A Heart for Thanksgiving Prayer

God of Life
We give you thanks O Mighty God for each breath
As we inhale, we embrace the power of your love
We hold onto your peace
As we exhale, we release the forces that drive us apart from you

God of Love
We give you thanks O Merciful God for each moment
As we spend time resting in your presence
We wait for you
As we listen for your still speaking voice

God of Plenty
We give you thanks O Bountiful God for each fruit
As we celebrate the harvest of your Spirit
We remember your call
As we prepare to serve a table of blessings for all

God, our Provider
We give you thanks O God for life, living and being in you
As we feel your unconditional love
We are grateful for your provisions and yet we yearn
As people who need you.

For in you O God we live and move and have our being
(Acts 17:28)                                               Rev. Cleo 11/23/16

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Finding Your Center

Finding Your Center
Rev. Cleo Graham
Inspired by Ephesians chapter 4

This past Sunday Beneficent Church, my home church invited each person in the congregation to break off a thread from one skein of yarn. Although Delbert helped some of them do so, I noticed people pull one strand of yarn from the center of the skein. Each one held onto their thread during our prayer time and when we recited the Benediction while standing together in one circle. I marveled at the way the children used their peice of yarn to creatively make bracelets, rings, adorn their hair and clothing. I left with the image that we are one people, woven together, attached, at times pulled apart, broken, tied together and knitted. I think we naturally return to our center which is often the Center of something greater than ourselves.

Where is your center? Is your center found in a skein or a circle? Here’s why it matters. “Skeins are longer and more narrow, and are designed to be pulled from the center. Pulling from the center is neater overall, and the yarn won’t roll around. Balls are rounder and shorter and are not wound to have a center pull end. If you try to pull from the center of a ball, you will get a tangle.” http://www.redheart.com/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-balls-and-skeins-of-yarn

Centering prayer helps us focus our attention on God. Finding our center allows us to connect with our Higher Source and avoid entanglements when we are tossed and pulled along life’s journey. Park and pray at 1:11 pm offers a way to find the Divine Center in our day and lives.

Prayer
Loving God, you are the Center of life and source of all goodness. You keep us grounded in your love. Thank you for providing ways for us to connect with you and with each other. Bless the many strands of lives woven in our communities. Help us to live into the moral call to unite and grow in love, to embrace peace, to have mercy and do justice for all. May we recognize we are your handiwork, a work in progress. We are stronger, greater and secure when we center our thoughts and ways on you. In Your Holy name, Amen.

A Prayer For Rest and Healing

Lord of life, I park and pray at 1:11 pm to remember You call me your child. You call me to rest in Your care. Help me to remember that rest is not achieved through a distressed heart, troubled thoughts, vindictive  behavior  nor can rest come through haste and discontent. In my moments of rest, O God show me how to “Be still and know that You are God.” Show me how to release my grip on my ways and open my heart and hands to Your guidance. Awesome and Loving God show me how to let go of my will, relax, and lean on You. Help me to lean into Your will and wait knowing that Your will is on time, perfect and good. Now, as I rest in Your divine peace, may I gather strength for the day and bright hope for a renewed ambition. I park and pray at 1:11 pm with thanks for the blessings of time, rest, thy Holy Word and presence. In my Savior’s name. Amen.

A Prayer for Our Children and Veterans

Park and Pray at 1:11 for the children

Who wear the flags on their faces

Who wear the shades of all races

Young Americans, 

They march as one representing many nations

Waving the flag in many directions

Listen to the children sing “This land is you land, this land is mine land, this land was made for you and me.”

Let us prayer

O God, who comforts us, who wipe our tears and shoulders our fears.

Help us sing “You Got the Whole World in Your Hands”

Merciful God, hold us, America, the USA, the red, white and blue

Remind us O God we are in your palm too!

We thank you for our children who remind us that we have a future and

 a hope. We give thanks for all who serve our country as veterans, 

volunteers, canvassers, prayer warriors and more.

Unite us as one nation under God. Amen

Fuel for the Spirit

I parked and I captured this photo. I was inspired by the light and the green that broke through the openings in between the rocks. I prayed this post election prayer written earlier. 

Dear God, 
Emotions are scattered and often numb

You console and remind us

there is work to be done

it’s a tough message, a rough lesson

we may not want to hear

but we’re told to listen as it rings loud and clear.

We asked for change,

a jumpstart, a way to fulfill our needs

but like a rose that grew from a tainted seed

the unexpected happened right under our feet

like a landmine, like an explosion

like a tough bed of thorns

like darkness before a noonday storm

but, another way of listening is born.

My God! You often remind us

of One who lighted the Way

the Divine One who taught us how to pray

the Lord’s Prayer,

give us this day, our daily bread, we say

Then, we receive bread that’s hard to chew

Dear God,

In your holy presence we remember

our jaws are not broken

our hands are not chained down

yes, many hearts are sorely bruised

our eyes are wet and yet, opened too

Merciful God, awaken us to the reality that

You, O God Governs

Not man or woman

Not polls or pollsters

Not sound bites, hash tags, sweet or bitter tweets

Not likes, strong mikes or uncanny might,

Rules this country or world

It is the unseen Spirit, the Holy Light

That fuels our spirit and gives us the grace,

gives us the reason and the hope to be a light.

                                                       Cleo 11/10/16

Park and pray at 1:11 pm

CAST A VOTE not A STONE


So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
John 8:7‭-‬11 KJV

http://bible.com/1/jhn.8.7-11.KJV

I am convinced that a trailblazer weathers more storms in her or his life than most people. It seems as though whenever I got closer to breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling I was challenged. My competency was challenged and I was made to feel as though I didn’t belong. But, to be branded as a sinner and only a sinner is so ironic. Why? We are all sinners. I have never met a sinless leader. We have never elected a sinless president. Nor have we ever elected a woman. 

Fear and anxiety is rampant these days. We can do both elect a sinner and a woman.  We can also park and pray at 1:11 pm daily in spirit with so many of us who believe PRAYER CHANGES THINGS.

CAST A VOTE not a STONE 

http://www.parkandprayat111.com