Just Pull Over

It’s hard to drive while having a conversation with God.Sometimes we have to just stop and pull over. It takes all the strength left within to say “Lord have mercy!” Some things make us want to holler and throw up both our hands. What we see and what we hear these days troubles our thoughts. Then once and a while a sweet current blows our way and reminds us that we are not alone. God is present in the midst of changes, chaos, surprises, blessings and more. Sometimes we come face to face with a Stop sign that we ought to obey. It nudges us to stop, park and pray at 1:11 pm because we can make a difference in our lives and their lives.

I’ve Seen the MountainTop!

Feb. 12th, the final show and my second time seeing the MountainTop at Trinity Rep Theatre. I’m still thinking about this extraordinary performance by Joe Wilson, Jr. and Mia Ellis. They are two gifted actors, whose personal journeys are unlike the characters they portrayed.

Imagine it’s 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee and you’re looking through a window of the Lorraine Hotel. You watch the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and a decoy maid who was really an angel. It’s King’s last hours before he’s assassinated. The maid knows every bit of his story from the beginning to the end.

February 14, 2017, I’m still thinking about the MountainTop images, messages and meanings. I’m convinced there’s a connection with God’s redemptive power and promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

I reflect on these words by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
And this I know that I must

Fear not.

Have faith.

Be not alone.

For I am convinced
God is here.

God loves us.

God hates evil.

God forgives

God gives

Eternal life.
Thank God.

Thank you.

A Chosen Instrument 

expressions_shared.jpg

REFLECTION

I keep thinking about my post-election dream, vision, warning or revelation. It was three o’clock in the morning when I woke up to relieve my full bladder. I turned on my cellphone and I was shaken by the news that Donald Trump won the election. I leaned into my bathroom sink and prayed, “Lord have mercy! What does this mean?” I felt as if I received a blessed assurance that the answer was found in this passage Acts 9:11-20. Could it be that our next president “this man” is the chosen instrument and one whose scales will fall from his eyes? I thought about this passage for several days and I listened to the many voices throughout our nation. Then I parked and prayed this prayer at 1:11 p.m. for him and our nation as I rested in peace.

Let us Pray the Prayer of Saint Francis (revised)

Lord, make him an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let him sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that he may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

I Can’t Face It Alone

120_martin_luther_kingImagine, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said, “I can’t face it alone?” He was a dynamic leader, a pillar of strength and he is still an inspiration. But, he was like many of us who reach a breaking point. Some of us may fall down on our knees and look up. We might stretch out our hands like a beggar and surrender to the Almighty. At times we feel like we don’t have enough strength to calm our shivering heart. We struggle to confess our fears and acknowledge our limitations. Finally, we let go and let God. When we come to a point when we can say, “I can’t face it alone,” then, what seems impossible happens.  We rise, turn the corner, and arrive on the doorstep of hope.  We receive the gift of grace, unmerited favor from God. We join with Dr. King and others whose witness marks the beginning of renewed strength and healing. Maybe you know someone who says “I can’t face it alone.”

Today, I learned that three children in my church community recently lost their young father. He rapidly succumbed  to uncontrolled asthma. My heart goes out to these children. I want them to know they do not have to face it alone. God is present in good and bad times. But, are we present and are we in God’s presence? Dr. King’s prayer, “Lord, I can’t face it alone,” is a powerful and profound truth that we “can’t face it alone.” But, with God, we can face it.

A  Prayer written by Dr. King:

I Can’t Face It Alone

Lord, I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone. (M.L.K.)

Prayer is an Excerpt from ,”Thou, Dear God”: Prayers that Open Hearts and Minds,
For more prayers visit
http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/galleries/thou-dear-god.aspx?p=4#gDID38mvtalxVDyo.99

 

All I Wanted For Christmas

As a child I sang, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth.” But I don’t sing it anymore. I’m no longer a child, I have my two front teeth and I seek a greater desire. 

I can’t think of any gift that I rather have for Christmas than Love. Love is free, available and accessible everyday. There’s an unconditional fountain of Agape Love. The invisible Divine Light, Spirit Breath, Holy Wind, God is Love that knocks on the doors of our hearts.

The gift of love gives us hope not despair, faith not fear, and peace not turmoil. 

“Love bears ALL things, believes ALL things hopes ALL things, endured ALL things.” Love is the muscle that never gives in or gives up. Love never dies. Love is the gift that keeps giving. 

Today, I sing “All we need is LOVE. All we need is LOVE. All we need is LOVE, LOVE…LOVE is all we need.” I sing “Love Lifted Me.”

Waiting on the Lord

It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:9

Waiting is difficult to do these days. 

We rev up our motors hoping red lights quickly change to green.

We  deliberately press “Enter” with precision and repetition hoping our devices will respond quicker.

We turn off our ovens too soon, prematurely shut off the burner and rush to pop open a vintage bottle of wine that lacks savor.

We race up the escalator only to discover we’re going the wrong way.

We pray with rapid-firing speech while speeding pass the Divine Drive Through.

We  expect God to deliver us without ever opening the windows of our heart and hands.

Let Us Pray

Thank you God for Advent, a time to wait for the Star, God’s Light onto our path.

Thank you God for Advent, a time when we rise like freshly baked bread.

Thank you God for Advent, a time when we dare to stop to sing O Holy Night.

Thank you God for Advent, a time that prepares us to receive Jesus, the Christ.

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Advent, the bridge to Christmas where we touch that blessed hope, peace, joy and love.

My God, we thank you! Amen.

‘Tis the Season to be…

imageA time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,

and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastics 3:1-4 KJV

Reflection:

What season best describes where you are today? Why?

Let us Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

Loving God, Master of the Seasons in our lives, lands, seas and world. We call on you.

You touch us, blow on us, rain down on us and remind us you are near, here and with us.

You cover us with snow, slow our pace and draw us closer to you.

You satisfy our shivers and quivers, with your soothing blanket of sunlight.

You carry us over hills, under valleys, and through the seasons in our lives.

Today, in the midst of our bubble wrap, gift cards, tinsel and carols, we remember the story of Mary and Joseph’s search for an Inn.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, and the Son of God.

Loving God, lead us to the shelter of your Holy Presence.

Guide us to your manger, a birthing place where Christ is born within us.

Bless us with renewed faith and hope.

Thank you for being a Refuge and a Shelter.

Thank you for the gift of Christ in Season and at all times.

We thank you for hearing our prayers and our praise, in Christ’s name. Amen

 

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

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

Where are the Peacemakers?

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:16-18 NIV

Where are the Peacemakers?

Lately, sowing seeds of peace seem to be unfashionable, outlandish, strange, old-school and boring. There appears to be an uncanny attraction to disorder and evil practices. Some people follow the trajectory of shotgun comments closer than a stream of heavenly wisdom. Like bullets, our words fire a steady stream of grave insults that accumulate as spoiled, rotten fruit. We wonder how to get rid of the stench that breeds envy and hatred. Sugarcoated words without deeds done in humility only deepen the wounds that lead to disorder. Many of us get caught in the web of despair trying to find peace and justice. 

 Where are the Peacemakers?

We shout, “Come out, and come out wherever you are!” We sing,

“We are the world, we are the children

We are the ones who make a brighter day

So lets start giving

There’s a choice we’re making

We’re saving our own lives

Its true we’ll make a better day

Just you and me.”

Shouting and singing taste good and satisfy our hunger for peace for a little while but it doesn’t give us lasting peace. We need divine wisdom that springs forth from a godly truth. Let us pray:

Holy God of Wisdom, Might, Light, and Love give us a renewed heart, mind, and spirit. Bless us with heavenly wisdom that springs forth from your truth. Your truth is pure, peaceful, loving, considerate, submissive and full of mercy. Bless us, O God to embrace your truth, hold onto your peace. Give us the stamina to be impartial and sincere peacemakers who sow in peace and reap a harvest of righteousness, good fruit that is fresh and enduring. In Your Holy Name, we pray, Amen.

Happy Blessed Birthday Mom!


Today is my mother’s birthday! For several weeks I looked forward to celebrating her birthday. I imagine our time together. I yearn to hear her tell the stories that warm my heart. I am blessed by her daily calls and gently scolding reminders to care for myself. Her loving advice is the kind of grace, unmerited favor that money cannot buy. I want to be with her today but, my body will not allow me to make a comfortable round trip ride to her home and back on the same day. So, my birthday gift to her is not a gift wrapped box adorned with a bow. There’s no birthday card message of quotes and flowery language. I will give her an invisible gift that yields visible results.    PRAYER

Dear God, I park and pray at 1:11 pm. to thank you for blessing me with my mom, “Gal” also nicknamed “Mal.” Almighty One, thank you for blessing me with the best mom. In her presence, I feel your loving presence. In her presence, she introduced me to you O God, Heavenly Father Mother, Son, and Holy Spirit. In her presence, I learned to pray to you. I remember the first prayers she taught me. Mal’s faith is strong. No matter the circumstances or challenges, Mal is resilient and gracious, tough and gentle, wise and humble. Awesome God, I pray this day and every day of her life  is filled with joy and laughter,  comfort and endutance, hope and peace, grace and love. Spirit God you are everywhere. Bless Mal to feel your presence as she reads my greeting, “Happy and Blessed Birthday Mal! May the righteous desires of your heart be fulfilled.” In Christ. Amen.

WHEN A CHILD PRAYS

She held “The Thankful Book.” 

She thanked her mom for her pizza.

She thanked God praying:

Thank you for the world so sweet,

Thank you for the food we eat,

Thank you for the birds that sing,

Thank you God for everything. Amen!

I gave her a compliment and she thanked me. I thanked her for making my day a special one. Then I prayed:

Holy One bless and keep this child in your loving care. In my Savior’s name. Amen.

After Sabbatical

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NIV

Last month, I accepted an offer (Matthew 11:28) for Sabbatical, a time to rest, release and relax. I received Divine Mercy and I experienced the gifts of rest and time. I took time to be still, to release and at times play. During my Digital Sabbatical, a time away from Social Media, I missed celebrating your birthdays, offering comfort for your losses, congratulating you for new relationships, new births, new jobs, Calls, homes and new experiences. I missed reading your Facebook posts and emails. I missed you. Yet, I remembered you each day as we “parkandprayat1:11” in spirit and in many places. Thank you for your prayers and for praying with me at 1:11 each day.

Let US Pray

Thank you God for loving us. You show your love for us in so many ways. Your love heals our wounds. Thank you for reminding us to be still and know that you are God. You call us to rest under the shadow of your wings. Thank you for inviting us to release our burdens. You restore our soul. Creator God, You encourage us to care for ourselves as good stewards of your creation. We are grateful for the gift of Sabbath as a time for intentional rest, release and self care. Our strength and joy is renewed. Help us to truly honor you by loving you and loving your neighbor as we love our self. Lord, hear now the silent prayers of our hearts. (silence)  In Thy Holy name. Amen.

Park and Prayer With My Shadow

Creator God, Maker of heaven and earth, all Wise, Gracious, and Merciful God, may I see a reflection of your Loving presence. May I know that in Your presence, my help has arrived. As I lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help, I seek You Lord, my Helper. Despite the waves of emotions that try to sweep me away I will not fall down nor give in to fear or despair. I seek my Savior in the midst of the mountains and valleys in my life. 

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. Help me, O God, overcome the flood of memories that holds me captive and makes me feel frozen. It stops me in my tracks. Fear holds me as a hostage. 

O God, melt my heart, open my eyes and cultivate my mind with seeds of wisdom so I may know your truth. Your truth shall set me free. Bless me with wisdom to recognize the deep shadows under Your wings , a place of shelter and renewal. Hide me, Merciful God, shelter me, then, light my path when night falls and when I am lost. May I see You in the sun that shines, the moon that lights the dark skies and in the billions of stars that gives hope for brighter days. Without the sun there would be no rainbow, a spread of the many faces in our world. Without the shadow, there would be no reflection of our inner self, a dimension beyond our reach. And without the memory of the cross I could not have the glory of the resurrection and the possibilities for repentance, renewal and regrowth. Help me, O God, hear my prayer. Amen.

Finding the Drumbeat

​Have we lost our sense of hearing? Can you hear the drum beat? The rhythm of life that returns us back to the music of our birth. The pulsating sound in the womb. The heart beat that lulls us to a restful and peaceful sleep. The sounds of Mr. Plynton’s drumbeats and guitar are fading. Our footsteps are  out of synch. Our rhythm and pace are shaky. Our movements are no longer an intentional walk. No longer an easy dance. It’s far from being a romance. Each footstep clashes and spreads us further apart from one another.

Mr Plynton plays his drums louder but, his drumbeats are ignored. He gives his drum sticks to Harriet. She studies the smooth wooden sticks resting on her palms. She locks her wrists into position as if to get ready to play his big drum. Harriet pauses and feels the weight of the drum resting on her thighs.  She imagines the burdens of the world resting on her lap and holding her down. She pauses, she parks her sticks and she prays this prayer:

“Holy One bring back the beat that gives us Peace, Unity, Love, Life and purpose.”

Harriet repeats her prayer until it becomes a chant. The sound of Mr. Plynton’s guitar and Harriet’s drum beats play softly against the backdrop of her prayer. The people sing and dance together. They are heard saying, “let it be, let it be, So be it! Amen.”

Park and Pray at 1:11 pm for Orlando then Love like Jesus

Park and Pray at 1:11 pm for the people of Orlando and for our world then, love like Jesus.

Why must we park?

Parking gives us the opportunity to stop.

Stop the bloodshed and soothe the pain. Stop inviting more pain and heartache.

Parking, allows time to shift our focus from the horrific event to check in with the Divine.

Park and Pray gives us space to tap into the wisdom of our Creator God. Praying at 1:11 pm identifies a unified time for us to respond on one accord. The numbers 111 reminds us we are tripod beings each one having spirit in a body with a soul. One, one, one connects us one people, to one God and one love. One eleven appreciates the oneness of God.

Let us Park and Pray:

“Loving God we thank you for opening space and time for us to pour out our weary hearts. Thank you for allowing us to plead our cause on behalf of the victims of the Orlando Massacre. We thank you God for your mercy in times past when we faced the burden of hatred and evil against innocent lives. We have a blessed assurance that our prayers will be answered. We plead O God, have mercy on those who perished, the many lives tortured and tormented by the threat of violence and destruction. We park to listen to the pulsations of your Holy wisdom, to feel your peace and affirm your love. We pray that love and not hatred will resonate like waves in restless waters. We pray our nation will embrace love and not hatred and retribution. We pray that we will be defined by our tenacity to love, to make peace and overcome evil by doing good. Teach us, share with us and bless us with the means to live as your children united through love. Have mercy on the friends and families of those who perish. May their living and passing be the impetus to bring about immediate changes in our laws and practices.  Thus, reverse the rising tide of gun violence. Restore the faith and hope in you O God in the midst of our weary days. 

Bless us with the desire to pursue endless and nonjudgmental love.  You commanded us to love you O God. Love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Mighty God help us to live in love, peace and the ways of Jesus Christ.

While we grieve and wait for peace, we pray daily on one accord as your people who are called by your name. We are humbled by your presence. Help us turn from our wicked ways, and call on you, our Saviour to remedy our circumstances now. May we patiently wait on you God. May were truly know the blessed hope and unconditional love that awaits us. May we love like Jesus who loves us all. In the name of our Savior we pray. Amen.

A Happy & Blessed Birthday Son!

                  Birthday Blessings

image

                        Happy Birthday Rafiq!!!
May 27, 2016
2 Chr 30:9 – The Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto Him.

Today is my oldest son’s birthday! What shall I get him? Often times I give gifts that end up in a dusty corner or part of a pile of intentions. I temporally feel good about my gift giving. This year, I will give something that’s not confined to a box, held down with ribbons and bows or tightly conformed by nearly tapped margins. I will give my son my best L.I.F.E, with the help of God. First, I give a Love that is unconditional and enduring. Love has no expiration date and it is always fresh. Second, I give Inspiration through my thoughts, words and deeds. I will inspire him to inhale all the good that God offers him and exhale his troubles as if releasing bubbles into the air. Third, I seek and I offer Forgiveness for every ill thought, misguided behavior and absent minded bruise I inflicted on him and he gave me throughout our lives. I ask God to forgive us so that today we will enjoy the sweetness of his birthday cake on a clean platter. Fourth, I give my son Encouragement to dream and to awaken his senses to all possibilities in his LIFE.
Prayer
I pray, Oh Holy One, bless my son with a reservoir of Love, Inspiration, Forgiveness and Encouragement which he can draw upon at any time. Loving, Gracious and Merciful God, as we celebrate my son’s birthday help us to live a LIFE that gives you Love and shares love with others. May we experience Your seamless Love in the smooth, torn and worn out edges of our lives. We thank you for the everlasting gift of Your presence. In our Saviour’s Name, We Park and Pray at 1:11 pm. Amen.

“Wait a few days before you waste any prayers”

“Wait a few days before you waste any prayers” Prince 4/2016

Remembering Prince, it’s interesting to note his last words were about prayer.

As I read the many articles about his life and I listen to his music for the sounds of prayer, I discovered portraits of Prince’s prayers. His praying was found in his own authentic language. When Prince asked us to wait and not waste any prayers, it felt like he viewed prayer as something very special.

He said, “wait a few days.” Maybe he meant three days. It reminded me of Christ’s message to his disciples three days before he died on the cross. Often times individuals know God’s call to come home. It is a call that draws saints and sinners, old and young, rich and poor, the spiritually fulfilled and unfulfilled and all who God loves are called to renew their faith in the Creator. Prince asked us to wait for we know not what to pray but, God will give us utterance or words to pray.

What if we did not wait. What would our prayers for Prince be? Would we pray that he would stay with us? Would we pray, “Thy Will Be Done” today and everyday?

God through Jesus Christ asked his disciples to watch and pray.

What were Prince’s prayers and where did he park and pray his most sacred prayers?

“Every song was either a prayer or foreplay,” says CNN writers Lisa Resorts France and Eliot C. McLaughlin.” In the same article, Michaela Angela Davis was quoted as saying, “he was able to negotiate God and sex in his subject matter in a way that we had never seen.”

Maybe we focused so much on the latter, sex messages in his music that we missed how Prince connected with God. Maybe we missed his prayers, his laments and his thanks to the Almighty One.
Prince left a lasting impression.

“Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.” It reminds us to first park, first be intentional and first wait until God picks up the phone. Wait until you are online, connected with God and not some ungodly source. Waiting allows God to move into your heart and thoughts.

Prayer
God of Light, God of Love, and God of Mercy, thank you for the gift of eternal life with you. Thank you for the grace that you show us time and time again. We appreciate the 57 years of authentic living that Prince shared with us. He represented many of our flaws and struggles. His discipline to his musical talents often gave us pause and allowed us to see the fruits of hard labor and unconditional love. He showcased his imperfections in creative ways. God, we pray he is forgiven for all the wrongs he has done. Receive him as your child delivered from evil. We thank you for his life and his ability to connect with many of us. We pray the good he has done will be remembered. May we find You, O God in the midst of Prince’s music and in his legacy now and always. Praying in Christ’s Name. Amen.

April Fools Let Us Be Wise

I believe it is foolish to think we can succeed on our own will only. I believe there is an unseen Spirit that nudges us, propels us and opens paths for us that are often hidden from our sight. I believe we’re often blinded by the limitations of our mind and held back by the stiff muscles of our hearts. Prayer allows us to release our grip and open the windows of our minds to allow the Light to flow freely across an untapped terrain of possibilities. When we wisely connect with the Spirit our encounters with the Divine Creator are rich, full and amazing. We are no longer foolish. We are wise and delightfully successful. Prayer connects us with the God Spirit and the gifts of love, joy, peace and everlasting life that makes a fool become wise. It is foolish to think that life is a solo performance. Today, April 1, Fools Day, let us fold up our tents and throw away our foolish ways.
Today is a new day, a day for wisdom and a day for fools to stay asleep.

Let’s pray A Prayer for a New Day by Kate Stanway on the Abide prayer app https://abide.is/prayer/x0gahd

Let us Pray

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I lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121

Let us Park and Pray,
Creator God, as we look at the world around us often we are filled with frustration, disillusion, hopelessness and despair. We ask you to give us courage to trust you. We ask you to inspire us to continue working with you even during the dark and difficult times.  We ask you to come into the daily relationships which we so often take for granted. Help us to value one another and respond to one another with love.
In our Saviour’s name we pray. Amen.

Be Still While We Pray

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Be still while pray

Breathe in and out as you may

But be still as we pray

Cease conversing as there’s nothing to say

When we turn ourselves to the Master to pray

Stand still

Stay, Pray

Wait, watch

We’ll show you the way

Just stand

Sit and kneel

Cup hands

Bowed heads

It’s all okay

Just be still while we pray.

“FROM MESS TO MESSAGE” 2005      
Cleo Darcia Graham

World News This Week in Prayer

Lord, as your cherished people we adore you for your unfailing love toward all creation. Your thoughts are not ours; we recognize that your thinking is on a far greater scale than our mere time and place even when we do not understand. Your ways not ours, yet you call us into new ways to find your kingdom.

In the turning of the world and the change of seasons we, in the northern hemisphere, are unfeignedly delighted at the return of longer days and warmth. So it is that with the turning of the year we pray with Fijians hit by a devastating cyclone and wonder if Australians also greet the changing season with thanksgiving for surcease from devastating bushfires.

In this season of Lent, in the eucharistic namnesis we are amazed at the plethora of care, grace, kindness poured out on us, your beloved. We want the whole world to share in your new covenant which existed before we know you. Today, we bring our lamentations for those who, knowing you, are forced from home, family and shelter, all that gives safety and security.

We pray for the refugees across the Middle East.

Lord, hear our lament.

We pray for those disfigured by acid attack in India.

Lord, hear our lament.

We pray for those with cancer linked to toxic waste in the area around Naples, Italy.

Lord, hear our lament.

With the European Union in crisis talks regarding migrant,

Lord, hear our prayer.

With the IMF warning that the global economy is “vulnerable”,

Lord, hear our prayer.

With the a possible US – Russian plan for a ceasefire in Syria, but air drops in difficulties,

Lord, hear our prayer.

With thanksgiving we pray for those bold enough to do research in medicine, that they might ease:
the suffering of long term ebola complications;
the devastation of zika virus – especially as it’s spread and effect is questioned by scientists in the US.
the stigma associated with leprosy in Nepal.
Lord, receive our prayers of adoration, lamentation and thanksgiving.

The Lord hears our prayer.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

Copyright © 2016 World in Prayer, All rights reserved

Building Up Reaching Across

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The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
Isaiah 2:12-17 NIV
http://bible.com/111/isa.2.12-17.NIV

Prayer
God Almighty, you alone are worthy to be exalted. You alone are worthy to be praised. You, O Lord, you alone shall be exalted this day and always. Loving God, helps us to find ways to move mountains, breakdown barriers, breakthrough strongholds and break the chains that enslave us. Mighty God,  inspire us to build bridges instead of walls. God of Peace, lead us on the path that unites rather than divides  us. Bless us with the Passion of Christ to love God, love one another as each one loves self. For love, not hate is the greatest weapon. God is Love that conquers all. Holy One hear our prayer. In Christ name, Amen.

My Divine Valentine

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Prayer
Loving God, thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Thank you for revealing your love daily. Forgive me for not always giving you the love you deserve. May my heart, my hands, my mind and my feet express my deep and everlasting love for you.
O Holy One, Love Divine, O Valentine,  forever praised and forever mine.
In Christ Name, Amen.

Sojourner Truth: “Do For Me God”

Sojourner Truth: “Do For Me God
Oh, God, you know I have no money, but you can make the people do for me, and you must make the people do for me.
I will never give you peace till you do, God.
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The indefatigable Sojourner Truth, the former slave who became outspoken in her defense of human dignity, often spoke to God in a no-nonsense way. She believed that if she was to do God’s work on earth, Divine Providence should be with her each step of the way.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Prayer/2009/01/Prayers-from-African-Americans-in-History.aspx?p=2
BeliefNet.com

Prayer, the gift that keeps giving

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Have you given all of your gifts?

Consider giving the gift of prayer.
Yes, Pray for someone.
Each day, no matter where we are, many of us park and pray at 1:11 pm. We pray together in spirit.

Try beginning your prayer by saying these simple words:

Thank you God for…
Lord have mercy on…
God I need you to help..
Lord forgive me for…
God bless…

Remember to end your prayer with
“Praying in my Saviour’s name, Amen.”
God’s name is more powerful than our names.

We invite you to join, follow and journey with us on the Park and Pray at 1:11 blog. God hears our prayers.
May God abundantly bless you.

Praying & Chewing on the Psalms

How does this Psalm speak to you?
It was dark outside. There were no street lights and my GPS was not working. The address was incorrect and yet, Spirit lead me to sense my destination was nearby. I pulled off the road. I parked and let the car idle as I prayed, “Lord I’m lost! Lord have mercy on me.” Then, seconds later there was a light in my path leading me to a house. Initially I was reluctant to knock on the brightly lit door. The piercing sound of my car alarm mysteriously unleashed a pleasant melody that compelled the responder to open her door. It was my friend! It was dark outside, while inside I was afraid until the Holy One dropped a light on my path and lead me to the right address. Thank you Lord, my Light and my salvation.

A Thanksgiving Message

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For the life is more than the food, and the body than the raiment. – Luke 12:23

Prayer
Loving God, I am thankful for these bountiful blessings that spring up from your earth. Lord help me, that I may not spend hours preparing food for my body and neglect my spiritual nourishment that comes from you. Satisfy my appetite for you O God. Fill me with your daily bread and crushed fruit of the vine. Feed all who hunger for justice, righteousness, and equity. Feed all who are spiritually famine, emotionally malnourished, and love deprived by anemic affections. Refresh and renew the servings of spoiled, tainted food from the places where your fountains are not tended. Gracious God,  help us to begin Thanksgiving Day with thanks to you, the Almighty One with us, and who give us a path where we may receive you. Blessed us with a fresh plate of peace, sprinkled with honesty and humility served on a silver platter of love. Thank you for answering our prayers. Thank you for giving us grace, unmerited favor, and a table of bountiful blessings. In Christ name I pray. Amen CDG 11/25/15

Blessed are You, O Lord our God

Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
Wellspring of all that is.

You are the sea on which we float,
You are the wind that fills our sails,
You are the storm that buffets us,
You are the calm that brings us peace.

Open our ears to hear Your word,
Open our eyes to see Your beauty,
Open our hearts to be warmed by Your love.

Free us from our lonely prisons of fear and selfishness,
And make us over, day by day, into bearers of Your peace.

richard rosenberg – 1990

Sometimes we’re forced to Park and Pray at 1:11pm

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Prayer
Merciful God, thank you for hearing our prayers.
Help us to hear you in the midst of our fears.
Thank you for feeling our pain.
Help us to feel your presence and be at ease again.
Thank you for being here and fulfilling our needs.
You help us to witness your mercy and unconditional grace.
You renew our hope and bless us with faith.
You teach us to wait, be still, park and pray.
Pray for world peace. Peace will come, you promise, peace will come one day. Amen.

A Memorial Prayer

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A PRAYER
Loving God, we thank you. We celebrate one who sacrificed his life in serving our country. As we park and prayerfully remember SP4 McGeary Littlejohn, may our gathering around his Memorial, our spoken words and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you, O God. Comfort those who mourn. Inspire us to serve. Teach us to appreciate life and living. Help us to remember Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice for our lives offers us eternal life. We pray in our Saviour’s name. Amen