I think one thing is that prayer has become more useful, interesting, fruitful, and … almost involuntary in my life … And when I talk about prayer, I mean really … what Rumi says in that wonderful line, “there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground”. — Mary Oliver
Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men” — John F. Kennedy
In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. — John Bunyan
Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God. — Billy Graham
SONGS about prayer:
- Prayer for Humanity by India Arie (R&B): https://youtu.be/PpOUZANJrEc
- One Day by Matisyahu (Jewish hiphop): https://youtu.be/WRmBChQjZPs
- The Prayer by Pentatonix (acapella): https://youtu.be/wnvzwAPqniU
- One World, One Prayer by The Wailers (reggae): https://youtu.be/3kK_08lQshQ
- Great Comopassion Mantra (Buddhist prayer song): https://youtu.be/lHo-SIdQt30
- That’s Why I Pray by Big & Rich (country): https://youtu.be/QjJyZfDCa88
- As I Went Down to the River to Pray by Alison Krauss (folk Christian): https://youtu.be/zSif77IVQdY
- Pray for Me by Kendrick Lamar/The Weekend (hiphop/R&B): https://youtu.be/K5xERXE7pxI
- Pray by Kesha (pop./country):: https://youtu.be/v-Dur3uXXCQ
- Prayer performed by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli (pop/anthem): https://youtu.be/qt_OkgSOrkU
- Pray by Sam Smith (blues/pop): https://youtu.be/hhREiAarjVY
- Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore by Chris Stapleton (country): https://youtu.be/4nTch_IbOHE
- Pray by MC Hammer (rap): https://youtu.be/mye1aCskFcM
- Pray by Justin Bieber (pop): https://youtu.be/o9tJW9MDs2M
- Like a Prayer by Miley Cyrus (cover of Madonna’s pop song) (pop): https://youtu.be/C0IQm-MXh2s
- Save a Prayer by Duran Duran (pop): https://youtu.be/6Uxc9eFcZyM
- When We Pray by Tauren Wells (Christian): https://youtu.be/9YZZzgJB33E
- Prayed for You by Matt Stelll (Christian country/pop): https://youtu.be/WEJs_Bqx8_o
- Pray by Bebe Rexha (pop): https://youtu.be/VfrPzaKgg40
- Here I Am, Lord by John Michael Talbot (Christian contemplative): https://youtu.be/gZK-5v9gMTI
- I Pray by Amanda Perez (pop): https://youtu.be/qLT0_TeJvLE
- When I Pray for You by Dan & Shay (country): https://youtu.be/F6GgZMY0YkY
- I Say a Little Prayer by Aret6ha Franklin (cover of Dionne Warwick’s song) (R&B): https://youtu.be/TDyiREoBw0o
- Sinner’s Prayer by Lady Gaga (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/IOb_9QLmyjY
- Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks (country): https://youtu.be/wG8EPdPbq64
- Livin on a Prayer by Bon Jovi (rock): https://youtu.be/lDK9QqIzhwk
- Pray by Kodaline (pop): https://youtu.be/7tJ6DPRctno
- Glory by Common, John Legend (anthem/gospel./hiphop): https://youtu.be/HUZOKvYcx_o
- ake My Life by Chris Tomlin (Christian): https://youtu.be/agROj9nTQP4‘
- Our Prayer by Rend Collective (Christian): https://youtu.be/U_e3jB7tF8s
- The Blessing by Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes (Christian): https://youtu.be/Zp6aygmvzM4
- Prayer Changes by R. Kelly (Christian hiphop): https://youtu.be/fjTkJOhzvCs
Renditions of The Lord’s Prayer:
- The Lord’s Prayer by Reba McEntire (country Christian): https://youtu.be/X1CpuvPEe74
- The Lord’s Prayer by Matt Maher (pop Christian): https://youtu.be/36hBlBGVFSs
- The Lord’s Prayer by Andrea Bocelli (tenor/Christian): https://youtu.be/u8jImIjg4UY
- The Lord’s Prayer by Susan Boyle (Christian): https://youtu.be/NPlVhCZUR68
- The Lord’s Prayer by Shane & Shane (Christian): https://youtu.be/ZGL7258-EXY
- The Lord’s Prayer by Charlotee Church (Christian): https://youtu.be/HzTHDZh35Vs
- Lord’s Prayer by Hillsong (Christian): https://youtu.be/nCxqjEz5hJ4
RESOURCES about the LORD’s PRAYER;
- Podcast from BibleProject about the core of the Lord’s Prayer: https://bibleproject.com/podcast/matthew-p10-lords-prayer/The
WHAT WE NEED IS HERE— Wendell Berry
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
Thoughts on Prayer
For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God. — Saint Teresa of Avila
Exercise, prayer, and meditation are examples of calming rituals. They have been shown to induce a happier mood and provide a positive pathway through life’s daily frustrations. — Chuck Norris
Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. — Soren Kierkegaard
I do not know much about God and prayer, but I have come to believe, over the past twenty-five years, that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple. Help. Thanks. Wow. … You may in fact be wondering what I even mean when I use the word “prayer.” … Prayer is private, even when we pray with others. It is communication from the heart to that which surpasses understanding. Let’s say it is communication from one’s heart to God. Or … to the Good, the force that is beyond our comprehension but that in our pain or supplication or relief we don’t need to define or have proof of or any established contact with. Let’s say it is what the Greeks called the Really Real, what lies within us, beyond the scrim of our values, positions, convictions, and wounds. Or let’s say it is a cry from deep within to Life or Love, with capital L’s … … Prayer means that, in some unique way, we believe we’re invited into a relationship with someone who hears us when we speak in silence. — Anne Lamott
You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. — Thich Nhat Hanh
I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty; and wish to see you with a hundred eyes . . . I am in the house of mercy, and my heart is a place of prayer. — Rumi
A PRAYER FOR YOUR WILD SOUL — John O’Donohue
Give yourself time to make a prayer
that will become the prayer of your soul.
Listen to the voices of longing in your soul.
Listen to your hungers.
Give attention to the unexpected
that lives around the rim of your life.
Listen to your memory and to the inrush of your future,
to the voices of those near you and those you have lost.
Out of all of that attention to your soul,
make a prayer that is big enough for your wild soul,
yet tender enough for your shy and awkward vulnerability;
that has enough healing to gain the ointment of divine
forgiveness for your wounds; enough truth and vigour
to challenge your blindness and complacency;
enough graciousness and vision to mirror your immortal beauty.
Write a prayer that is worthy of the destiny to which you have been called.
ORD’s PRAYER Commentary
The Lord’s Prayer has a central place in Christian worship. The plural “our” is used throughout, so that those giving voice to the prayer acknowledge both the presence of God and their connection to a wider praying community. The first three petitions focus the worshipers’ attention on God. The remaining petitions turn to “our” needs, asking God to help all of “us.” — Craig Koester
The Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father) appears in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. We pray the expanded version from Matthew 6:9-13. It is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus summarizes his proclamation of the gospel, or Good News. In the same way, the Lord’s Prayer is at the heart of this sermon because it can be said to summarize the whole gospel.
With this prayer, we enter into communion with the Father and with Jesus, who has revealed him to us. Praying this prayer helps us to develop the will to become as humble and trusting as Jesus.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we praise and glorify God and petition for what we need. There are seven petitions. The first three are addressed to God and draw us to him for his own sake: thy name, thy kingdom, thy will! The last four concern us and our needs that the Father fulfills: give us, forgive us, lead us not, deliver us. — Loyola Press
Initial words on the topic from the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach that it “is truly the summary of the whole gospel”. The prayer is used by most Christian denominations in their worship and with few exceptions, the liturgical form is the version from the gospel of Matthew. Protestants usually conclude the prayer with a doxology (in some versions, “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen”), a later addition appearing in some manuscripts of Matthew. Although theological differences and various modes of worship divide Christians, … there is a sense of solidarity in knowing that Christians around the globe are praying together … and these words always unite us. — wikipedia.com
Themes from Joshua 3:14-17 and Matthew 23:11-12. The crossing from wasteland to abundance, from brokenness to blessing … gratitude arises from the chance to serve others.
Blessing of Enough — Jan Richardson
I know how small
this blessing seems;
just a morsel
that hardly matches
the sharp hunger
you carry inside you.
But trust me
when I say—
though I can scarcely
believe it myself—
there is a space
where a table
has been laid
has been prepared
all has been
and it will be
Gratitude through Service
As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else … Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. — Maya Angelou
In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others. ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh
At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. — Albert Schweitzer
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. ― William Arthur Ward
But fortunately for us, the soft spot — our innate ability to love and to care about things — is like a crack in these walls we erect. It’s a natural opening in the barriers we create when we’re afraid. With practice we can learn to find this opening. We can learn to seize that vulnerable moment — love, gratitude, loneliness, embarrassment, inadequacy — to awaken … — Pema Chodron
Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and in the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back. ― Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ― John F. Kennedy
To become fully human means learning to turn my gratitude for being alive into some concrete common good. It means growing gentler toward human weakness. It means practicing forgiveness of my and everyone else’s hourly failures to live up to divine standards. It means learning to forget myself on a regular basis in order to attend to the other selves in my vicinity. … It means receiving the human condition as blessing and not curse, in all its achingly frail and redemptive reality. ― Barbara Brown Taylor
In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices. ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
No one has ever become poor by giving. — Anne Frank
‘Enough’ is a feast. — Buddhist proverb
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. — Rumi
Meditations on themes from Exodus 33:12-23 and Matthew 22: 15-22 — What blessing will we leave to the land and the people of our lives? What is our legacy?
A Legacy (excerpt) — James Lovell
… I leave to you a curious loom
That I have wrought my dreams upon
I beg you lay your hand to it
And weave a pattern when I’m gone.
We are leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea, the flowers of one garden. — Jean Baptiste Lacordaire
Never separate the life you live from the words you speak. — Paul Wellstone
May you walk in the center of your life in balance and abundance. —Dakota/Lakota Saying
Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life. — Dalai Lama
In the evening, we will be judged on love. — St John of the Cross
I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?’ — Mother Teresa
The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them. — Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Widower — David Ray
She took such good care of him
In Case of Complete Reversal — Kay Ryan
Born into each seed
is a small anti-seed
useful in case of some
a tiny but powerful
kit for adapting it
to the unimaginable.
If we could crack the
fineness of the shell
we’d see the
stacked as in a safe,
ready for use
if things don’t
On Mustard Seeds & Weeds
So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself. — Florence Nightingale
This is a book about Heaven. I know it now. It floats among us like a cloud and is the realest thing we know and the least to be captured, the least to be possessed by anybody for himself. It is like a grain of mustard seed, which you cannot see among the crumbs of earth where it lies. It is like the reflection of the trees on the water. — Wendell Berry
I have a mustard seed; and I am not afraid to use it. — Pope Benedict XVI
A man of words and not of deeds, Is like a garden full of weeds. ― Benjamin Franklin
No faith is required to do the possible; actually only a morsel of this atom-powered stuff is needed to do the impossible, for a piece as large as a mustard seed will do more than we have ever dreamed of. — Leonard Ravenhill
The strongest and most mysterious weeds often have things to teach us. ― F.T. McKinstry
But what attracted me to weeds was not their beauty, but their resilience. I mean, despite being so widely despised, so unloved, killed with every chance we get, they are so pervasive, so seemingly invincible. ― Carol Vorvain
Man gains wider dominion by his intellect than by his right arm. The mustard-seed of thought is a pregnant treasury of vast results. Like the germ in the Egyptian tombs its vitality never perishes; and its fruit will spring up after it has been buried for long ages. — Edwin Hubbel Chapin
They are prepared for a God who strikes hard bargains but not for a God who gives as much for an hour’s work as for a day’s. They are prepared for a mustard-seed kingdom of God no bigger than the eye of a newt but not for the great banyan it becomes with birds in its branches singing Mozart. They are prepared for the potluck supper at First Presbyterian but not for the marriage supper of the lamb… — Frederick Buechner
backyard song — Diane Seuss
Since it’s just me here I’ve
found the back and stayed
there most of the time, in
rain and snow and the
no-moon nights, dodging the front
I used to put up like a yard
gussied and groomed, all
edged and flower-lined, my
Uncorked, I had a thought: I
want the want
I dreamed of wanting once, a
quarter cup of sneak-peek
at what prowls in the back, at
what sings in the
wet rag space behind the garage, back
where the rabbits nest, where
I smell something soupish, sour and dank and it’s
filled with weeds like rough
cat tongues and
the wind is unfostered, untended,
now that it’s just me here and
I am so hungry
for the song that grows tall like a weed
grows, and grows.
When I was a
my ma said a woman gets
tired and sick
of the front yard, of
kissing the backside of a
letting go of worries
Oh soul, you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.”
— Jalaluddin Rumi
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. — Corrie ten Boom from Clippings from My Notebook
Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let Birds (excepts) — Linda Gregg.
Eight deer on the slope …
The night sky blue …
I will never give up longing …
Let birds, let birds.
Let leaf be passion.
Let jaw, let teeth, let tongue be
between us. Let joy.
Let entering. Let rage and calm join …
Let winter impress you. Let spring …
You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea. Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup. Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.
If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea. You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that. If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone. You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life. It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go. The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it.
Worrying is worthless. When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment. Then you will begin to experience joy in life. — Thich Nhat Hanh
Don’t worry if you’re making waves simply by being yourself. The moon does it all the time. – Scott Stabile
Even if you have three or four extra syllables, or even five or seven, you needn’t worry as long as it sounds right. But if even one syllable is stale in your mouth, give it all of your attention. – Basho
Leda, After the Swan (excerpts) — Carl Phillips
Perhaps, in the exaggerated grace of his weight settling,
the wings raised, held in strike-or-embrace position
… whose feathers came away in my hands,
and the bit of world left beyond it, coming down
to the heat-crippled field,
ravens the precise color of sorrow in good light,
neither black nor blue, like fallen stitches upon it,
and the hour forever, it seemed, half-stepping its way elsewhere–
then everything, I remember, began happening more quickly.
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. — Maya Angelou
Jesus no longer belongs to the past but lives in the present … the everlasting “today” of God. … How often does Love have to tell us, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness … and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! — Pope Francis from The Church of Mercy