

THE ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE,AND UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS.(DEUT.33:27)

WAIT ON THE LORD:BE OF GOOD COURAGE
AND hE SHALL STRENGTHEN THINE HEART:WAIT,I SAY ON THELORD.(PS.27:14)

FOR I WILL RESTORED HEALTH UNTO DEE,AND I WILL HEAL THEE OF THY WOUNDS, SAITH THE LORD.(JEREMIAH30:17).

CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON hIM;FOR CARETH.(1PETER 5:7)

MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THH: FOR
MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.(2 COR.12:9)

AND THE PEACE OF GOD THAT PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING,SHALL KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS.(PHIPPIANS.4:7)


HOPE THESE VERSES HELP!
KETTLY

Avatar said...

What are y'all doing up? Don't know why I am either,but I was aware in waking that I said "I'm listening" and phone buzzed alerting me to a post!

Anonymous said...

This concept came to me about 2years or less ago in a time of seeking. It was after reading some of Merton's works, specifically the prayer quoted of his in this blog, that a light came to me from the darkness of my meditations. There is no greater light than the one that only be imagined in the cold and absolute darkness. That light gives life to every other reflection that can be percieved.

There is fathomless depth to the light born of God. The reflections of that light are beautiful to veiw through the windows of perception that I sense at CITN. The energy permeating me from everyone around is intensified when the Bishop and/or his Bride take the pulpit.

Anticipation of the upcoming events at CITN has me on seat's edge. The image of those reflections to come are exciting nurons even now.

Although the cleaverness of days are sensed by reflections and warmth, it was from the cold carbonic darkness they were born.